Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


                                                          December 17, 2012

In my last post I mentioned how I was soon going to put the main flock in with Sarah.  Well it didn't happen right away as the weather turned inclement and I wanted to wait until dryer conditions. 

A week or so later I brought them in and began the introductions.  At first I only let Sarah loose with them while I was present.  After some days of doing this I let her out unsupervised.  After a little bit I heard Sarah doing a lot of barking so I went to check it out and found that she had a couple ewes isolated down by the pond and was harassing them pretty bad.  Barking and lunging at them as they kept their backs to the water.  One of the ewes was one that I was concerned about because she is was always the trouble maker when we still had Arie.  She is bossy with dogs and is obsessed with head butting them.  Sarah has not exhibited the chase behavior like Arie had so I strongly suspect that this bossy ewe instigated Sarah's actions.  So I went and got Sarah, as soon as I called her she immediately gave up her barking and came to me.  I put her away to try it again another day. 

In the mean time as I waited for more bonding to occur I would let her with them but only if I was present.  Then I tried it again unsupervised, again we had problems with her chasing and barking at the ewes.  I still suspected the bossy ewe was the instigator. 

This repeated itself every time I'd let her with them unsupervised, then one time she took chase while I was present.  I scolded her verbally and put her away.  Sarah responded to the scolding being very sensitive to it.  Unlike Arie, Sarah will quit the bad behavior when spoken to.  Arie would ignore me and continue the chase with a blood lust.  Sarah is not like that at all. 

I've continued letting Sarah with them while I am present and I quickly give her verbal reprimands at the slightest infraction and she responds well to that. 

Finally in the past week I've let her have extended unsupervised time with the flock and she has been much better.  The worse thing she has done was to try and get some of the ewes to play with her.  She would paw at them and prance around much like a dog would do with another dog to get them to play, only thing is, the sheep of course don't want to play, and simply walk away.  I watched this with binoculars and did not interfere, wanting to see how it would play out.  Sarah gave up so I called that a success.

My aim is to keep doing this and let her have unsupervised access  for longer and longer periods. Until eventually they can co-habitate indefinitely. 

 I still feel very much like a novice as far as training an LGD, since my only experience in it has been with Arie and she was a challenge to say the least.  But, I think now my biggest obstacle is getting the sheep more used to Sarah.  Our Shetland sheep tend to be flighty and once they stop bolting over the slightest move Sarah makes I think things will settle down. 

But, I am still quite impressed with Kangal Dogs.  They are some very impressive animals.  I like having a big dog like Sarah out with me because I know she always has my back.  The two kangals I've had it seems are always aware of their surroundings and easily notice things out of the ordinary. 

We are asking a lot out of dogs to live with livestock, it's very much like the "wolf and the lamb" lying down together.   At least with a dog like the Kangal they have been bred for millennia to do just that.

(For anyone new to checking out this blog I should clarify that I started it to chronicle our experiences with our first Kangal Dog Ariella, that we got as a puppy.  But Arie got out and was killed on the highway and now we have a new 3 year old female Kangal dog named Sarah and I am now using the site to tell about our experiences with her and of integrating her into our livestock and farm.)