Friday, December 07, 2012

Friday Farm Fun- Making a Farm Dog

Molly helping run calves through the squeeze chute
In October when our younger daughter and her family went back to Alaska they left Molly a female mini-Australian Shepard behind. She wasn't dealing well with their city lifestyle, and so, she is now becoming a farm dog.

She doesn't appear scared of the horses, sniffing around their feet and walking close to them. Now and then, I've had to get after her about running up and barking at them.

The cattle are a different story. My daughter said Molly's scared of cattle. I don't see that in her. She is more aggressive if there's a fence between her and the cattle, but she goes in the field with me and helps/watches Boots work the cattle when we move them.

Boots our Border collie has had the "cow" sense since a puppy. She's taught us more about moving cows than we've taught her. She circles around them and brings them to us if we want them, or she trots back and forth behind them moving them forward. She also knows arm signals. We can point  and wave and she gets behind the cow we point at and moves it into the herd.

Molly and Boots waiting for me to signal
This picture was taken one morning when this group of calves were on the opposite side of the fence as the rest of the herd and were squeezing into the corner trying to get to the others. I had the dogs, chase the calves to the other end and through the gate.

The other evening as we (the dogs and I) were herding the cattle into the field we hold them in at night, I noticed  Molly watching Boots and mimicking her back and forth movement behind the cattle herd. Who knows by the time her family returns she may just be a cow dog and not want to go back to them.


Stephanie said...

A good dog can teach a pup more than a trainer, and a good dog is worth many times its weight in gold.

E. Ayers said...

How wonderful! Molly will learn. It's in her. It's just never had a chance to blossom.

Paty Jager said...

Stephanie, yes Boots is worth way more than we paid for her..nothing. Some guy had her in the trunk of a car and told my husband he was going to dump her somewhere if someone didn't take her. She'd hurt her leg and had limp. My husband took her and she's been the best dog we've ever had.

E. Ayers, Yes, it's been fun watching her learn. She just has to learn to be patient and not so aggressive.