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Ofcharka in Training

Posted by Fluffy on January 10, 2013 at 1:50 AM

Ofcharka is a year old as of December 10. Ideally, a livestock guardian dog that is designated to guard a flock should be reared wth the flock in order to bond to them as part of his own, but Ofcharka showed no interest in sheep and was not born or raised with them. He was rather timid, too and I suspected placing him with the sheep might have made a timid dog, not an ideal livestock guardian. Even now, if a sheep lowers her head to him, he runs away. This is good. Submissive behaviour with the sheep allows him to bond more closely to them. 

Now, when chores are being done and he can be watched, he is in with the older ewes. Me must stay in the pen the entire time, which can be four hours or so. Initially, he was only required to be ten minutes, but it has progressively increased and he is able to stay with the sheep comfortably. He usually distances himself a little and lays down in the snow watching the sheep and me doing chores and playing with Robbie. When I finally call him out, he is wagging his tail and receives a great deal of praise for being good, calm and watchful. Barking at the sheep is not permitted and has been corrected enough that he hardly does so now. Yet, he will not be trusted with the sheep alone for a long time from now, possibly 6 months, right into summer, which will be perfect timing so he can go with them in the electric fence and guard them. He remains closely bonded to me, his human, but is becoming more aware of his duty as a guardian. One day, he will be magnificent and able to guard all his charges. He is a huge dog, and just starting to run and become agile. I will not teach him to jump the fence and hopefully he won't learn from Harley or Robbie, forcing him to stay inside the boundaries. Ofcharka is a good dog. One day, he will be a great dog!

Categories: The Dogs

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