Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New guardian puppy needs to learn some manners

You can see the bloody spots where the puppy apparently 
tried to pull the kid's ears and ripped the skin.
Introducing a new guardian dog can be tricky, especially a young dog that still wants to be playful with the goats. This Great Pyrenees puppy's mother was an older rescue dog who spent most of her time under the back porch; the father is our best male guardian. We have high hopes for him. He has been in the pasture with about 30 does ranging from 10 months to 2 years old. He'll occasionally chase a goat but they'll butt at him or just quit running and he loses interest.

Most of this playfulness has been harmless, but I am always worried about a new dog when kidding season arrives. You never know how the new guardian is going to react around kids, and I've had a couple bad experiences. One year we had a guardian that was so protective of the kids, he wouldn't let the mothers get near them. I think some of the older mom's finally explained to him who was boss.

Another time we had a guardian that tried to help the mothers clean up the new kids. Trouble is he licked too hard, tearing open the stomachs of several kids before we figured out what was happening. He was quickly disposed of.

I watched this newest puppy interact with the first kid born in his pasture. He tried to be too playful, chasing and knocking over the kid. The mom stepped in and I was hoping she would give the puppy a good pounding and teach him a lesson. She was young and, I think, a little too shy. She walked between the kid and puppy to separate them, and the puppy left them along. I hoped she would take care of the kid overnight and not let the puppy hurt it.

No such luck. The next morning the kid was soaking wet from the rain during the night. I guess the puppy had kept it chased out of the barn. And the kid had bloody ears from the puppy pulling on them with his teeth. I was as mad at the momma goat as I was at the puppy. A good head-butt by the momma would have taught the puppy to leave the kid alone.

The kid got a case of pneumonia from the night in the rain. A couple days of Nuflor and Nutri-Drench got him back on his feet. I put antibiotic salve on the ears and they seem have healed OK.

As for the puppy, he has a new home. I moved him across the road to the yearling buck pasture. He hasn't bonded with them to the point where he'll follow them out in the morning, but he doesn't chase and bite on them. Those guys are a little more intimidating than a mom and her baby. 

As the pup matures, we'll try him again with some bigger kids and see how he does. Typically, my Great Pyrenees pups have matured faster than some breeds I've read about. I'll give him a few more months and see how he progresses.

The pup isn't so quick to try and be playful with his new
pasturemates, seven yearling Kiko bucks.

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