So, I thought I would next post about summer, the AGS National show and our first Linear Appraisal. This is the time of year when I am extra busy with the business and with trying to get the does bred for spring and have composed many posts in my head, but have not gotten them up on the blog.
But, I am pretty excited about the newest addition to the farm. Thanks to the good folks at Northern California Border Collie Rescue, we have our very own eight-month old(ish) puppy now learning the ropes on the farm. For some reason, Blogger won't let me upload her picture, but trust me, she is cute. She is a smooth coated, black and white girl, on the smaller side of the size spectrum at only 32 pounds as of yesterday.
Green lamb toy
Chickens (a little too much)
Most women (unless they *really* like dogs)
Retrieving citrus fruit
In the last three weeks she has learned:
Not for Dogs
Come (about 90% reliable)
That'll do (about 70% reliable)
I have to say, I was quite surprised by the fear of women thing. She even barks at the television when a woman is on giving the news of the day. We are working to socialize her so she will be better about this "issue", but the vet told us that the more into live stock border collies tend to be, the less social they are. The first ten days or so that she was here, it was like I had adopted a Secret Service agent instead of a dog. I could not even go from one side of the kitchen to the other with out her following me the few steps. She is starting to figure out that she doesn't have to keep her eye on me quite so closely, but definitely likes to stay in the same room.
As she is getting more comfortable here, her herding instincts are bubbling to the surface. She has started exhibiting some of the "eye" that border collies are known for, and is dropping to the ground on her own at least once a session when we are up with the bucks. She is really eager to work every day when we go out to do chores, she is very eager to get out and try to get the animals to move. The mature does have given her a few good hits, and Stella is a bit intimidated by them. Last night, Sky Lupine decided to turn the tables on Stella, running her out of the feeding area of the barn and confining her to about a five foot wide space. Forget Babe- the pig who could herd sheep-- I apparently have a goat who can herd dogs! In a way, I actually find the doe aggression towards dogs somewhat of a relief- if one of our llamas falls asleep on the job, at least I know I have a few does who will take a stand against the coyotes or stray dogs that may get into our pasture.
It is really neat to see Stella working- just how strong her instincts are, and that any time we go for a walk and she sees sheep (more common than goats along the roads we walk on), her whole attitude changes, she's focused, and ready to round those critters up. We haven't seen any evidence of her wanting to herd anything other than small ruminents, but she is still young.