Bear Comes to the Farm

Robert Denlinger - Sept 21, 1998
Adding another Kuv pup

Hey experts out there in LGD-Cyber-Fencing, I am taking on a one year old Kuvasz rescue. Bear is his name. He's a loving pet from some nice folks in a city environment in NY. Bear seems to like to grip non-family members from time to time, without actually biting. He's a rollover with the kids. Anyway they are becoming intimidated by him and were seeking a nice place for him to move to.

In walk the Daemon Kuvasz Sisters, see the email , reply to same. Callisto and Capella informed me they needed a "younger" brother to pester. So, the present owner is driving from some Island that isn't too short, I guess, judging by what they called it. A few days from now, Friday, Bear will arrive. I have another fortress built, similar to the Daemon Mansion, chain link, concertina wire, mines, turrets and sundry booby traps. From the description, I think Bear is like Callisto. That is, IF I can bond well with him, Bear will enjoy being my personal bodyguard when I am around. The rest of the time, I HOPE he will slow the traffic down that seems to wind up in my barn when I am not around. You may recall some of the incidents, albeit of a friendly nature, so far. I would like to have Bear occasionally sleep in the house, and other times roam the near surrounds.

Capella is Sheep Net watcher. Callisto enjoys patrolling at night, seeking bobcats, coyotes, and shoes left in the wrong places. So, what should I do when Bear arrives. And every minute thereafter? What is my game plan for correct integration into the Ugly Sisters Empire of Destruction? Bear BTW is neutered, in great health, and overweight, I am told. Ideas welcomed. Think Friday. That's just a few more days

Robert Denlinger - Sept. 27, 1998
Kuv Pups and new Kuv ResQ

Gee ...... what a quandary. So the owner of Bear brings the one year old h-u-g-e Kuvasz male. OK. So the guy leaves Bear in the X-Pen and then leaves here. OK. Ho-Hum. So I go up to the 10 x 10 X-Pen and try to say "Hi", or introduce my smell, heck, anything. Bear attacks the chain link trying to get at me. Gee ...... what a fine mess you've gotten me into now Ollie.

While Andy was here, Bear was on and off leash, at liberty. Bear sniffed me once or twice, rather indifferently. Bear met, individually, the Kuv Daemon Sisters. Capella told him in no uncertain terms that he should mind his manners. Bear, having never seen a horse, was bouncing at them as they were in their stalls. Capella jumped, body blocked and bit Bear until Bear got the idea how to mind around horses. Then he came back to where Andy and I were standing. Capella zipped into a blocking position between Bear and me.

Anyway, that was two days ago. Also the last time Bear has eaten, as I am unable to get close enough to the X-pen. Interestingly, when I do go towards it, Capella appears from nowhere and takes on Bear through the chain link X-Pen. She whines at me, saying "Hey, Master, I'll protect you, but why do you keep coming over here?" I have spent several sessions, sitting on a bale of hay, about 2 feet from Bear. Capella invariably positions herself between the two of us. Bear soon gets the idea from Capella that he should pipe down. He does, yet I cannot get closer.

I WAS going to offer food, showing what a nice guy I am. Heck with that, I need my fingers. Well, he's way too overweight, coming from a city slickers house. Thus he can live off some fat for a few days while I see if he will mellow out. Otherwise, obviously, I will toss food over the top. You may think I am strict and mean and cruel, maybe I am just pragmatic. None the less, the poor guy won't be allowed to starve. And there is a fresh 6 gallon bucket of water in with him.

But what to do? Sometimes I think I should stare at him and growl back. Actually I did once. I echoed him Every time he growled at me. Confused him. And then I also thought about walking by and never acknowledging him. So I did this in the several times I go past him. No effect. Still a chain link eater.

Andy told me this has always been Bears "way" since early puppy hood. Bear was a strong protector of "Bears" food and "Bears" box or pad. Andy said just let him out and he's better. I did notice that Andy stood well back when I asked him to come and meet my wild mustangs. I kept telling him they wouldn't hurt him even though they were pawing the ground and mock fighting with each other. Any connections in logic here? So, I ask again, of all you ResQ experts, what to do? Since this will involve the skin on my fingers and throat, I may laugh off everything I'm told and suggest YOU try it first. Hee Hee Hee, Oh S-t-e-v-e ...yoo-hoo, Stevie. Steven! Where arrrrre youoooo??? Get your little butt over here right now, or no desert after dinner!

Robert Denlinger - Sept 28, 1998
Yesterday, both Mary and I were able to issue a sit or down command that eventually was taken by Bear. Thereupon we gave a dog biscuit. Otherwise, if the growling persisted, we walked away. This morning, I tried to get Bear to a sit position, but was only met with some fierce looking teeth and allot of noise. So, I left, with the kibble I had intended to feed to him. Callisto thought it looked fine, so I gave it to her. She started eating but was taken by a sudden urge to race down pasture. She disappeared into the darkness barking and screaming at who knows what Alien Creature.

Robert Denlinger - October 16, 1998
I am responding to Barry and Lynne's recent question about the progress of the "Bear", a recent 13 month old neutered male Kuvasz addition, a Res-Q. You may find this interesting if you are in the "just growing up" stages with your LGD. You know, that point in life where you can't decide if you need another cell-phone or another LGD?

Well, we here are not "grown up" yet, but I can see the payoffs coming. For example, I didn't lose any sheep on three instances in the past 5 days! Why? Because my "teenage" Daemon Sisters, the Kuvasz equivalent to "Dirty Harry" just discovered, in a rude pre-dawn awakening, the reason they have strong maternal and guardian traits. Callisto remarked, over Biscuits and pond water, just this morning, "Oh, I SEE now. Something wants MY sheep for breakfast ..." She laid there on the small, raised, access road in front of the horse barn and preened herself, removing the cockleburs. However, she was still facing the pond

Let me digress a bit. Monday night or Tuesday morning around two AM, I awoke to the sounds of both Capella's "Shriek Bark", which I interpret to mean "Get here NOW!!", and howling Coyotes. The Coyotes were closer than Capella, or so it sounded. I grabbed a shotgun, a spotlight, and ran past the horse barn to free my "Backup Battalion", namely the Bear.

"Yawn, Oh Gosh Master, duh, where're we goin'?". This was his first experience with the "real" work, since leaving his former Long Island residence. I knew he'd catch on, quickly. For the past week, Bear has been staying with me everywhere on the farm, his choice. Even when I ride the horses, Bear is tagging along. "Good" , mused, as I wouldn't have to worry about protecting myself if it came to that. I didn't.

The three of us trotted along the river bank and homed in on the yipping coyotes. Callisto was really disturbed. Bear seemed to sense that he too needed to be on alert. I wanted to watch him carefully to see how he learned and reacted to the two Daemonís alertness.

By the time we reached the "Nets", and Capella, I realized I was hearing two groups of canine predators. One was the Coyote group, just about 80 feet across the nearly empty creek. Yet the other was behind me, across the little state road and at, or near, the base of the forested hillside. That would make it about an eighth mile behind me, across flat, open, pasture. But these sounds were of a pack of feral dogs! Maybe 4 voices in their cacophony whereas the Coyotes had one or two adults and a couple of yearling pups. Mom must be teaching the kids to hunt. Cute picture, but I'd prefer she conduct schooling elsewhere.

The visibility was non-existent for me, owing to total darkness and fog. This didn't seem to bother the Kuvaszok. All three were intent on one small area near a gravel bar on the other side of the creek. Heck, I didn't see anything. But my ears could pinpoint yips and sounds of brush moving. So, Callisto ran down the ten foot bank and waded into the water. She screamed doggy profanities at the opposition. Bear went down with her and tried to look intelligent. Well, he had his head up and his tail curved forwards. He might even have emitted a low toned bark. Not too sure on that one though. Bear did keep returning to check me out. Good Bear! All the while, I have been silent, allowing the LGD's to operate as they were designed. Then Callisto came up, sniffed me hurriedly and ran the perimeter of the half acre netting. Capella "dogged" her sister around it.

It was quiet now. I headed back, the two Kuvasok followed. Callisto stopped frequently and threw a loud bark across the creek. Bear wanted to play with Callisto. She nipped him every time he did.

That was Tuesday morning. On Wednesday early morning, albeit near 5 AM, I heard the Coyotes again! This time I was just starting feeding of the horses. I followed the same routine. Grab shotgun, grab spotlight, free Bear. Callisto knew the way. We followed. This one went faster. After five minutes there was dead calm and I returned to feeding.

`Nothing Thursday, which prompted me to mention to Lynne, via email, that the Coyotes had decided to go elsewhere. Well, bite my tongue. This is Friday. Funny that Barry should ask "Waz Happin-en", because it was a wee bit intense less that a half hour before I read his comment on the list, here. I was just handing a large portion of a 50 pound bale to Ruby, lead broodmare, and some 2200 pounds of nursing Percheron. Callisto was sprawled out with her feed bowl between her damp front legs, at he other end, and nearer the pond.

The sound of the Coyote was like a slap in the face, its nearness startled me to goose bumps. Then the others voices drove me to drop the hay and run for Bear. Callisto hadn't missed a thing, she was sprinting towards the pond in a barking frenzy. Capella's insistent voice could be heard a few hundred yards to the right of the pond, as I opened Bears X-Pen and took off running. Of course it was still pitch black out, but there was little valley fog.

How brazen! These guys, we all know, won't give up. They were, by my judgment, fifty yards from the horse barn, at the pond! I was running to get there and heard Callisto's barking become a series of growls and very rapid barks. Like the sound of two dogs fighting. I figured she was face to face.

By the time Bear and I got to the pond, Callisto was another quarter mile away, down pasture, and still barking. Maybe she was doing the Mishka "Bark/Lunge", if you picture Cissy's stories. I heard no more coyote noises. Then I heard Callisto, I hoped, heavy running, towards me. She skidded in, smelled me, then Bear, then took off back in the direction she just came from. But now she was sending the warnings up towards the hillside.

Well, we fiddled around out there a half hour, all the while Callisto was occasionally barking. Capella was occasionally barking too. A check of the sheep showed all was well. Capella had them in a fairly tight bunch. They were laying down, chewing.

I saw no blood on Callisto, so I assume she never made contact. We all headed back and I read the email. So, there you have it, Barry and Lynne. Another "Ho Hum" morning watching my Kuvasz learn how to protect the flock. I suppose this predation attempt thing is going to increase in frequency. As you can see, the Daemons are learning why they exist. Bear is, so far, fitting in nicely. Thanks for asking. Did I leave anything out?

Robert Denlinger - Oct 16, 1998
Kuv pups, the Bear and bold Coyotes

Hi again, it's your humble neophyte LGD owner. It's late evening. First I'll answer the questions from three that asked some. Barry asked: You been able to get that bowl out of his pen yet?
I can get the food bowl. Bear's agent had me sign a contract to furnish 5 pounds of food IF I was allowed to retrieve the bowl.

Karla, Sultan, Larry or Ken (Kuvasz) asked: How long did it take him to accept you -- and be able to get the food dishes out! Is he still in the x-pen because you fear he will run ......
Oh, I think five to seven days. I ignored him and gave him the raspberry if he growled, something similar I do to my advanced horses so they know not only if they "get it right" but if the "get it wrong".

Anyway, soon Bear was more whimpering at me than growling. I detected he wanted to join in the fun. When I could open the gate and he only looked at me curiously, I offered a treat. Then, rather than go in, I left it open and invited him to join the group. He seemed skeptical at first, then gleefully ran out . Bear then got used to me allowing him out in the early morning and staying out all day. I keep him in at night, I guess, because I WAS worried Callisto (the frequent flyer) would show Bear the escape routes. Although, in her defense, she never leaves the farm at night. At least, when there is a threat she seems to always be here to wake me up.

But now, as I was just returning Bear to the "keep", I was thinking it would be good for him to be out. I deferred to better judgment as Callisto is still a wee bit too playful and need not be distracted by an even more playful Bear (13 months). So, he's "in", until I fetch him later in the night, which I'm sure I will have to do. In Bears defense, I might add, he seems to be realizing that a large area to protect and romp on, is more in line with his internal schematic, if you catch the subtleties to which I refer while trying to not intimidate or irritate the more urbanite inclined owners of said LGD's.

And lastly, Debi mentioned: I have similar coyotes that are very persistent .... They were chasing my broodmare herd, which is unfortunate
Oddly, the past four days, my horse band has been kept up at night do to the removal of a far field tape fence as part of a grass waterway that is being graded through their pasture.

I say oddly, and refer to your broodmares, because I have to guaranteed canine killers, I have seen them in action. Two "not-so" Wild Mustangs, I gentled in Nevada and brought here when we moved. So, the coyotes appear in the far field, enroute to the netting, the same night I lock the mustangs up in the barn. Maybe just a coincidence. But the "boys" keep the rest of the band in a tight area at night. One is always on guard while the other sleeps. This BTW, I know from past incidental observations. Actually, they do it in the barn also, if you care to pop out there at, say, two AM, and see who is up and who is sleeping. And they do not bother the Kuvasz, but do chase the BC.

Well, there you have it. At just after dusk, I heard two distinct coyote groups. One just the other side of the creek, the other up on the hillside. We are in the middle. The "boys" are in their stalls yet another night. The 5 month old colts are in the big roundpen with their respective 2200 pound moms. I wasn't too worried about them as the "moms" just need to sideswipe a coyote with a 500 pound hoof to finish one off.

Robert Denlinger - Nov 20, 1998
Kuv Pups are 'Moonlighting'

Hi anybody that's listening out there (reading)? I was plodding through my regular farm chores today wondering if there was another way to earn additional farm income. Writing a book has been suggested. However, I can never figure where to start, or what to say.

Well, I moved the sheep nets today. You may remember, I have two Daemon Kuvasz Sisters And, yes and, a rather juvenile male prankster, named Bear. Bear is a blast and a good companion.

Anyway, while I was moving sections of net, I discovered something rather disconcerting with respect to the pasture. In fact, it needed near immediate correction lest my passel of horses stumble upon it.

See, I'd been wondering what Callisto and Capella had been doing ever since the great Coyote angriff, a couple of weeks ago. Then, Capella came into her first estrus at 16 months old. So I had to remove her from nighttime net duty lest she make a good escape. If I put Callisto in there, with Capella tucked into her X-Pen for safety, that only would leave the Bear to patrol the horse barn and the lamb barn. Probably unlikely that he would venture far, alone, from where he sees me emerge from the house. What to do? I put Capella and Callisto in the net during the days. They run and chase each other for a half hour, then settle down to being lazy. Sometimes something will transgress the pastures and the two of them are instant in their combined reaction. It really presents a fierce impression.

And the Bear just roams wherever he chooses. Often he is out watching the sisters. He does try and steer clear of the horses now. Last week he was trying to get Shaanav to "Play" with him. Shaanav usually tries, and sometimes succeeds, to kill all canines. However, all the horses, and the mustangs too, seem to understand the posture that the Kuvasz take around the herd. Thus they let the LGD's lay about while they graze. Except the Bear!! Unthinkable to play with Shaanav !! So, that trickster that he is, Shaanav "shoved" Bear and made him tumble. Now, Bear saw this as a "Kick" from the rear hoof. He yelped and skeedattled out of the pasture and into the barn. It was enough though. I saw it happen. Shaanav was very polite. It seemed a "push" rather than a full out whammy.

Where was I? Oh, I had to get the shovel. The girls have hired out as "Backhoe" operators during their off times. I counted 4 trenches, most at about 16 inches deep and 8 inches wide. Right out in MY pasture. A real leg breaker to a running horse, wouldn't you say? I was not impressed. That is, until I realized the potential for the needed extra income for the farm. I'm not sure I can get either of them to wear an OSHA approved hard-hat, but I think they will go along with the two hour lunch breaks and union wages converted to kibble .