The Daemon Sisters - 6-8 Months
Hi all. Need some serious advice. The two six month old pups are causing significant time loss here. We're getting down to shoot or ship out.
The general problem is simple. One likes to *play* rough, tearing ears, even after being punished with the *wolf growl and shake* routine several times. They both chase. Even wearing *dangles*. Neither remain in their paddocks, even with twenty five pound drags!. Both like to find each other and play. I spend perhaps two hours a day, *replacing* gently, each one into their *areas*. They might stay an hour, but usually they watch me walk back, then *sneak* back a different way. If I give a shout, each *high tails it* back to the barn area. Nights are spent *locked up with sheep*. This is the same routine that I have been doing for four months.
As I don't need any *pets* on the farm, they are approaching a terminal state. Now then, I could turn them loose and *hope* that they start making their *rounds* like all the list people say that theirs do. OR, I could continue as I am doing and hope that they work out of it. Or I could put them down.
Many of you have given helpful advice in the past few months. So here is another chance to *jump* in. As I'm sure that I have failed thus far, any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Robert Denlinger - 1/9/98 (in answer to another lister's questions about her Kuvasz)
I too have KUV. They are yet 7 months old and WE BOTH are in training! I use them, or WANT to use them for guarding my sheep flock, here on the farm. So far, they are both now scaring away bobcats and coyotes and loose dogs. This is good. They are also, still chewing up the ears and tails of new lambs. This is very bad! I have scolded them very often. I have tried to keep them away from the lambing pasture, but since that is the area that the "predators" go to, thus the LGD's feel they need to be there too. So, at present, I try to keep my eyes on them over in the lambing pasture ......but sometimes I think they see me doing something else. And as they are puppies, and the weather is cool, they feel frisky and want to play. The only lambs that have remained safe are those belonging to my very large Hampshire ewes. These ewes don't fool around and smash the puppies (now 70 or so pounds) to the ground. The other ewes don't seem to care if the Kuvasz puppies chase the lambs. Yesterday, one puppy was carrying the "dangle" in her mouth so she could run after the lamb. I laughed. At least with the 18 inch long plastic pipe in her mouth, Callisto could not "chew" on the lamb's ears!!
Robert Denlinger - 1/28/98
Then let me add the story from this farm. It's one of limited progress, nonetheless, progress thanks to a lot of advice from this list. Unfortunately, I didn't know what type temperament pups to get. Nor did I know not to get two. So, tough luck, I got em, then found the list existed. I have sheep. The sheep have lambs. The Kuvasz chase each other and bite ears and legs. When one is tired of that treatment, she rips her sister into submission.
I keep them apart continually now. At first I would let them play together and with the border collies. Hence I saw how they played. One is worse with this game than the other. But they both have taken turns removing ears from at least 15 of my lambs. I shout. I chase. I "down" them. I growl and point fingers and howl. I even pronounced the "secret" LGD trainers society password "Klato Berato Nikto!", and still they wait for me to be out of sight and would play the "chase" game. Just sometimes. The rest of the day or night, they, as now 8 month old Iraqi terrorists, can be seen patrolling the flock. They can be found a mile away (singly) perched in the middle of the flock, gnawing on a deer leg. (No idea AT all where the heck they got that one). When I ride the horse out to check on one of these cuddly BIG monsters, the LGD on duty, seeing humanoid on equine from a distance, will hop up and place herself between the flock and me on a horse that absolutely savors cutting and herding anything, She does this daily, even though she's seen us before. You know, head up, tail curved, all blown up to look ten times her already large size.
Then I yell the password given to me by Edd, Catherine, Lorna, Diane, Gerald and the rest ...she runs back to her gnaw position. Of course, being devilish, I turn Corey loose on the rein and we have fun.
They have, individually, run off bobcats, hawks, my favorite blue heron, and myriad stray dogs seeking a free meal. If the flock is in, they can often be found "grazing" with the herd of horses, in spite of being chased by one of them when we ride. Note, when she's "grazing" with them, Corey leaves her alone.
I haven't the luxury of a lot of different pastures that might be inescapable. Even the "housing" arrangement is faulty, in that one must always be in the only "secure" place, namely the lambing jug area. YIKES!!! The worst thing to happen there is that one always finds a way to get a ewe out of the jug, so she can sleep in the jug herself. I've tied, chained and roped. She rips, gnaws and pulls after I am gone. Same effect, she's in, ewe out.
I've slowed the ear tearing down by two methods. Uh, at lambing I remove the ears and tails? No, actually, I used a "dangle" on the worst offender. AND, I've noted the "play" times are very typically early early morning and near dusk. Actually, the same energy level seems to be prevalent in the equines too. So, I limit the access during these times. I rotate the two, 12 on 12 off. The "ear offender" supreme is on days, I can see her. The "I'll attack anything that moves" is on nights to free roam. Often she elects to figure a way into the almost "Ft. Knox" lambing barn to sleep. She has never created any problems during darkness, often sleeping awhile next to the ewes. I've checked this. Otherwise, she's learned when and where the predators come and hangs out waiting for them.
Both, now at 8 months, have begun to occasionally nip at he hind legs of less dominant yearling ewes. I hate this. I never see it and would like to get my hands on them if they did. Like you, I have some traumatized animals. Thankfully, none dead. But off feed and listless. It isn't in the cards to shoot or remove the Kuvasz, well, if they happen to kill one I would, but I doubt seriously they will. Iím told they will outgrow this. I believe it. They are earning their keep IN SPITE OF being way too young to even be considered an effective LGD. Someone is supposed to come over this weekend and give me some pointers on a little better management.
So, while I didn't offer any help to you, maybe the real guru's here will impart some ideas and secret phrases to utter. Meanwhile, in the real world of rank beginners that you and I are in, use your imagination and thwart their periods of playfulness, and allow them