Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shock Therapy

Before Titan arrived we bought a comprehensive guide to raising and training livestock guardian dogs. It's important that LGD pups bond with their stock rather than becoming dependent on human or canine companionship, so we limit the time we spend cuddling and playing with Titan (who is very cuddly and playful). We also control his interactions with Tilley, Willow and Watson quite carefully. He spends 90% of his time with his goats for company, and he now greets them like long-lost pack mates if he's been separated from them for more than 10 minutes.

One problem with this largely hands-off approach is that we cannot supervise Titan as closely as a regular pup, which gives him plenty of opportunity to get into trouble. So far it's been limited to digging and and a few escapes, but every time he breaches the paddock fencing some dangerous lessons are reinforced. Climbing and digging will become easier as he gets older, stronger and more motivated, and finding him will get harder as it gets darker. Yesterday we bought a radio fencing system to install around the horse paddock. He is a soft pup and we hope that a few sharp lessons at this tender age will teach him to respect fences for the rest of his life.

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