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Tuesday, July 20 2010

 Fortunately this morning Briar appears to have recovered from her trauma.  We turned the livestock out and took a nice walk in the pasture (with the hotwire OFF!)  Since Briar's confidence is more valuable than the goats (5 goats are simply not worth losing a good LGD for!) the hotwire will be off EVERY time Briar is in that paddock.  The goats will get training in the paddock when Briar is somewhere else.  Briar's primary responsibility is to protect the flock of sheep.  The goats may have to fend for themselves.

Had Briar been a criminal, crawling or leaping out of the fence, then I wouldn't have a problem with her getting zapped. But the reality is that she is a 9 month old giant baby who has been doing a splendid job of guarding both the sheep and the property.  She was building the confidence to go along with that big bark. Although she was rather melodramatic when shocked, nothing good can be accomplished by telling her to "man-up."  If SHE thinks something horrible happened to her, then it did.  I'm sure me holding her and crying didn't help either, but I got so upset by her performance that water-works were inevitable. Poor Other Half was left standing there watching me sob as I held a sobbing dog.  After working all day in the rain to get that fence up, it was probably a toss-up who he wanted to shoot more - the goats, or me and Briar.   

But alas, what is done is done.  The dog appears to have recovered and I'll be more careful in the future about her sensitive feelings. Other Half stopped short of calling her a weenie. (It wouldn't have been a wise thing.  I was still crying over traumatizing my puppy.)  Police dogs should be raised to never lose.  They always win. These dogs must have a tremendous amount of self-confidence to do their job.  A LGD needs more.  Briar is alone with the sheep. She has to have the confidence to take on whatever lurks in the dark and she shouldn't have to be afraid that the fence will bite her.  The goats are about to lose their bodyguard. I will not jeopardize the confidence of a dog who can protect an entire flock of sheep for five felon goats!



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Turn the hotwire onto "stops a bull" strength and leave it on. Briar is smart and will learn quickly. If you confuse her by having it off and she touches it and nothing happens and then the next time you forget and it zaps her pitiful baby nose...then you are providing inconsistency in her training. My cats, dogs-both large and small, and fat fjordlings all live with strong electric fence. They learn and are not truamatized but it is never off!
Posted by Milli Ann on 07/20/2010 - 03:16 PM
Oh, I forgot that the electric fence also works on husbands when they forget to turn it off and work on it. They don't stay traumatized for long either...but generally complain way more loudly and are not as quick learners as the 4 legged critters. :-)
Posted by Milli Ann on 07/20/2010 - 06:33 PM
Unfortunately Briar's reaction was so melodramatic (and probably exactly what my reaction would have been if I were wearing wet clothing and had absolutely no clue what hit me) that she ran and hid in the barn. Then she ran and hid in the house. Since neither Briar, nor the sheep, actually NEED the hotwire, the goats will be the felons who end up behind hotwire. They just won't enjoy the security of having a bodyguard because she won't be in there with them!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 07/20/2010 - 07:07 PM
I absolutely despise getting shocked by hotwire. I hate it so much that I was reduced to tears when it got my innocent puppy. If Other Half got zapped, I'd laugh. But only because he installed the hotwire and HE UNDERSTANDS what's happening. The puppy didn't.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 07/20/2010 - 07:10 PM
I'm with you No way in the world my Emma June is going into the field with the electric fence on. No way on earth. Nope. Not Cosmo either. He's not so sensitive, but he's not going to hit the electric fence and cry like a baby in my lifetime either. I'm fine with the dairy goats getting zapped. My horses and sheep don't fool with my regular fence. I love them for that. Only my daughter's goats fool with the fence. GOATS!
Posted by sue on 07/21/2010 - 08:36 AM
Yep.... I'm just a softie. You should have seen me trying to hold a dog that was almost as big as I am while she was screaming. It wasn't pretty. I was crying like a baby too. I'm such a softie. I even wanted to cry when Blue Heeler peed on it and zapped his little pecker. Other Half laughed. I felt awful for him.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 07/21/2010 - 10:40 AM

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