We have been working on stay. The reason there are so many dogs is to protect the livestock. They need to stay to protect them though, not gallivant through the farm chasing squirrels away. Yesterday, Ofcharka had two porcupine quills in his face, not lodged tightly, thank goodness, but they were there. He had to go to the vet's last year to get a mug full of quills removed and that was an ordeal in itself. Try getting a 150 pound dog into a vehicle when he does not want to go. I ended up getting a sedative from the vet to administer to him to just get him into the truck. Anyhow, it means he has been hunting in the woods. Two sides of the farm now have 5 foot high buffalo wire fencing. This keeps the large animals out of the woods and the dogs on their side for the most part. I would love to fence the other two sides the same, if I could train the dogs to stay with the animals. Then when the sheep and goats left, they would go along and protect them from predators. The problem is they did not bond to the sheep. Ofcharka will stay a few minutes with the sheep, then jump the fence and leave. Harley does the same. The pups have learned to get over the fences now too, so they do not stay. They seemed like they were going to bond with the sheep, but the pull of the pack was greater and they continually either dug out, broke through the fence or climbed over until I finally gave up.
But, today I told them all to stay on the other side of the fence while I was feeding the horse and llamas and to my great surprise, they did. At least for about ten minutes they did, then Jenna went through the hole in the fence, followed by the rest of the pack and Ofcharka just jumped over. I yelled at Robbie, the border collie, and again, to my great surprise, he went back on the other side where he was supposed to be. That was a first. He and Jade were sharing a bone, though, so there was some incentive to be there.
The dogs are all very young, with the pups at 7 months as the youngest and the majority around 2, except for Harley, who is 5. I will keep working with the dogs, of course. It is my intention to get a two long range shock collars as well. They kept the cows away from the farm yard last summer and that is not what I want them to do. Getting their attention might change that, especially Robbie and Ofcharka. The rest sort of follow Robbie, then Ofcharka. If I can control Robbie, then there is hope. He is a hard one, and today he was a star, absolutely excellent and followed every command. I am still in shock! But I sure do love those dogs, just as they is!