Although they are livestock guardian dogs, and do have the instincts to guard livestock, they still are dogs and need to be trained. They need reminders of where they belong and how to behave with the sheep and lambs. Thank goodness they did not pose any problems with the free ranging birds, not even once.
Joe is a people dog and so far, would prefer to come out of his pen to be around people, especially if there are visitors. There are 4 other dogs that guard the general farm, but Mike and Joe specifically guard the sheep and goats. When they go out to pasture, the dogs go with them. Ofen Joe will sneak back and sleep under a tree during the daytime, but Mike tends to stay where the sheep are. The night is when they are working.
The Fat Ewe Farm is at the base of Moose HIlls, where there are acres and acres of free grazing lands and many forested areas that are not inhabited by people. Bears, coyotes, wolves, cougars and even wolverines and badgers live in them hills. Without the dogs, the small critters on the farm would be prey. I am happy to report though, that since I have these big beautiful dogs, the only loss the farm has had is a baby goat to a fox last year. Foxes are the hardest for the dogs because they are sly and quick and silent, unlike coyotes, who announce their presence miles away. Still, one tiny loss when other farms have tremendous losses, is very special and it is all because of these wonderful big white fuzzy mutts, oh and Ofcharka, the black fuzzy mutt. They are not mutts really, but they act silly sometimes.
I love the dogs and could not do what I am doing here alone without them. I am single and alone. They watch over me and the animals and would give their lives to protect us. I don't own a gun either and am not afraid to walk in the forest at night if I need to. The dogs are with me and will protect me and because there are so many, it is too much trouble for predators to bother the animals here. They would rather go where the prey is much easier.
Mikey is my favourite (shhh, don't tell the others), but I love them all. In the photo they are watching over the lambs as the moms are grazing nearby. That is how it should be. Sweet big dogs and little tiny lambs are made for one another - and for me too!