Tag Archives: farm dogs

New Setup For The Chickens!

This whole Ozzy situation has officially gotten out of hand. So Luke and I finally did something about it yesterday.

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Ozzy is my neighbor’s dog. He’s been getting into my yard a lot for the past several weeks and terrorizing my chickens. But now he’s getting even worse about it. So something had to be done.

So, on Thursday night when Luke got home from work we began building a structure to protect them. We didn’t get very far with it that night though. It was pouring down rain and we were under a sever thunderstorm warning and it’s kinda hard to work outside in those conditions. Plus we ran out of daylight pretty quickly, so we had to stop and then continue the next morning.

 

 

 

It was a rough morning. Things weren’t going the way Luke had planned and after our little building project had fallen apart twice we decided to stop, go get some food, regroup, and figure out a better way to go about this thing we were trying to accomplish. Oh and did I mention that it was hot, humid, and super gross out that morning following the thunderstorm from the night before? Yeah, it stayed like that all day and it was pretty awful.

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Anyway, while we were eating we did some brain storming and came up with the idea to get a dog kennel. If we could get one that was big enough the chicken coop would fit in it, when Ozzy wasn’t around the chickens would have more area to roam around in, and when he was we’d be able to lock them up in the coop and they’d be more protected from him. And plus we figured a dog kennel would be easier to assemble than what we were trying to build, so after we ate we ended up at Tractor Supply.

At Tractor Supply we learned that the super fancy dog kennels don’t all come in one DIY kit. You have to buy pretty much each panel individually, which would get crazy expensive crazy fast, because each piece was close to $100 and that wasn’t even including the dog house, ramp, and roof that you could add to this kennel. But after some searching we found exactly what we wanted. A DIY dog kennel kit that came with the WHOLE kennel and not just sections of it, for $200. Not bad! The only thing that wasn’t included in the kit was a top cover though. That came all by itself for an additional $50. I though that was stupid, so I asked Luke if we could just get a tarp to cover the top. He thought that was a really good idea and wanted to know why it took me that long to come up with it haha. So after we loaded up our dog kennel into the truck we went to Home Depot and got a $15 dollar tarp and a few $1.50 bungee cords. That seemed a lot more reasonable than a $50 cover for the kennel. ๐Ÿ™‚

So we went home, unloaded the truck, and Luke said he still wasn’t sure how we were going to fit the coop into this kennel once it was built. That’s when I asked him if it wouldn’t just be easier to build the kennel around the coop, because that’s what I thought we were going to do anyway. Haha that was my second fantastic idea for the day, and I’m surprised that my engineer husband didn’t come up with that one all on his own! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So we moved the chicken coop to the area we wanted to build the kennel in, and then began to assemble it.

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There is actually grass and weeds in the new spot that we moved to coop to, and the chickens were definitely enjoying it!!

So we did end up running into a few bumps along the road that was putting this kennel together, but all in all it went pretty well. It was definitely a lot easier than what we were trying to do before!!

 

 

We got the frame assembled very quickly, had a little bit of an issue with the gate, but Luke figured that out, and then put up the chain-link! Some dude at Tractor Supply (we are pretty sure that he didn’t even work their haha) told us that putting up the chain-link was going to be a bitch and we shouldn’t even bother buying the kit, but it was actually pretty easy! A bit time consuming, but still, it really wasn’t that hard. And once it was all put together we let the chickens out to explore a little bit (under close supervision from Lily and Finn ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and took a short break before we put the tarp over top of it.

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The tarp ended up being really easy to put up as well, plus it kinda helped it re-enforce the whole thing. Luke also put a steak in the middle of it so that the rain, snow, or whatever should fall right off of it instead of pooling up on it. So now the chickens can’t fly out, nothing else could fly in, and they’ve got plenty of shade and should be a little more protected from the elements in general.

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Lily, who was raised on a farm, has some legit herding training, and grew up around chickens and therefore knows how to handle herself around them, is a big fan of this new setup haha. Now she can get in the kennel with them and keep an eye on them and kinda sorta herd them a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Finn thinks it’s pretty neat too! And although he’s got some pretty impressive instincts, he’s never had any kind of herding training, and is young and excitable, so he’s not allowed in there with them. At least not yet. But he seems to think that it’s pretty neat that they can move around more, so he can kinda follow them around a little bit more.

 

 

All in all we’re very happy with how the dog kennel set up ended up working, and like I said, now the chickens have some more room to roam when Ozzy isn’t around to bother them, they’ll be a little bit more protected from the elements, and when Ozzy does get into my yard they can just be put into their coop and then he won’t be able to be as close to them or jump up on or scratch at the coop anymore. So that’s pretty freaking sweet!! I mean, it does kinda suck that we had to go through all of this trouble because of someone else dog, but still, the chickens end up benefiting a lot from it, so at least there’s that.

Alright then, now I have to get up on my soapbox and talk about whyย herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breeds of dogs don’t make good pets unless you’re prepared to deal with them and know 100% what you’re getting into with certain breeds of dogs. Because that’s the problem with Ozzy. He’s a heeler or a heeler mix. So he’s a herding dog. He’s pretty smart, full of energy, and he’s also bored and lonely because he’s left out in my neighbor’s backyard all day while he’s at work. That is basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to these kinds of dogs. You CANNOT get a high-energy/intelligent breed of dog and expect them to just be content running around a yard by themselves all day. They’ll end up getting bored and then doing things like barking excessively, digging, tearing stuff up, or escaping into your neighbors yard and terrorizing her chickens and rabbits, and playing with her 2 high-energy dogs who are out there a lot (haha Lily has separation anxiety, so she’ll only hang out in the backyard if Luke or myself go out there with her).

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My dogs know how to behave around the chickens and don’t want to kill/chase them. Lily and Finn just want to herd them/guard them, and Dean wants nothing to do with them. Ozzy wants to make them move, chase them, and then probably rip them to pieces. This photo was taken right before Finn started fighting Ozzy, because Ozzy was bothering his chickens. Finn thinks his job it to keep the chickens safe and that’s exactly what he was trying to do.

After seeing the way my dogs behave and how smart they are, a lot of people who see them actually end up telling me that they want a border collie (or something similar) as well. And honestly I tend to try to discourage them because these types of dogs need a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Like, A LOT. They are happiest when they are working. And when they aren’t they become problems which is why a lot of them end up in shelters labeled as “hyper” or “aggressive” or with “behavioral issues”. So that’s why I think that unless you have the time, patience, knowledge, and energy to care for a dog that’s a herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breed, most people would be better off with a different breed of dog. And remember that this is coming from someone with 3 border collies and thinks that they are the best dogs in the world haha. But they are not for everyone. Luke and I spend a lot of time making sure that they get the attention that they need and that they all have “jobs”. We also take them to an off leash dog park almost every weekend.

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They don’t just get to run around all willy nilly at the dog park. They’re constantly being told to come, sit, stay, and do other tricks and commands, to keep them mentally stimulated and to make them feel like they’re working.

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But they also get to play around a little bit while we’re there. ๐Ÿ™‚

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And whenever possible we like to take them to new places and put them into different situations. So they’re prepared for pretty much anything and always know how to act, no matter where we are or whats going on.

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When we’re at home fetch is a way of life and is taken very seriously.

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Individual walks happen pretty much everyday, regardless of the weather. The longer the better, although shorter ones will suffice if pressed for time.

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It’s not exactly easy, but Luke and I have gotten pretty good and wearing them out!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, I’m done now. But obviously this is something that’s near and dear to my heart and it drives me crazy seeing a good dog turn into a problem. In almost every situation it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the handler. Because trust me, my dogs are fantastic! And I’ve met a lot of amazing dogs, but they don’t come that way. You have to MAKE them that way. And that’s a lot easier to do when you get a dog that you know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can handle and provide everything that it could possible need. That way you’re life will be a lot easier and you’ll end up with an amazing dog.

 

Whew! I didn’t mean to go onto a tangent like that, but I think the more that things like that get said, the better!

Anyways, after our building adventures were done we were finally able to spend the rest of the evening in the glorious air conditioner!! And that night someone live-streamed most of The Longshot’s concert that happened last night on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Instagram account, so obviously my little fangirl heart was as happy as could be! It looked like one hell of a show and I’m super duper jealous of anyone who gets to see The Longshot live, because they aren’t coming anywhere near where I live haha. But it is nice to at least get to see it on my phone. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Haha between getting another root canal and this big project, I haven’t gotten a lot of running done this week. But it’s all good! I felt like I could use a little bit of a break from all of the gross summer running anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus all of the work we did putting together that dog kennel for the chickens hardcore wore me out!! When I woke up this morning I decided that I wasn’t going to do shit today, and so far so good!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m very much on board with having the laziest Saturday ever!!

I hope you have a fantastic day and a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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*squee!!!!!* Finn was so little!!!!! Haha he wasn’t a very cute puppy though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

 

 

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Finn’s Pedigree

Finn’s ABCA certificate of registration came in the mail yesterday! I am so absolutely beyond excited about that!! He’s the first dog that’s belonged to me that’s been registered to a breed registry and therefore the first dog that I can look back at his family history and actuallyย see what the dogs look like, know how good they were at herding/working, and maybe even find out about any medical issues his relatives have had. That’s some pretty exciting and super useful stuff if you ask me!!

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On his certificate the ABCA includes 5 generations (including Finn) of dogs, their registry numbers, and their owners and breeders, and where they are from. That’s cool and all, but that’s not exactly much information. I mean, I want to know as much about these dogs as I can! So I’ve taken it upon myself to find out what I can about Finn’s lineage. And I’ve already found some pretty interesting stuff already and I wanted to share it here with you guys, even though this is more of a running blog haha. I just think this kinda stuff is so super neat!

I’ve met his parent’s in person (Shome and Ria Show Me Mo. Both of their names kinda reference the show me state, which is Missouri’s unofficial nickname and that’s where their owner is from. I think that’s pretty neat. ๐Ÿ™‚ ), and can ask their owner anything I want to know about them. Apparently he likes to stay in contact with the people who buys his puppies so I’m not to worried about them as I’m sure Luke and I will spend plenty of time talking to him as Finn gets older.

But anyway, so far I’ve been able to find some information about two of his great great grandfathers and it’s some really impressive stuff!

First I found out a little bit about Dog ABCย 293065. Haha after a bit of digging around in the interwebs, I actually found his current owner’s Facebook page! According to him, Dog is a fantastic working cattle dog and has had a long career as an outstanding stud dog. Plus I mean, look at him! He’s a super handsome boy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh and it looks like he’s still alive! His owner’s Facebook page has a few photos of him from last year so that’s pretty neat.

I also found Rocking G’s Spurs ABC 35996! He’s actually the dog Finn’s breeder told Luke and I about! He has an absolutely amazing career as a cattle dog which included many many different trial wins;

  • Gulf Coast Cowdog Association Open Dog of the year 1996, 1997,ย 2000, 2001
  • Gulf Coastย Cowdog Association Reserve Champion Dog of the year 1998, 1999
  • Winner of the 2000ย World Champion Cowdog Challenge in Reno, Nevada against 60 dogs

And there is a some more information about him and the other dogs from Rocking G Kennels on their website. They’ve got some pretty impressive border collies.

So far those two are the only dogs I’ve really been able to find much information about, but I’m sure if I keep digging I’ll be able to find a few more. And plus I know where to find Spurs’ pedigree, so if I really want to, I can look up the dogs on that and probably find out more about Finn’s great great great, great great great great, and great great great great great grandparents if I really wanted to go that far back haha. But for now I’m probably going to stick to the dogs on Finn’s certificate. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, seeing that Finn comes from a long line of several different amazing cattle dogs, explains why his herding instincts are so good! Hopefully once he’s around a year old Luke and I are going to take him to someone who trains border collies (so far we’ve only been able to find people in Texas, Oklahoma, Southern Missouri, and Illinois, so we’re going to have to drive pretty far to do it) and we’re going to see if we can’t teach him how to herd some cows! And maybe he’s inherited some of his great great grandparents’ talents. That would be pretty sweet!

But yeah, I’m doing talking about dogs (for now).

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From left to right: Lily, Finn, and Dean.

Happy Saturday!

~Ashley

I’m Going Streaking and Thanksgiving Things

I’m going to redeem myself this year!! Last year I started the Runner’s World winter running streak, but I had to quit and take a month off from running, due to an injury. This year I’m totally going to take on and finish this streak! 

The goal is to run at least one mile every day, starting on Thanksgiving (today) and ending on New Years Day. I actually ended up starting yesterday, though. 

Luke and I drove to Illinois for the holiday on Tuesday night. My grandma and my brother are my only close family still here for Thanksgiving, so I spent Wednesday hanging out with them, but that afternoon my brother was playing video games and my grandma was napping, so I figured I might as well go for a run. I took Dean out and we did a nice and easy 30 minute run, with a few stops to talk to my horse friends. Over the summer I got them to run the fence line with me, but I guess Dean was making them nervous because they didn’t want to get too close this time around.  

Haha I don’t blame them though, this is only the second or third time he’s seen horses up close. I am proud of how he acted around then. He didn’t bark or get nervous. He was mostly curious and I think he may have wanted to herd them, but he’s never actually herded anything before so he has no idea how to go about that. Plus he doesn’t know that herding horses is not a good idea. But he’s not a farm dog like Lily was, so he wouldn’t know that. 

Lily actually has a little bit of experience with herding cattle, and she’s pretty darn good at it, but that’s a whole different story. 

Anyway, today’s run and day 2 of my streak was a little more difficult. I really didn’t want to get up this morning. I woke up tired, cranky, and once I finally did get out of bed, I realized I had hardcore DOMS kick in from the leg workout I did on Tuesday. So I was already off to a rough start, and I hadn’t even put on my running shoes yet. 

I didn’t take much time getting dressed and out the door though, the quicker I got out and started the quicker I would be done. Unfortunately that ment I skipped out on breakfast. That usually doesn’t work for me. I know some people swear by fasted cardio, but I tend to feel kinda shitty when I don’t run before I eat, and today was no exception.

It was a little difficult to keep my legs moving, and my stomach was empty so I got a little nauseous, but I wanted to run 5 miles, so that’s what I did! 

I stopped twice to see the horses again. The mom was more interested in eating, but the baby came up and let me pet him, so all in all, I’d say this run was a win! 

Once I got back to my grandma’s house I showered, drank some coffee and a bottle of water, ate a bagel with cream cheese and some bacon, drank another bottle of water, then started getting ready for Thanksgiving lunch/dinner. 

Look at me wearing makeup and real clothes for once. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This year we went to both of Luke’s grandmas’ houses (well, all three of you count his step grandma). 

First we went to grandma Wilma’s (his mom’s mom). That’s were we ate dinner and hung out with a few of Luke’s aunts and their grandkids, his step sister and her family, his cousin and all of his kids, it was a full house! Lots of fun though, and the food was amazing! 

After that we went to Luke’s step moms parents house. They we’re busy cooking and Luke’s step mom and younger brothers weren’t there yet, so we didn’t stay long. 

After that we went to see Luke’s grandma Becky and Grandpa Ray. They had already had their Thanksgiving get together, so we didn’t eat, but we talked for a while. That was nice. Haha as we were leaving Luke spotted a pumpkin pie, so we all had a slice on our way out. 

Oh man, who would have thought just eating and talking would be so exhausting! I was so very happy to head back to my grandma’s house. We left for Luke’s grandma’s around noon and we didn’t get back here until 6:30 pm, and I am beat! I had a lot of fun though, and for once I didn’t completely over do it during a Thanksgiving meal! 

Don’t get me wrong, I probably still ate way too much but I only had one plate at Luke’s grandma’s, and I only took a small am of what I wanted. So I had some turkey, cranberry sauce, corn, green beans, 2 deviled eggs, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a slice of pie. At Luke’s other grandmas I had anothe slice of pie, and at my grandma’s I had two dinner rolls. I literally waited all day to eat dinner rolls because I knew she would bring some back from my great aunt’s house (that’s where she and my brother ate Thanksgiving dinner), and she makes the BEST rolls. Anyway, I’m super proud of myself. Usually I go all out and spend the whole day eating whatever I can get my hands on and I usually end up being waaay to full and uncomfortable, but today I’m full, satisfied, but not overly stuffed. It’s actually quite nice. ๐Ÿ˜„

Anyway, now that I’m back home I need to drink some water! I had two bottles of water this morning and a glass of unsweetened iced tea at grandma Wilma’s, but nothing after that, so I’m feeling a bit dried out! 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, a bunch of tasty food, and a chance to spend some time with your family! Stay safe out there if you’re traveling or doing Black Friday shopping, things tend to get a bit crazy this time of year! Luke and I are heading back home tomorrow, so that should be interesting, hopefully traffic won’t be to crazy…

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving again!

~Ashley ๐Ÿฆƒ

Border Collies

While this doesn’t exactly fit with the overall “theme” of my blog, it’s still something I feel like I need to talk about.

It happens to me all the time. Whether I’m out running, at the park, or in a gas station parking lot, people want to know about my dogs. That’s not really surprising though. They’re good looking, generally friendly, and obviously well behaved. That doesn’t bother me. I like talking about my dogs, they are basically my children. What bothers me is when people see how well behaved and obedient my dogs are and then say “maybe I should get a border collie”.

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No. No. No. No. No. No. No! This goes for any breed of dog, but I’m obviously talking specifically about border collies; A dog that is well behaved DOES NOT equal a breed of dog that is going to be easy to train or handle. I hear this all the time, “border collies are super smart, so they must be easy to train”. That’s not necessarily true.

Yes, they are super intelligent dogs, but you have to remember they were bred to work hard for long periods of time. Because of that, border collies don’t typically make good house pets unless you are 100% prepared to give them the physical and metal stimulation they need. Every. Single. Day. If you won’t be able to do that, they will go a little crazy, they will destroy your house, they will become a problem.

I’ve heard countess “border collie horror stories” from people who assumed they would be easy to handle because they are so smart. Hell, my dog Lily was one. My friend got her from a guy who bred them to herd cattle, but he didn’t know what he was getting into and she ended up chasing cars, chasing his sheep and pony out of his yard, digging, tearing things up, barking at all hours of the night, the list goes on. He ended up giving her to me because he just couldn’t deal with her anymore. After A LOT of hard work on mine and Luke’s part, she is probably one of the best dogs you’ll ever meet. Ok, so I’m probably a little biased, but she is really is a fantastic dog.

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By now you might be thinking “Ashley, you just said that ‘border collies don’t typically make good house pets’, but you have two of them living in your house. So it must not be that hard, right?” Well, you’d be kind of right. It’s not hard for us because they fit in really well with our active lifestyle. They get to go on multiple walks a day, I run with Dean, they play/hunt squirrels with each other in the back yard, I feel like I’m constantly playing fetch, we’re always making them do their tricks and teaching them knew ones, and when all of that’s not enough (because it’s never enough) we take them to a huge off leash dog park where Lily digs for moles and Dean chases birds.

Since they are working dogs and they both come from hardcore working bloodlines, especially Lily, they both have multiple “jobs” to keep them busy. For example, Dean keeps birds and squirrels out of the garden and Lily has taken it upon herself to guard the house from any activity she finds suspicious (meaning she watches out the windows all day and barks at people/things she doesn’t like).

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Basically what I’m trying to say is do some research and be honest with yourself before getting any kind of dog. So many border collies end up in shelters and in rescues because people get them just because they are smart, or pretty, or whatever, and then don’t take the time to consider that they require a lot of work. Seriously, these dogs can’t just hang out with you in your house all day and be happy about it. If you want a dog like that, get a lab.

So yeah, I guess I’m done with my little rant. But if you want to talk about border collies or dogs in general I’d be more than happy to! Haha I’m not kidding when I say I could talk about this kind of thing for day!! ๐Ÿ˜‰