Tag Archives: herding 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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰ ) 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. πŸ˜‰ 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 whyΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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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!! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ˜‰ 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!! πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰Β 

 

 

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Easter Weekend

Happy Saturday, friends!!

(Just warning you that there is a picture of a bloody dog paw in this post. If you don’t want to see that don’t scroll down)

Yesterday Luke and I were quite busy, running around all over the place and trying to get some stuff done. Luke had to work today but was off yesterday and is off on Easter Sunday so we decided that today after he got off of work that we were going to drive to Illinois so we could hang out with some of our family over the holiday.

So, like I said, we spent a lot of time trying to do stuff yesterday. He cleaned out his car, I cleaned the chicken brooder and rabbit cages, then we went to several stores to get stuff we needed, and just did a bunch of boring adult stuff haha. Once we got all of that taken care of we were going to bring the dogs to the dog park so they could run around and burn off some energy since the car ride to Illinois is about 5 hours long. So we packed up the dogs, drove 40 minutes to the bigger park that we go to, started unloading them from the car, and noticed that the backseat was covered in blood… Somehow in the 40 minutes it took us to get to the park, Lily had ripped out one of her dew claws. We seriously have no idea how the heck she managed to do that! Her dew claws aren’t even that big. But I suppose that’s just proof that it’s not a bad idea to have them removed when they’re puppies. Finn’s breeder had his removed, and before I didn’t really think much of it but after yesterday’s indecent I’m very glad we wont have to worry about anything like that happening to him. But obviously Lily still has most of hers, and so does Dean.

Anyway, so we couldn’t go to the park with Lily hurt and bleeding all over the place so we had to drive to a nearby Walgreen’s instead and did some first aid in the parking lot. Luckily I’m pretty well versed in first aid. I’m a hug klutz and am constantly having to fix myself. Plus it doesn’t really seem to be bothering Lily. She still wanted to go to the park and once we finally got home we put the chickens outside in their coop and she spent a lot of time running around the yard and keeping an eye on them. So at least she’s not too hurt. But Lily is a tough farm dog. A little foot injury like that isn’t going to slow her down!

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So today was also just a lot of me getting things ready for us to be gone for a few days as well. I made sure the cats, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens had enough food and water. Since we’re only going to be gone for like, 2 ish days we really don’t need anyone to check on them. I did some cleaning around the house. It was basically a disaster though and there was no way I was going to have time to clean it very well before we left, which sucks. It’s always nice coming back to a clean house… But I did do a piss ton of laundry. A lot of that actually consisted of stuff I needed to pack, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ And cleaned all of our dirty dishes, so at the very least we’ll have clean clothes/dishes to come home to. I did try to minimize the disaster area though and picked up, wiped down counters and tables, and did little stuff like that.

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They like to perch on the sides of the brooder. Luckily they haven’t taken to escaping and wandering around the room they’re in. Yet…

I also had to bathe Dean and Finn. They were both terrible messes since it’s been really wet and muddy here in Kansas. Luckily they don’t put up much of a fight when it comes to getting bathed, but they definitely don’t like it and they don’t exactly make it easy. I got it done though and they’re both pretty darn clean! For now.

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The two troublemakers; Finn and Dean.Β 

Anyway, so by the time Luke got home from work, around 6:30 pm I had everything ready to go! He had picked up dinner on his way home from work, so we ate, packed up the car, made the dogs go pee, loaded them into the car, and then hit the road! Which is where we’ve been for about an hour now. Fun times! πŸ˜‰ But the drive to Illinois is a lot more more pleasant than the drive to Colorado where my parent’s and siblings live. That takes about 11 hours and is sooooo boring. At least driving to Illinois only takes about 5 hours. So we should be getting there around 1 am. That’s not too bad.

Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

~Ashley

The Story Of How I Ended Up With Lily

Today on Vidme I told the story of how I ended up with Lily. It’s an interesting story! You should go check it out!! πŸ˜‰

Here’s the link (I really wish the video would just show up in the post like it does when you add a YouTube link, but whatever.):

https://vid.me/5gj8

And here’s a little video montage of some of my favorite photos of Lily. πŸ™‚

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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 actuallyΒ 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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Finn ABC 445445

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. πŸ™‚ ), 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 ABCΒ 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. πŸ™‚ 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,Β 2000, 2001
  • Gulf CoastΒ Cowdog Association Reserve Champion Dog of the year 1998, 1999
  • Winner of the 2000Β 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. πŸ˜‰

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