New Akbash puppy

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Lannie

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Oh, yeah, this one has a charger, but when the old one sat unused for a time (I don't know, a year?), it had discharged and wouldn't recharge. Digging into the instructions, I realized that I was supposed to recharge it on a regular basis or it wouldn't take a charge anymore. I don't see those instructions on this new collar, and I will TRY to remember to charge it up periodically, but if I don't need to use it, I'll probably forget. Outta sight, outta mind, you know. ;) Maybe they've improved the longevity of these things by now.

I hope I only have to zap Maggie once or twice. I've been peeking out the windows all morning, waiting to see if she was going to go play with a rooster, but so far she's been a perfect angel. Now she's curled up by the back door with Goose, the feral kitten, snuggled up in the "C" of her belly. They're adorable.

This transmitter has good range, though. I saw her earlier out in the horse corral, near the trough, which is maybe 300 feet from the house, and I hit the tone once. Her head popped up and she looked all around, LOL! So I know I can zap her from a goodly distance if I need to. She's probably still wondering what went beep-beep at her! :ROFLMAO:
 
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Lannie

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I used a collar too, and yes Kenny, mine had a charger.

One zap did it for the girl. The big boy took a few zaps. She jumped straight up in the air set on 1. He would grit his teeth and take a 7 with barely a flinch.

This one has a range of 0 to 99 on the zap setting. I put it on 50 and zapped my fingers (I have to know what it does, right?) and YIKES, it shocked me good! I turned it down to 35 and it was still pretty jarring, so I put it on 25 and that's where I'll start with her. She's got a thick winter ruff forming on her neck, so maybe it won't be as much of a jolt to her as it was to my bare fingers, but I figured there was no need to go overboard right off the bat. I'll turn it up if I have to. The little probe thingies are touching her neck through the hair, or at least they were when I put it on. I'll just casually check it every time I see her and give her pets. :)

Now I kind of WISH she'd grab a chicken, how twisted is that? But I want to see how it's going to work! (I'm a very mean mommy!)
 

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This one has a range of 0 to 99 on the zap setting. I put it on 50 and zapped my fingers (I have to know what it does, right?) and YIKES, it shocked me good! I turned it down to 35 and it was still pretty jarring, so I put it on 25 and that's where I'll start with her. She's got a thick winter ruff forming on her neck, so maybe it won't be as much of a jolt to her as it was to my bare fingers, but I figured there was no need to go overboard right off the bat. I'll turn it up if I have to. The little probe thingies are touching her neck through the hair, or at least they were when I put it on. I'll just casually check it every time I see her and give her pets. :)

Now I kind of WISH she'd grab a chicken, how twisted is that? But I want to see how it's going to work! (I'm a very mean mommy!)
th
 
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I missed my chance! Yesterday, I peeked through the windows at Maggie repeatedly, and she was either playing with one of her kitties or sleeping. Then my husband went out to move the outside trough into the barn (to plug in the de-icer for winter) and I spent an hour or so cleaning house, which was sorely overdue. I never heard a thing, but then, I was running the vacuum a good part of the time. But Rich came back in when he was finished and asked where the hell I'd been. Uh, cleaning the house, like I said I was going to?

Apparently, while he was cleaning and moving the trough, Maggie was amusing herself by chasing chickens around the "Commons" area (large grassy yard area between barns, garden, and house). She never caught one or put her teeth on any of them, just chased them. What FUN she had! Well, that's better than catching them, but still a no-no.

So the house is clean, more or less (we have a LOT of cats in here, LOL!), and there's a nice rare beef roast in the fridge to have as leftovers for dinner for a couple more days, so I have no excuse. I will be sitting out somewhere today with my remote. I'll have to find a semi-hidden place, or she'll just come and sit with me and do nothing. I'll have to think about a good place to hide, but I really need to zap that girl a time or two.

Even just the yelling has done SOME good. At one point yesterday late morning, she was lying by the back door (not asleep) with a bunch of the garage roosters foraging all around her, perfectly calm, and she wasn't the least bit interested in them. It was so hard to believe, I had to take a picture, so I'd know it really happened.

Now I remember why I haven't had an actual puppy since 1998. Puppies are HARD WORK! I've always managed to get adult rescues or re-homes, and I'm really out of practice for puppy-raising. Gah! 🤪 If I ever mention some insanity about getting a puppy for the house, somebody slap me. Really hard!
 
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Lannie

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Alright! We have had some meaningful "discussions" now! She was playing with an old (entire) chicken wing that was a cat toy from some previously deceased rooster, and I decided that it was too close to an actual chicken and she shouldn't be playing with it. She has other "toys" to play with anyway, she just likes the feathers. So I decided to use that wing as a training exercise, and zapped her. Yike! She jumped back and looked at that thing for a couple seconds, then went right back to it. Another zap, another YIKE and jump back. I never said a word (I was in the house, looking out the window). She finally gave it a sideways glance and went and laid down in her dirt hole by the back door. I waited a few minutes then went out to pet her and she sat nicely for me and didn't jump on me, so I gave her a cookie. I also gave her one of her BRAND NEW chew toys we bought for her that she has never touched. She still doesn't want it. It's supposed to smell or taste like beef, but it must not.

I left the chicken wing where I could see it out the window, and got up and checked every 5 minutes or so, until I saw it was gone. I went outside and found she'd moved it around the corner of the house and was playing with it again, so she got another zap. It's going to be hard to break this feather obsession because she's played with this chicken wing before, and she rolled a few chickens when I wasn't looking (I'm sure of this) before I got the collar on her. If I'd had it right from the start, maybe I could have nipped this in the bud, but it might take a little while now that she's formed a habit.

Later in the afternoon, she was out in the corral and started moving through the coop chicken group, which was finally outside after their long lockdown. As soon as she put her head down and focused on one hen, I zapped her. She jumped. But she stopped following the hen. I don't mind if she wanders through the flock, or even RUNS through the flock (heck, even Jasper runs through them on occasion, just for fun, I think), but I don't want her EVER putting her mouth on one again, or even thinking about it.

All in all, it was a good day. I was exhausted from all the up and down and running out to see where she was and what she was doing, and she was sad that her former playmates were biting her neck, but I think we made an impression that playing with a chicken is a baaaad thing. Maybe another day or two and she'll get it.

She was even playing with her kitty friends nicer yesterday. I was sitting outside at sundown, just making sure she didn't mess with any of the coop chickens going to bed, and she was playing with Joey and Jake, and being VERY gentle with them. Maybe she was worried they were going to bite her in the neck, too! I am only using a zap if she's mouthing a chicken (or that chicken wing) or planning to mouth a chicken. The cats are tough enough to put up with her play, so I'm leaving them alone, but it was nice to see her gentle play interactions with them last night. :)
 
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Lannie

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Wow, the stars aligned yesterday. Twice! The first time, I had just come to the bathroom window (with my zapper remote) to look out and see if Miss Maggie had messed with that chicken wing, and she was JUST approaching it. I waited until her nose just touched it, and zapped her. She jumped back, gave it a "look," and then made a biiiiig circle around it. She went and found one of her bones and laid down to chew on that instead. Good girl! I don't know if she molested it again during the night (it's dark and I can't see out there yet), but she never went near that wing again the rest of the day.

Then later, my husband spelled me for an hour or so from my Maggie Observing work, and went outside to sit with her and the chickens so I could get some kitchen work done. Mostly she just sat with him and the two of them were just chillin' out, but eventually her puppy brain kicked in, and she meandered over to the hedge where the chickens were foraging. She was just kind of wandering through the hedge, not doing anything, but Rich kept watching her and finally she cut a rooster out of the group and chased him out into the grassy Commons area. Just as she was closing in on him with her teeth, Rich zapped her. WHOA! She hit the brakes and backed up, then ran back to her Daddy to protect her from that Mean Rooster! ROFLMAO! A little while later, that same rooster wandered closer to where Maggie and Rich were sitting, and Maggie actually got up and walked away. :)

Everything works so well when you get the timing perfectly right.
 
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Lannie

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And yesterday, there were ZERO infractions! Zero! She got a hunk of delicious leftover roast beef for her dinner as a reward for being an absolute angel all day long. :)

I'm under no illusions that she's "fixed" yet, but wowza, a whole day of perfect behavior from a 4 month old puppy is really something. I just love my Maggie-girl to bits!
 
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Probably, but remember, husbands have thumbs. They could take it off. LOL!

Well, my little angel killed my favorite old (12 YEARS old) hen a few days ago. I had a strenuous bout of morning chores that day and was exhausted when I got in the house, so I didn't check on her for about an hour. My laziness cost Princess her life. When I discovered it, Maggie was tossing her poor dead body around and I lost it. She not only got zapped while I was still inside the house (she immediately left the body), but I stormed out and read her the riot act, in all capitals! With exclamation marks! Then I threw the body at her, and by some stroke of luck, hit her from behind as she was scooting away from me. She thought Princess was attacking her, I think. It was almost funny, in a sad, twisted sort of way. Princess was not a small hen. She was a Light Brahma/EE cross and had some heft to her.

Princess was the only one I was really worried about, her being so old and all, she was kind of special, but now she's gone, and I don't care if I lose the random other one here or there now. They're all older hens not laying anymore, or rambunctious roosters that don't need to be here in the first place. (Yes, I'm running a chicken retirement home...) But so far, so good. Maybe being attacked by a dead chicken, and having Mom go postal on her made an impression, I dunno. Eh, she'll get over it.

Meanwhile, she's such a beautiful girl, and she loves her Mom so much, I can't stay mad at her. Even after I "scolded" her for killing Princess, the look on her face was so sad, it was all I could do not to go hug her and comfort her. It stabbed me in the heart that I was the one that made her feel that way, but it was necessary. Sometimes you have to administer tough love, especially with a teenager. And really, 99% of the time, she's as good as gold. I can't complain.

RIP Princess. You paid with your life, but you helped Maggie learn an important lesson.
 
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Oh, I finally got that picture of Maggie with the roosters off the camera and downloaded. Here she is, being her 99% good self:

11-28-21 Maggie with roosters.jpg

Excuse the weeds. I'm firing the gardener. :rolleyes: Only four of the roos are in the pic, but there were seven of them in a loose group around her and she was totally NOT noticing them. Good girl, Maggie!
 
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Five days now (I think) without Maggie even molesting a chicken. :) I also discovered something interesting. She's been dragging empty feed bags (we use them over and over when we go get chicken feed, so there's a pile of empties) and the odd empty plant pot or plastic tray from the garage, and toting them out to her favorite "play" spot in the Commons. I had been scolding her for that (just a verbal, "NO, Maggie!) and putting them back, but then it occurred to me that I'd rather have her molest an empty bag than a live chicken, so instead of scolding her, I just hit the tone button on the collar remote if I see she has another bag, or pot, or whatever. She looks up, looks all around, and then walks toward the house.

The first time I saw her do that, I went out the door, she saw me and started running toward me, and when she got to me and sat down, I treated her with a piece of cookie. Now when she's doing something I don't necessarily want her to do, or if she looks bored, like she's looking for trouble <wink>, I'll beep her and she comes to the house and I ruffle her hair and tell her what a good girl she is. It only took one beep and now she comes every time, which is amazing. Sometimes she gets a cookie, but not every time (she's already a cookie-monster, don't want to make it worse).

She won't be wearing this collar her whole life, but during her mischievous phase, the beep seems to be working to change her focus, and the range on this thing is great. I can beep her when she's all the way up the hill, catty-corner on the property from the house. She comes back to the house every time.

Sometimes she's playing with a piece of tree bark, or a stick, or a feather (WHY doesn't she play with all those expensive toys we got her?), and that seems to fulfill her need to "play," but she's been leaving the chickens alone. She's also been spending a LOT of time playing with Old Mr. Grump (Jasper) lately, and he's actually looking like he enjoys it. That goes a long way to satisfying her play requirements. I realize it's only 5 days, but FIVE DAYS! For Maggie, that's a long time to not be rousting the poultry! I think she's doing very well, considering her age.

Which brings me to my mistake. She's very smart, and learns fast, and I was forgetting just how young she still is. She's not even 5 months old yet. It's been a long time since I had a puppy... I was vibrating her when she had a feed bag or something from the potting table, and then one day I thought, SHE'S A PUPPY, what the hell do I expect? As long as she's not torturing chickens... I mean, it's a BAG. She can play with the damn bag if she wants, we can get another one if she puts holes in it. Her brain will grow up and she'll forget about playing with bags, so why not let her have some fun while she's still young enough to enjoy it, right?

I still check on her frequently out the window, but she's been good, and I'm a lot happier with her behavior now.
 

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I truly believe in a firm voice (you have a shock collar) and plenty of positive reinforcement. My knuckleheads know if they stand good for a bath they always get a treat afterwards.
 
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I can work up a pretty good Mom-voice when I need to, but it's nothing compared to the bellow my husband can emit. LOL! THAT gets everyone's attention! So the collar has been my "voice," for sure, and it's working. No misbehaving yesterday, either. That's six days I haven't had to zap her at ALL. :) Well, there was a bag, but I'm not counting bags anymore. Rich said he saw her run through the hedge yesterday when he was taking a bag of feed out for the chickens, but she wasn't actually chasing a specific chicken, just running through them. He hollered at her, and she left off immediately and ran to him, all smiles and wags. She WANTS to be a good girl, but she has a lot of energy yet.

And poor Jasper! He's been a bit more gimpy than usual the last couple days and Rich was worried about him, but I asked him how he'd feel if he'd been out rolling around on the ground, wrestling with a kid at his age? Sore? Yup, you bet. Jasper's been pretty sedentary the last couple of years, except for the occasional run to the gate to scare off the UPS guy, or the run to the fence when he sniffs a fox coming too close, so all this play is giving him some sore spots.

I've been noticing recently that when Jasper DOES bark and run at something, Maggie is puffing herself all up and going with him. Always behind him, but she's paying attention to what he's doing and why he's doing it, so she's learning her new job, slowly but surely. :) I can't wait to see her long, lean, beautiful self being the one running to the gate to "scare" the UPS guy. He's not scared of her, though, he thinks she's adorable, too. ;)

Now I have to start thinking about how to teach her to look up for big birds. Our girl Kiara was hell on hawks, crows, and small planes, but that's Jasper's one big failing. He never, ever, looks up. We haven't had many hawks around since Maggie's been here, but once they start their spring activities, I'm going to have to start pointing and yelling excitedly and see if she gets it.

If anyone else has shown their dogs how to do that, I'd appreciate some pointers. Kiara did it naturally, nobody taught her. She was amazing to watch. She could spot a bird so high up, I could hardly see it, but she'd bark and run and keep herself under it, making sure it understood it was not welcome. And if one came in low, she'd do the same thing, and "herd" it off the property, then stand at the fence yelling at it so it wouldn't come back. (It was hysterical watching her run off the neighbor's Cessna! LOL!) Man, she was a good dog. I hope Maggie can be as good.
 
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Lannie

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I think the chickens might be (mostly) out of danger now. She has a ratty old feed bag (it was fine until we gave it to her) that seems to be satisfying her play urges. She packs that thing with her everywhere, and she naps on it more often than not, LOL! She's not been paying any attention to the chickens since we gave her the bag and let her know it was "her toy." It flaps and "runs" (when the wind blows) and nobody yells at her when she chases it, so it's all good. ;)

It's possible there will be future infractions, but she's been so good for so long, I'm hoping if there ARE more chicken incidents, they'll be infrequent. She seems to have a lot of fun with that bag.
 

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I wish shock collars were a thing when we had a chicken killing pup. He was awful.
It was a red pup out of our bob-tailed English Shepherd and the neighbors dog.
Our chicken house had a room divider and a place where the chickens could jump over the
threshold and go into the other room. He had all the chickens herded in the second room and when they would jump over the threshold coming back, he would grab them and kill them. Luckily I went there to gather the eggs and caught him. Before that, we were gone and when we came home he had dead chickens from the house to the creek. We tied a dead chicken on him, didn't work. Nothing worked. We needed those chickens and eggs, they weren't there for fun, especially his fun. Unfortunately he had to go. Sure hated that. We love dogs and we liked him a lot. We would have sure tried a shock collar on him but this was back in the late 60's, early 70's and if there was such a thing, we didn't know about it.

Your Maggie is beautiful and glad she's such a good one.
 
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Lannie

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We didn't have the benefit of a shock collar on our boy, Jasper, because he was so people-shy when we got him. There was no way I could have kept up with adjusting the size of the collar, or taking it off to charge it, so we just had to wait him out. He didn't actually kill any outright, he just played with them until they stopped trying to get away, then he methodically plucked them, and they died of shock. Most of them. A few actually survived the roll-and-pluck procedure, but I lost about a dozen chickens to him before he finally grew out of it.

I'm SO grateful for the collar in Maggie's case, because she did kill two. But that was it, and now it's been long enough, I'm cautiously hopeful that maybe she's figured out that's not an acceptable pastime.

When I was a kid, we had a dog like your ES cross (she was some sort of shepherd), and she killed EVERYTHING. We didn't have chickens, just dogs and cats, but that dog would kill anything she could get her teeth on. Besides robins and rabbits, she killed the little neighbor boys' two Easter chicks, and the County Sheriff's prized white pheasant (he lived down the road from us). My dad had to pay the Sheriff $25.00 for that pheasant, which was a lot of money back then. He also had to buy two more chicks for the neighbor boys... sigh... It was miserable, AND she was a jumper. My dad finally had to chain her inside the back yard, just to keep her on our property. What a nightmare - I can totally sympathize with your situation.

But now there are shock collars, and if you use them right, they're VERY good tools for correcting unwanted behavior. They're one of those things you think, "How did we ever get along without them?"
 
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Lannie

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My little girl is growing up. :) She woke me up the night before last with a bout of very loud, very rapid barking (SOMETHING was out there!), that went on for over 10 minutes before I woke my husband, who's mostly deaf, and asked him to please take the varmint gun and the flashlight out to check the situation. Sometimes, they'll bark for a few minutes and stop, but when it goes on and on, something's out there. I did NOT hear the older dog barking, so I figured he must be busy chasing something, and Maggie was warning whatever it was away from the house. Or she was hanging back where it was safe. She IS still a puppy.

She stopped barking as soon as Rich opened the door, and he shined the flashlight all over and didn't see anything, so whatever it was, wasn't close, or it left.

Reading the tracks in the snow yesterday, apparently a fox came in through our west fence, attempting a shortcut back to his den over in the ravine east of our property, and ran into the dogs. Evidently, Jasper was providing the muscle for the chase, and Maggie was cheerleading, adding her voice to the chaos to run the bad guy off. Jasper's too old and slow to actually catch a fox anymore, but pretty soon Maggie will be the one chasing and Jasper will look on and smile at his brave little sister. From what I've heard and read, though, an Akbash will not just chase a predator, but catch and kill it, if possible. Maybe she'll bring me back a tail one day. Our first Pyr girl brought me a tail from her first fox kill, so maybe Maggie will, too.

Later in the morning, one of the neighbors stopped by, and although Maggie has met him several times now, she barked her head off at him the minute his hand touched the chain on the driveway gate. Very plainly, she was telling him this was HER place, and he'd better not be UP to something! LOL! Rich went out to meet the neighbor, and as soon as Maggie saw he was welcomed, she waggled up to him and sat down like a good girl. I LOVE her personality. I don't think I'll ever need to worry about anyone sneaking up on us, not while Maggie's on duty! It's wonderful to see her adult brain starting to work. Not all the time yet, but sometimes! LOL! She makes me proud.
 

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I love your puppy dog tails.... makes me want a great pyrenees. You could see the breed for sure with your stories.
 
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Bearfootfarm told me stories of his dogs, too, back when I got my first Pyr, which is how I learned a lot of what I know about them. I loved reading his stories, because there's detail in there that a lot of times gets missed in a quick, 3 sentence post, you know? So since I love to tell stories anyway, I'm paying BFF's kindness to me forward, for anyone else that might want to learn about personalities and behaviors of LGDs. Whether Pyr or Akbash or any other LGD breed, they're ALL special, and very different from your average house pet. They're my partners! :)
 

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