Tag Archives: puppy
Having a working cowdog is essential to me. They are worth their weight in gold. I joke that having a good pack a dogs is far better than hiring an extra cowboy. I pay them in kibble, never worry about them quitting on me, hitting on me, or questioning me (at least out loud). Having a good working dog is something I need on this ranch.
Our first Kelpie, Ranchie, retired this year after almost 15 years of stellar cowdogging. She had been a gift to my Dad, and quickly became one of our best dogs in the history of ranch dogs. Before Ranchie, we had Queensland Heelers and Border Collies or a mix of the two. I was a diehard border collie fan for years and years. Until Ranchie, then Boo.
Boo was originally meant to replace Ranchie, she was supposed to be my Dad’s dog. But we like to say cowdogs pick their own owners, and Boo picked me. I’ve been her person and she’s been my righthand girl for two years now. This spring I found Boo a boyfriend in hopes of getting a litter out of her. Most people who have met Boo wanted a little copy of her because she is such an amazing little dog. I wanted one too! Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I did, however meet the Martin’s, Tim and Abbey.
Tim and Abbey are seriously cool. We have a lot in common including an intense passion for these dogs. They have an excellent breeding and working pair. Check them out in the video below! Since Boo didn’t get pregnant, I was able to buy a pup from Tim and Abbey. Of course, I didn’t get to keep it. My Dad pointed out that I did get the last dog, so it was his turn for a new working dog. I’m going to give it a few more weeks then I’m totally going to steal her. The animals like me more these days anyway (but shhhhhhh, don’t tell him).
Kelpies are perfect for cattlepeople like us because they are tough, smart, have short hair (keeps the stickers out of their coats), they are suited for heat, and they are intensely loyal. I love this breed so very much, it’s all I’ll ever have for the rest of my life. Just like heritage hogs, they need more people to champion them. So I intend to promote this breed as much as I can.
If you are a working ranch looking for an excellent pup to start, buy one of these pups. Trust me, this will be the best dog you’ll ever have the pleasure of working with. I will personally vouch for these dogs because we are now the proud owner of 3 different kelpies! I’d love to see these dogs become more widespread. Right now, it is challenging to find good pups.
The ad below is from Tim, he is selling the littermate to Phee the wonder pup. Again, I cannot stress enough how good these dogs are. Get one.
Quality Kelpie pups for sale, both parents pure breed and used daily. Father of pups registered in N.S.W Kelpie stud book of Australia. Trial or the ranch these pups have proven to be top hands and very trainable, they make a great transition on cattle to sheep and very willing to get a job done. 2 females, 3 males $600 a pup all Black and Tan. Call (530) 945-3403
We’ve always had predators on our ranches. For as long as I can remember, suffering loss of life to our cattle and pets because of bears, coyotes and mountain lions has been something we always tried to mitigate. We used calls, traps, and hunts, all legal lethal methods allowed to us. It more or less works, some years are worse than others.
Because of this, I have become increasingly paranoid about the safety of my piglets. A year ago I moved my pens father away from the house and noticed a sharp increase in the coyote signs I saw around the pens. It hasn’t helped that my Dad has pretty much constantly assured me that it is just a matter of time before my pigs do suffer an attack. I’m still so small that one bad night could totally end my pig raising career. I don’t want that.
The proverbial final straw, when I really knew my Dad was right, it WAS a matter of time before something really bad happened, was two weeks ago when I was hunting in our back canyon and saw massive and plentiful bear poo. I’ve decided to be as proactive as I can regarding this situation. I got a guardian dog, well, puppy.
I’ve been aware of guardian dogs for years. I have several friends that have them, and I’ve read extensively about them, I’ve even been lucky enough to meet a few. They seemed to work really well for many ranchers. I felt like it was finally time to try one. It seemed like fate, when last week, the opportunity to get a Pyrenees/Akbash female pup fell into my lap.
A little about these dogs, the Great Pyrenees and Akbash dogs have been used for hundreds of years for guardian dogs. They are both a calm, aware, intelligent and gentle, yet fearless and dedicated to their jobs. They are a large dog, the females can hit 90 pounds or more. They are happiest when given a job – so these breeds are just what I was looking for. This pup seems to be fitting all of her breed characteristics, she is shy, sweet, aware and quiet. I like her.
I picked her up yesterday and spent today getting her settled into her new home. These dogs must bond with the animals they are guarding and not people. That being said, it’s been incredibly hard for me not to treat her like I would a cowdog, you know; cuddling, loving, carrying her around and singing her dog songs. I’ve respected the fact that she is not a pet and left her alone for the most part.
She has a lovely, safe home next to her pigs. In a few days, when she is totally settled in, I’ll put a couple piglets in her pen, so we can really start the bonding process. In the meantime, I only give her a whisper of affection when she is getting fed, and we are starting basic commands like ehhhh (that means no) and good girl.
BUT….she needs a name! I asked my twitter, facebook and instagram friends for some suggestions and these are my favorite:
- Temple (after my idol Dr. Temple Grandin)
- Claire (I’m team Claire on House of Cards)
Who do you think she looks like? Leave me a comment and help me name this sweet girl!
Working dogs are essential to our way of life. Unfortunately, we lost one of our girls this winter and another needs to be retired soon. It’s not easy for us or the dog when it’s time for them to slow down or retire. The dog’s live to work, their greatest joy is just going. We usually end up spending more time with our dogs than we do any other person or animal. Our dogs are more than pets, they are our coworkers, our protectors, our companions and a part of our family.
We often joke that a good cowdog is worth two good cowboys or one cowgirl!
We’ve known it was time for another pup for a while. I’ve been looking for the perfect pup to replace my Dad’s soon to be retired dog, Ranchie, for about a year. I paraded adorable puppy picture after puppy picture in front of my Dad, hoping he would be interested in one. My Aunt even brought one of her red queensland pups over around Christmastime, but to no avail. My Dad had a specific pup in mind, and after a year I finally found her.
My friend, Mindi, has a dog named Lady, that looks an awful lot like my Dad’s dog, Ranchie. I asked Mindi if she knew of anyone that had some good working pups, that looked like Lady, looking for homes. As fate would have it she did, and I immediately sent an e-mail inquiring about female pups. Mindi’s neighbor, June, e-mailed me right back. Turned out she had one female kelpie pup left. Fate. She sent me a picture of the pup. I walked over to my Dad’s house and flashed him the picture of the cutest little kelpie pup, I’d ever seen. Dad agreed. I found his new dog.
A few weeks after that I was able to pick the pup up for my Dad. It had been decided that I would care for and socialize the pup until she was old enough to start working. We generally start working dogs at a year. That means I am looking at a good six months of puppy sitting full time and another six of part time puppy sitting, only to turn her over to my Dad.
The great thing is, I work with my Dad so I’ll still see her and work with her everyday! But usually after a few months of working full time with my Dad a dog’s allegiance changes. You see these cowdogs are bred and born work, and they love and respect whoever the work with the most, in this case it will be my Dad.
I’ve had this dog for a little over a month now, I spend a lot of time with her. I have to say, I am impressed with this dog and am seriously considering not giving her up. The force is strong with this one.
Of course, I’ll give Boo to my Dad when she is ready. I still have a few good years left with my dog, Hoot, and I can tell how excited and proud he already is of Boo. I know how hard it is to watch a dog you love and depend on grow old and retire and am deeply pleased to be able to mitigate that for my Dad a whisper. I know Boo is the beginning of a long line of excellent Brown Ranch cattledogs.
As I type this Ranchie Dog is in labor. This will be her second and last littler. Her first litter gave us Hoot and Jinx, our much beloved and hard working cowdogs. Ranchie’s Aunt Nikki is our 17 year old retired cowdog. We love this line of dogs. They are so smart and so sweet, just the perfect mix. Ranchie is one of the best dogs this ranch has ever seen. We love her very much and are super excited to have one last litter from her. Her babies are fathered by a full, long hair, working border collie. We anticipate some really amazing working pups. I’ll be keeping you posted on how her labor goes! YAY! Ranchie puppies!