Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Buck and Fences
These are pictures of Buck at 3.5 - 4 months old. Even then you can see his majestic, wise and calm personality. He is truly a "Gentle Giant". He does have one glaring problem, however, he tries his hardest to ignore any and all fencing.
We started out with an electronic underground wire shock collar invisible dog fence. It worked great for months until Buck started growing the thick, adult ruff around his neck and chest and discovered that the tickle wasn't injuring him. He began to just walk right through the wire.
I knew he was getting a little shock, as I got one too if I touch his collar when he was near the wire. Yikes!!! We have also decided that we don't want him to live with that shock when it isn't necessary, even though it is his decision to walk through the wire. Most dogs who wear these collars rarely get shocked. Its just for training. This doesn't seem to be the case with Buck. He's just too stubborn!
Oh well, so much for that electronic fence. It was worth a try! It did work very well while it lasted and would still work great, I am sure, on a short haired dog.
I buried all 1000' of wire by myself initially. Then I repaired half that length when it stopped working due to some breaks in it. The fact that I caused the breaks is beside the point.
Last week I finally said, "I am sick and tired of working on this fence! I don't want to use it anymore!" About that time, Buck, at 6.5 months of age, decided the same thing. So out it went. That's when I came up with a plan for a real fence that works so well, we don't need a gate across the driveway.
That driveway gate is the reason we avoided a real fence in the first place, since hubby drives a school bus during the school year and backs it down the driveway. There's also the snow to consider in the winter. We just can't have a gate across it. My new plan avoids all of that and seems to work very well.
This is Buck's submissive "belly rub" pose at 5 months of age. How could you not rub that belly!
Buck is very intelligent and has learned a lot of things in his 6.5 months, he's just stubborn. It's not an assertive alpha stubbornness, thankfully. He's extremely docile, sweet, and gentle with everyone. It's more like a passive-aggressive stubbornness.
If he doesn't want to go outside, instead of resisting, he just rolls over on the floor and goes limp. What can I do with an 80+ lb dog that's limp on the floor and refuses to get up? We have hard wood floors so I have been just sliding him to the door and rolling him over onto the porch but he's gotten wise to that and keeps himself turned around making it harder to do.
I do have one ace up my sleeve, chips. He loves tortilla chips and is still young and naive enough to trick into coming outside for a treat. He seems happy enough with that, since he gets a treat out of it. We have the front porch fenced so there is no escape from it and that has been where we put him at night and when we were gone for very long, especially since the electronic fence quit stopping him, but the gates at the porch door are only 3' tall. That now hits him at his waist (slight exaggeration) when he stands up and leans his elbows on them. When we sit together on the steps, he is now taller than I am and I'm 5'4"! Today he stepped/climbed over the gate and down the stairs so nonchlantly, like it wasn't even there and he'd been doing that all his life, so now he is chained for a few days. We are building the fence as fast as we can!
He doesn't mind the chain if he is on the porch and we are in the house. He's used to that and is perfectly happy. He barks incessantly if he is chained away from the house or I go out into the garden and he can't come with me.
I hope this fence works. Buck is a digger, so it might not stop him. There are steps we can take to prevent him from digging under the fence when the ground is not frozen. We will just have to wait and see.
He spends his afternoons in the house these days, in the heat. Great Pyrenees dogs really suffer in the heat. They are made for living outdoors in the cold north snow, guarding the animals.
He still takes his baby nap, soundly sleeping for 2-3 hours every afternoon, usually in the house.
He loves his spot on the sofa! This was taken when he was 4.5 months old.
This is Buck the day we got him at 10 weeks of age. He was so adorable, then and now! He is still very much a baby, even if he can calmly climb/step over a three foot gate. Its so easy to forget just how young he is because of his size. He's only about 6.5 months old now!
This is Buck watching the cat, Shadow.
This is Buck two seconds later, chaisng the cat.
We have to make sure we push all food away from the outer side of the kitchen counter as he can reach just about anything he wants that's on the counter, if he wants to. He's very good, however, and doesn't usually take anything that is not his. Still, he's only a puppy. He is begging here, from hubby but he does it sitting. He has learned to sit for all food and treats - a must for a big dog!
Those of you who have read my blog for awhile will remember that we originally had two pups, brothers, Jake and Buck. Due to some personal reasons of our own and Jake's rather aggressive alpha personality traits, we had him neutered and found another good home for him. He is now living with a wonderful family who already had a Newfoundland pup a year old and wanted a same size playmate for her. He is doing very well and is healthy and happy!
As soon as this fence is finished, I am going to post a lot more. It's this fence that is slowing me down but we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel! I have lots of activities and posts planned for the near future. I am going to make pickles, my own laundry detergent gel, more jellies and jams, then I am going to start a new mulched layered garden with cardboard. I am going to post about all of those. I also plan to write a post about the blossom end rot on all the tomatoes and the successful squash bed, BUT FIRST WE HAVE TO FINISH THIS FENCE! Its a big job and seems to be taking all of our time and effort right now. I am up before 5 am in the morning and outside around 7 am. When I am not working on the fence, I am in the garden or picking berries or doing laundry, you know the normal things we do daily so we can focus on the important job: THE FENCE! We are not, however, wasting our time cutting the grass, so visit at your own peril! (You might get lost in it!)
With a real fence, we can have a real goat, sheep or pig, IF we decide that we can afford the winter feed and that it is worth the cost. I would like a dairy goat and our own milk, but I know it's not that easy or that simple.
I will have to fence off my wine garden in the spring, as it is in the fenced area and I don't want to move it. We are going to have to fence the asparagus bed too. Goats, sheep or just dog, they have to be fenced. Buck is enough of a destructive force by himself. When he is bored and teething he can be extremely destructive and he loves to dig huge holes everywhere, especially in the soft garden dirt. A dog his size can destroy just about anything in a short flurry of unsupervised activity in the garden and if he decides that he likes strawberries, we'll never get any!
We are very excited about finishing the fence and are securing the back pastures too, so there's no escape. We are using skids for fencing at the back at the forest side. Skids, wired together and wired to a fence post make a very good, strong and impenetrable fence. Its free too!
Poor Buck! I feel so sorry for him chained up, but its only for a few days. We will finish that fence shortly, to everyone's relief!
Buck is such a wonderful fellow! He has the most gentle, sweet and loving temperament that I have ever seen in a dog and will be a very good guardian. Already he is protective and warning, with an unbelievably deep and loud warning bark. He is also going to be an awesome size!
He has markings that are rare for an adult Great Pyrenees dog. Most Great Pyrenees dogs are born with the badger markings but they usually disappear as they reach adulthood. Only a few have them to such an extreme that they keep a bit as an adult. Buck's markings are fading as he gets his adult hair in, but we believe that he will keep the badger stripe on his face and the dark eyelashes. Its part of what makes him so beautiful!
Buck is unregistered and is 100% Great Pyrenees with the black eye rims and double dew claws indicative of a pure bred Great Pyrenees dog.
Great Pyrenees dogs belong to the class of "Livestock Guardian Dogs". He is such a magnificent example of a livestock guardian dog that we will probably mate him next summer, in an approved mating, when he is about 1.5 years old. All will depend on the female and her qualities. I think a lot of farmers would like to have Buck mate their guardian dogs to improve their stock of livestock guardians, so we are not neutering him but will be letting him act as stud next summer, judiciously, in a few approved matings. We would love to have another Great Pyrenees pup, one of his sons, with Buck's personality and markings, from a Great Pyrenees female as wonderful and amazing as Buck!
I know that my posting has slowed these past couple of weeks. Don't give up hope! It will pick up again when the fence is finished and we can relax a bit, but just a little bit. There's winter wood to do now, the garden to prepare for next year and we are looking for new hens, about half a dozen or so. Work is always there in the country, but we wouldn't have it any other way. We love country living!
Posted by Providence Acres Farm at 3:35 PM