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Three Dog Nights and Days

January 17, 2014

Pup stuff – you forget how much time a baby takes up.  Mostly just training the youngster to fit in and abide by the rules, and reminding the elders that they need to mind the rules.

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Our dogs mainly exist in permaculture zones  0, 1 & 2 unsupervised, and visit zones 3, 4 supervised.  It may seem funny to include dogs in a discussion of permaculture, but they are an important part of our foodshed. With that in mind Grady, the new kid on the block is being submersed in all things garden and barnyard.  Every potty walk (and there are many) is a perimeter walk to establish boundaries.  We all benefit from this “training”, the older dogs get the attention they want, and Grady wants to follow them, making our job easier.  The job of the dogs here is to be our companions, hunt rodents in the gardens, chase deer if they enter the orchard/garden area, and to generally be watch dogs.

We like Australian Shepherds, so that is what we have.  While they could be trained to work as herding dogs, it’s not mandatory for their well-being.  Mostly they are people dogs, and as a general rule, just an all-around farm dog.  My best advice on dogs and training – get the dog you want and train them to your ways.

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The hardest part of integrating a pup with the elders is that Grady comes just fresh from a litter of playmates and adults who know him and tolerate puppy antics.  Play has to be supervised.  What works best for us is to keep some control on the puppy with a leash at first and to keep a watchful eye on the adult dogs.

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Oh Brother says big brother

Oh Brother, says big brother

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Three dogs is plenty for me and it doesn’t get cold enough here to have them all in bed with us.  The Five-Dog Night children’s book is a favorite of ours – I can’t imagine how Ezra managed, three is a handful.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom Stewart permalink
    January 17, 2014 3:34 pm

    I know what you mean! I have 3 dogs now.
    Daisy is a 10 year old Terrier mix that I got about 8 years ago.
    Izzy is a 2 year old Catahula mix I got last year at the pound.
    And the newest member is Holly! She showed up on my back deck on Christmas night. We spent a week trying to find the owner and even went to the Vet to see if she had a chip. She was very under weight and had been out in the woods for quite some time.
    So after a week, I decided to keep her! She is about 1 1/2 year old PIT BULL.

  2. Karen permalink
    January 17, 2014 4:22 pm

    We had the opportunity to “babysit” a mini aussie for a week during the holidays… smart, that one, with boundless energy. Adorable too. Love the photos you share of the furry side of your family. Everyone should take the care and training of their animals as seriously as you do.

  3. Judy E permalink
    January 17, 2014 5:56 pm

    Oh, how I love Aussies! We have taken in so many through our local Aussie Rescue. We’ve had 3 legged Aussies, mini-Aussies, Aussies with bad hips, Aussies with all kinds of problems. Never had a puppy, the puppies didn’t come to us, but that’s okay, we love all the ones we get!

  4. January 17, 2014 6:00 pm

    A lot of work, a new dog whether a puppy or not. Long leash and boundary training is mandatory in my world. My recently rescued Aussie, abt two-years-old, needed a long lead at first but now has learned the perimeter and respects the call back to the yard. Still learning chore routine but earning his badge. Your little one will be a great asset; smart to hire a replacement.

  5. Chris permalink
    January 17, 2014 6:25 pm

    Did I miss something? When did this lil guy show up? Yup 3 dog night! Cozy! :)s

  6. January 17, 2014 9:47 pm

    wellllll this little aussie is currently overseeing the puppyhood of 8 (yes EIGHT) kelpie/collie x …. we already have 4 dogs – a border collie, border collie x, kelpie and a golden retreiverererer (she’s not that ummm bright) — so we currently have TWELVE DOGS (eeeek!)

    the 5 week old puppies are almost a full time job – lucky its the summer school holidays here so the kids can help zap some of the little worker’s energy!

  7. January 18, 2014 5:21 am

    We have two dogs, an Australian Shepherd who is a “law unto herself” most of the time and has not slowed down a bit in 12 years, and a big black lab with a sweet nature and who is a bit protective of his Mama (me). They add a lot of joy to my days and I am always, always training them. WHAT A CUTE PUPPY! I’m going to stop looking at the pictures now, or I may start thinking about being a Three Dog Farm too.

  8. Mich permalink
    January 18, 2014 7:03 am

    I do like Aussies but here on my farm I have German shepherd as a house/guard dog.
    Having had 3 GSD’s at one time, 1 is a doddle so we added another canine into the mix earlier in the year….a standard wirehaired Dachshund! Total departure from the normal choice but have to say she’s a fun character.
    Rather stubborn so a lot of training going on boundries, house rules etc and it doesn’t help that the sensible shepherd has regressed back to teenager mode. Sigh.

    • January 18, 2014 10:20 am

      I miss my German Shepherd, she was a good dog even with Aussies clamoring for her attention. We had her for 17 glorious years and we knew it was time when she didn’t want to steal our gloves anymore, that last year was hard 😦

  9. January 19, 2014 7:35 am

    I’ve been ‘between dogs’ for about three years now and this post just makes me both sad again and more determined o do something about a dog (or two!) this year. I have to get the front yard fenced before I can do that though…Grady’s a little cutie pie!

  10. Anna permalink
    January 20, 2014 12:30 pm

    Matron, you’ve almost got me convinced about Aussies! It’ll be a while before we’re ready for a new dog, but after the ones we’ve had, we’re convinced that a dog from a breeder (or maybe two dogs) would be a good idea. We’re even starting to research breeds–but I like what I’m seeing of yours!

    We have two dogs right now–both rescues, and both lovely, but the older one is a rotti/shepherd/who knows cross, and the younger is aTreeing Walker Coonhound/German Shepherd cross. *BOTH* have huge prey drives, and *neither* can be off leash in any unfenced area on the farm. SIGH. I miss my old Tilley Dog–probably an aussie cross, but she never wandered far from my side. I’d really prefer a dog (or two) that I didn’t need to leash whenever we’re not behind fences!

  11. January 22, 2014 7:59 am

    Grady is ADORABLE! Great pics. I really want to get a second (and possibly a third) dog as I think our Magpie (some sort of shepherd/some sort of terrier mix) would greatly benefit from it (our farm too once we get it going). My husband and I go ’round and ’round on the topic, but until at least one of us is on the farm full-time, he may be right that we should wait… Wahl! Your puppy posts aren’t making it any easier for me to wait!

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