MommaLove Posted July 10, 2012 Report Share Posted July 10, 2012 I've limited Juno's exposure to our sheep & goats as much as I can on the small farm we own. It's tricky, because the goat yard is fairly close to the house & backyard, but I've managed fairly well. However, with our chickens & rabbits, it's just about impossible to keep her away. We use a "chicken tractor" system, which is a portable coop & run that gets moved around the property once per week to allow for fresh pasture. The rabbits are in a similar system, but get moved daily. Juno can't be outside without being near at least one tractor. (You can watch our animal tractor video here - ) As she gets older, Juno's instincts are kicking in hard. She's 16wks old now and has begun giving the chickens "the eye". She crouches and circles the tractors as we're moving them, making sure nobody gets out. A few times when a bunny or two has escaped, Juno has herded them over to me as though she's done it a million times, making it possible for me to scoop the rabbit up in my arms instead of chasing it all around the farm in vain. I don't want Juno to get it into her head that she can harass the chickens or the rabbits, and I'd love any advice or input about her exposure to them. As it is now, when Juno starts circling a tractor, I give her a stern "OFF!" and she immediately backs off. If she is heading in the direction of the rabbits, I recall her and she stops dead in her tracks, turns around and runs to me (and is rewarded with huge enthusiasm, lots of treats, and epic belly rubs!). Sometimes I practice sits & downs with her beside a tractor, so she learns that she must still listen & obey even though she so badly wants to work the hens. I want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for problems, here. I have really high hopes for Juno as a working dog, and don't want to ruin her in any way. I'd love some insight from more experienced folks! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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