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Who's dangerous, the ram or the Border collie? :rolleyes:


I'd sure rather be out there WITH a dog than WIThOUT a dog when the ram's in with his ladies. If you are sensible about handling the ram, you should have no problem. There are really mean rams that can cause trouble for ANY dog, but I wouldn't have one like that on my place.


Ewes with lambs, I've found, can be worse than a ram - to the dog anyway. My dogs have had much worse fights with ewes with lambs at side than they ever did with any ram I've had here.


Don't pick a fight with a ram in the open (or in a very tight space that you can't escape). Never make a friend of a ram even when he's a cute little lamb. Never turn your back on a ram. Never put your dog in a no-win situation with a ram: sending an inexperienced dog to get a crabby ram out of a position of strength (out of brush, sheds, trees). Teach your dog to treat a ram with respect - and teach the ram that it's safe to trust the dog.


I don't train with my rams. I want them to be 100% comfortable around dogs and have full correct respect.


There is no "safe" ram - but they are not monsters either. You just use your head, just like you would around any intact male livestock.

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Hee hee, the memories this brings back...


We used to rent a house from a nice retired couple next door, in an older, urban, Portland OR neighborhood. They happened to have about 6 acres between the two houses, and kept 4-5 ewes and one ram on the property.


This was long before I got into any canine activities, and I grew up a city boy without any livestock experience.


I learned very very quickly to always keep one eye on that ram. He would never charge me or be directly confrontational, but anytime I turned my back on him, he'd try to sneak up on me and nail me with a head-butt to my backside.


Nothing scarey about him, just an ornery beast.

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I always use my dogs around the rams - I feel much safer - they definately know the difference between the rams and ewes and are much more weary around the rams. I've had (notice the past tense) rams that were mean - and knew never to trust them - at least they were predictable. One ram I have now is more of a problem in that he'll *very infrequently* go after me, often when I've let my guard down. Luckily the dogs usually (always so far) catch him. This is one situation where you want your dog to head/bite. Other pointer is not to put a ram in a position where they have to fight, because many will. Same 300 lb. Rambouillet ram has a wide set of horns. I didn't realize how wide he'd gotten and tried to put him through a chute we use to do various treatments on the animals. Well he decided that he couldn't fit through the chute (It never dawned on me that he was the last one to go through) and went after both my husband, me and the dogs in a area boardered by wood panels. It was very obvious that it was him or us . . . Very dangerous situation - ended up throwing the dogs out of the pen and jumping out ourselves. So rams can be dangerous but if you use care and common sense (which includes using your dogs), they're managable.



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  • 1 month later...

We used to have a wether, and even he was a bit dangerous. He only charged *me* though, so my mom never believed how mean he actually was until she witnessed him trying to ram me in the back. I was approximately 14 or so at the time...


I used his head as a stepping stone to hope out of his way, lol! (I was climbing out of the fence and he came running, so I stepped on him to hold him back)

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Just look around. Not all rams are bad. I

have always had the good guys. Get one that

was raised with out being spoiled like a pet.

I only touch mine to doctor them and such.

They are never petted or hand fed. When they

are small and they even look like they just

want to play they get a bucket of water in

the face. Mine are mellow even when they are

breeding the ewes. Of course, I still always

keep one eye on them whenever I am around them.

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Hey Mona, good to see you here!


Bart, with only 12 ewes you could get a partly grown ram lamb, say 10 months old or so and he could do the job. Just bring him in for about a month and then sell him on, no need to keep him around all year. I've done this the last 3 years with about 20 ewes and it works well. The ram lamb will still need to be watched but i don't find them to be as aggressive as fully grown and experienced rams.

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Hi Robin! (and everyone else!)

Thanks for the welcome. Hope to see everyone at Sam's trial. (Not entered--just miss the crowd). That's an excellent idea about ram lambs and keep them only a short time--mine can sure put away

the chow......

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I've had lots of rams - some I wish I'd never seen, others that I wish I still had. I've had some that were nicer than some of the ewes - and safer. It all depends on their temperment and how they're handled. Most of my rams were "show" rams - since I show. I've never had a problem with them just because they were tame - some big smooches at the fair are just as nice, or don't even come near you, at home - others are just nasty - and usually were at times even when shown. Don't waste your time or put yourself at risk - if you get a nasty ram that will charge you, get rid of him at the first market or auction you can find. Some of my rams challenge my dog and some don't even look at him. I have found that horned rams tend to be more aggressive - or at least butt (whether it's aggressive or orneriness - still has the same results); don't know why - but just my experience - although seems like if they're polled (de-horned as babies or didn't have them to begin with), even of breeds that can have horns, they're nicer. Maybe horns give them a macho image, I don't know. You could start with a young one, too - I agree with Robin on that - I've used lots of young ones before. Too bad you weren't closer, I have a Karakul ram that isn't bad that needs a good home - although most people aren't into Karakuls. One word of caution on buying a ram lamb and selling when you're done - unless you have a reliable source, this is a good way to bring in disease with always bringing in a new ram (or any time you bring in new animals) - just a suggestion. Also, in our area, even younger rams sent to market don't bring much, but it might even out when you consider cost of purchase vs. cost of feeding. Good luck - hope you find a nice boy.

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