Tuffy is doing great and becoming my big buddy and helper!! He is such a character and reminds me much of my old English Shepherd that I had. He is already herding livestock in his own little way as well as herding me (I swear sometimes he is trying to trip me so he can laugh at me!) I can plainly tell though that he is going to make a great herding dog as certainly has the brains and natural ability. I started taking him out with me to feed livestock and help me put goats where they belong, etc. After we are done he comes in the house with me and plops down by me if I sit down and follows me where ever I go. I am soooo PLEASED with him already!! He is very responsive also and comes the minute I call him or need him to come to me as I feel it is very important that this is one of the first things they need to learn.
To say that he is a shadow is an understatement, which is why I chose him over Bailey as I truely love a dog that becomes ones constant companion. I have been trying to get some pictures of him to send in with his registration papers but kind of hard to get pictures of him when he is constantly by your side. Finally got some hopefully last night with my son finally coaxing him away from my side with treats.
Tuffy is doing great, growing like crazy and very intelligent! He has never been on a leash out here and yet is extremely good about coming when I call him and comes to a nice heal and sit all with voice commands as I have always been a firm believer in varying tones of voice and lots of praise rather than any harsh corrective measures. He is very good with all the livestock including horses, goats, chickens, ducks and geese. He certainly has a lot of potential to be a super herding dog and I too love that direct contact with his eyes that he has and is always watching and wondering what is going on. One of my horses got out a couple of nights ago and he certainly let me know that something was going on. He is teething like crazy and chewing on everything, which I am sure is what Bailey is doing as well.
I can't believe that so many people in this part of the country don't know what a English Shepherd is (they don't know what they are missing!)
July 1, 2003 8 months old
I have put in quite a bit of time with him in training him but he has learned so quick and just a natural. I had some little kid goats that when smaller were getting out the gate, which Tuffy knew that I didn't want them out so he watched for them and ever so gently grabbed them by a leg and dragged them to the gate and then turned them loose and grabbed their tail as if to say get in there. I wish I could have had it on video. The only thing Tuffy has chased as all without my permission is my Turkin's (I guess he thinks those funny looking chickens with no neck feathers don't belong!) He has accepted them now though as he has everything around here and thinks it is his job to keep track of everything. Unfortunately, I am afraid to leave him loose, which I would like to, but we have some real jerks that drive by here like crazy and don't trust them.
Tuffy is my absolute shadow as follows me everywhere or I should say leads me everywhere as he often ever so gently grabs my hand and leads me along. I can't wait to get back on my feet and be able to be out taking care of livestock, etc. but unfortunately have doctors orders to do nothing for three months. Thank God I have my Tuffy as he is so much company and sleeps by my bed at night.
July 22, 2003
..........when herding the goats or anything else he stays right in close and usually goes for the heals but if they turn on him he goes right for their head and if a goat comes after him he immediately goes for their ears (like father, like son). He is not overly rough, just enough to get their attention. If I yell at a goat or something he is right by my side instantly ...........I would dare any animal or anybody to try and do anything to me! Yes, he barks but not excessively........only to get an animals attention or if something is going on out of the ordinary that he knows shouldn't be.
As to what he considers his pack ...........both people and all animals as he has to keep an eye on everything and certainly lets me know if anything out of the ordinary is going on.
That is one thing I can say about Tuffy........he is very gentle and good with the kittens around after a little coaching and corrections. In fact my ones sons cat had kittens under the steps into the house (hardly a place to raise kittens) so they ended up in the house. Tuffy got attached to this one little kitten and when she got old enough to start walking around he tought he should watch out for her I guess so he would carry her around in his mouth, ever so gently. He would lay down with her between his front legs and lick and take care of her. Now, that she has grown up quite a bit they are the best of buddies and play together. We have two other litters of kittens outside, which always come to get their milk and feed and Tuffy is really good with them too.