The Funny Farm

Get back to nature


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May Flowers

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on May 6, 2011 at 7:39 PM Comments comments (1)

Ok, Ok...UNCLE!!!!

Well life sure has its ups and downs, trials and tribulations.  Well, Beli has not worked out and went back home.  We were all so disappointed as he was showing promise.  Just as things were going well and we trusted one another, another bump in the road.

Beli had enough of the neighborhood dog who taunted them  and he went over the fence and that was that.  He now knew how to go about his way and did.  He was not willing to stay with the stock or Alka.  Sadly, he too taught Alka to escape the field.

She is now back on a chain as she has scaled every perimeter we own every day since he left.


April showers

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on April 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, we have had a few weeks of snow, wind, rain, mud and a wee bit of sunshine, and sometimes all in one day!

Alka and Beli have blended beautifully over the last month on their new pasture in charge of three lamancha goats and two calves.  They are learning their jobs and the boundaries of the property. Both are learning new things...Alka is learning that she owns all the stock and Beli is learning that he is allowed to mingle only when Alka allows it.  There is very little chasing and no dragging of the goats that I can see. They are both respectful of the air horn warning to stop what ever it is that they were doing that is unacceptable. The energy spent is now focused on each other and anything that is on the outside that poses a threat to their land. Ah Progress!:D

We have had a renegade neighborhood dog that likes to taunt them.  Beli has had enough of him and figured he can easily scale the fence and so he ran him off - which is good.  However, now he has learned that he can scale the fence.. so that's bad. He is now back on the chain until we can string electric fence.  This is the new phase of their training.  Once they have learned to respect electric fence they will be released into the rotational grazing area where the lambs and horses are. Eventually they will move with the full flock hopefully by June/July.

So that is the newest update on our odyssey to Alka (and Beli) becoming reliable Livestock guardian dogs!

Beli march 2011

Alka March 2011

new leash on life

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on March 16, 2011 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Well Alka the naughty has had her ups and downs in the making of a livestock guardian dog.  We have had many set backs and it has been a long, cold winter full of illness for me.  But luckily Alka had some time to grow up and the livestock had an opportunity to have a rest from her too.

Since my last entry we have found a partner for Alka to expend some energy on and to share in the guarding of the livestock.  We have Beli here now on trial.  so far, they get on very well. Beli is a rare white Sarplanina  imported as a pup and is a 16 month old puppy who is seeing livestock for the first time.  

He thinks the cows are fun to chase at the moment.  The great thing is that Alka has stepped up her instincts and cuts him off and redirects his attention back onto her to give the cattle a break. Pretty cool...way to go Alka. Alka is actually being a good mentor in protecting her stock while Beli still is unsure what his job is.

I hope to be posting more on their new journey and add more photos, but for now this is where Alka is in her journey into livestock guardian dog.

reformed Alka

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on July 5, 2010 at 2:22 PM Comments comments (1)

"Kosova" of Shar Mountain Kennels (left)


Alka of Montenegro (right)

We have had play dates with Alka and her new buddy Kosova, pictured above one night at a bon fire at the quarry.  We walk them together along the mountainside paths and they happily romp alongside us.

Recently We moved Alka to a small 2 acre paddock that has trees for shade and a wet marshy area for coolness in this summer heat.  She is living their with some mature nannies and a couple of doe kids and the buck and ram.  The bee hives are also enclosed within this pasture that borders our tomato garden.

So far, things are going really well.  We have had no bears get the bees or deer in the garden since she took up residence there.  She has continued to play with the goat kids however, but is annoying them more than harming them.  So we brought Kosova over again to play and what was interesting was that she came flying out of the woods and engaged him immediately becasue he was checking out the goat and ram up close.  She circled the stock and stayed between Kosova and the stock and did not allow him to touch noses with them.  Once he lost his interest in them, she licked and nuzzled the buck and wandered off to play with Kosova.  Later he tried to approach the stock again and she did the same thing, reliably.

Another interesting story was that we take Alka up for walks on the hillside and she wanders off but always comes back when we call her, one afternoon she did not come back.  We got in the truck and headed down to find her coming back towards us from her gated area as if she went and checked on her stock?  It seemed like a reasonable assumption given the circumstances.  She has been seen laying witht he ram and buck...the others still tend to keep their distance - especially one particular doeling that has become somethingof a plaything for Alka.

Hopefully, this too shall pass with age.

On a sidenote, she had her first birthday, and with it came a growth spurt and the loss of her puppy coat and winter coat completely shedded out...she is the worlds UGLIEST bitch right now hahaha!:lol:

She broke my camera:P so sorry, no ugly duckling shots!

Problem child saga

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on May 30, 2010 at 2:23 PM Comments comments (0)

After a reintroduction to her field, Alka has decided that she prefers chicken to her kibble and helped herself to another of my BEST layers too!  :(

So with that...she is now back to dog jail until a new strategy can be formulated for her naughtiness.

Although I think she is enjoying her new digs.  She is up on the mountain everyday and hangs out with us in the garden and house too. She has had romps with my neighbors shars and today we had a nice trek with the very handsome Kasova from Shar Mountain Kennels...hmm... they were awfully cute together!  :D

She is going to go and be with the ram and billy for a while...I bet ya they put some manners on her juvenile delinquent backside haha! At the very least it is nice and shady under the canopy of the trees and no hens in that pen.  We will keep posting on her progress!

Happy Early Birthday to ALka who will be 1 on Wednesday June 2!  Happy Birthday girl!  She says gifts  not necessary, but chickens will do! Haha!


ding-ding , round two.....

trouble child

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on May 16, 2010 at 8:13 PM Comments comments (0)


After a hiatus from the pasture we began to re-introduce Alka back out to her field with the small flock of yearling ewe lambs, the goat does and their 2 month old kids and the flock of chickens.

She was chained inside the field, then allowed to have the run of the field free all night when the others were put away for the night.  Seemingly was going well, and the next plan was to put the drag on her and supervise her daily freedom...well she freed herself and drug the chain around while I was not home one day last week and she managed to gain entry into the adjoining paddock where the horses are.  I came home to find her unrelentlessly chasing the two horses to a frothy lather and watched in horror as the chain got wrapped up around the one mares hind legs and now dragging the dog!  Was not a pretty sight as the dog was trying to bite the kicking horse!  Needless to say she was punished for that one. She went on the tree far away from the barn and the fields and the livestock.

After consulting with others, we decided to give her another shot at being back out in her pasture and so yesterday we chained her to a tractor tire to drag around and hopefully slow her down and limit her ability to chase.  Went well yesterday, except for stalking the pigs in the pen that she can see from her field. But a yell from the house and she left them alone.  She made a few dashes att he chickens and again was yelled at from afar and she backed off.  I was hopeful right up until I got a phone call from my neighbor to tell me that she had a chicken and was killing it!  Again, I yelled at her and she let is still alive, but I doubt it will make it through the night....sigh.  .....What to do with the naughty girl.:(

behind bars

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on April 12, 2010 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

While we are lambing and kidding and the new pullets learn the pasture, Alka has been penned in the barnyard for the safety of the newborn youngsters.

Being the 100 pound puppy that she is, her antics in play could and likely would end in the untimely demise of her new found fragile friends.  It is probably best to let the youngsters get a bit bigger before we release the hound!

Alkas intruders

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on March 15, 2010 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I spied two Canadian Geese that landed out in the pasture, by the time I grabbed my camera, Alka had already discovered the intruders! Dang nuttin gets by her!

I filmed for just 2 minutes watching her push them off into flight, then she canvassed back and forth using her nose to further investigate, but what was really cool is where you can see that she actually looked UP to the sky at one point seeking them out. Very cool.

She continued to work the pasture in a grid like pattern for another twenty minutes! If nothing else, she is very thorough!

Alkas Winter Antics

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on March 2, 2010 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

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Well as you can see she is growing in leaps and bounds!  There is at least 18 inches in this video and she manages very well.

Her new game is to pick a goat and get a front leg in her mouth and gently pull the goat forward.  I keep explaining to her that he does not want to play with her.  The goat kid is making it hard to play with him as he just goes limp and a drag now lol!  Literally...she has to drag him to get any life out of him so it is no more fun.  So, he corrected the play problem better than I could!

Now if we can get her to understand that the thousand pound horse does not want to play with her! haha!  If the horses start laying down, I really hope that I can get that on video!

Predator threat

Posted by funnyfarmnaturally on December 28, 2009 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I guess you sjhould be careful what you wish for, lol.  In my last post i said bring on the wolves, well we did not likely have a wolf lurking about but we did have some canine of sorts!

At 2 am I herd Alka barking furiously and growling in such a way I knew something was up.  I went to the window to watch her for a few minutes methodically go up and down the fence line stopping at the very same spot each and every pass to raise her hackles and snarl at the fence. She was focused on something int he sheep pasture which is across the road.  I could not see what it was that she was barking at, and I heard nothing by the time I got dressed and went out to check it out.  I went back to bed, she was quiet the rest of the night.

The next morning we found the electric fence down near the road!  There was piles of feces (could be coyote, likely dog) right around the gate to that pasture where the sheep are.

There was no other damage that we could see and the sheep and lambs were all accounted for.

Thanks Alka!  Job well done!

As an intersting side note: I caught Alka in the corner of the pasture doing what appeared to be "grazing"  from a distance - but upon further investigation when I got closer I could see that it turned out that she was burying her bones under a pile of leaves as the ground was too frozen to bury them!  Clever girl she is!


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