|Barked: Fri Jun 25, '10 7:29pm PST |
|The Norwegian Elkhound has been known as a farm dog for 6000 years, and still is today. Their duties entailed herding of reindeer, hunting bear, the Great Elg, and protector of the family farm from wolves.
The herding / tending characteristics passed down through their progeny as vikings swept through Europe, and through the Thuringia lines developed the Modern German Shepherd. The herding instinct became much more developed, as was the drive, but the German shepherd owes it's Incorruptible character, basic color patterns, and yes, herding instinct from it's ancestral Elkhound. Yet today, the German Shepherd breed curses the trait we prize so much, that ****ed curly tail!
Because of an error in translation throwing the elkhound into the hound group, people tend to forget that they are a herding breed.
My dogs have worked every thing from sheep, ducks, cattle, horses, and the critter Du Jour are the new pullets. Being floor raised, these poor birds don't know how to go to roost. Teaching a chicken where to go at night can be a real chore. Already I have lost four birds to Foxes when they did not find their way home.
This is where Tuck comes in. The chickens want no part of the barn at night. Outside they are in danger but convincing them to go to roost is far from their widdle biddy imaginations.
HAving a dog that moves quietly among them, and then urges from the rear, blocks, corners, cuts, an really makes the nightly work of putting the recalcitrant chickens to bed not only easier, but enjoyable.
I love watching him use his gentle touch and powers of persuasion as we work as a team. A point, and word "hold", "GET EM", "CORNER" and he artfully forces, one by one each chicken to it's nightly roost.
I watch in amazement, as he seems to know exactly the right place to be, and exactly the right amount of pressure to apply.
Working with him is like a dance. It's instinct and in the ancestral blood. I know I didn't teach it to him.
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