Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Those of us in the Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) community talk about our dogs as being slow to mature.  LGDs generally take about two years to grow up and individuals always vary.  So this last month, while three of our girls have been in season, I've been pondering the maturity of our boys.

Gunnar, at nearly three years old, is smooth.  Noodle is the focus of his attention.  He sings songs to her.  To the untrained ear it's howling, barking and whining.  But it is definitely a song, with interesting vocalizations.  Some reminiscent of a didgeridoo.  Every chance Gunnar has to get close to her, he does.  He prances in front of her, fluffs up his mane, stands taller and smiles at her.  She explains that she's not interested in his advances.  He fluffs his mane some more, stands even taller and smiles even wider.  If there wasn't a fence between them, we'd be expecting puppies.

Miles, at 22 months, is a hormone on legs with all the swagger of  tween-aged boy.  He gawks and cries at the girls.  He tries to pull the fence down from the middle.  He bounds from girl to girl.  Who ever is closest to his fence line is the girl of the moment and he thinks farts are funny.  He will join in on Gunnar's songs occasionally, but doesn't yet understand the point of courting.

Ramen, at 10 months, is like a kindergartener.  He's sweet, easy going, funny and charming.  He knows there are girls and boys, but isn't moved by the differences.

With respect to knowing their job as Livestock Guardians, Gunnar is an excellent guardian and a leader in the pack.  He has been mentoring his puppies, Ramen and Nobu.

Miles is very protective and strong willed; very good traits for a LGD.  But he is still impulsive which means he is not ready to move past the apprentice role.  Therefore he is currently under the full-time supervision of either Noodle or Boss Lady Wonton and will be for awhile longer.

Ramen is still very much a puppy.  He follows the lead from the others when things need warning.  He will back up Gunnar if he thinks he's preparing to engage, but play time is important to him.  His easy-going temperament makes me to think he will mature at a similar rate to his father.  Faster than Miles, but not quite as fast as his sister, Nobu.


Chrisknits b said...

Sorry to hear of your job loss. But how wonderful to be able to spend more time with your pack. I just love seeing their pics!

Voie de Vie said...

Animals definitely have distinct personalities, although I'm always curious about whether or not we attempt to superimpose our personalities onto them. :)

Nevertheless, they are such good dogs!