Updated: Mar 11
If I had written a book concerning the temperament of a Rocky Mountain Companion Dog, this little video would be chapter 1. It encompasses almost everything I would like to convey about the unique abilities and the scale of variety I deal with to match people with their perfect pups.
The video was taken in March of 2021, a French Bulldog, Piper in daycare, Bonnie Lee at almost a year old, Pearly Baker at 9 weeks old. We open with Pearl spotting the Daycare dog, locking a stare and stalking. (5 seconds)
Although this certainly isn't the first time I've seen Pearl stalk it is the first time I've caught such a clear example of the behavior in her. A Live Stock Guardian is not supposed to have a locking stare or stalking. It makes hooved animals nervous to live such a threat constantly. HERDING dogs, must posses a fine tuned stare to move their flock and manage their movement with a stalking posture. Guardians must look away and manage with bodies pulled higher than their charges, so they can be seen by both Shepherd and the stock.
Bonnie, on the other hand - has no stare. She does not even lock onto deer passing by or treats held up for training. She carries herself high, tail announcing her grace and poise to the herd and human spectators alike.
From what I understand, Bonnie displays appropriate Live Stock Guardian behaviors.
Whether or not Bonnie "comes with" this skill set or not, cannot be known. Colorado Mountain Dogs purportedly mentor the younger ones, teaching them not to stare and how to use their bodies carefully around their charges. Since we did not bring Bonnie home until she was a "teenager" we cannot know how her elder kennel mates taught her or not. The important factor is the teach-ability. If she learned this behavior in such a way that allowed her to re-teach, we will benefit from preserving this in future generations. This will make a very easy-to-train dog.
The video progresses to seconds 11 to 18, Bonnie diffuses the situation, and we can watch her cover the Piper's Buggy eyes from Pearls view. With the stare broken, the stalk becomes useless so Pearly Baker lays down, and makes a playful slap of the paw to incite engagement. After the video ended, Pearl and Piper gently frolicked while exploring the yard for a bit. For the rest of the day, play was initiated by Piper with a toy.
Our days start early. During times of no puppies - chances are we have guest dogs over. We are part of Rover.com and host in-home boarding on a regular basis with a few very trustworthy dogs of varying breeds. Guests tend to get up early - so we get up early. I don't mind a bit...mornings have always been my favorite time of day.
I feel that our boarding and training services are an integral part of how we are able to achieve such confident and even-tempered dogs.
During times that litters are expected, we do not accept guests. Our pups are whelped in our home, safely segregated from the rest of the dog population. Once they are strong and coated enough, we move them into the kennels, where they are bedded with straw and moms warmth in kennels at night - outside with mom and access to the barn for shelter during the day.
Most furkids leave us at eight weeks old. the ones that are staying for training programs or our very own pets, may or may not be responsible for carrying on our lines. But they are all introduced to a variety of different dogs and personalities. Boarding and training resumes when puppies have received appropriate vaccinations. We involve all pups in training programs to one degree or another. We introduce them to collars and leashes in a structured way. Grooming manners start by being exposed to brushing and nail clipping at a very young age. Sounds like clippers and dryers They get to watch dogs on tables, in kennels and being dropped off & retrieved by their owners. The Rocky Mountain Companion Dog learns early on that there are all sorts of other dogs out there, and they have ample opportunity to develop the skills needed to be able to navigate those sorts.