Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Yesterday evening, Rhiannon and I were outside doing barn chores; feeding & watering the goats & chickens & new chicks.  Pan is still behind the house, so he gets his grain ration after we do those chores.  We weren't quite finished taking care of everyone when Paul came home. 

A few minutes later, I heard Pan make the strangest bleating sound, almost like a kid goat.  I figured that Paul was down there with him & he was getting cranky that Paul didn't have grain for him.  Then I heard it again, and went across the upper goat pen so I could see him.  He didn't look like he was caught in anything, or in any pain as he was pacing and jumping around (hungry dance), so I quickly finished chores, grabbed Rhiannon and went to check on Pan.  On our way down there I noticed Paul wasn't with him.  As we were walking down to Pan, Paul came out and I asked him if he knew what was wrong with Pan.  He thought that maybe he was just getting cranky because one of does being in heat.

Well, we all get down there and I hear the bleating again, but I can now see it's not coming from Pan.  Harley had a small deer down on the ground inside the back goat pen and was basically chewing it to death.  The kid bleating sound was a deer bleating sound.  Man, was I pissed.  So Paul put the deer out of it's misery and we skipped our normal family dinner (don't worry, Rhiannon ate!) to hastily butcher a deer.  Fun filled evenings we have here, hugh?

Ok, I know Harley is a dog, and dogs hunt (although a German Shepherd was originally bred to be a sheep dog, am I not correct?????), but this is really getting to be a problem.  He's already caused the unwanted / unplanned butchering of Nettie's two doelings earlier this summer and now he's taken down a deer that was in the back goat pen. 

I know that we should really have a more secure goat area so the kid goats can't get out of the pen (or Harley in the pen) but I guess I was really hoping that he would be a good farm / livestock dog.  But it's more than obvious that he absolutely cannot be trusted with the goats. 
And guess what else?  In the middle of typing my dog-complaing blog post, I got a call that Harley & Moonshine are up the road about a mile, wandering around. 
I know I shouldn't be complaining.  These events could have been preventable; well, maybe not the deer event, but the goat kid attacks and dog wanderings.  I should really be more diligent on keeping Moonshine on a tie-out as she is the reason that Harley wanders.  As soon as Moonshine takes off, Harley is right behind her.  Although I'm still a bit hesitant to keep her on a tie-out as she would be pretty much vulnurable to any attack from Harley.  Not that I think he'd attack her, but I didn't think our other dog (who is no longer with us) would either, and Moonshine was badly chewed up because of it.  I tried keeping Moonshine in the goat pens, but she's small enough to slip through the cattle panels.  We have a 4' x 12' dog kennel (that is normally used for growing out the Cornish X's), but I don't really want to have to keep her in a kennel.   Fencing in the front yard is just not going to happen. 

So, what's a country dog owner to do?  Just let them roam like everyone else and hope nothing bad happens to them?  Even if nothing bad were to happen to them, I just don't like the idea of wandering dogs; out in the country or not.  We got a shock collar for Harley, and it works, as long as you catch him in the act.  We looked into the invisible fence, but it would be almost impossible to dig a trench around the front yard without renting a mechanical trencher (cha-ching!) because of all the rocks.
Well, I suppose I'm done with my rambling for today.  Sorry it was such a crummy post.  But it's farm life here at Krazo Acres and I wouldn't want you guys thinking it was all fluffy baby chick and homesteading paradise here.

PS - For those lovely bloggers who have recently bestowed upon me a certain award, don't worry, I didn't forget.....just need to think of some blogs that you guys haven't already nominated!


  1. My friend has German Sheperds and they attacked her goats twice, she had even tried shock collars but they kinda figured that out. She finally got rid of the goats (after a vet visit and hefty bill). It's a question of which would you rather have on the farm, the dog or the livestock. We have given away a couple of dogs that we thought would be good farm dogs but we found we just couldn't trust them around the goats and chickens.

  2. I'm a dog lover but your dog concerns me. It kills for fun. I'm concerned for Rhiannon. Sorry for the ugly thought but.....

  3. If you want to make enemies in the country, its by letting your dogs wander. Around here people have come to blows because of it. You just can never be sure what your dog is going to do on someone elses property and your 100% liable. Legally and morally. As a german sheperd owner, they are very prey driven and any movement will cause them to go after it. I devote a lot of time to training and I still would never leave her out unattended or with my other animals. If you can not work with the dog daily, you must give him up to someone who will. Your dogs could hurt a child, kill someones beloved pet, or hurt someones livestock and you could be sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars for a personal injury case. Your neighbors also have the right to shoot your dogs if they are on their property. And that just wouldnt be fair to the dogs.

  4. If your dog is becoming a predator than something is wrong and dangerous. It is only a matter of time and it may turn on you or your family, and that would be horrible. I am not advocating putting the dog down at all. I love all dogs. A dog does what a dog is. Maybe consider a rescue for it's breed as opposed to the pound. A pound wouldn't know how to rehabilitate it like a rescue would. It's a beautiful dog and it would be a real shame if something happened to it or you.

  5. Thank you all for your comments / thoughts, I honestly do appreciate them. Been thinking about this all stinking day and it's driving me nuts not knowing what to do.

    BTW, the meat we were able to save from the deer-chew-toy was DEE-LISH-ESSSSS!

  6. Aw, Carolyn...this sucks. And now that I'm finally here to comment...everyone said what I already was going to. My sister in law, how just moved to Iowan Farm Country, had both her dogs shot because they were out running chasing people's livestock. Like Jane said, dogs that run...

    This is a tough one, but I think we've all had to deal at one time or another with finding a new home (or otherwise dealing with) an animal (usually for us, dog) who couldn't work out on the farm. Like Candy said, its a question of which you need more at your place - the dogs, or the goats? :( I'm thinking of you. Those are never easy decisions to make. And thanks for not doing a fluffy post. Because often times, life on a farm is anything but fluffy. I appreciate your honesty. :)

  7. Gosh...I'm really sorry to hear about this. It really sucks but I agree with all the other posters. He's doing what dogs do. Period. He'll be better off with someone who can give him proper supervision. And Jane's right. Dogs who roam cause more anger than anything I know. We all hate it because of the dogs potential unpredictable behavior. So sorry you're going through this but consider it as a BIG warning bell.

  8. We used an invisible fence for our dog. It was not dug or anything. It was called PetSafe. Worked really good! It's wireless... There is a transmitter and a collar... when the dog gets at the end of the range it would give him beeps that warned him he was getting too close to the end range. If he continued he would get a shock - that was dependent on what setting you had it to how sever it was. We got this for him because we live out in the country and he liked to roam the roads and bringing back road kill. We were afraid he would end up road kill himself. Besides, like you, we didn't want him to roam.

  9. I would re-think keeping this dog. Please.