a little note on farm dogs.

This is our Great Pyrenees, Watson. We got him shortly before the new batch of chicks arrived with the intention of him guarding them. He had been on a farm with poultry, so it seemed like it would work out.

Prior to getting Watson, we had a little trouble with keeping the flock safe. Because we choose to let the chickens free range during the day, we understand there is a certain amount of risk and accept there will be some losses within the flock. But there was a raccoon who figured out a way in to the coop and was treating it like a chicken grocery.

We did tons of things to try to safeguard the coop. We added extra wire to the chicken run, built a crazy and relatively unattractive structure around the door of the coop, and set up Christmas lights to try to deter the pests. We were able to slow the losses down, but they were still somewhat common.

The problem is, Watson has no interest in being a livestock guardian dog. I admit this was partially my fault, because while I introduced him to the chickens and had him around them, I also gave him plenty of attention and let him play with my other dog, Fritz. He weighed his options and decided pets and romps with Fritz were more enjoyable.

The good news is that by rebuilding the coop door entirely, we were able to protect the hens. We’ve lost a couple, but that was an adjustment period when they were finally big enough to free range.

So Watson roams the night with his best friend Fritz and he happily shirks his intended duty in favor of naps.

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