Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Further on Ben and coyotes

IR Bates left the following comment (on the blog) in response to the Ben & Coyotes note:

“I have a male that is also too attached, but would absolutely protect me and my husband if warranted. In the meantime he is the goofiest friendly RR I have ever met. And hates separation!

“We too have coyotes and have lost chickens when we let our guard down, the dogs(3 RR's 11,5 and 2) only chase them out of our yard, otherwise they ignore them.”

Two things: In regard to protection, I wonder what evidence IR has that her male would protect her.  I’m not doubting what she says – just interested.  I would have said the same thing about Trooper years ago.  He was a very formidable male and I could give (and have given) examples of his prowess.  But I doubt that Ginger would have protected me.  Maybe Sage would have or maybe she’d just protect herself I don’t know.

As it happens my dogs probably grow up thinking that I am responsible for protecting them rather than the reverse.  With the exception of Trooper, they have all run to me and stood behind me when trouble loomed. Sage did that at the river but on leash she stood up to some potential threats so I never quite understood her thinking.  Ben has on more than one occasion run over to me and stood behind me when he was spooked.  I don’t need a dog to be protective of me and maybe my dogs realize that.  In regard to Ben I want him to be protective of Duffy and I suspect he would deal with a threat to him.  I don’t know that for sure, but Ben likes Duffy and is more and more inclined to keep an eye on him as time goes on.

Since a female coyote chased Ben away from her den, Ben has been sticking closer to me, even closer than Duffy has.  I’m not sure what his thinking about this is either.  It might have something to do with being chased away from a coyote den but it might also have something to do with stress related to my being away so often taking Susan to her medical appointments.

If were in IR’s situation and coyotes were going after my chickens I would encourage my dogs to go after the coyotes and if they wouldn’t perhaps I’d add a dog that would.  However in regard to the coyotes at the river, I seem to have a truce in effect.  I won’t bother them and they won’t bother me.  When my RR’s are young they violate that truce but the coyotes are tolerant and don’t teach them to leave them alone until a den or pups are threatened.  After that they teach my dogs to  leave them alone.  This is the way it has always been.


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