2016 is proving to be a very busy year with the days on the Calendar filling up already. We have visitors coming every week this month which is very exciting! We don’t often get the chance to get away these days as to homestead properly is a full on commitment. We don’t mind as we love our lifestyle but we also LOVE seeing people who have enriched our lives in the past and to be able to share our life with them now if only for a short time is something truly wonderful.
On the 2nd we had our stall out our local Farmers Market it was quiet as was to be expected being the holidays but it was still a lovely day. Sunday the rain came and it has been gray, cold and drizzling ever since but fortunately we have had a lovely little distraction in the form of a 7 week old German Shorthaired Pointer puppy who we have name Gypsy Love (Batwing) – Originally Miss 3.5 wanted to name her Chocolate batwing but we agreed as a family on Gypsy. She is a lovely little bundle and we had done much research into what breed of dog we wanted. We did consider rescue but with all the chickens, cats and young children we wanted a breed who was a all round friendly farm dog. The German Shorthaired Pointer is a high energy and highly intelligent breed who is often used as a birding or hunting dog. We won’t be training her on birds but we will consider rabbits.
Although she is young we are starting training already and I will update her progress on this post as time passes. Right now we are doing simple things like keeping her on the lead while out the back with the chickens and making her walk behind us so she knows we are pack leaders.
We read a wonderful thread on Backyard chickens about a gentleman who trained his GSP to become a guardian dog with chickens. It’s a wonderful thread and we will be taking some tips from it for Gypsy. You can read it here.
Day 1- We Picked Up Gypsy from Cowra and as soon as she was handed to me she snuggled into my neck and was so content. We drove home via Carcoar which is a beautiful little town in Central West NSW. Here we picnicked under a bridge and Gypsy did her business. I was very impressed she hasn’t had any accidents . We made it home for play and snuggles. She has a very calm personality and isn’t at all interested in the chickens or cats….YET! D slept with her in the spare bed day 1.
Day 2- We are onto toilet training as soon as she wakes from naps she is taken outside to do her business. She sleeps through without accidents which is great. We have started simple training and will be buying treats to teach basic obedience. The hardest part is when the kids are grizzling and she wants to play with them. We have started putting her in her crate to sleep after we nurse her to sleep. I’m reminded of having a newborn baby!
Day 3- Dane slept in the spare room again and managed to get her into the crate for half the night. She had no accidents and did her business in the morning. We are very impressed. The cats are curious about her but are keeping their distance. Whiskie still hides under the bed but I’ve been spraying pheromones everywhere. She has managed sit a few times with treat leading but her attention span is still scattered. Still no interest in the chickens. When she is out the back on the lead she is “working” so no running or play is allowed.
1 week in – Gypsy is still doing great. We’ve now seen her point twice once at the cow and once at the cat. She still isn’t that interested in them but we have corrected her a few times for chasing but she always stops when told which is a good sign. Today she is resting as it’s very hot and we just took her for her vaccines. It’s very important where we are to vaccinate as their is a particular virus Parvo that many dogs in the area die quickly from and we don’t want to risk it. Gypsy now sleeps the night in the crate and usually wakes up around 6am when the kids do. We will be changing her to our routine soon so she can accompany Dane on his morning chores and have her nap after.
I will keep updating this post as we progress 🙂