The three new Saanen goats have been giving Gel a hard time. They are pretty tough cookies and don’t think they should have to wait to be milked or move off Gel.
Gel has the patience of a saint. He will bite on command, but if I am patient (which I rarely am), he can move elephants.
Last night, he was holding the gate while I milked. Two of the three Saanens decided they were going to come out. I asked Gel to put them back up. The two of them put their heads down and gave him the evil eye. Gel held his ground and stared them down with his Border Collie Eye.
Wally, who has the patience of a saint (he has to, he puts up with me) told me to tell him to bite them. I told him that no, that would only make them fight more and we’d end up with a blood fest because they wouldn’t back down. I told him to wait and let Gel do his job. It only took a few more minutes, but Gel did do his job: he backed both of them back into the pasture. Literally, he backed them in, they never turned and walked in.
I’ve been told that was a very good trait: that Gel has enough power and presence to stand head to head with livestock without gripping (biting) and that he was able to back them into the pasture was one little victory for him. It’s going to take a lot more of this before these goats finally respect him and once they kid next year, the same thing will likely happen, but it’s so much better to let the dog do his job without using teeth.
We are very lucky to have such a fantastic dog.
Until later …