People choose farm dogs, ranch dogs, homestead dogs for many different reasons. We chose the Boerboel, pronounced Boo-r-bull. Boerboel is a South African Mastiff. Loosely translated to farmers dog. I won’t go into any breed specific except that they are big, lovable, goofy, athletic and loyal. If you’re thinking of getting one, do your research. Talk to lots of owners. Talk to lots of breeders. They are not for the faint of heart. Now that this crap is out of the way, let’s have a story time.
This morning at about 6:00 am, maybe a tad earlier. The Guinea fowl started going off along with a couple roosters. Let me tell you Guinea are mean and rotten critters. They are bullies to all the other animals including the local wildlife. Their noise level is atrocious. They are supposed to be good alert birds. Well I guess they are if you want them alerting to a freaking leaf blowing across the ground. We usually ignore them because there is nothing around.
This morning, we were wrong! They started going off in typical Giunea fashion. We ignored them for a couple minutes. But Mr. Goose, our Boerboel noticed something different in their screams and was alerting us to a problem. We also ignored Goose. Why? Simple really, he also alerts to a leaf blowing or twig snapping. I know, I know, we have trained him to be this way.
Well about 30 or 45 seconds go buy and Goose isn’t calming down, the Guinea are out of control, one of the roosters is off his rocker. I decide to get up off my lazy ass and go check it out. As soon as I stand up Goose knows what is up and is in protection mode and go mode.
We head out immediately Goose heads to the back of the cabin. That where the Guineas are making a racket. Goose puts his nose in the air tail straight up, sniffing around try to locate the danger. He finds something and jumps into action. He blazes to the forest line towards the awful Guinea racket. He goes in and all the Guinea come flying back. Shit! Has he run into the forest straight into danger? What the hell. We have one of those training collars that beep, vibrate and shock. We have only had to use up to the vibrate mode. It wasn’t working, crap! Something really must be wrong. Another bear? Mountain lion? There have been a couple sightings in the area. A wolf? A neighbor on the other side of the creek shot one not to long ago. My mind is spinning a thousand ways and directions. I’m listening for sounds in the forest, laying on the vibrate button. Afraid to hit the electric shock part. But, Goose needs to come back and be visible. His stop command and recall are normally spot on.
After about a minute which seemed like forever. I heard a bark up the mountain. Finally you jackass. I looked to the direction of the bark. I see Goose and another dog. Not a domesticated dog either. From where I am the distance is about 150 feet maybe a bit more. This other canine is slightly uphill from Gooses position and appears to be about the same size as Goose. Goose stands at almost 32 inches at the withers and is around 130 pound. My first thought is holy fuck a wolf! How cool is that? I snap back to reality, call Goose back and the canine runs off up the mountain.
With Goose back at our side UN damaged, the most important part. He is standing looking in the direction of the canine, tail straight up in the air and quivering. Kind of like how your hands, arms and legs will shake with a burst of adrenaline. We watch and look around for a couple of minutes. Life is good again.
Do I think it was a wolf? I really can’t be sure. The distance and change in elevation plays a big role. More than likely it was a coyote.
Where was Gabby you ask? She was inside literally bouncing off the walls trying to come and help.
Toni didn’t bring Gabby when she came out. Why? She was protecting her from running off into the forest to help Goose.
I do think we will have to hit the training more. His stop command is normally spot on, didn’t work this time. Like it did when he chased the bear away. I will be reaching out to his grandma’s to take this to the next level. The last thing we want is Goose and Gabby blindly running into what could be a very dangerous situation. In a way I’m glad this happened. It lets me know that we need to escalate his training to another level or at the bare minimum double down on what he already has been trained on.
As I sit here writing this. Goose has been whining wanting to go back out. He just wants to do his job, keep everything and everyone safe from what lurks nearby. Such a dedicated boy.
These are by far the best dogs we have owned. They are loyal, fierce, so lovable and always full of energy, super smart, stubborn, very dedicated to their job. Don’t get me wrong they will also drive you bat shit crazy!
Until next time and have an awesome day!