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Q for those who are familiar with dogs around livestock

October 20th, 2010, 12:35 AM
One of my staff has a young huskey. The dog is just a year old. He is a runner and if he gets off leash he will bolt most of the time. She lives just outside of town and walks him in farmer's fields a lot.

The other day she was walking/running him and he saw something across the field. He took off and was gone. That night she was worried sick but couldn't find him. The next morning she was up bright and early hoping he'd found his way home. Nope.

Turns out he went on a farmer's land who raises sheep. The dog killed 2, 1 had to be put down and 7 were injuried!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She felt fortunate that the farmer and his wife were really, really nice people and only tied the dog up. She said she realized he had every right to shoot him.

She felt so horrible for the sheep and what they must have went through.

Thus far she's had to pay the farmer $900 and there may be more depending on the vet bills for the injured sheep.

What I am wondering is, what are the chances this dog will do this again now that he has done it once? Is there a way to acclimate a dog to farm animals? He is good around other dogs, horses, cows, people, etc. The worst part is the owner isn't skilled at knowing how to control this dog and he's had to obedience training. He is extremely strong and she has trouble controlling him if he decides he wants to go.

On a side note, one of my other staff has to put her beautiful huskey girl down after 16 years. I bought my business 1 year ago and since that day this dog has come to the store each day and stayed in the back stock room (it's big and bright). She became a member of the staff pretty much. Everyone knows they can take her for a walk anytime during working hours and we all take turns taking her out to go to the bathroom. First thing I do each day when I come to work is say hi to her as I walk in the back door.

In the last few weeks her health declined rapidly and today was the day they decided it was cruel to prolong things. The euthinasia is scheduled for tomorrow. So sad as this girl has become a part of our daily lives.

Here's Bailly with her mom in happier times (2 years ago). She has those light, ice blue eyes that is common in the breed. You can't see it in the pictures, though. We'd have delivery guys come in the back door and stop he minute they saw her. Those eyes can be deceiving as she really is a gentle dog. (

Not looking forward to 5:00pm tomorrow. :rip: ?Bailly

All of my staff are animal lovers and it is a beautiful and bonding thing, yet at the same time it make it difficult for all of us at work when things like this happen to our pets.

October 20th, 2010, 09:38 AM
dracko,i have no advice about the pup attacking sheep,but it must have been a teribble experience for everyone involved,including the poor sheep.
as for beautiful bailly,at 16yrs old,she must have had a wonderful life,but it won't make it any easier this afternoon,i am so sorry:(

October 20th, 2010, 09:46 AM
Hi Draco

All of the "spitz" group of dogs, ( long hair & tail on back), have origins that lay in strong prey drives and strong hunting instincts. They are not herders, so possess very little inhibition when it comes to tracking, attacking, killing and consuming other animals.

Frankly these dogs should never be off leash this way BECAUSE of the fact they take off to go hunting. A lot of these dogs get shot at by farmers, they disturb wild life and basically and not interested in "heeling" with owners when out hunting.

Please tell your friend that the chances of this dog doing this again are absolutely excellent, it's part of the dog's makeup to be a natural hunter. ( This is where breed research always comes in handy) - Know Your Breed :) - her dog is much safe on lead, even if it's a long lead. Mals, Huskies, chows, etc are hunting dogs.

October 20th, 2010, 10:05 AM
I agree with MH and her suggestions. Chances are pretty good he'll do it again. A long lead is what will keep both other animals and your friend's dog safe.

Even with 4 years of training, our Lucky is not 100% reliable off-leash if instinct kicks in and he's after something. I can call him off about 80% of the time before he starts the chase but it's next to impossible once he's already taken off. We just don't take any chances now.

Sorry to hear about Bailly :(.

October 20th, 2010, 10:10 AM
MerlinsHope and Luckypenny are absolutely correct. This WILL happen again should the opportunity arise. This breed have a very high prey drive. You must also be very careful with cats btw.

The dog should not be off leash. She is very lucky that the farmer did not shoot the dog which he is in all rights to do so I am sorry to say.

October 20th, 2010, 10:35 AM
Dracko, a Samoyed and a Border Collie were loose and wandering here many years ago and before they could be stopped they had mauled 50 sheep, all of which died even when the wounds didn't look that bad. Both dogs were shot. Your friend is lucky it didn't happen to her dog too . I would not trust that Husky not to kill again if it gets the chance and even on a long lead he should not be taken near sheep. They know a predator when they see one and why even scare them? They're such gentle animals.

October 20th, 2010, 11:20 AM
I couldn't agree more with all of the above statements. It WILL happen again if the dog is allowed off leash. I have 2 Mals, and no matter how well you think they are trained, if that prey drive kicks in and they're off leash, there's no stopping them. I hear people say, all the time, "my dog is 100% recall trained". No northern breed is guaranteed recall 100% of the time, they are closely related to the wolf and have those instincts. If instinct kicks in, you're out of control.

October 20th, 2010, 11:40 PM
I really appreciate your replies I had the feeling that if a dog shows the instinct to this type of behavior it is something that would most likely occur again. Right now she is telling me she won't take him off a leash, etc. BUT her yard isn't fenced and he stays tethered up. I can't tell you the number of times she has called to say she'd be late for work because she had to go find her dog! Not a good sign.

Plus, with him being a huskey she is gonna have to take him somewhere to allow him to run I'll have a talk with her and tell her what you guys have said. She is inexperienced with a dog like this and I want to make sure she understands fully. I'm confident she will listen but she seriously needs to invest in a fence!

And Bailly's time came to an end today. It was sad for all of us. :cry: We know she is playing with her brother who died of Blastomycosis last year.

October 21st, 2010, 08:53 AM
Drako - if she is inexperienced with this breed, perhaps get her to look up the breed characteristics/behaviour on the web so it will help her understand her dog better and what she needs to do to ensure that her dog is well cared for mentally and physically.

October 21st, 2010, 09:17 AM
I'm truly sorry to hear about your Bailly. Sincere sympathies

As for your friend, I'll broaden my statement that her problem is not just with this breed of dog, but with any dog. She needs to learn about responsible pet ownership and it doesn't take a fence to do that. Plenty of people who own dogs don't have fences, but are excellent pet owners who look after their dogs and don't just open the door to let them out, nor are they tied permanently.

Conversely, there are loads of dogs that are abandoned to their back yards and never get to see the front of the yard again, some, never get back into the house.

Your friend needs to take a good look at why she has this dog in the first place. Maybe she's not ready to own a dog.
Sorry to be so verbose, but I'm in rescue and I see too many of these types of stories. I see too many dogs getting hurt from running amuck, I see too many dogs in shelters because owners didn't take the time to properly consider all the ramifications of dog ownership.


Our article on Long Lining ( which by the way clearly states that no recall is ever 100% failproof, no matter what the breed)

You're a good friend for trying to help this person.

October 21st, 2010, 09:34 AM
MerlinsHope - very well said. I could not have written nor communicated this better. My thoughts exactly.

October 22nd, 2010, 05:38 AM
Why thank you BenMax.
Truly kind of you!