Here on Roanoke Creek Ranch, there are usually three opportunities per day for goat dog training.
- The early morning feeding
- Mid-morning open range rumination
- Late afternoon open range rumination
Generally, the youngest member of the goat dog team comes along for early morning feeding. The interaction is safe, and the pup/young dog gets face time with the goats without any risk of confrontation or injury. This is a short, 10-minute session.
The two later rumination slots are rotated between the team members. In these forty-five minute interactions, the dogs learn to establish boundaries, let the goats eat, and put them away when we’re done.
In addition to these training slots with the herd, each goat dog gets a two-to-three-hour recess in the 1 acre, wooded dog run. Sometimes alone, sometimes with one other dog. This open time satisfies his or her exercise requirements for the day and provides plenty of opportunity to “be a dog”. We also do farm chores together, and take hikes in the woods depending upon the season.
At night when the dogs from goat team come in, they billet together in the climate-controlled dog room where I also bunk. Everyone gets a chicken-stuffed Kong before bed, which each dog looks forward to.
I believe that structure, consistency, teamwork, and a lot of quality time with the handler are what makes the best farm dog. Here at Roanoke Creek Ranch, we are completely dedicated to raising the best possible farm dogs.
Here are some photos of Xen during this morning’s early feeding.