Thor - the Alpaca Guard Dog
Living on the Rathdrum Prairie, in Idaho, we decided to get a guard dog to protect our Huacaya alpaca family. After researching the various breeds adept at this job we decided to get a Maremma (Italian Sheepdog).
Ron made the decision that it was time for Thor to make a visit to the vet to 'lose' a couple of his closest 'friends'. I mean the boy Thor, not Ron. After all, Thor is now 60+ pounds and 7 months old. IT IS TIME! And the appointment is made.
I asked Ron if they were going to keep Thor over night. Ron didn't know, but never mind the details.
So on Wednesday, into the truck they get (you have to have a truck to transport this dog) and off to the vet they go. Thor happy to be 'going' somewhere, and Ron happy to be having the deed done.
Day 1: After surgery: Thor is pretty good about being in the garage; I mean his meals are catered, the llama blanket that he abandoned before is becoming more attractive, he's IN THE GARAGE instead of the barn, and the humans are checking on him every few hours. This was all to Thor's liking. It may turn out the trip to the vet wasn't such a bad thing after all!
Day 2: Thor is getting restless! In need of a diversion, Ron took him with him to feed the alpacas and had NO success at 'keeping the boy quiet' (you know, jumping, running, playing, chasing, biting, running, jumping) Once outside, EVERYTHING was up for chase and play!
Day 4: We got up to discover the mess in the garage, and upon opening the door in the back towards the barn, we found PLENTY of snow to deal with!. Hmmm, need to 'plow'.
Thor was in heaven. He not only discovered snow (a NEW four-letter-word) but the fact that his collar worked REALLY WELL to scoop up the snow, then he'd throw his head high into the sky, and get a reaction from the humans at the same time (the darn dog knows which way the wind blows, and the snow went right into our faces!). GAME ON!
When I heard him chewing on the porch step again, (the same one with a good dose of cayenne pepper on it) I pulled a big cow knuckle bone out of the freezer I'd been saving for him.
Happy puppy. for now.
Just WHAT ARE WE TO DO TO KEEP HIM ENTERTAINED THE NEXT 7 DAYS???
It is now two years later and Thor has taken over his duties as a guard dog very well. We provided openings for him in all the fences allowing him to patrol all the pastures at any time. A perceived predator will get an angry barrage of barking to warn it to stay away. Sometimes it is just an errant bird that landed in the pasture or the UPS driver!
He even disciplines them, if needed! Occasionally when the alpacas get a little too frisky, Thor will get in between them to make them stop! Yet when a new cria arrives, he is as gentle as can be, sleeping near the pen all night to make certain the baby is okay.
He's an amazing dog, who gives us laughter with his antics, and peace of mind with our alpacas!
© Judi Hoaglund
January 15, 2007
All Rights Reserved
Other Alpaca Stories
Having Baby Crias
Thor - The Alpaca Guard Dog
Chasca and Chacana
The Missing Glove