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DPW
09-17-2009, 08:03 AM
I chose to post this story in behavior discussions because of how Cider dealt with a coyote yesterday morning.
When I stepped out of the house yesterday morning as it was just getting light I had a feeling there was a coyote near by. Our goats are separated into two groups now. Some does with a buck in one pasture and the rest in another. All goats in both groups were looking in the same direction. I've seen them doing this twice before and both times I've spotted a coyote.
When I let Cider out of his pen he ran down to where our neighbor has about 16 cows and their two and three day old calves. We lease part of our property to him. Cider disappears around the bottom of the hill. He's not barking so I'm not too concerned. Cider suddenly comes running back into view with a coyote chasing him. I run to the house for the rifle.
When I get back the coyote is pacing on the far side of four cows and calves. Too close to take a shot so I watch. Cider is standing off to the side watching also. The cows were doing their best to stay between their calf and the coyote but the coyote could eventually get to the calf. When it did Cider would run in and hit the coyote with a body block. The coyote would then chase Cider for twenty, thirty feet, stop, and go back to the cows. Cider would turn and walk back to where the action was taking place and when the coyote again got near a calf he would fly in and throw another body block, coyote would chase off Cider, and again return to the cows. I watched Cider throw four body blocks.
I tried to move to a better position and the coyote saw me and ran. With Cider close behind. The coyote turned and chased Cider back a bit then continued to run for the trees. By this time he was far out of range for my 30-30 so I whistled and Cider came back.
At first I was a little disappointed that Cider was not more aggressive but then realized that at only one year of age if he had been I might have had a sizeable vet bill for treating a chewed up dog. Cider was not a lot bigger than the coyote.
I remember reading previous posts here where some of you have described the body blocks thrown by your Pyr's at other dogs during play. So this seems to be an example of instinctual LGD behavior on display. But this time the stakes were a little higher.
We're pretty proud of Cider. And all is quiet this morning.

Topper
09-17-2009, 08:52 AM
That is so cool. I would be on cloud nine if mine did that. We don't have any livestock to watch. We have five acres. My 11 month old topper get restless once in a while and ask to go outside 1-2-3 o'clock in the morning. I let him out and he just lays in the front yard looking out over the hill. I never tell him no because I am sure he hear something and it is his job.

SgtBaxter
09-17-2009, 11:51 AM
Bear loves to go out at night and jump up on the picnic table on our deck. He'll set out there for hours and contently scan the treeline - even though it's only 50 ft away.

He also does the whole body block thing, only he does it to me! He gets excited when I get home and runs around like a maniac and jumps up and flies right into me a half dozen times or so. Pretty comical.

nick's spirit
09-17-2009, 12:51 PM
I say Cider deserves an extra treat for that job!! Well done!!
Wait til that coyote comes back and Cider is at full maturity....what a shock he'll get...it will probably take only one body slam...and maybe not even that...when he sees Cider running after him, he'll probably decide he doesn't want any part of Cider!! Interesting that a coyote would even want to tangle with him, guess he was hungry & a one on one situation didn't scare him.

Jewel
09-17-2009, 01:15 PM
I wonder if the coyote knows that Cider is still young and therefore it tries to go after livestock notwithstanding Cider is there?

DPW, can you describe what you mean by "body block"? Does Cider run smack into the coyote to push it off course or something like that? Head first, body first, head on, from the side?? I am wondering if my dogs do similar type of moves by instinct when they play.

mills1950
09-17-2009, 06:22 PM
That is a great story!! I guess my thought is---I am glad only one coyote. Here in Texas coyotes' feed in packs usually 5+ or more. Our coyote's must be alot smaller---they are no way near the size of Pyr and all very thin---perhaps 40lbs.
This happened to Blitz and Krieg two weeks ago. I went to my farm about 6am to go feed the horses, cows, etc. I was at the gate undoing the lock and I could hear B&K barking like I have never heard before. Barely sunrise, so I drive in and see that B&K have all the animals herded in corner of the fence----I look real close to see what was going on and see a new born Longhorn amongst the group---only minutes old----over to my right I see 7 coyotes feeding on the afterbirth. Since I didnt have a rifle with me and knowing that B&K had everything under control---I sat in my car watching quietly what was going to happen next. It was very interesting----three of coyote's would separate from the group several times ---IMO to get one of Pyrs to chase them-----neither B or K fell for that trick----they stayed protecting the herd. I had always heard that coyote's would do that----try to separate the Pyrs and then attack each one as a group--with the Pyrs apart from each other. I must have watched this for 10-15 min and then finally my lazy donkey's finally ran the coyote's off. Guard donkeys what a joke---they must have been taking a siesta -----anyone want some useless hay burning donkeys????

DPW
09-17-2009, 07:04 PM
In response to Nick and Jewels posts.
Nick, we have raised Cider to play a dual role on our farm. Livestock guardian and semi family pet. Not an easy feat according to some. And a view I mostly agree with.
We invite people to our farm via the fresh produce stand we have on the property. We also raise and sell meat goats. Goat buyers and people in general like to see the goats. Especially families with young children. And we like nothing better than to show off Cider and his herd of goats to people. The last thing we need is an overly aggressive dog.
Ciders easy going manner coupled with his young age could be the reason the coyote didn't run at the sight of him. Winter is just around the corner and now is the time that predators need to put on weight. That fact makes them a little bolder.
This was one of the largest coyotes I've seen here. Smaller than the coyotes I used to see in Wyoming but not much smaller than Cider. And I'm guessing older and wiser.
Jewel, what I saw Cider do was wait till the coyote was engaged with a calf then run in from twenty feet or so and kind of side swipe him. Leading with his shoulder, head down. Didn't matter what direction the coyote was facing. Cider would run in and hit him with his shoulder and just run on by. The obviously aggrivated coyote would chase after Cider but as soon as the coyote turned to go back to the calves Cider would stop, turn around, and wait for the next opportunity to charge. He never knocked the coyote down but sure got his attention.
Although I saw Cider hit the coyote four times before the coyote saw me and took off the entire incident played out in probably less than thirty seconds.
Told our neighbor about this and we started talking about coyote's in general. He told me that about twenty years ago, before we bought the property next to his, he had trouble with a coyote that would kill one or two of his pregnant sheep every few nights and just eat the lamb out of her belly. Leave the rest of the meat alone.
Maybe a bit horrific for a family web site but this is the reality of what ranchers have to deal with on occasions. Mother nature is not only spring flowers and rainbows.

DPW
09-17-2009, 07:31 PM
Yes Mills, I also have heard stories of one coyote luring a dog into an ambush of five or six coyotes. Congrats to B & K for not falling for it.
This coyote seemed to be on the thin side to me but his head was about the same height as Ciders shoulders. At least that is what it looked like to me from slightly up hill and about 150 yards away.

mills1950
09-17-2009, 08:25 PM
Guess the moral to the whole story is-----Pyrs are the BEST in taking care of your animals, property, YOU. Since B&K have been on duty havent lost an animal---whether it be a cow, goat, duck, goose, chicken, etc They seem to watch over them all. My lake went dry this year with the drought here, until recently, however all the ducks and geese survived with no water to escape to. I can now free range chickens when before when I tried all I would find would be feathers the next day. Please doesnt anyone want some useless hay burning donkeys??? Guard donkey's what a joke.

Jewel
09-18-2009, 08:13 AM
Really great stories from both Mills and DPW!! My friends have a ranch and they have guard donkeys rather than LGDs. Truth be told, my friends are border collie people and they are not convinced pyrs are smart. About a month ago, their ram was attacked by, not coyotes, but two what looked like wolf hybrid dogs. Their ranch hand was able to chase the dogs into a pen and locked them in. The ram, who was almost a pet, was rushed to the vet but didn't make it. The sheriff's deputies (small town, no animal control dept) came out to look at the dogs, and when they walked into the pen, the dogs lunged at them and they ended up shooting the dogs. Pretty sad story. Oh, the donkeys are alive and well and unhurt in the whole incident.

Caelum
09-22-2009, 04:22 PM
One day at our local dog park ( very nice park with a 5' high fence around it) My pyr & akbash mix Caelum was running and playing with two other dogs at the far end of the park(approx. 50 yards away) When a lady and her big male boxer came in the gate, right away this boxer starts pulling on the lead braking at me. I back up to the fence with my hands in the air and out of nowhere comes Caelum at a full run, he hit the side of that boxer with a body block that would have knocked a football player off his feet, they both rolled about ten feet until Caelum jumped up and started barking and growlling at the boxer. He continuned to bark at the boxer until i got a grip on his collar and led him out the gate. After he calmed down i took him back in the park and he sniffed the some what scared boxer for a bit, then the two ran off to play. Caelum was only about seven months old at the time and about 90lb or so. Geez we have never loved a dog so much!