Erick Conard's Lucky Hit Ranch


Correcting Rough Play in Anatolians




Shadow Guarding Newborns and Nursing Pup
Shadow guarding newborn kids (and llama) while nursing a pup.



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Correcting Rough Play in Anatolians


An Anatolian pup perceives flock animals (like sheep and/ or goats) as a part of its extended pack. A pup with good working genetics can learn to fit into its flock by engaging in behaviors that are acceptable to the herd if it has been provided an environment that automatically rewards good behaviors and punishes improper behaviors.

Without proper feedback (i.e. without a whine and/or a growl) from goats or sheep that a pup's play is too rough, the pup imagines his friend and pack member (a sheep or goat) is enjoying the rough play as much as the pup is and does not realize he is hurting or tearing his "friend." When the pup plays with its littermates and bites too hard, the littermate will protest with a whine or a growl, so the aggressive pup understands it is being too rough. Sheep and goats will never whine or growl, so we rely on the animal, or its dam, to provide the feedback by butting the pup.

It is vital that the owner immediately correct rough play by providing the type of feedback the pup understands - physical punishment from flock animals that are being mistreated by the pup. Physical punishment will only be provided by sheep or goats strong enough to stand up against the pup. However, teaching animals must NOT be bad tempered and excessively aggressive or the pup will not learn to love its flock. Good teaching animals must be strong enough to immediately stop the bad behavior. They also must immediately stop their aggression when the pup shows submission. All teaching animals unable to immediately stop rough play in a pup must be removed without delay!!!

As the pup matures, the level of strength necessary in the teaching animals surrounding the pup usually needs to increase, so the animals with the pup are likely to need to be changed out for new and more dominant animals. It is vital that you change the teaching animals the FIRST MOMENT you see your pup get away with inappropriate play.


There are only two easy points to remember:

1. NEVER allow a pup to stay with animals too weak to demand and receive the pup's immediate respect!
2. NEVER place overly aggressive or vicious animals with a pup since an abusive flock animal may interfere with proper bonding or even injure the pup!






Shadow On Far Hill Guarding Goats

When Shadow's pups are five weeks old, she starts leading her goats to Far Hill again!



Kahn Slowly and Carefully moves Toward Birthing Goat and Kids

Kahn knows he must move slowly and cautiously toward my nanny and her newborn kids!





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