A Companion for Coco

Feb
18

Meet Chloe.

She’s a 2 1/2 month old Great Pyrenees with badger markings.

Great Pyrs may be all white, but they may also have markings of badger, gray, or tan. Coco has badger markings, which are easy to see here in one of her puppy pics.

Her markings became less visible as she grew, mostly just a hint of color at her ears.
IMG_2134
Chloe has more pronounced badger markings, so hers will likely remain more visible as she develops. I have a preference for badger markings in Great Pyrs. I also have a preference for females. I discussed the situation I would be bringing her into with the breeder, and was assured that if I introduced them properly, there should be no reason they can’t bond and work well together, especially since they will both be spayed females, which reduces competitiveness. (Coco is already spayed, of course.) It’s important to provide a companion for Coco as quickly as possible for her overall contentment once she is back at home–and can no longer hang on the porch. (Unfortunately, Casper is not a suitable companion in the field due to his behavior around the other animals.) The most critical element is for Coco to re-establish her turf with security and confidence then have the pup brought to her as a supplicant.

I have several goals for Chloe that I’ll be working with over the next weeks and months. I’m not a believer that LGDs should not be bonded with both family and flock. It’s the balance that’s important. First, I need Chloe to bond with me enough to obey me. I also need her to walk on a leash, and to clamber willingly into my car. She needs enough attachment to me to cooperate with me. I kept her in the house last night, and started leash-training her as soon as we got her home.


Chloe sitting soulfully by her leash, which is clipped to the goat yard fence, already associating the leash with something good–a walk with a Person!

Coco runs away if you so much as pick up a leash in her presence, and she generally resists getting into vehicles. These are failures on my part, and through Chloe, I hope to gradually do some remedial training with Coco. By instilling a better balance with Chloe in her attachments and behavior, and bonding her carefully with Coco, I’ll have an opportunity to come in the back door with Coco a little bit, and hopefully gradually change her attitude on a couple of issues. I won’t always have Morgan here with me to help me get a big dog into a car.

Chloe needs, of course, to start developing her relationship with the sheep and goats immediately. I took her to do chores with me this morning, making introductions at the fence line to these scary characters.

It’s a little intimidating in there for a puppy.

She’ll start now spending most of her time with the goats, but I’ll continue taking her on walks, or just to do chores, on a leash.

My goal is to get her to look forward to something fun when she sees a leash, and also to jump voluntarily into my vehicle. Morgan is starting track soon, which is a simple there-and-back for pick-up, and I’ll be taking Chloe.

When Coco returns, the scenario will depend on the variables involved regarding the timing and the status of Coco’s healing. She will, no doubt, be immediately aware of the puppy’s presence on the farm, but I will not bring Coco into a field with the puppy but rather bring the puppy to Coco’s field, and only put them together once Coco is back on all four feet. The details will depend on the variables, but affirming Coco’s dominance–both to Coco and to the puppy–will be crucial in their successful working relationship.

In the end, the goal is to have two happy LGDs in the field, working well together, content, and cooperative with their human when I need them to be. The puppy can learn a lot from Coco, but if they bond well, Coco can learn something from the puppy, too. And right now, while it may still be a week or even two before Coco can come home, it gives me some time to work with Chloe separately and establish some parameters.

It’s also a lot for a puppy to take in all at once, so it will good for her to settle down in her surroundings before meeting the Queen.

Imagine being a puppy and meeting so many strange “people” at one time.



Casper did fine with the introductions, by the way. He won’t be spending a lot of direct time with the puppy, but he didn’t seem to mind her too much. Maude was pleased with the puppy’s arrival as it took all the other cats’ attention off of her.

I let Morgan stay home from school and go with me to pick up Chloe. After a distinctly traumatic experience the past couple weeks, it was a much-needed bright spot.

While there is a lot of work to be done, sometimes you just need to stop and smell the puppy breath. A puppy doesn’t come along very often. I intend to enjoy it.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on February 18, 2012  

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Comments

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  1. 2-18
    12:14
    pm

    Beautiful!!! And I love her name. :heart:

  2. 2-18
    12:15
    pm

    Ah, she is beautiful. Only a few trips with her person in the car will have her happy to go anytime you want.
    She and Coco will have a great time and do a fine job of running the farm.

  3. 2-18
    12:15
    pm

    :woof: I love Chloe!! There is nothing sweeter, in my opinion, that a sweet puppy kiss along with puppy breath!
    She is beautiful and I cant wait until she and Coco will be able to pal around together. She has a good Mommy-person.

  4. 2-18
    12:35
    pm

    The cutest pup ever~~just look at that puppy face~~ My little Dachshund is named Chloe,so I love it already.

  5. 2-18
    12:38
    pm

    I love that you have this so well thought out. Did you ever hear the phrase “If you want to make God laugh, just make plans”? lol Just kidding :) In all seriousness, it sounds great. And the new kitty…she is as BEAUTIFUL as Chloe is cute! Welcome home you lucky critters <3

  6. 2-18
    12:56
    pm

    Both your girls are beautiful!
    I was vaguely irritated by some previous comments (not on this post) that were so quick to tell you how to handle things. Maybe they mean well, but I really don’t know how you put up with it! I do like that you are able to not take it too personally, and instead write out your next post addressing some of the concerns without embarrassing anyone.

  7. 2-18
    1:08
    pm

    Chloe is gorgeous! I hope her new life there works out wonderfully for you, her, and Coco.

    p.s. I like Jane L’s comment. :)

  8. 2-18
    1:20
    pm

    Lil’ Chloe has her marching orders set before here! Aren’t you glad this all occurred whilst you did not have daily milking chore(s)!

  9. 2-18
    1:27
    pm

    Question for you Suzanne re: Coco. You seem to be a very bright and capable woman. Why are they keeping Coco at the vet when they could discharge her and teach you how to change her bandages and monitor her condition? It isn’t that hard to do. (Temp, gums, swelling, redness, bandages). I’ve had my vets teach me how to change catheters in a goat before and that was a lot harder than leg dressings. You can do this! Plus, it will save you A LOT of money not having her in 24 hour supportive care offsite. Just a suggestion….

  10. 2-18
    1:28
    pm

    Chloe is adorable! I love her name, although I am somewhat biased considering I had a much loved Westie named Chloe and my great-niece is named Chloe as well! I love her badger markings. I am so happy for you and Morgan (and Coco and Chloe)!

  11. 2-18
    1:49
    pm

    I have not spoken in anything other than gibberish since the first photo! Adorable!!! And definitely enjoy the puppy breath. Enjoy some extra puppy breath for those of us stuck in apartments (for the time being) as well!

  12. 2-18
    2:13
    pm

    Oh my goodness! Another giant puppy! Makes me giddy, I want to snuggle up in all that puppy fur.
    you are doing this all so right, for you and the critters. Just think, soon spring will be here and Morgan will have a new critter too! I can’t wait to see how all this fun turns out! (PS I am a tad jealous. I’d love a new puppy, but I think I need to stop my dog fur babies at three)
    Welcome home Chloe and Maudde too, if I failed to say that the other day.

  13. 2-18
    2:13
    pm

    oh my word. yet another adorable face at Sassafras Farm. savor the puppy time – it all goes by very fast. I look forward to getting to know this new addition to your beautiful family. :hug:

  14. 2-18
    2:35
    pm

    Wonderful! I read about a farmer’s two Great Pyrs. They were male and female. They worked this out all by themselves. The female took the day shift (and the male napped), then she slept at night and he was alert working the night shift! I think that is amazing.

  15. 2-18
    3:02
    pm

    My mother worked with a Dept of Labor program where she had to inspect sheep wagons. She said it was so hard not to pet the Great Pyr dogs that were working with the herders, but those are the rules in sheep camps.

    I like your dual bonding–animals and people. There is no way I could ever not pet that wonderful girl, expecially those badger ears.

  16. 2-18
    3:04
    pm

    Sooooooo cute. It sounds like you have given a lot of thought about how to incorporate Chloe into the fold. I’m glad. Coco needs to be queen! But Chloe is ultra cute!!!!

  17. 2-18
    3:11
    pm

    Chloe is so adorable! And Maude is a pretty cat. I’m so glad Jane L. made that comment…..as that is what I wanted to say. Some of the comments are an insult to your intelligence and offend me too. Concern is one thing so I hope people think next time about their comments. Glad to see a picture of Glory Bee today!
    Bonnie from Iowa

  18. 2-18
    3:14
    pm

    Cuteness overload!
    I love Maudes face <- rub rub rub!
    Chloe and Coco will look so much alike as Chloe gets older. Coco will learn from what you are teaching Chloe and vice versa. It's all good! =)

    Pam

  19. 2-18
    3:44
    pm

    Yes, the puppy is adorable, but what I really love is that picture of Casper. One of your best, imho.

  20. 2-18
    4:02
    pm

    Too Cute! :clover:

  21. 2-18
    4:26
    pm

    Chloe is as beautiful as her name. Blessings to Sassafras Farm!

  22. 2-18
    4:47
    pm

    Congratulations! Chloe is beautiful. Sounds like you’re approaching your puppy’s training the very same way we are. Ours is two weeks older. Looking forward to all her adventures!

  23. 2-18
    4:54
    pm

    Two heartmeltingly gorgeous new arrivals in the last few days, I KNOW that you’ll make all the introductions to make Coco still be top dog, and yet tweek the little issues with her too.
    I shall smile broadly when I think of both Maude and Chloe’s sweet faces :heart:

  24. 2-18
    4:56
    pm

    She is beautiful!!

  25. 2-18
    5:08
    pm

    You lucky duck! Chloe is lovely. It’s funny, I have a great pyrenees
    as well, and one of my cat’s name is Chloe, so we seem to have that in common. I an so glad that Coco is doing well. My Pyr Holly was also hit by a car a few years ago. Thank God that they are sturdy dogs.She was fine, but to this day when we go for walks, if a vehicle is really loud she gets nervous. Anyway, enjoy the puppy breath, they grow up too fast!

  26. 2-18
    5:23
    pm

    Is Chloe’s tail docked?

  27. 2-18
    5:25
    pm

    No, her tail isn’t docked! She tucks it under a lot.

  28. 2-18
    5:45
    pm

    An aside: Suzanne, most of my dobies willingly jumped into car. However, new car was longer so there was not enough room to jump in by back lift gate. Pooch needed to go in through back driver side door. Only she thought it was too narrow. Devised a ramp..she used it.
    Glad I did, especially when she began to show signs of degenerative myleopathy and simply could not jump in car, no matter which door was offered. (I could not lift her in. . . ) Ramp was a lifesaver for vet visits, car travel.

  29. 2-18
    6:44
    pm

    Suzanne,
    We taught my daughters 12 wk.old puppy Bella (a Papillion) to sit AND come with out mistakes in 15 minutes! Never underestimate the power of a few choice bits of roast chicken. Maybe Chloe can teach Coco a leash and the car mean a treat and a short joyride. All roads don’t lead to the vet!
    Best of success in your endeavors.
    Laura

  30. 2-18
    7:21
    pm

    That might be the cutest puppy I have ever seen – except for my 2 when they were puppies of, course. Wish I was there so I could give here a big hug!

  31. 2-18
    7:26
    pm

    such a gorgeous pup…. I didn’t realize they had to be trained to guard….how do you keep them from running off?
    Another idea…. have you ever thought of a llama as a guard for the sheep and goats?I would give my left arm and maybe even a leg for one of those critters! their wool is great also. I just think of you as a llama gal!!!!

  32. 2-18
    8:55
    pm

    What a beautiful pup. She is just adorable and I’m glad you are going to train her before she gets bad habits. I hope everyone gets along great.

  33. 2-18
    10:04
    pm

    Chloe is absolutely adorable. I said after our last dog died 5 years ago-no more dogs. Seeing this puppy makes me want one. Oh no.

  34. 2-18
    10:54
    pm

    :snoopy: she is soooo cute! And I like how your going to work them together when COCO gets home!
    So happy COCO is going to be home with you all soon. :snoopy:

  35. 2-18
    11:13
    pm

    How precious is that face-she’s gonna be a wonderful asset to your farm. Enjoy her! I just know that Coco is going to love her =)

  36. 2-19
    1:04
    am

    Chloe is simply gorgeous! Enjoy!

  37. 2-19
    5:28
    am

    bbkrehmeyer, they don’t need to be trained to guard, that is the breed instinct. The training is for the leash and the car! Re running off, that’s the fence that stops that.

  38. 2-19
    7:53
    am

    Chloe is a beautiful puppy! Now Suzanne, you know puppies are like kids. I just know that Chloe will tell Coco that she has been in her field. LOL

  39. 2-19
    9:14
    am

    As everyone says Chloe is beautiful. And you are on a great start with her!! Yes take her in the car a little at a time when you go out. It does not take long for them to realize that car rides are fun. And working with the leash asap is also great. She looks like a bright puppy.

    Coco seems like a calm dog that accepts other animals very easily I do not think she will have any trouble with this little girl.

    Maude is beautiful as well. Makes me want another cat. Love the photo of Caper as well. lol. That dog has no worries in life. He is the king of his own world I think. :)

  40. 2-19
    9:52
    am

    Beautiful Chloe!! You put so much into research and learning from mistakes-we should all learn from your example Suzanne!! Have fun-love the idea of car trips for a short fun thing-getting Morgan qualifies so for that for Chloe!! Enjoy your new pups!! And prayers continuing for Cocos health and return to her home and loves!!~~Rain :happyflower:

  41. 2-19
    11:11
    am

    Oh what a sweetie! Makes me want to get another pyr puppy. We already have two. I don’t know how Max and Holly (6 yrs old and 5 yrs old) would take to a new puppy. Enjoy her. Just like kids-they grow up so fast.

  42. 2-19
    12:07
    pm

    To me, Maude looks like there might have been a lynx rascal in her distant family tree. Are there lynx in your area?

  43. 2-19
    5:16
    pm

    She is adorable!

    Good idea to take her with you in the car often, especially to pick up Morgan. She should associate the trips with good times…..not visits to the vet.

    Good luck with her training.

  44. 2-20
    1:42
    pm

    Congrats on the new puppy! LGD’s are a MUST on a farm…at least ours is. We have an Akbash which has a tiny bit of Pyr in his breeding. Since my hubby works nights I feel perfectly safe with our big boy guarding the farm. The only bad thing is….we had two Shih Tzu’s before he came to live with us as a 9 week old puppy. The female is a little terror with the cats and the chickens and unfortunately Shep has learned from her that chickens are easy prey but you better chase them when Mom’s not looking or Mom will come running with the broom! He loves the cats and the horses and the other dogs but if a chicken get’s out of the pen and we don’t see it….he’ll catch it ..he won’t kill it but will wait until it dies THEN he’ll eat it. That is unless hubby or I catch him first. Anyway…It’s a good idea to keep the pup away from Casper and let Coco train her. She’s a good girl. Have fun!

  45. 2-29
    5:46
    pm

    I love the dogs’ names. I knew a Great Pyrenees once and they are so beautiful and sweet.

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