Since I discovered Coco was afraid of going down stairs, I decided we should practice. (Because I was tired of carrying her to visit the chickens.) So I had the bright idea that I would carry her halfway down the stairs, put her down, then run to the bottom and call her to come to me.
Coco loves to visit the chickens with me. How could she resist?
It was clearly a brilliant plan.
And worked like a charm.
Down, down, she came.
Oh, wait, that’s up.
And there was no cajoling her down. She’s a wuss! My livestock guardian dog is a wuss! A cute, adorable, ball o’ fluff wuss! She went back upstairs and ordered a sparkly purse from QVC and painted her nails purple! We’re doomed!
Don’t tell the coyotes!!!
Sarah in Sanford says:
Maybe she will come for a piece of food. That always works with me. If somebody waves a piece of cake in front of me I’ll follow them anywhere!
On July 3, 2008 at 7:11 am
Her backend is as cute as her front!! LOL That picture of her looking backwards is adorable and contest worthy. I great caption would be, “The pooch wears Prada” or “Did someone say Macy’s roadtrip” LOL
Some friends of ours have GP’s and swear that they dont handle them much because they are a gaurd dog?? I asked her how they trained them to be ‘protective’ – her answer was that they ‘just are’ – no training involved. A fellow on my way to work has sheep, Llama’s and he has 2 GP’s in with them. I stopped to talk to him one day and asked him about training them. He said – you guessed – I dont…. He bought his first ‘pair’ that he ended up breeding – and left them with the sheep ALL THE TIME. He said he doesnt handle them to much, but that they are naturally gaurdians. I have watched them patrol the fence line and when I came close to the fence – one dog would move the sheep away from the fence while the other one watched me CLOSELY!! LOL pretty cool huh? The question I had for him was – How can you NOT handle them when they are SO FRIGIN CUTE AND LOVABLE!!!! LOL Good luck with the puppy wannbe prom queen! LOL
On July 3, 2008 at 7:13 am
Julie Andrea in Englehart, ON says:
Thank you for my Coco fix of the day. ‘Our’ cute little ball of fluffy love is posing in that last picture, I swear!
On July 3, 2008 at 7:18 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
The people we got her from told us not to handle her too much, too. And truly I don’t handle her a lot. (Not as much as I want to! It’s hard! But I try to remember that she “belongs” to the goats and has an important job.) We don’t have the goat enclosure finished yet, though, so she’s spending most of her time on the porch where I can keep her in with the gates. As soon as the fencing is done on the goat enclosure, she’ll go down there–no doubt, carried, LOL.
On July 3, 2008 at 7:22 am
She is cute. I would have a worthless herding dog. Good for you on staying strong. :flying:
On July 3, 2008 at 7:29 am
What a precious thing! I am in awe of your strength. I don’t think I am strong enough NOT to be all over that sweet baby, even though that would hurt her. Good for you to be giving her the chance to be what she is! Hey, it’s pouring here AGAIN. Want some rain? We are at 36″ so far this year. Ridiculous amount. I will be happy to share with anyone!
On July 3, 2008 at 7:29 am
Meghan Rosenstengel says:
You could try putting her dinner dish on the ground and put her on the bottom step. She will probably come down to eat. If not, place a barrier gate so she can’t go up the stairs.
The next time you feed her, put her one step up from the bottom and keep adding a step. Make sure she is good and hungry and maybe add something extra tasty to her bowl.
She’ll get the hang of it!
On July 3, 2008 at 7:45 am
A wuss guard dog. Interesting. 😆 Well, at least she’s so darn cute!
On July 3, 2008 at 7:55 am
Well she figured out stairs..she just only figured out how to operate them in one direction 😉
On July 3, 2008 at 7:58 am
She is an adorable dog. I bet when her job is ready for her, she’ll be ready.
We were at a 4th of July party last year that had a lot of kids. The Australian Herd Dog they had was continually attempting to herd the kids. It was so funny to watch.
The owner said the dog was great at keeping their kids out of harm’s way. Guess it’s the same principle with real kids.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:01 am
Remember everybody – she’s just a baby! We don’t expect our human babies to take off down the stairs immediately. Coco will come around soon enough. I’d definitely have a hard time resisting her as a house dog! She’s 100% Beautiful!
On July 3, 2008 at 8:06 am
Kim A. says:
Not handle her too much? Okay, I get that from a working dog perspective, but I just wouldn’t be able to resist all that cuteness. I’d be cuddling her and playing with her all day!
As others have suggested, try luring her down with food — a favourite treat, perhaps. Put it on the last step, or even put several pieces on various steps. I would think it has to be smelly and really dog-yummy. LOL.
I dunno…I haven’t had any dogs in my life since I was 16.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:08 am
I was going to suggest that you put her on the bottom step , sit down and call her. Eventually conditioning her to come down from step 2, then 3 etc.
So, human socialization isn’t recommended. Interesting. I guess it is necessary for them to bond with the flock. So how much longer before Coco meets her new family?
On July 3, 2008 at 8:13 am
Lisa L says:
Oh my so cute!!!!
On July 3, 2008 at 8:15 am
Maybe Coco is afraid of Spartacus.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:16 am
Shari C says:
She is just such a cutie. Hey! I like to order from QVC; she can come watch the programs with me and we will order lots of goodies together…after all, a guard dog needs to look her best also…right.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:22 am
Sharon Elkins says:
She is soooo cute.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:45 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
It’ll be a few more weeks before the goats come, but we’re hoping to take her to meet the goats at the goat farm soon! It might be good for her to even spend some time with Admiral and the goats for a little dog-on-dog training. We’ll see.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:46 am
Stephanie in KY says:
I just found your blog a few days ago and I LOVE it!! We’re moving out to the country soon (not quite as far ‘out’ as you guys, but still) and I can’t wait!! My first order of business is making some Grandmother Bread, then I’m going to learn to can while my husband is building a pygmy goat enclosure. 🙂
Anyway, have you tried taking her down to the bottom step or two? Put her that low, then coerce her to jump off that one step with food or something that she really likes, then move her up, one step at a time and she’ll eventually be an old pro. That’s how we taught our chihuahuas to work the steps and if they can do it, I KNOW Coco can do it!! Oh and she’s too cute.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:48 am
That is too darn funny. She is adorable though.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:52 am
Bless her heart!! My terrier did the same thing in my house when I moved to a 2-story. she got up but couldnot come down so I had to get her. not handle her too much – unreal. i would have to chain my hands down.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:53 am
My cats will do anything for a Pounce. Is there a puppy equivilent?
On July 3, 2008 at 8:56 am
no. way. could. i. do. it. i’d have my face and hands buried in that fur and smooching that sweet little face all the time.
On July 3, 2008 at 8:56 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
It IS hard. And of course I do pet her (and probably too much because it’s SO HARD not to). But when I get the urge to take her inside and drape her across my lap, I remind myself how cute the baby goats are, too, and that Coco needs to bond with them and protect them. 😥
On July 3, 2008 at 9:03 am
I am absolutely smitten with Coco!
She may never ‘do’ stairs – while you are looking :). Our Pyr, also a flock guardian, likes to do the tricky things when we blink.
We handle ours; basic training for manners at vet visits, public events, general control, etc.. The rest of the time he is free to guard in our 2 acre fenced pasture (bylaw restrictions). He loves the children-all grown now, and he interacts with each of them differently. He takes to his job instinctively, despite how we tried to train him at first.
He will react to people he doesn’t like. Our neighbor for example can be a threat. The dog knows exactly when this is and kicks in to guard mode: he has many different barks, which he has trained us to listen to. He started his barking at around 6 months, and it took about 1 year to a year and a half for us to notice consistency (we may be slow-I don’t know)- He is still teaching us. Anyway….Coco will provide you with lots of wonderful stories.
On July 3, 2008 at 9:04 am
I never had a dog that was afraid of the steps. Hopefully she will overcome it soon.
On July 3, 2008 at 9:15 am
I love Coco! I only have one step off my back porch, could she manage that? She can come live with me!
We got a collie puppy when the kids were 6, 3 and newborn. The dog would always herd the children, keeping them safe the backyard. She would not leave the side of the youngest child outside. She even took on the Monster (garbage truck) that her boy (then 8) was interested in watching. She got between the Monster and the boy, and leaned against the boy, not letting him get close to the Monster. Under normal circumstances, she hid from the Monster – unless there was a child to protect. Now I’m sad, I miss her. She passed last summer, at the remarkable age of 12.
On July 3, 2008 at 9:24 am
No….she order a Channel Bag (hence Coco) and a pair of red heels for going out of the town with the chickens, maybe even Sparticus. She doesn’t need to learn how to go down stairs, she has a chauffer to get her to the coop! Oh boy, keep Coco away from the remote and watch the mail for credit cards!
On July 3, 2008 at 9:47 am
Teri in west texas says:
I enjoy your blog and have come to check it even more often when I saw “goats” and “Coco”. My husband and I raise goats (Boer and Boer/Spanish cross) and have two Great Pyranees/Anatolian Shepherd pups. Molly was born last October and we got her at 5 weeks and immediately left her in a pen with three or four nannies that had kids that were about 2-3 weeks old. She was used to goats because the man we got her from had them as well and she was already venturing out into his pens to be with his goats. Maggie is Molly’s half sister and she was born in March. We got her at almost 5 weeks and she went immediately to the goat pen as well. I had never been around this breed of dogs before but am totally amazed at how they are with the goats. We don’t “handle” the dogs very much, but they have a very good disposition both with us and the goats. I am sold on them and if I could, I would have one in town with me. Oh, does Coco have 6 toes on her back feet?
On July 3, 2008 at 9:57 am
Debbie in Memphis says:
She is gorgeous! I don’t think there is any way under heaven that I’d be able to keep from handling her. Just looking at her pictures makes my hands itch to rub her fur.
As for the steps, I agree with the others – try putting her down closer to the bottom and enticing her with food or treats.
On July 3, 2008 at 9:59 am
Maybe you could install a slide from the porch?
On July 3, 2008 at 10:00 am
Jill S. says:
LOL, she has the most adorable tush.
On July 3, 2008 at 10:15 am
Employee No. 3699 says:
So cute! I’m Coo Coo for Coco pups!
On July 3, 2008 at 10:20 am
Yes, I can understand it being hard not to handle her too much. I never heard about that before – not handling them because they bond with the other animals to watch them – wow. Blessings.
On July 3, 2008 at 10:25 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Yes, she does have the extra toe!
On July 3, 2008 at 10:27 am
Such a cute post today, CoCo is adorable even if she is a ‘fraidy cat!! Can’t wait to see pictures of her with the goats.
Have a Happy 4th of July!
On July 3, 2008 at 10:52 am
Teri in west texas says:
Re: the extra toe — have heard it is a trait of the Great Pyranees. Our older dog doesn’t have them!! Isn’t that funny.
On July 3, 2008 at 11:15 am
Oh is that not the CUTEST pup in the world! I would prob. just go a step or two lower than her, and coax her down from there, a step at a time..I think she saw you WAY DOWN THERE and was like YIKES…I can’t do all that!!!! BABY STEPS!!!! Cute little Coco puff. LOL
Wow, the chickens are getting so big and they are such pretty colors!!!
On July 3, 2008 at 11:21 am
Kathy R says:
Fortunately you probably won’t have steps in the goat enclosure, so the problem will solve itself in time. She is cute – but I have all the Australian Shepherds I can handle (we raise them) and they like our sheep just fine. But if I ever wanted another breed of dog? You’ve sold me on GPs.
By the way, did anyone ever tell you that picking up a crying baby would spoil it? They were wrong, weren’t they?
On July 3, 2008 at 11:42 am
Shimmy Mom says:
She’ll get there! At least she’s cute.
On July 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm
I’m feeling sorry for the GP that lives next to our uncle. They live in a house with a small yard and both work and no kids. I think they wanted it for a guard dog because of the area but not sure they made the right pick. Oh but he does do steps :woof:
On July 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Tori Lennox says:
I would never be able to not handle her!!! She’s soooo cute!!!
On July 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Oh wow! It would be awful to have such a beautiful puppy and not be able to handle it. I couldn’t do it.
On July 3, 2008 at 12:59 pm
Amy Addison says:
Coco’s secret is safe with me.
On July 3, 2008 at 1:10 pm
I’ve decided against a working dog, because all I have to herd at my house is a 2 yr old cat and the officially retired 18 yr old Jack Russell terrier. And I probably won’t get another terrier, too high maintenance on grooming though hubby wouldn’t turn down a free wire-haired terrier (his childhood dog) and I wouldn’t turn down a Westie or a Cairn (my childhood favorite dog). So I think this leaves us with a German Shepherd (love ’em), an Irish Wolf Hound (lazy and love to be big lap dogs), some sort of hunting dog that’s laid back, a beagle, a cocker or some mild mannered mut. No yappie small dogs allowed. A standard poodle would be OK but they require frequent trips to the beauty shop. And painted toe nails. If the readers have suggestions… send to me on my blog (click my name). I’ll post this there and you can comment on it. THANKS!
On July 3, 2008 at 1:21 pm
Carolyn A. says:
I think she’ll get the hang of those steps soon. She’s still just a pup and the big wide world is probably spooking her. I bet she gets some confidence when she’s in Admiral’s presence. They grow up fast when another dog teaches them the ropes. xxoo
On July 3, 2008 at 1:57 pm
I could not resist that cute baby face. Good luck on the stairs!
On July 3, 2008 at 3:20 pm
Too funny. Eventually she will gallop down those stairs.
On July 3, 2008 at 3:58 pm
Looking at the pics of her actually trying to climb a step she still has a way to go for the stairs. Once she gets comfortable going up (and you can see she struggles a little) she will get the hang of going down. I would give it a month more before she has grown enough to do it comfortable. After that leave her upstairs and then go sit at the bottom. And even if she was to guard the goats I would probably still be having her on her back across my lap for a belly rub. Yeah I did that with my husky and he plops down when he can for a belly rub every night.
On July 3, 2008 at 4:02 pm
It looks like Coco has made great progress as far as climbing the steps goes! :thumbsup:
On July 3, 2008 at 4:43 pm
Jean S says:
I have to laugh, I’m sure she’ll get the hang of the steps soon enough. She is awefully cute though.
On July 4, 2008 at 1:39 am
But don’t despair. Even if she does turn out to be a wuss at taking stairs, it doesn’t mean that she won’t be a fierce guard dog.
I’ve come to realize that people who are considered “fearless” really aren’t so in all aspects of their lives. My young 4-year-old niece, whom I always considered somewhat timid, had no problems with the kiddie roller coaster while her so-called “fearless” older cousin, who had to be fished out of the lake three times before he realized that it could be dangerous to just walk into the lake off the dock, wouldn’t set foot in it at first. It was only after she survived two trips that he decided that the roller coaster might be worth a try.
I never considered that traveling all alone as a teen might be fearsome; just don’t get me anywhere where I might injure myself or get sick, like on a roller coaster. :flying:
On July 5, 2008 at 12:10 am
Kim W says:
HAHAHA!!! :rotfl: That is just TOO SWEET!! It’s a good thing she’s so cute, right? I can’t imagine how you keep your hands, and kisses, off of her! More power to ya. :no:
Blessings from Ohio…
On July 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm