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Coyote Night - Sleepy Guard Dogs

Sophie, the Maremma puppy, looking particularly sleepy

Last night was the first rowdy coyote night we've had. It started around dusk with a couple coyotes howling. The dogs went nuts, obviously, running to the perimeter of the farm where the noise came from. With rainfall down dramatically this year water's getting hard to come by. We still have a little bit of water in our old ponds, but not a lot. Something's better than nothing, however, and I suspect that's what the coyotes are after. We do have baby goats around too, so I'm sure the coyotes aren't missing out on that either, but there's plenty of wildlife around that would be much easier prey than our goats. The goats are inside two fences, one is electric, and they have three dogs protecting them. Previously when we've seen coyotes on the property they headed straight for the north pond and then left (or were chased out). 

We figured last night that it would just be a couple howls, the coyotes would be pissed that they couldn't get to the ponds and then it would be over. Nope. The howling continued on and off all night, driving Sheba and Sophie berserk. Right now we're keeping Izzi inside the electric goat fence and letting Sheba and Sophie patrol inside the perimeter fence. With Izzi inside the electric fence the goats are guaranteed to have some protection and it helps Izzi bond with our goats. Sophie and Sheba protect the remainder of the farm (guineas, pigs, cows, etc).

Izzi inside the goat's paddock, holding down the fort

So far it's worked well, but sometimes I worry that Sheba and Sophie might not be enough. Sophie's still a puppy and her squeaky bark is a sure giveaway. Sheba's a beast, but she's only one dog. Still, coyotes tend to take the path of least resistance, and ganging up on those two girls wouldn't exactly be a trip in the park. 

Sophie taking a little nap on the bike path

This morning after a long night of barking and patrolling the girls were exhausted. Sheba greeted Sweetbreads with a nice long stretch and a yawn on her way out to gather up the milkers. You can always tell when it was a particularly active night because the following morning Sheba will follow Sweetbreads out to get the goats and then on the way back she'll move around the sides of the goats, barking the whole time. Goat bodyguard. 

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