Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our dogs and alpacas

On Thursday I took the dogs jogging with me. The path I take goes past the alpaca's pasture. I first had Dottie with me. She noticed the alpacas right way. Barked a couple times but then stopped and looked as I told her it was ok. Dottie came into the barn with me when I fed the alpacas. Dottie behaved but the alpacas did not want to come into their side of the barn with Dottie in the so I had to tie her outside.

Then I took Bailey jogging with me. On the first pass of the pasture Bailey was so intent on sniffing Dottie's trail that her nose never left the ground. After I turned and took a second pass at the pasture, then she noticed. She stopped, looked, but never did bark. I'm surprised because Bailey is scared of everything. But Bailey also loves to go jogging and I do find when she's jogging with me she is happy and does not bark and get into trouble as much. The alpacas would not come anywhere near the fence where Bailey and I were, when they usually do follow me. They stood back from the dog. Overall I think that is a good safety measure. In our area domestic dogs are the biggest danger threat to alpacas, so I want them to stay away.

Editted to add that I was careful when allowing the dogs near the alpacas. I kept the dogs at a safe distance. The dogs were always on a leash and on the other side of the fence from the alpacas. Even when Dottie was in the barn, there was a fence between her and the alpacas, and Dottie was on a leash. Our dogs are great family dogs, but are not trained alpaca guardian dogs. Domestic dogs are the biggest threat to alpacas, dogs can hurt an alpaca. And even though my dogs are great with my kids, I do not know how they would act towards an alpaca. I think it is important to observe safety measures with all animals. Our dogs are not meant to live with the alpacas, but to live with us and walk/jog on a leash next to the alpacas pasture. Only trained guardian dogs should be allowed near alpacas.

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