|Oh, were you talking to ME?|
There are times when he is exasperating, like last week. He seems to have decided he owns my whole canyon and snuck off while I was inside the chicken coop feeding & collecting eggs. (He will collect eggs for himself, so he's not allowed inside). He was half way to the highway when I found him. Since then I've been having to keep him either inside the fence or on his leash. If I'm going inside a coop he's tied to it so he can't sneak off. Can't have him winding up down on the highway or in the pound.
This week his guarding instinct is really showing itself tho. The other day I had finished chores and untied him "Lets go to the house" and let him run dragging his leash. He was almost to the house and I was about 50 feet behind him when a coyote started yipping up the canyon. I stopped and looked at Giotto and he was looking at me. I turned to look up the canyon, trying to see where the coyote was at. Giotto ran past me at top speed, ran into the chicken yard to the back side, barking up the canyon. He stood and barked as long as the coyote was yipping. It was a ways off, on the back ridge. Once it seemed to have moved on Giotto was quiet. Of course I made a big deal of him, Good Boy!
Today was even more impressive. I was doing chores and Giotto was tied to the end of the run of coops. I was almost done, just one more set of birds to do when he started barking. Giotto does not bark in the day time without a reason. I came out and looked, expecting him to be barking towards the house; I was thinking someone had come to visit. When he saw me he stopped barking. I didn't see anything so started to go back in and finish what I was doing. Giotto started barking again, this time across the canyon. I started looking in that direction and there was a huge hawk sitting in a bush over there scoping things out. Good Boy Giotto! I untied him so he could move around in case the hawk decided to take a chance. The chickens were in their fenced area and not free ranging down in the creek bottom. Giotto patrolled back and forth a bit and I did some extra work and chores that needed doing to keep an eye on things. After a bit Giotto was more interested in playing with the kittens or getting petted than the hawk though. But he is still a pup and I can't expect him to have a really long attention span with a predator that just sits there and doesn't make a move. I do think he was sort of keeping tabs on it tho, because when I said "what's that?" he turned right away and barked in it's direction. After about 20 minutes the hawk flew away.
Just love this guy, even when he is being stubborn and not listening! I think getting him was one of the best things I've done for my chickens in a long time!