Teaching Bairre

Day 309 of 365

The ducks have been so loud lately. They get this way every year when spring is coming. It’s just like they are wound up excited and quack extra–and extra loud. I say that to just say it was kind of a perfect storm. Normally, if the ducks quack loudly, I run and check on them.

Bairre has done quite well in his training with the ducks. I mean, he’s a puppy, so you have to watch him and teach him that we care for the ducks and we can’t play with the ducks. He has not tried to chase a duck in about two months, which just seems remarkable to me because he’s only six months old. But Pyrenees are wicked smart and learn so quickly. They are made for it, so a little teaching goes a long way.

Still, this morning, I looked out of the back door window to find Bairre with his mouth on a duck, maybe the wing. I’m not sure because I was out there in a second and yelled at him to “leave the duck”! He did, and the duck ran into the duck house and yelled at Bairre some more–or maybe she was yelling at me for allowing this to happen.

I felt terrible this happened. I trusted him. I thought he was all set with the ducks, and we have now been working on training him with the chickens. I mean, he would lay right next to the ducks, and our male duck would bite at his fur. Bairre was a good boy and just took it.

I think Bairre forgot himself this morning because Ron usually plays him in the snow every day, but Ron’s been working on making a space for starting the seedlings for this year’s garden. I had just been outside cleaning the duck house and tried to play with Bairre when he asked. I played some, but I am not nearly as fun as dad is.

Anyway, it was shortly after that when I saw him after the duck. Thankfully, she is okay. I kept a very close eye on her all day. Hopefully, she is still just fine tomorrow, but I think she’s okay. Of course, Bairre really just wanted to play, but he can’t. So, now Bairre can’t go roaming in the duck area alone for awhile. He had to stay on the deck all day only going out with us until it was time for the ducks to go to bed. He was pretty sad about it. He likes to roam around and play with his toys in the snow and sleep on snow mounds.

It’s hard to say for sure if he understands that there is a connection between him getting after a duck and having to go back under supervision. Great Pyrenees are known for having unusually strong critical thinking skills, so he might. I’ll definitely have to report.

Some people think Great Pyrenees just automatically know how to care for and protect farm animals, but they have to be taught some. Too many times, Great Pyrenees end up in shelters because I think some do not understand this. But they do learn amazingly quickly. Boudica never had a single setback. Gus had two, maybe three before he became the ducks’ greatest defender. I will be interested in seeing how well Bairre learns.

He seemed really sad I yelled at him. He looked so hurt. I never raise my voice at him and always talk kindly to him. He dropped his head so sadly. When Ron and I were done talking in our stern voices about leaving the ducks alone, we told him to give us a hug. He snuggled me so hard, as if to say he was so sorry.

I’ll definitely have to report on Bairre’s progress in case any other readers are considering Great Pyrenees. They are very common on homesteads and farms because they do a great job.

PS Also, doesn’t he just look like a little polar bear?

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