Bonding with Boz

When I got Boz, a mix of Kangal and Turkish Boz Shepherd, two very old landrace breeds of livestock guardian dogs originally from the Anatolian region of Turkey, my first goals were (1) bond well with him, (2) make him comfortable with new his surroundings, and (3) learn, respect, and stay within the boundaries of the 13 acre property.

So far, so good. Boz stays away from the dangerous road . He is curious and alert to passing vehicles, but thankfully leery of everything with an engine or motor — even the washer and dryer on the sun porch, his primary shelter, the noise of which he doesn’t like at all. He is content to remain within the confines of the property and loves our daily walks around the boundaries of the farm. And we have definitely bonded.

He is a puppy, though, only 4 months old, so he likes to play and chew. This was his original bed:

As we have bonded, he also wants to nip and play and wrestle with me like he would play with his siblings. He’s affectionate, but his “love bites” have resulted in frayed jeans, torn coat sleeves, and a little blood at times.

We’re working on this. It’s natural. At this age, he would nip and wrestle with his family. So I choose to be honored that he considers me family, but I have had to start teaching him that I am not a chew toy or a sibling capable of affectionately rough play and am doing my best to identify entertaining replacements for my arms and legs. I’ve purchased various commercial chew toys which haven’t worked too well while we’re walking around or I’m trying to tend to the chickens and fill the wild bird feeders. The most successful items, so far, have been an old towel and rolled-up feed bags.

I don’t want to discourage his affection, but I’d rather not lose more blood.

He’s a playful, sweet, good-natured puppy. We’re both learning.

Published by joesmithreally

Slipped away from increasingly stressful, disordered, random, and violent urban life after 3 decades to live in peace and attempt to steward a small farm that eventually helps pay the bills.

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