Full Moon

5/21/2014
    So I was sleeping in the old chicken coop with the new pups, surrounded by dogs in kennels, then dogs in pastures and lastly by dogs on the open range. When I woke up to feed and water the new pack during the witching hour. I step outside just in time to see the nearly full moon, rise above the mountains. If I only had been prepared for what this moon rise was about to culminate.
   After my brief chores I lay down in the wood chips of the whelping coop and begin to drift off to sleep again. At that moment I am awoken by the howl of coyotes in the hayfield. Only to have them drowned out by the deep barks of my dogs. After a minute or two things became quite again and my eyes felt heavy once more.
Then suddenly I'm jolted to high alert by the howl of the Grey Ghosts atop the mountain! Followed by a thunderous chorus of Turkish shepherds! They began having a sound off war with the wolves. It was intense. They waged a smack talking battle for a good 10 minutes. My heart was pumping. Still eventually things calmed down again as the wolves were almost 1 mile away. My thoughts drifted away, slowly turning into dreams of these pups and the stoic adults they will become.
   Though not 5 minutes pass when an explosion of barking occurs. This time I heard no opponent. This time things were very different. I could hear in the dogs voice, this was about to get serious. The dogs were getting louder and louder. Beating their chests and taking their battle stations. I realized this was it. Whatever it was that was out there, it was coming this way... silently!
   Slowly it was getting closer and closer. It was heading right towards us all. The dogs were going ballistic. My thoughts visualize the irritated wolves coming to settle things once and for all. Finally I accept this isn't a dream or nightmare and I stand up to walk outside and join my pack in the inevitable bloodshed. My eyes are still blinded from the bright heat lamps I awoke under. Pupils dilated, I can only see a few feet now out in the darkness. My eyes are not adjusting fast enough as the intruders are now only a stones throw away and I still can't make them out.
   I begin to reach for the peacemaker but first my hand reaches in my pocket and finds my flashlight. The suspense is... well I can hear the eery music from a horror scene escalating in the background. The flashlight turns on but nothing is there except blackness. The dogs have frozen and gone totally silent. The air and wind is dead still... It feels like the slack tide before Jaws attacks the boat.
Then Bam! The dogs go nuts once again. I begin the first phases of panic. Shinning the light at all possible angles of attack. I see, NOTHING!! Lord what is happening!?!? Then splitting the ranks of my battalion, heading right towards me. I see the challenger!
   I step out of the way at the last possible second. Just in time to see him SLOWLY, walk past us all. With more swagger than a Peacock. As he passes I realize he is so cocky and brave that he won't even acknowledge my presence with a sideways glance. It is made utterly clear that I am not even considered a threat on any level. To add insult to injury the whole time he has been laughing at us all, sounding like some sort of mutant hyena x monkey hybrid. And he disappears just like that, laughing into the darkness.
Damn I hate skunks!!!

FaceBook Link

7/22/2013
  For those of you who want more photos and stories you can follow the kennel and ranch more closelyon my facebook page.
  Here https://www.facebook.com/kangal.bozshepherd   I write articles and posts pertaining to Kangal dogs and Boz Shepherd dogs. There is also other useful information for Livestock Guardian Dog owners in the form of advice from - how to break up a dog fight should the wrong dog get loose - to options on how to fence your LGD in a pasture - to wolf collars - and so on.....
I post more pictures on my Facebook than I do my website as it is much faster and easier to upload to facebook than my website. Also viewing the pictures seems to go faster on facebook.
  There is also ranch stuff on my facebook pertaining to life with Kangals and Boz Shepherds in a country full of predators. This Kangal kennel is in one of or THE most densely populated predator areas of the Americas. We have a few types of foxes, large coyotes, black bears, Bald eagles, Golden eagles, Mountain Lions, Grizzly bears and Gray Wolves to name a few. The Boz Shepherd and Kangal dogs are used to keep our horses, beef cattle, sheep and family safe from these predators who constantly push into our pastures, corrals, driveways and front yards.
  So there are pics posted of our LGD working. Along with pictures of our livestock and ranch life.
Enjoy.
Vose IV RockyMountainKangal

RMK Spikeless Wolf Collar

6/12/2013
   I have tried many different types of wolf collars over the years. Finally I started making them myself. Living with Kangals and Boz Shepherds in Canadian wolf country means you wouldn't be a good parent if you didn't give your dog some good armor. The collars are barbaric looking but they are not cruel to the animal. A well built spike collar should not be sharp. It should be like the tip of a dull nail. This is all that is needed when you have a wolf biting down with 1,500 psi onto a spike. From my experience the spike collars don't need to be very wide either. With the spikes pointing outwards it seems that when a wolf bites anywhere near the neck it ends up with a spike in its mouth. While life wearing a spiked wolf collar is not as uncomfortable as one would think. Observations show that the biggest draw back to the dogs wearing spike collars is not being able to scratch their ears and from dogs that haven't been ear cropped, when they shake their head, their ears will slap the spikes depending on collar design. These problems are solved by cropping ears and keeping the dogs healthy so flea, tick, lice, mites and ear infections etc don't encourage the dog to scratch and shake his head all the time.
   The spike collars give the dogs protection and also another weapon. If your son became a police officer wouldn't you want him to take a bullet proof vest and pistol to work? The dogs will learn to use their collar to their advantage. They will block attacks with their collars purposefully and also use the spike collar as a weapon when the chance presents itself. I know this as I have seen my dogs sparing with their collars many times. They are just playing so no damage is done. You can see that if they were fighting for real that a wolf would end up with a mouth full of spikes and probably some eye damage from a Kangal counter attacking with spikes.
   Legend has it that in Turkey they only give a Toht(wolf collar) to a dog that has earned the right to wear one by becoming a Kurtcul(wolf killer) by killing a wolf. In Turkey once a dog has killed a wolf, then, it is given a spike collar. Well here in Montana our wolves are much more of a threat than a Turkish wolf. The Canadian grey wolf is much larger and is found in numbers ranging from the lonewolf to 37 wolves(Druid pack, Yellowstone,2001) So here my dogs will receive their Toht before the first wolf encounter.
   Though now my wolf collar design has gone SPIKELESS. The spike collars can be uncomfortable for the dogs to wear if they don't have cropped ears or if they want to itch their ears. Spike collars are also more liable to get caught on barbwire etc. I have had one male escape and have a dominance dispute with another male. During their battle one dog ended up with a mouthfull of spikes. By the next day his muzzle had easily doubled in size. Leading to another vet bill for weeks of antibiotics and buying expensive soft wet dog food. Now this would have been ok if it was a predator as he wouldn't be attacking my livestock with an infected muzzle and if he escaped alive I doubt he would ever want to come back and fight my dog again. But this was one of my dogs. This is just one of the reasons I am phasing out the spike collars for spikeless collars.
   My RMK spikeless wolf collar is armored with 16ga steel plates all the way around. As far as wolf collars go, this is the cats meow. I will list the positives and negatives here.
Negative
1. No spike for dog to use as a weapon.
Positives (to name a few)
1. No spikes for your other dogs to get injured during dog domestic disputes
2. Streamlined for easier mobility through corrals and less chance of hangups on barbwire etc
3. More comfortable for the dog to lay down(spikes make their neck kink a little while resting)
4. Dogs can scratch their ears
5. When playing with or hugging your dog there are no spikes to be wary of(less holes in blue jeans)
6. Don't need to buy 2 collars for the dog. One collar is good for ranch AND for town.
7. Rhino and Wolf proof throat and neck protection for your best friend
8. Doesn't look cruel to put on a dog(many people will falsely think putting a spike collar on your dogs is cruel)
9. Gives you some extra peace of mind knowing your dog has at least one advantage
10. No spikes to fix(they all eventually bend)

   Now my wolf collars have always been evolving and probably always will. I have made maybe a dozen different types of spike wolf collars over the years. I have changed materials and spike sizes and types many times. Played with different spike layouts and collar widths. After all of my testing and tuning I can say for sure that the one design that will stay for the long haul is the spikeless design. Its one negative is beyond out weighed by the positives. From here I will just experiment with different leather, metals and buckle systems. This collar gets almost as much compliments as my Kangal and Boz Shepherd dogs do when taken to town. It looks sort of nostalgic with copper and brass. It says bad a$$ wolf hound with out the "offensive" spikes. This is a collar the dog can literally wear to a wolf war and then come home and play safely with your kids. If you have a need for a wolf collar this is where all my years of experimenting have led me to. My RMK wolf collar will most likely always be evolving, but the spikeless design is here to stay.

These Kangal dogs are an amazing breed...

5/16/2013
These Kangal dogs are an amazing breed. They are so loving and devoted. The kangals will defend their flock and family at all costs. These are the lions that can lay with the lamb. My Boz Shepherd dogs have the same ethics. These LGD dogs from ancient history are the future of protection in todays expanding predator country. Wolves, bears, mountain lions and other predators are encroaching on the cities just as the city is encroaching on the predators. It is areas like this and remote ranches, farms and get-aways that are creating a growing niche for dogs that can be more than pets.
   
The job for lgd dogs in much of europe, asia and the middle east is fading away as the livestock industry dwindles. But on the other half of the planet the need for LGD dogs grows every day. People call often to ask for a Kangal dog to buy which they can use for a hiking guardian. Some people will call because they have had pitbulls or wolves attack or kill their horses. Ranchers are trying to buy their livestock some protection. In wolf country their aren't many dogs that can survive as well as the Boz or Kangals. These dogs do great most in all climates. Having some of these Turkish livestock guardian dogs makes my house and pastures safe from predators or unannounced guests.
  
These dogs need an owner who will be strict and loving. You can't have a 160lb dog with no manners, so being dominant is a must. These dogs are not for everybody. They don't belong everywhere. But they have a wide variety of jobs they can fill. Check back from time to time so you can get updates on our Kangal puppies and Boz puppies. We try to keep current photos of our Boz and Kangal dogs. Feel free to contact us for any questions regarding these awesome guardian dogs.
RMK