Man's Best Friend
No kidding, she’s a goat dog
On Linda McKenzie’s goat stud and meat farm in Mangalore lives a ‘goat dog’ called Tiggy. Picked up as a stray in Melbourne, Tiggy has proven herself to have an innate understand of goat psychology.
Do you know what breed Tiggy is?
We assume she’s a Staffy-cross-boxer. We got her from Lort Smith, a lost dogs home in Melbourne.
What was she like when you got her?
She was 12 months old and a stray, to the point where we had to teach her how to eat from a bowl properly.
How old is Tiggy now?
She’s eight. Every morning we come down to check on the goats.
Does she get along with other dogs?
My daughter (lives elsewhere) has a Bull Arab and he’s too dumb to be allowed near the goats. Tiggy will also visit June and Nala, our neighbour’s kelpies, on the fence.
Is Tiggy a good worker?
She will help move the stock. She is very soft, I’ve never seen her attack or even use her teeth. Occasionally she might bark if I encourage her ... she’s really good at staying behind and sitting where I want her and acting as a block. She doesn’t push, but they certainly do walk faster when she’s there. I think she’s less a dog and more convinced she’s a goat.
Is she observant?
If we come into a paddock, she’ll find the downed goat long before I do. She goes straight to them when you can’t even see them yet.
How did you get a stray so quiet around livestock?
We’ve always brought her out with us. One of the things we really concentrated on at the start was the ‘come’ command. Using her around the stock started off with letting her wander away, then calling ‘come’ and she’d move the stock by returning to me. One thing she won’t do is go between mums and babies.
Is she quiet around all animals?
She’ll chase rabbits if she sees them.
Words and pictures: Daneka Hill