Training farm dogs
My husband and I just bought two cheap male puppies, 4 months old, and they are Great Pyrenees/German Shepherd cross. We may be giving one away to my sister, as she is also looking for a farm dog, if two dogs ends up being too much (I think so, my husband thinks not, lol)
Here's my problem. We've only had them for a few days. When we are not outside, or are at work, or at night, we tie them up. If we are outside, even if we can't really watch them, we let them off. Usually they wander around the yard quite a bit, but always come back to check out what we're doing.
They are both fairly bad at coming to us though. They seem to know what it means, because sometimes they will come, but if there is something more interesting to look at, they just ignore us and come when they feel like it. I don't want to ALWAYS have to tie them up...if we go away for 4 days or more, I'd like to trust them to stick around. I've heard that tying dogs up a lot can lead to behavior problems.
How can we teach them to stay put? If we give the one puppy away, will that make a difference? We only have two horses for them to "look after" while the neighbors have cattle, so I'm afraid that once they get confident in our large yard, they will start wandering off to protect someone elses animals. They definitely like people, but they are not nearly as people oriented as many puppies (like labs) that I've seen.
I just want them to be happy staying around home! But we really can't afford to put in a permanent perimeter fence. What can I do? Also, should we invest in a fairly small chain link fence (maybe 15 ft. x 15 ft) to go around their dog houses, rather than tying them up?