After dog sitting for Jess' parents dog, we saw how well Ultra got on with having a play buddy.  Zen and Dot are older and have earned their relax time at our farm.   Zen has put in his fair share of raven chasing and skunk killing.  And Dot, well, she is moral support and good at it.   So we went on the search for a buddy for Ultra. 

Female guardian dogs are know for getting along better with males.   With Ultra eating 5-6 cups a food a day at only 4 months we knew we wouldn't be able to have another LGD as our fourth dog.  So it was down to either a terrier type to help keep our vermin population down or a herding dog: heeler, aussie, border collie, mcnab blend.  The heeler brought up a concern for nipping.  And aussies, no way did I want another power puff to brush.  We are not your typical "little dog" people, so terriers were seeming iffy.  And I found out that jack russle terriers were a totally no go as they have major prey drive and kill everything small including chickens.  But other terriers, especially rat terriers stick to the smaller vermin. 

So after researching breed traits I had narrowed it down to a rat terrier or the right blend of herding dog.  I wanted to get a younger dog as it is easier to train and acclimate to all our animals.  But not a teenie puppy.  When looking at rescues I was bummed because many of the animals had issues and then the rescue also wanted to charge $300-400. 

So a craigslist scour of most of Northern California began.  I happened upon a listing in Happy valley of rat terrier pups needed homes.  After contacting the owner I told her about our farm set up and asked if the pup, who was a 7 month old Rat Terrier mix, was used to other dogs, cats, and chickens.  With some back and forth emails we both agreed that he seemed like a fit.  Luckily she was willing to share some of the drive and meet us in Williams.  We picked the little guy up and found out his name was Marley.  Our son is a big fan of Bob Marley so we kept the name.  It seems to suit him.

After Marley's the long trip of over 5 hours, the little guy he was tired and out of sorts.  That started the rough intro as Ultra, the not so shy giant, thrust her nose under the car at him with a friendly grin.  But Marley was startled and took off like a jack rabbit, bouncing all over our yard.  After slower introductions over that evening and the next day they were all fine.  In fact, Ultra and Marley soon became great companions.   She tries to use him as a chew toy too often but he holds his own and let her know his limits of rough housing.  She has a hard time keeping up with his fast and furious speed but she is getting faster and stronger.  Last night I peeked out and they were both sleeping on the same dog bed head to head. 

Marley is due to get fixed, with an appointment already set for July.  And then he will start his vermin hunting training with our friends rat/fox terrier Tao.  We also think that with Marleys moms size of 35 lb he has decker rat terrier in him, which would fit with his look.

We can't wait to see what fun these two will have together and are glad that it is working out.  They are both a great pair of farm dogs, both big and small.

Our little pup is getting so big.  She is about 4 months old and learning a lot.  She is working on walking well on a leash and getting used to the chickens.  She has sit, wait and lay down great.  We are still working on her returning when you call her.  Most days, when it get hot...well 80 - 85 here is hot, you will often find her staying cool and out of the sun in the rabbit barn or under our rosemary shrub.  In the picture she is enjoying a treat from Nanas visit. 

She has a new friend coming soon.  We are adopting a rat terrier mix, named Marley, that is 8 months old.  They should be a fun pair of companions.