Dakota learned him name and how to come as quickly as he learned everything else. The barn owner where we boarded had been telling us to bring him with us so we could stay longer. He was about 4 months old when we decided he could go to the barn. We got there and got him out of the truck. Charlie was there and told me to unhook the leash. I looked at Greg. We have to let him loose sometime. Let’s see how well he knows his name and comes. He stayed with us until he saw a barn cat. I called, he ignored me. I called again, he still ignored me. I ran over, grabbed his collar and took him back to where I was when I called him. He got the message for now. We had 2 or 3 more repeat performances before he started listening.
Dakota loved the barn and we took him every weekend. He’d play with the baby goats and calves from the other side of the fence. There were a few other dogs to play with and people. It didn’t take him long to learn how to con everyone into playing with him. I kept a few tennis balls in my tack box and gave them to him when we got there. Everybody he saw got a ball dropped in front of them. He also learned that barn cats didn’t make good playmates.
He was loose while we groomed and tacked up the horses then went into a clean stall or our trailer with water and toys until we finished riding. When we were finished riding we’d turn him loose while we finished up with the horses. He was a very good boy at the barn, but everything took twice as long when you’re watching a pup and trying to get things done. When we put the horses away we’d often take Dakota for a run in the hayfield. He’s run out in front and circle back to us. That was a hunting dog. He was instinctually pushing game back to us! When we were ready to go home, he was so dirty he’d get a bath with horse shampoo and hop in the truck. After 5-7 hours of playing he was exhausted ready to go home. After a 30-minute ride, he was ready to play again. One day Dakota heard a noise in the hay barn and went to investigate. He came flying out with mama chicken on his tail. She chased him at least 500’ and pecking him every chance she got. She was satisfied he was far enough away from her chicks and stopped. He added chickens to the list of not good playmates and avoided them at all cost.