Dog of the Week – Ciobair

Ciobair, another of our Gaelic named dogs causing confusion at the vets, is pronounced “Keeper” – and is Gaelic for shepherd.

Our GSD, Ciobair in the snow
Ciobair, frosted and smiling. Jan 2010

Ciobair came to us from the same breeder as our previous 2 German Shepherds,  Tasmin and Theo. She is all black with a mouthful of shiny white teeth and a high pitched, excited bark that she loves letting you hear.

One of the big concerns about our move to Alaska with Ciobair was how she would cope with the extreme cold, given that she only has a normal dog coat, unlike our double coated huskies. Those fears were groundless, indeed of all our dogs, she was the only one who displayed absolutely no indication that it was cold during those deepest dark days of winter. Her biggest trouble was with “snowballs” collecting between her toes as she ran around the yard. It wasn’t unusual to see her throw herself to the ground  from a full speed run pulling at her feet.  We did try booties for her, but unlike our sled dogs, she refuses to wear them.

Ciobair likes to try and control the whole kennel, which is quite a feat given that we have dogs in 3 separate areas. This leads to her frantically running around trying to herd the dogs into the areas she wants them in. She is a dreadful “fence fighter” – she will be quite peaceable and happy in amongst a group of dogs, but take her out into a different pen, and suddenly she looks like she has never seen those dogs she has just left and wants to eat them.

Ciobair is very timid with people but an excellent guard dog. She also was a wonderful replacement mother to Lily and Rosie when they arrived as little puppies and still wanted to snuggle. 6 months later, they’re not so snuggly with her, but they will still chew her ears and tail without any telling offs.

Our GSD, Ciobair
Ciobair, resting but watchful
Ciobair waiting to pounce
Ciobair, poised for action, Nov 2009

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