Meet Epekos!

This is Epekos. She is a Cane Corso, currently just turned 7 months old and already over 50 lbs. She’s gonna be a big girl.

Her name is a bad pun. Epekos means epic in Greek, and Epekoos is an Ancient Greek (don’t ask me which variant, I don’t know.) epithet given to deities known to answer prayers, perhaps most notably Ares, and it means ‘who listens.’ She is the epic one who listens and she came as the result of a request to Ares to help me find a suitable dog for the farm. Ares being Ares, she’s a guard breed, one of the many types of European mastiff.

Here she is, looking regal as shit.

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Things currently in Epekos’ favor: She bonded to me immediately and very quickly accepted the rest of the family. She is very polite to her family and does not beg food and tries her best to respond quickly to commands. She has about a 75% response rate to commands overall at 7 months. She walks politely on her leash. She takes corrections seriously and tries hard not to repeat the offense. She is completely housebroken. She is not destructive. She has good guarding instincts.

Things not currently in Epekos’ favor: If I leave her sight she has a meltdown. Last night, after wearing her out with a good romp, and leaving her with treats and toys and a pile of soft blankets under the desk- in lieu of a crate, but still creating a ‘den’ for her- she panicked because I was gone and forced her big self out the cat door. She weighs at least 50lbs and is deep chested, so I’m not actually sure how she managed that. She is not vicious, but she is very anxious and I am painfully aware that if I don’t get her anxiety under control, she may become aggressive out of fear. We’re working to find a way to give her a safe place to retreat to, and make sure she continues to get calm, confident leadership to provide her with some emotional stability. These things were lacking in her previous home, so there is some mental damage to undo.

In the couple of days that she has been here she has already learned that chasing goats and chickens is NO and that some extra humans nearby have to be treated politely. I acid tested her by taking her to Petco and she was an angel the whole time. She’s got the ability to become the calm, confident ‘think before you growl’ farm guard that we need, and the trustworthy companion that I need. She’s only seven months old and has some deep seated anxiety that needs to be worked through, but I think in the end she’ll make the perfect dog for Owl Hill Farm.

Just warn me before you drop by, at least for a while. She’s got a lot to learn.

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3 thoughts on “Meet Epekos!

  1. I recall a purebred collie I once acquired as a pup. One day (shortly after I got her) I told her that I would be back in a little while, which normally was no problem. However, I got distracted this time and did not return for several hours. I returned to find an entire sofa destroyed.

    At the time, I thought being a pure-breed had some bearing in the matter because I had never heard of a puppy being so destructive. However, I would watch her do things I would tell her to do (without previous training) many times over the years that she was in my keep. I have come to believe that some animals understand what we tell them better than most people believe they do. I also believe that (like people) they can feel quite insecure in new relationships. As time passed, the collie became more accustomed to my ways, as I also became more accustomed to her ways. I suspect this is the case with you and Epekos, also.

    You describe an intelligent and sensitive creature in this post that is remarkably reminiscent of the collie that was a companion of mine for quite some time. She is also a notably handsome creature; a trait she shares with that collie. I suspect you will find she will also be a remarkable companion.

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    • If I don’t become too frustrated with her in the meantime. She destroyed one of the (expensive) heavy duty extra large breed dog crates today. I *think* I’ve got it bent back into usefulness, but I can’t be sure.

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  2. Ooooh boy are you in for a ride. She’s a lovely dog and I must say that I have a real love for that breed though I’ve never been in a situation where having one was doable. I considered a Cane Corso for livestock guarding, but as they have traditionally been human guard animals and war dogs I wasn’t sure if they would have the right instincts for it…but if she’s bonding to the goats too I can see how that would work. The best of luck to you in working with Epekos!

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