Anyone have an LGD?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by kesoaps, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I think I just made a trade...a couple of ewes for a Tatra/marrema pup. The guy is milking, so I'm swapping him my favorite icelandic ewe (I hate to give her up, but I just haven't got space) and the dorset ewe who thinks she's a goat.

    Hopefully the pup will work out. He says the mother is excellent, and I found out about this guy from someone else in this state who says he knows his dogs. I'm a bit nervous, because I don't really want something barking all night long, as I've got neighbors without any stock who think they should have peace and quite out here in the woods. But other neighbors have lost small pets to the coyotes, so they may appreciate something big here. Last week there was another cougar sighting in the neighborhood, so that was what tipped the scales in favor of the LGD.

    Please tell me your positive stories... :rolleyes:
     
  2. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    We have 2. A Kom / Great Pyrenees and the other an Anatolian Shepard/ GP. Didn't have so much problems with Coyotes as neighbors dogs running in packs. We do have a near neighbor (less than 1/2 mile away) that's lost calves to coyotes.

    We haven't lost any lambs since getting the Kom / GP (AS / GP was still only a year old when we got the other). Everyone I know here that keeps goats or sheep either have a couple of LGDs or is always complaining of their losses. I've even heard of some of the cattle people keeping them (to help protect the calves).

    There is an interesting thread in the Pet Forum (LGD training question) that you might read. Even though you have the best genetics (instincts) if you don't handle the puppy correctly you can end up with a 100 pound porch Ornament (I did on my first try.)

    If possible I'd suggest (as I did on that thread) getting a 2nd LGD puppy also. Not only do animals do better in 2's, and you will get more than double the protection but it's part of the technique I used having 1 in a pen and it's partner outside (to help keep the other in the same area).

    Personally we'd never have our animals without a LGD. I've got a hold of a guy who uses Komonadors and have told him I want one the puppies out of his next breeding (will be next year), and I'll either buy 2 puppies from him or a AS (or AS / GP) or Kom / GP ((or Kom / AS)) to raise with it. (don't have any Tatra or Marrema around here.)

    Good Luck

    Pat
     

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Some guard dogs bark a lot and others only bark when serious. Ive never heard of a Tatra, but I have 3 Maremmas now and owned one other in the past. While its OK to spend some time with them, dont try to make pets of them. Teach them basic obedience commands but let them do everything else on their own.

    If you love them half as much as I do youll end up with more Maremmas.

    Lots of good info here: http://www.bountifulfarm.com/lgd_seminar.htm
     
  4. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    kesoaps,

    just let me say that i have had herding dogs for many years and only just a few years ago, lost so many sheep that i had to look into the lgd. realizing that even as smart as herding breeds are, they still need human interaction/training to accomplish tasks, (herding in the concept that they do what you want/need) while on the other hand, the guard dogs develope a game plan on their own, (granted they may also try to protect your trashcan from the trashman) but for the most part, they work on their own. i have never been more impressed with a breed of dog.

    ***you should go back and read my thread on big momma**** she owes her life to our guard dogs and my wife.
     
  5. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Slev, I remember Big Mamma's thread!

    DH isn't going to be happy when he finds out what I've done...but he's not the shepherd here, and he'd rather just get rid of the sheep than get a dog. Another dog...that is. Rufus and Rocket are too small to do much about a serious problem, but we don't really have any issues here at home. They do let us know when there's something out there, though.

    I do know that we can't turn him into a snuggly pet. I want him to know the neighbor folks, because for the most part he'll be working in a neighbor's pasture. She's got her adult son and two gransons living there, plus on the other side of the driveway is another grandmother who's grandson has been there all summer. So of course some social skills will be a must. Not to mention getting him to a vet if need be will be much easier if he trusts us.

    I'm a bit nervious about fencing...I'll have to work quite a bit on that before he can go live at his 'summer residence' next spring. The half feral cats that hunt down there may be an issue as well...

    Wonder how my horse will react?
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I didn't realize you were losing sheep! Well except for the two you just traded, for insurance purposes. Oh that reminds me did you ask how much you would save on your insurance having a guard dog? Or does he need extra coverage?
     
  7. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Oh, stop it, Ross! I said positive only, lol! Bad cop, bad cop!

    Funny you should bring that up, however, as the neighbor is a bit hesitant about the dog. She wasn't originally, but now that it seems to be happening, she's getting nervous. Not that I blame her, what with two grandsons living there, and the boys' pets. I hadn't given insurance a thought until you mentioned it, and I'm sure it'll be heftier if the dog is on someone else's property.

    No, I haven't lost any sheep, but since they've been down at the neighbor's I get a bit nervous. The coyotes have a lot of dens down there, forcing my sheep home during lambing season when it would really be best if I could just let the pastures rest. I figure better to put a lock on the door before the break in, y'know? To top off my anxiety, the cougar has been spoted again just down the road in my parents driveway. The sighting was followed by a report from my grandmother, who'd just returned from having her hair done. Her hair dresser told her they'd just lost two cows...both of them clawed and ripped up, one of them half buried. Game dept. says cougar.

    I suppose putting the horses down with the sheep would scare off the coyotes...not sure that a hungry cougar would head the other way, though.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Now now I'm "positive" you should look into the insurance side, maybe you would save on insurance. OK I really doubt it but I might as I have my sheep covered for coyote kills.
     
  9. MommaSasquatch

    MommaSasquatch Well-Known Member

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    Um, there's a cougar in the neighborhood and your neighbor's worried about a DOG? I would imagine that having the LGD nearby might make their pets a bit safer too.
     
  10. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    If she's worried about the dog and her kids the thing to do is introduce the kids to the dog and let them get to know each other. And explain to the kids how to act around the dog. Maremmas are not "people agressive" most of the time unless its a total stranger. If the kids are old enough to play alone outside they are also old enough to understand they need to NOT harrass the dog. And since the LGD will be confined to the pasture theres very little threat to anyone not tresspassing
     
  11. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    NOTE: If you are considering a LGD and you are concerned about fencing "issues", you needn't be. Don't bother waisting time or money on concern for quality enough fencing for the dogs benefit. I know of no known fence, barrier, stockade or great wall that could contain a LGD if they thought they needed on the other side. They WILL go where they think they need to. My best advice is to teach/beg them to stay where YOU think they need to be. (At least that's what we've done. And the dogs like to pretend that they listen to us even though I know they wait intil we are not around to patrol the "outer limits") .........ooooh, almost sounds like a title from a show
     
  12. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    I have a Maremma/Akbash cross LGD in with sheep. I also have a 10 yr old son who was away for the summer when the LGD arrived.

    When Bob the Dog met The Boy, he just accepted him as part of the household and didn't seem bothered. Now, there were some kids at his prior home so he'd seem small two legged critters before and wasn't upset by them. I have noticed whenever Bob meets new people he kinda hangs back, he doesn't "go after" people at all (maybe this is bad if you have worries about 2 legged predators, but I'd rather lose a sheep to a thief than a kid to an overly enthusiastic dog). He's big and heavy but he isn't at all interested in harassing people (unless they are bringing him food and not getting it in the bowl fast enough!). I think he relies on his intimidating looks to scare bad guys away. :)

    Anyway, if you introduce the dog to all the "critters that belong in this area" - kids, dogs, pets, everything that normally lives in the region - they will leave all those "things that live here" and just worry about 'new' intruders. As always, best to be vigilant, especially at first, and especially with a puppy. They don't always recognize their own strength at first.

    Oh, and do watch when bringing in new animals, I read about someone who brought ducks to their acreage and it took several tries before the dog figured out they were NOT intruders but something he was supposed to guard! Might just be something to mention to neighbour, if you think they'll be expanding their pets at all, to take some time to introduce the dog to any new additions.

    Also, as for the barking, I find that Bob's got a nice deep woof... not at ALL like the annoying tenor or soprano barks of so many penned up city type dogs. The coyotes would wake me before, as I'd worry they were eating my chickens or scaring my sheep, and you can't sleep through that high pitched yipping and howling ... now I know if Bob's barking the coyotes are staying away and I just drift back to sleep and don't usually remember hearing it in the morning. :) It's a reassuring sort of bark. Hopefully your neighbours will feel the same way!
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Positive stories Slev POSITIVE! I've contained every breed of dog known behind 6 foot chain link in a kennel so it can be done. OK so maybe you'd want 8 foot and bury 2 feet, leaving 6 foot out of the ground for a field. Problem solved, I'd almost guarantee it. LGD's do work they do prevent attacks and they do kill preditors. There are even pups born to the task and instinctively know what's expected with very little guidance. Lots of breeds have that type. Why I had a Springer pup once that was as easy to train as rolling a ball down a hill. My 2nd BC is like that too, I feel very blessed, because my first BC was a serious chore, despite being very intelligent. We won't mention our other Springers they aren't half a bright as a BC, I mean c'mon few breeds even come close. So when does the pup come Kesoaps? Hope you'll have pictures!!
     
  14. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    I think Slev is referring to the field fencing. You don't want to put a LGD in a kennel with the kennel fencing. Predators know when a dog is confined (be it in a kennel or on a chain etc.) and what it's limits are.

    With our 2, 1 stays with the sheep always, and the other is checking the "outer limits". If either see something, the sheep (and the one) head into a stable area of the corral, and the other runs off what ever caused the alarm.

    Neither of them are agressive to stangers but neither will come up to a stranger either. I have a friend that I share chores with, and she commented the other day that even though she feeds them, neither will come and be petted while she's doing it. However, we have a friend with a 3 year old that the one that stays with the sheep will come over to the fence and listen to the little girl tell her stories for as long as the little girl will tell them.

    Pat
     
  15. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yeah I know but he was saying there's nothing that keep LGD on your property which can't be true. I jest with my 8 foot chain link suggestion, but I've never tried to field fence a LGD. I'm assuming your refering to outerlimits of your land not your neighbors. We board a good number of pet LGD's (who have never so much as seen a sheep before coming here) and lately a lot have been very sweet.
     
  16. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    I wish it was only out limits of our property... That's why I only want a part GP (they think their limits are a section and what to patrol it all). We only have 14 acres, and I'm very glad the one stays with the sheep. The other really doesn't go very far (only to the 3 neighbors on the 2 sides. What's strange is while he's agressive towards animals that don't belong on our property (including dogs), he's not when he's visiting. It's strange to see him sniffing / socializing with one of the neighbors dogs while on their property, and chase the same dog off when it's on ours.

    I agree many breeders have ruined "LGD" breeds and I only buy from working parents. It's too easy to not reinforce one of those (and end up with a 100 plus pound porch ornament, let alone try and reinforce one with limited (at best) instincts. I really don't understand why someone would want a 100 pound and more pet that isn't very intelligent (as a pet or for obedience - I saw somewhere recently the intelligence rating for all breeds ((Border Collies were tied for first at 97 and all the "LGD" breeds were at 7 - 9)). Maybe because they tend to "just lay around" and watch the sheep. Our two BC's eat almost as much a day as the 2 LGD's, but are more 5 times as active.

    Pat
     
  17. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    This is so true. Our kennel with a concrete floor will contain our Pyrs but what's the point of having them in there? With grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes and cougar really making their presence known this summer, the Pyrs have to be out and about. No field fence we've tried has kept those suckers in, they go over, under or thru everything including hotwire. Luckily, we live in the middle of nowhere so their roaming isn't the issue it might be for others, and they've taken to staying closer as they get a bit older (3).
     
  18. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    I have electric fencing 4 feet tall. After touchng it once or twice they learn quickly NOT to get near it. Although I have NO doubt they could jump it if they wanted to, none of mine have ever shown any desire to leave the pasture unless I leave a gate open.
     
  19. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Oye...Lisa I think you just hit the nail on the head.

    I know I can introduce the dog to the grandkids, and to the dogs that live there...but I can't control who's going to be walking their little ankle biters up and down the road at any given time, nor who's pets are going to get loose and come wandering up the driveway. Not to mention there are many folks that aren't going to want a dog that big pooping in their yards should he decide to go for a walk. I haven't got the luxury of 10 or more acres...just two acres at home and another two or three down the road. At home, no big deal. At the neighbors, well, it's pretty unsupervised. I can't exactly put a dog on the neighbor's property without her blessing.

    Sheesh...now I'm kinda bummed.
     
  20. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    You still have the choice of Maremmas.

    " I have electric fencing 4 feet tall. After touchng it once or twice they learn quickly NOT to get near it. Although I have NO doubt they could jump it if they wanted to, none of mine have ever shown any desire to leave the pasture unless I leave a gate open."

    They read like they would do in a 2 acre pasture (or the 3 acre that you are renting).

    Pat