Can a pet be a LGD

Discussion in 'Guard Animals' started by DaisyDuke, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. DaisyDuke

    DaisyDuke Active Member

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    One of my dogs, Duke, is a year and half old great Pyr Anatolian mix. He is a spoiled house pet despite getting him from a farm with chickens and goats and horses. I'm not sure if I will ever need a guard dog as I'm only planning a hobby farm. My question is are dogs that are raised as pets usually able to adapt to the livestock and live on a farm. I would ideally have him outside all day when I'm working outdoors and put him up in the evenings with any animals while I am at work, then in the house to be a pet again. Or would I be likely to run into problems leaving a primarily pet dog in a barn with chickens and goats? If not for a small homestead would it be necessary to have an additional farm dog?
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

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

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    A real LGD should be with the animals all the time.

    Don't try to turn your pet into something he's not
    It won't be good for you, him, nor your other animals.
     
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  3. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    Just because your dog is a house pet is no reason he'll be a chicken killer. Proper training may prevent an "accident".
    Most people that get LGD don't need one and shouldn't have one. But most people with Border Collies shouldn't have one. Same for many specific task working dogs.
     
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  4. aart

    aart HOW do they DO that?

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    Not in the technical sense...but...who knows what your dog might be able to do adapt to.
    Would be tricky and depend on the dog's demeanor, the pack dynamic with the other dogs, and your training abilities.
     
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  5. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Hobby farms need protection too. Predators aren't discriminatory.
     
  6. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    True enough. But very few hobby farms have enough livestock to keep a working dog working. Having a LGD that barks all night to keep three sheep safe on your 10 acres will create more problems than he solves. A closed door will solve 80% of most predator problems. If you have a thousand acres of open range, a LGD might be justified.
    Having a LGD grow up in the house and then expecting him to stay out in the pasture all night and day is a concern that hobby farmers might face that a rancher won't.
     
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  7. DaisyDuke

    DaisyDuke Active Member

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    Just to clarify I don't plan on leaving livestock unattended at night, I will be putting them all up. At least the for the first year while I get to know the property well. If Duke were left outdoors all night I think he would just bark to come inside. Ideally he could spend his days outside with goats, sheep and chickens then afternoon/evenings either in a shed or pen outside the shed while I am at work. I guess I have a bit of a conflict about when I work. I leave mid afternoon and return close to midnight. So I would not be there to put up animals. BUT I am not sure if it would be safe to leave animals in a barnyard paddock between those hours. That is why I would like to leave Duke out to chase off any predators.
     
  8. Bearfootfarm

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

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    The chickens will put themselves up to roost.
    Good fences will keep predators away from the goats and sheep.

    If you need a real "LGD" it will be for the herd animals, not the birds, and it should be with them all the time, day and night.

    Any "yard dog" can chase away predators from the property in general if you can let one run loose, but that's not always a good idea either.
     
  9. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    I've come to believe any dog can be taught anything; however, if the owner is sensitive to the dog's needs, its own propensities would be a consideration. By this I mean your particular LGD is a mixture of two LGD breeds and you need to understand what characteristics Duke prefers.

    Your dog is running its adolescents and you should be able to see its strengths and weaknesses easily thru such time. So watching and being aware of what your dog does "easily/automatically" will let you know whether or not it can do what you want it to on your hobby farm.

    As to whether or not dogs that have been raised as pets can adapt to living with stock is a simple one. Some can; some cannot. It all depends on the specific characteristics of your particular dog AND YOU...AS OWNER/TRAINER...KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. My experiences have been mostly with German Shepherds raised "as pets". I live on a farm with goats and an assortment of fowl. I had to "teach" these guard dogs to live with (and not harm) the animals. (This is a great time for me to brag about Cherokee. As you can see by the picture below, Cherokee is not an LGD. She is a German Shepherd; yet she is definately guarding those two goats.) I also have a labradore chosen "as a pet". This dog has a strong prey drive and it took a bit to teach him not to harm the fowl. He was a great learner! The other dog I have at this time is an LGD (Bulgarian Karakachan). I never had to teach her to guard the goats and she easily learned to accept the fowl as her guards as well, all of which free range 24/7. This dog has been left with the goats; yet because I live on a small (6 acres) farm, she decided to include me as one of those she is to keep safe. This has been problematic for me at times in that she makes herself a nuisance; still to have such a good guard dog see me as one she needs to protect like she does the goats and fowl is quite calming for me most of the time.

    As for as leaving your particular dog alone in a pen with your goats and chickens. I would not advise doing so until you have taught your dog not to harm them; and you know for sure Duke has learned that well.

    cherokee guarding kids.jpg
     
  10. Itsroger

    Itsroger Well-Known Member

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    I have a great Pyrenees that is four months old, she is my second one. Both were raised with the animals that I want them to guard and they do it automatically. Of course there are things that they have to be taught. I was amazed with the first one, and now the second one also. Both were raised with children and take care of them too, I'm expecting this pup to do great just like the first one.
    I have friends that have them on as few as five acres, they do their job very well. I don't know about the crosses, but I'm impressed with the Pyrenees.
     
  11. dyrne

    dyrne Well-Known Member

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    My great pyrs are gentle as can be with geese and chickens but will chase off or slaughter any non-human creature with eyes in front of it's head that might skulk onto our farm. Took some firm corrections and supervision at first though. Yeah they're technically there to protect the goats but our big problems with chicken loss has been in this order: neighborhood dogs, fox, raccoons and coyotes -he keeps all those at bay. Avoiding confrontations with neighbors over their roaming dogs is a huge advantage imo to having a guardian dog. If you leave the chickens out during the day and coop them at night (they won't last long if you don't) it might be very handy to have the dog with them at that schedule.
     
  12. hiddensprings

    hiddensprings Well-Known Member

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    Your dog is bonded to you at this point, not your livestock. If your place is small and there are not really predators around, having the dog outside while youre outside and acclimating him/her to the chickens, goats, etc you can discipline any negative behavior. Just because it is an LGD breed doesn’t mean it will automatically guard chickens/poultry. And like others have said, if your place is small, you really don’t need a full-fledged LGD. They get bored, they need a job, and will take to “roaming” to find a job. My true LGD’s were Anatolians. They never came in the house, never left the farm (my vet came to me for shots and then I was the one who gave them since they were untrusting of strangers), they never left the pastures they were guarding and I rarely petted them. I fed them, made sure they were healthy that’s about it. They protected my goats from everything. They protected my bottle calves. They protected my chickens (but only after months of training....).