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Brand new member, glad to be here.

I recently purchased goats for the first time, I grew up on a small farm and own cattle but have never dealt with goats before. I'm establishing my own set up, apart from the family farm, while working full time. I am interested in getting a dog, with some guarding instincts, but would like it to be compatible with goats, and would like to keep it with the goats when I'm gone in order to keep it company.

I love German Shepherds and pitbulls but from what I can tell those would be bad breeds for this kind of arrangement. Is there any dog breeds that would work out well in this arrangement?
 

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Yes, there are several breeds that are called "Livestock Guardian Dogs" or LGD's. Purebred and crosses of these breeds from working parents are your best choice. These are mostly large breed dogs that are powerful, usually work well in groups. They are breeds created to live with and protect livestock 24/7, 365. That is not to say they need zero training, but they are very instinctual breeds. They are natural guards of what they see as 'theirs', including families, homes, barns, property - really, will work to protect their space even with or without livestock. They CAN be prone to wandering and will need adequate fencing - though to be honest, there is a saying that if a fence can't hold water it won't hold a goat, so you'll already have that anyways. ;) Some breeds and individuals also bark - a lot - it's part of their job description as this helps keep predators away. Some breeds bark less than others and individual animals vary a ton.

I strongly recommend buying a pup or dog that was raised with a herd and parents who are good LGD's. Just buying a pet bred animal of the same breed can lead to drastically different results.

And not all goats will accept a dog if they are unused to them. We do NOT keep an LGD and we keep our family dogs out of the pen unsupervised. I'm more worried that my goats will harm the dog, than vice versa. ;)

There is an guard animal forum with many more experienced people, here on this website. Hopefully others more familiar will chime in as well. I don't run LGD's with my goats, personally, so can only comment on observational experience. :) Here is the link: https://www.homesteadingtoday.com/forums/guard-animals.97/
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Please research and seriously consider one of the LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) breeds. It's what they're bred for. Great Pyrenees, Ahkbash, Anatolian are a few of the LGD breeds. Below is a Great Pyrenees with "her" babies.
5-20-2016, #3.jpg
 

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I have a 3 year old german shepard/lab cross, and he's never been around goats until this year. He's fantastic with them. Never barks, never nips, just hangs out and occasionally has a goat berry snack.
He also has grown up around human 'kids' as well, so maybe that taught him patience. Sometimes its all in the individual dogs temperament. I've never had a LGD, but i hear they bark a lot. To keep predators away and such.
 

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II Corinthians 5:7
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Well, I'm quite prejudiced in that I purchased my first LGD a few years back to guard my large Nubian dairy goats. I chose a Bulgarian Karakachan and I've not regretted doing so; but have been constantly impressed by this breed. You can read about my personal experience training this dog from a pup thru adolescents and on into adulthood on the "guard" forum here in this HomesteadingToday site under the title, "Made my choice a Bulgarian Karakachan".

This dog does not...not...bark excessively but only when she is alerted to predators. She does not...not...constantly stay with the goats but roams all over my little 6 acres guarding the assortment of fowl as well (even from flying predators). Mostly she likes to stay on top of the knoll overlooking the pastures where everyone free-ranges. (What surprised me most was that she has decided I am one of her charges; so as irritating as it sometimes is, she "monitors" what I do. And if she thinks I'm doing something dangerous, she will circle and bark at me....saved me from a limb falling on me at one time while I was pruning trees.) She will let people on the place; however, she watches them closely and will get between them and anything she thinks they might have an interest in. She has never bitten anyone but she will circle them and growl giving them fair warning to watch what they do while on the place. I really cannot say enough about this breed; and am quite pleased with this particular canine. The one thing I've had to contend with is that she thinks she needs to go under my fencing at times. She never stays more than maybe 10-15 minutes and never roams over 100 ft from the parameter fencing; so I'm not sure even now what this is about...unless it is because my guineas roam a bit in those areas. The problem with this is that I always have to walk across about 2 acres of uneven terrain to let her back in thru the gate. ROFL Oh and I've repaired the fence line (at the bottom) in such a way that it looks like a cyclone hit it. (I did notice the time I had to be away from the farm for 15 days due to a hip surgery and the doctor's not letting me return home because there was no one at home to take care of me. This Karakachan did not leave the premises once during those 15 days. I know this for a fact because I had a friendly Police Deputy checking daily.

Now after saying all this I know there are other LGDs that serve well too as guardians; so your doing a little research would be a smart thing to do; and as mentioned above, if you can find a puppy (about 10 weeks of age is better than 8 weeks) that has been running with its parents working as guardians, it is much better than getting one just because it is an LGD. (Not all LGDs are good dogs!)
 
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