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Discussion Starter #1
The Background: Daisy is a 10th month old GP we just (2 days) rehomed from a family that is eliminating their livestock. Family says she has lived in the pasture with an older male GP since she was young. She was raised with chickens, sheep/lambs, cow/calves.

We are new to GP, our goats/chickens/barn cats are new to GP and 10 month old Daisy is of course new to our 5 fenced acres, our animals and us - lots of transition going on.

Daisy walks on a leash very well - she's on one whenever she's around our animals and when we do our perimeter walks (4-5 times a day). She has about 2.5 fenced acres to herself so she does not need to be on a leash on all the time. If she's not with us on a leash walking around the animals & barn, she is in open pasture but can see, smell and get used to the chickens and goats. She is very respectful of us - no jumping up, comes when called knows No and Leave it and is learning sit. The only animal she appears to want to chase are the barn kittens. The only other episode we had was a chicken flew over the fence to where Daisy is not on a leash. She ran over, picked it up and carried it to the gate into the chicken area and dropped it off, and stood looking at it as if to say -- silly chicken, you belong in over there. The chicken was unhurt, but not happy at being carried around in Daisy's mouth. We recognize she is only 10 months old, still puppy-like and has not attained the calmness of an older dog and our chickens and goats are skittish about this big white animal we've introduced in the last couple days.

The questions: How can we make this time of transition and maturing easiest for Daisy? She's used to having animals with her and sleeping with them, so I wonder if she's lonely. Goats and chickens are in the barn at night. ps, Daisy seems entirely comfortable in the pasture at night - no excessive barking or acting out.

thanks in advance.
 

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I don't have a LGD, but from what I read on this board, it sounds as if you have a winner.
Good luck with Daisy, and congrats.
 

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The only other episode we had was a chicken flew over the fence to where Daisy is not on a leash. She ran over, picked it up and carried it to the gate into the chicken area and dropped it off, and stood looking at it as if to say -- silly chicken, you belong in over there. The chicken was unhurt, but not happy at being carried around in Daisy's mouth.
That's a good dog that knows it's duty.

Only suggestion I have is to let her spend lots of supervised time with your other animals over the next few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the responses. As we are all learning to get along, I appreciate the inputs. All suggestions gratefully accepted. :spinsmiley:
 

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I highly recommend the LGD forum on yahoo, and a site "Bountiful Farm". They have great publications on the raising, training and using guardian dogs. It sounds like your pup has been raised well and has a good start, and you're doing the correct things so far. THey are such fun to watch as they mature - I'm starting one at 12 weeks right now to replace one I had to put down. Wonderful dogs.
 

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Thought I'd drop by to share an update. We are at day 8 and we've had ups and downs with Daisy. She has caught another chicken - this time she went into the barn, into the chicken stall and cornered one in or at the nesting boxes. We ran to the screaming and grabbed her collar and she let go. Now the chickens are terrified of her and of going into the barn. Took us 30 minutes in the dark to get them out of the bushes and onto their roosts.

Our goats are not accepting her - they won't let her get near them. We've tried several times to 'introduce them' using leads for control and the goats just get hysterical. Occasionally now she will run up to the goat fence and bark.

It's frustrating because we watched her for nearly an hour in the pasture with lambs, a calf and chickens before we rehomed her. Lambs and calf were playing and running around and she watched but never barked at or bothered them.

I knew it would take time and patience for us to introduce our animals to this big fuzzy interloper, but I thought it would be one-sided - our animals having the drama and she would be willing to be calm and nonthreatening. We're finding she is responding to their drama.

We're spending hours supervising because we'd really like this to work, but the tension is pretty high here for all the animals and I'm at a loss for how to fix that. Even if they don't 'bond', we need to find a way that goats and chickens aren't afraid to be in their places just because they can see her. We are 'talking' with a retired LGD/Pyr trainer from a different forum, who is generously giving us some very helpful ideas, but whew, this is exhausting for everybody. :(
 

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Thought I'd drop by to share an update. We are at day 8 and we've had ups and downs with Daisy. She has caught another chicken - this time she went into the barn, into the chicken stall and cornered one in or at the nesting boxes. We ran to the screaming and grabbed her collar and she let go. Now the chickens are terrified of her and of going into the barn. Took us 30 minutes in the dark to get them out of the bushes and onto their roosts.

Our goats are not accepting her - they won't let her get near them. We've tried several times to 'introduce them' using leads for control and the goats just get hysterical. Occasionally now she will run up to the goat fence and bark.

It's frustrating because we watched her for nearly an hour in the pasture with lambs, a calf and chickens before we rehomed her. Lambs and calf were playing and running around and she watched but never barked at or bothered them.

I knew it would take time and patience for us to introduce our animals to this big fuzzy interloper, but I thought it would be one-sided - our animals having the drama and she would be willing to be calm and nonthreatening. We're finding she is responding to their drama.

We're spending hours supervising because we'd really like this to work, but the tension is pretty high here for all the animals and I'm at a loss for how to fix that. Even if they don't 'bond', we need to find a way that goats and chickens aren't afraid to be in their places just because they can see her. We are 'talking' with a retired LGD/Pyr trainer from a different forum, who is generously giving us some very helpful ideas, but whew, this is exhausting for everybody. :(
Hmmmm maybe back off on the introductions for now, especially with the goats- it didnt go well and her now coming and barking at them is making it worse.
I would backtrack abit (sorta like when I was training my dog to chickens) you walk her by the goats (at a far enough distance they dont react), just as part of your usu routine (act like its just a routine walk about the property) and reward her for ignoring them... like if she looks at you instead of them, say Yes Daisy and give her a treat (can be anything like a crumb of cheese or a cat kibble, something little and rewarding).. etc....

Keep that up til everyone has calmed down some...

also our greatpyr- anatolian from 6months through 1 year was a bit of a handful, would occsionally (like 4 total) chase and catch chickens I strongly suspect he killed 2, as well as our huge Roo that was fighting him for his food bowl(feel the roo deserved that one).. I had to keep interrupting him and reprimanding him .. and now at almost 14 months he really has settled down alot- although he did corner our new baby buckling (3months) last week to lick him and smell him (he has never harmed our goats)....

Also it takes time - settling in will take a few weeks, its baby steps, the settling in should be at the level of nobody getting alarmed, Daisy just hanging out near the house for the first month and following you around during your daily routine (keep her unexcited and in control)-
then as everyone gets used to the prescence of each other, then she can explore the pastures more...
thats what I would suggest, given your smaller size property (as ours is)...
Dont worry if there is any night disturbances she still will be the first one there- she cant help it its her instinct!
 

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I'm wondering if the screaming and running toward her when she was in the chicken house did more harm than good for that situation....I say this because of what you told about how she took that chicken back to where it was suppose to be.

I have only owned one LGD and I can tell you that my concern was totally unfounded; and my Karakachan was only 8 weeks and had never had an opportunity to be taught about livestock duties as your pup has.

Daisy is going thru adolescence so there will be some drama no matter what type of training she gets; however, letting her be where she wants to be, trusting her to NOT do what she isn't suppose to do will eventually teach your other animals that she is not going to harm them. Then she can go in and out and they won't run from her.

Has she ever harmed one of your animals...not just frighten them by her presence? I really think you may have a very good dog there and giving her freedom (while protecting her) is what I'd focus on. I could be wrong of course (not all LGDs are alike) but she sounds trustworthy to me.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Trying to answer all the questions because I do value everyone's perspective and we really want this to work. She's captured our hearts and I am convinced our inexperience is contributing to the drama. :ashamed:
Our plan more or less fits the suggestions above to back off and let things settle down again. It sounds like she should be a good guardian. What we're seeing is just way too much exuberance on her part - bounding up to the animals, barking, tail up, ears up, grinning like mad. The one time she got close to the goats, she put her nose all over/under, put a paw on one's back and her mouth on the other's. Not agressively, but they were terrified. BTW, never try to fight back-just run. We cut that introduction off because the goats started flailing around. Most of the time she is calm, but then she charges up, they run and she's right after them barking. We feel like we need to stop the cycle, step back and start again to build confidence. We have returned to: chickens in their places, goats in their places and Daisy in the surrounding pastures where everyone can see each other, and are separated only by cattle panels. We will start again. We are using verbal praise (good girl), head rubs and we have treats in our pocket for when we catch her being calm.

Maybe I could stand inside the goat pen and get Dh to walk her over and lay down at the fence and give her treats for being near their fence and calm. I'll have to try that.

We are a bit confused about how to react when she behaves badly-barking at the goats, rushing the fence, chasing. Some say to yell loud and make a big deal out of the animals being 'mine.' Some folks say run over, grab her, roll her over into a submission posture like a Mama Dog would do. There are a lot of points of view so I think we have to figure out what works with our girl. We really aren't yellers, but we do holler Daisy, No when she has a chicken in her mouth or when she rushes the goat fences barking. We're also a little confused about how much time we should be spending with her. Seems there's a lot of differences of opinion with lots of warnings not to make her our pet vs a guardian dog.
Everyone's suggestions are gratefully accepted, even if they are different.
Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for all your help. At this point, we chose to rehome Daisy with a family that had an adult Pyr and livestock already acclimated. Their dog is disabled and they were looking for a teenager to add, so this was a perfect match. This has been a terribly difficult decision but we felt Daisy was lonely being alone and needed to be in a place where she had something to do and other animals to keep her company.

I'm crying because I miss her already and I feel like we failed. We read and read but we had much more to learn than we realized. We believe this is the best for Daisy.
 

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Oh, I'm sorry you had to rehome her, though it sounds like she may be happier in the other place.

If you're considering getting another LGD, you might want to make sure it has run with its parents awhile and been around the type of animals you have on your place. I picked up my LGD at 8 weeks of age and that made it more difficult on her than it needed to be; so I would suggest you get a pup no younger than 12 "weeks" old. Then about all you need do is "protect" it while it adjusts to your place. Also, a dog (even an LGD) does need another dog to play with....
 

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Continued good advice, thank you. We agree - a pup with Mama training would have been a better way to start and a lonely dog is an unhappy dog, LGD or not. When we realized we could learn, but Daisy would pay the price, we chose to make a decision for her sake. It's all about the animals, right? :). Her new family don't live too far from us, we share vets and feed mills, etc. We will meet them in various places, so it's not a 'blind adoption.' Everyone I think will be happier. Thanks for sticking with us and providing coaching and encouragement. As always, the folks on HT rock. :rock: Maybe we will be back in a year or two to try again.
 

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Thanks for sticking with us and providing coaching and encouragement. As always, the folks on HT rock. :rock: Maybe we will be back in a year or two to try again.
your welcome!
Just be aware that it will take pup (sorry really didnt mean young pup, I did mean at least 10 weeks old or so) a year or two to be an effective guardian...

There definitely alot of differing theories around the LGDs - motdaugrnds has a great thread on raising hers from a pup (and its alot more along the lines of our style of dog raising)- its not all that realistic to raise a LGD to live in the fields, with little human contact on certain setups (like ours that are really small)- and they tend to function more as family farm dogs who are also excellent predator control- even though we have a dog door -ours doesnt like to come inside, although he loves his people, and he interacts well with our other 2 family pet dogs (the giant schnauzer is a certain kind of protection all of her own)...
ok I digress, good luck though in your future--

can I leave you with my favorite website- its where I want to get my next pup from (and its only an hour away from us)- she has great info for newbies getting into LGDs--
http://www.lgdnevada.com/For_Novice_LGD_Owners.html
 
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