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We've got a female full blooded Great Pyranese that is 3 years old and a male that we've had since he was 12 weeks old. The female is great and we've never had the first minutes trouble out of her. The male has been doing well, he's almost 8 months old and already bigger than our female. Lately he's been getting very aggressive at meal time. If the goats even get close to him while he's eating he gets very aggressive with them. Last night he got ahold of one of our boers ears. She's fine, but we can't have this behavior out of our LGD. We are right now going to start taking him away from the herd at feeding time and putting him in a stall in the barn to eat. I know this is probably only going to be a temp. fix. We are also looking into purchasing a shock collar. We just don't know what is going to be the best option or if we should look into something else all together. This is our 2nd year with the goats and we are still learning. Any and all advice will be appreciated. Let me also add that he is not aggressive with the goats any other time except at mealtime.
 

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We don't feed our Pyrs with our livestock. For one thing, it's not good for sheep/goats/calves to eat dogfood, and they will do so if given half a chance. Even our poultry will eat the dogs' food, and when the dogs are taught never to show any aggression toward the livestock, the dogs end up going without. So, many of them develop some sort of food aggression out of neccessity. To avoid this in entirety, we always feed out LGD's separate from the other animals. We wouldn't allow our Pyrs to harrass the sheep while the sheep are eating their grain, why would we allow the sheep to harrass the dogs while the dogs eat?
Pyrs also have the tendency to develop stomach torsioning, a potentially fatal condition caused by eating too much, and eating too fast. If they feel their food is threatened, they may well gulp it down and develop this condition. Feeding separately solves this too.
 

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I would not advise a shock collar for this situation. This is an area that is a problem for many LGD owners. You have dogs who are non-food aggressive, so the goats eat their food and the dog gets very little or none. Then you have the aggressive dog who protects his food, thus possibly injuring one. Me, I'll take the agressive one anyday over the passive one.
Most long-time LGD owners I know, feed their dog in an area they can get into, but not the goats. I did this for a long time. I would set up a bowed panel just enough off the ground so the dog could slip under and the goats couldn't. Since I've gone to feeding raw, its not been a problem.:)
Some goats will do anything for dogfood. If the dog doesn't protect his food, he won't get any. I would simply continue to separate him at mealtimes. Maybe build him a little area where the goats cannot come.
He is a pup still. As he gets older he will probably learn to balance his food aggression. But for the sake of the dog, I would feed him separately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! We did bring them into the barn drive tonight and fed them. Our female was a rescue from an abusive home and doesn't adapt to change well. We ended up bringing her back up behind our house to eat. I'm gonna have to put something interesting in her food to get her used to eating in a different place. Sasha on the other hand eagerly gobbled up his food in the safety of the barn. :eek:) We are definitely going to keep up with this for the time being. A shock collar would be our last resort. I don't particularly like them and agree with ozark jewels, I would prefer to have the aggresive dog over the passive one. Just not agressive with the livestock. Evidently one of the goats gave him a pounding yesterday after the "episode" because he was not to keen on them getting near him. He does a great job protecting them so we definitely want to head off any problems before they get too bad.
 

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MrHank,
There was a thread similar to this. One poster said something that made me change my ways. The thought was simple. It went like this: "The GPyr works day and night, so why can't he have a peaceful mealtime. "

Another poster gave a link showing a doorway that the GPyr had to twist his body in order to enter the enclosure so he could eat in peace. Even the smartest goat couldn't enter.

Perhaps a skillful navigator of this site can give you the links.
Paul
 

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Totally agree with Emily. Just change the feed parameters and all of your problems go away.

Shock collars have been known to ruin the temperament of a Pyrenees. I think that managing situations is always better than going to extremes.

If you notice other aggression related incidents - people or critters, then you may need to re-evaluate.
 

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Food aggression is fairly normal with Pyrs. It is possible the goats will learn to stay away after being threatened several times, but I wouldn't take the chance as one can get hurt.

We set up a self-feeding jump box. We took an old kennel and covered it with tarp. Then we made a wired wooden door, about 2.5 feet high (you may need it higher, but that height works for our goats)and secured it to the kennel door frame. The dogs jump on the wooden door & over into the kennel. Inside the kennel we put a plastic barrel, with a large square cut out, and placed a tub inside the barrel for the dog food. To feed them we just step over the mini-door. Works great for us.

As an added note, this kennel doubles as a doggie jail if we need it. The bottom has cattle panel so they can't dig out, and the top has a kennel panel with plywood, covered with the tarp. The cattle pannel is covered with an old rug so they can't catch their paws or nails on the cattle panel.

You can build a really inexpensive jump box in a corner of your pasture, too. Add two fence poles to make the door frame. Add fencing these to the existing fence on both sides. Then make the jump door between the two poles. Just be sure the dogs have enough clearance so they don't hit the fence corner on their way in.
HF
 

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Food agression is common with all LGD breeds.
Just change your feeding routine, and DON'T try to change the dog
Your animals will soon learn to leave his feed alone. Let THEM work it out
 
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