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Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by minnikin1, Sep 1, 2006.
How do you housebreak an LGD from "going" in the barn?
Confine him/her to that area where they are doing it preferably for the time they are doing it. It might work just to confine them during the day to that space and let them roam at night. Dogs generally won't mess their crate/space so if you make that space their "den" they will learn to not mess in it. Might want to let him/her out a few times during the day to do their business when you can monitor to make sure they do it where you want (or rather not do it where you don't want).
In addition, feed the dog over the spots she messed in so she won't keep messing in the same spot.
I'm a little lost. Why is it in the barn?
When I broke 2 puppies, I penned them (in a seperate pen within the corral) in the corrall with 8 sheep. Kept the sheep and puppies together for couple of weeks, then started taking 1 puppy out (keeping the other in the seperate pen) - one during the day, one during the night. (keeping one in the pen would tend to keep the other puppy in the corral area). After another month, I let both puppies out during the night, and 1 in the pen during the day. (and let the sheep out of the corral). This bonded the puppies with the sheep (and corral) very well! (Corral because several months later we got some Highland Cattle... one barked so much at the cattle in "his" corral he went horse!)
I also don't agree with walking them either. You want them to imprint on the animals they are supposed to guard (not you). Most of the people around here who have LSD don't even pet them until they are a year - 18 months old. I wouldn't talk nor pet ect. when I fed the 2. I'd just put the bowls over the pen (used hog fencing to build the pen for them so they couldn't escape through the bottom). I did leash train them at about 4 months, and would take them once every 2 weeks or so on the leash there after (can't break a 100 pounds of dog on a leash very easy).
It worked well, and the first and 2nd lambing, the new born lambs were butting the LSD (before they figured out for sure who Momma was) to be fed. I'm planning on getting 2 more puppies and will use the same technique (soon as I can find a Komondor puppy ((hopefully 2, if not another Anatolian Shepard/ Pyr cross, an Anatolian Shepard for the 2nd or better a Kom crossed with Pyr or AS))).
You really need to bond the dog with what ever it's supposed to guard. Being in the barn is not bonding it. These are to be working dogs. They don't need to be house broke, handled, obedience trained, nor be your buddy. I do feel it seems easier to train 2 than one. I also have noticed 2 LSDs are much better for guarding than one also.
hello Pat, have you had your coffee this morning?? they'll be in the barn because we're not in Arkansas - it gets dern cold here and the flock spends time in the barn in winter!
During lambing the sheep are in the barn, and the dog(s) will be with where the sheep are...
I was trying to figure out how to communicate to the dog that although the sheep "go" in the barn, I don't want the dog to follow suit. Since this will be my first LGD and I've only familiar housebreaking pets via crate training, I had no idea how to approach this with an LGD who will not be confined.
Thank you for taking time to respond, though.
I appologize... I didn't realize it was frosty already in NY, and the sheep were already spending nights in the barn. I'd also keep a couple sheep in the barn during the day with it (at least for another month maybe longer).
I just put old hay down in the pen I built, and every couple of days to a week, I muck it up and put it on the compost pile, and put fresh old hay down.
As I said (and I agree with the people around here with LSDs) the less handling of them when the are puppies the better their bond with the sheep will be.
I know you bought a puppy from working parents (and therefore has good instincts already that just need to be reinforced), but if you don't imprint the sheep on them (and bond them) you end up with a dog that is around you (and on your porch). The mother of the puppies I broke (both parents LSD for goats, and born in goat stable), I didn't do it right, and she always wanted to be around us. Ended up getting rid of her because she developed a taste for birds (and we have chickens, ducks, guineas, Muskovy ducks and turkeys).
I just read an article in Small Farm Today (from April '94) that says
"At eight weeks confine the puppy with lambs, kids or whatever they are to guard. Don't play with the puppy or treat it like a pet in any way. Set up an area where the puppy can eat or sleep by itself. Neere let the sheep (or goats etc.) access to the puppy's food or it may resort protecting its food from the livestock.
Over a period of about a month the puppy will become bonded with the lambs or kids. At around three months confine the lambs, sheep and puppy in a small pasture. Durning this time the adult sheep will adjust to to the dog. If possible, maintain this arrangement until the dog is about five months old, at which time the sheep may be turned into a large pasture and the puppy should stay with them.
Introduce simple obedience commans around four months of age. Keep it simple and have lessons last only ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
Most working dogs work in response to commands. LGD were breed to work independently and to think for themselves. They need to develop their own instincts as much as possible. Because of this nature they do not always respond to commands as readily as you may wish. Therefore, try not to give a command that you cannot enforce or that is a contradiction to what their instinct tells them. If your dog starts to chase a coyote (or a dog not belonging to you), don't call it back. The instinct to protect is staronger than the desire to obey your command. The dog isn't being "bad". They seem hardheaded at times but their independence is what makes them such excellent guard dogs."
Any where I have put "()" they are my comments not part of the original article. The "-" means I skipped a paragraph or two in the orginal article. I thought after reading the article I thought I'd give some "justification" for what I had put earlier. As I said, I didn't follow these guidelines on our first purchase, and created a 100 pound porch ornament instead of a working LGD. You can easily over ride their instincts (especially when it's pleasurable for them).
I also still suggest getting a 2nd puppy if possible. Not only are they easier to reenforce their instincts, and provide much more than double the protection, but most animals do better in groups of at least 2. (Even I do better with a wife!)
ANy idea on how to get a 14 month old GP who works accept 2 more pups?
I've got 2 LGD now, and as soon as I can get a Kom puppy, l'll get 2nd puppy to reenforce with it. I'll do as I said I did ons the 2nd 2. I'll build a pen in the corral (out of hog panels) and keep the 2 of them in their for a couple of weeks to a month... then release 1 in the day and one at night. The 2 LSD will have access to the corral, and I expect them to accept the puppies the same as the sheep / lambs. By not allowing the puppies out of the pen for the first couple of weeks the adult LGD should accept them. (I put the pen under the barn overhang ((it runs out probably 10 - 12 feet)) into the corral area.
We have a neighbor that has 6 LGD's and just pens the new puppies in the corral area and the older dogs accept the puppies by the time they are actually running "free". Their corral isn't covered at all so they put a small dog house in the pen area for the puppies.
I have noticed most breeds of LGD puppies don't seem as playful etc. and other puppies.
That article I was quoting from said to keep the LGD puppies away from the herding dogs while they are still puppies too. If they play with and watch the herding dogs (we have Borders) they will pick out their habits. (Our Borders are only "free ranging" when they are working... if they aren't working they are either kenneled or on stake out chain. ((suggestion from Bob Hinds "Train Your Own Stock Dog" book)) If they don't have something to do for you, they will figure something to do anyway... they'd move the ducks all over, or the sheep or even the cows... and they don't recognize fences so you always run the risk of being run over etc.)
These next puppies will only be my 3rd try so I'm not positive the existing LGDs will accept them but sure think it will work.
Introduce then through a fence a few times. With my Maremmas Ive found that once they realize YOU accept them, then they will too. All dogs are different so your results may vary. My Maremmas will play with my Coonhound but wont tolerate any strange dogs coming around at all
I have 2 adult Pryenees and a 6 month old pup (their pup). The adults were played with too much when we got them. To be honest, it was my husband, he would not leave them alone, despite my protests. So they stay around the house, but are still very protective of the whole ranch as they can cover a tremendous amount of ground quickly. They even keep large predatory birds from eating the poultry. They leave the poultry alone and are bonded to them as well as every other farm animal (except the donkeys, they just don't like the donkeys...I think because the Aussie enjoys chasing the donks).
Anyway, when our first litter of pups were born, we kept one, a male (who will be neutered), and and this time my hubby heeded my advice. We never touched any pup, except for 'taming", worming, clipping nails, etc. They bonded with the yardbirds and what not. We put the pup in a pen with a group of same age goats, the same age as the pup. he was 6 weeks old, so were the goats. They were bottle-baby Lamanchas. He loved them and vice versa. He never offered to dig out of the pen (his parents dug out immediately at his age because they had been petted too much as pups and wanted to come back to the house). He is an older pup now and is still in there. If I take the goats through the woods on a walk, he sticks by them, even with his parents running and tempting him to leave and join them. One time, his momma dug him an escape tunnel, he got out, but would not leave the goat pen and cried to get back in (he could not figure out the tunnel when he was smaller). he would not leave the goats to go with his momma. Now he is so protective of his goats, that he won't even let a horse near the pen. He is ferocious already about anything near his goats and he is still a pup.
LGD have to be left alone with their livestock. They can't be "pets". They will love humans because humans feed them. They will know who to accept as far as guest because we human masters give off a vibe. Mine just know who belongs and they wag their tails and all is cool. But they are very protective if something is not right. You just have to let them be. Mine do not sit or stay or anything. I don't care. They protect the animals. That is all I want out of them.
BTW, i also have my LGD sniff and bond with any small children or babies in the family while the dogs are young. Even if the babies live a good distance away, i try to have them come visit, just for this purpose. Also, any friend's small children. I think these dogs need to know that little kids are to be protected. Mine are good with kids although i don't encourage or allow children to "play" with the dogs.
Introduce new pups to your LGD slowly. Let them sniff each other through the fence. Be sure the LGD knows that they are *your* puppies and that they are ok. The LGD will still teach them who is boss, you just want to be sure it doesn't really harm them.
My LGD's have never messed in the barn or barnyard. No training, they just naturally don't.
I will start by saying sorry for hijacking the thread.
Our GP has come from a local line that has been known to defend small children just they do there animals.
I didnt pet our GP when she was little my kids did a bit.She seems to love the kids like they were her goats but when the kids go out to play on the side she lives on I tie the GP. She is still young and the whole chase game is to inticing with a 3 year old and a 1.5 year old.Even though i know that she will not hurt the kids on purpose.
The breeder had a pup dissapear when it was about 7 monthes old.One day he heard a story a youg women was telling on how their found dog stopped a intruder and put itself between the intruder nd the kids it appears that it was a intense situation.He asked so when did you find the dog? what did it look like and so on.He told them yea thats one of mine.The women offered to give the dog as she didnt have the money to pay for the dog.The man asked to meet her kids and the dog together.When he went to see them all together he told them you keep this dog he has found his job here with these kids, and there is no sense in splitting that up.
I heard this story from a few PYR breeders around here they were trying to use this story to help sell there pups.Well we found the true breeder and when we went there to see puppies who were living in the goat pen .When we had picked out a pup we had the kids come out of the car to see them. When this man saw our kids the price dropped instantly.not free but 100 bucks fell
Our GP now has run of about 2 acres of the 10 and she will go between the goats and the house doing her job and is now doing so nicely.
Now to just keep working her with our 2 new pups
Our Pyrs do the protective thing with kids now too, although no kids live here. I mentioned in my above post about having them sniff kids when they were little pups. Now when kids get out of a car at the house, the 2 big dogs will each get on one side of a child as if to escort the child. They are so clam and easy going. But the child is almost held up by the big white dogs. it is amazing to see.
Each dog seems to have a special job that it has decided on itself. The male seems to want to keep intruders at bay from entering the property. The female seems to want to nuture. The male wants to block unwanted dogs and vehicles from coming too close. The female guards the old senior horse so she can eat her food without interference. They work in tandem quite a bit, but also split duties. They have an unspoken deal of some sort.
A cowboy from an adjoining ranch came to get his cattle out that had broken through our fence and were getting into our round bales. The dogs were very upset with this. They knew the difference between his cows and our cows. They knew the cowboy did not belong on the back of the ranch messing with the fence. The cowboy told me later that he was just terrified of the dogs because he knew what breed they were and that he knew they were protected "their" animals. I told him not to worry, that they would not do anything as long as he did not touch one of "their" animals. It made me feel bad for him as I do not want anyone to be afraid of them. They are good to people and have never tried to bite. I think people are just intimadated my big barking dogs. Especially with all the pit bull horror stories you hear. Later, the dogs saw me talking to the cowboy, so now they know he is okay.