LGD training

Discussion in 'Goats' started by papaw, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    My friend has a young (4 or 5 month old) Anatolian. The dog is full of energy and wants to play all the time. He decided to put it in with a young billy (about the same age) to allow the pup to get accustomed to the goats. The pup killed the goat.

    My question is, how do you train a pup to be a good goat dog without risking a young goat?

    Any and all thoughts are welcome.
     
  2. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    I'm looking for a couple of LGDs myself, and would only get them from folks who have the dam and sire on premises with the pups raised from birth and socialized with livestock. Sounds like your friend didn't get a 'socialized with livestock' dog :( . I suppose the best LGD genetics would not make a difference if the dog has not been socialized around livestock.
     

  3. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Lots of people are under the mistaken idea that you can just put a pup in with the goats, and because it is an LGD instincts will guide it. NOT. A puppy has to be supervised, and it's behaviors corrected. You can't put a pup in with a young goat without risking it - it just shouldn't be done.

    Good lgd's bad behaviors are easily extinguished - with proper supervision. A pup should never be placed with a goat that will submit - only a goat that is strong enough to stand up to the pup. Likewise - you don't want a goat that will punish the pup unmercifully either. I made the mistake of placing my young anatolian male in with my dairy does, supervised even, and a dominant doe broke his leg. He was in there less than a minute.

    Play behavior is not to be tolerated. "Wanting to play all the time" would not be acceptable to me - tells me that the dog is alpha. The owner needs to be alpha. Verbal control of the dog is necessary. If they don't have verbal control - they need to get it. If this is an intact male anatolian - 4/5 months is almost too late, but it can be done, if they are willing to put the time and effort into the dog, accept the mistakes they've made, and take some instruction from someone who knows what they are doing. Raising a pup is an initial investment of time, but it is small compared to the years of service you will receive in return.

    I've never had a dog kill a goat - I would suggest emailing/calling Lucky Hit Anatolians and see what Erick would recommend. He helped us raise ours and the website is full of great articles about anatolian working dogs. He's usually swamped with calls, but is giving excellent help for free - be patient, and do what he tells you to do. Worked for us.

    niki
     
  4. Bearfootfarm

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

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    Any LGD should be with the animals its going to guard from birth if possible, or at least by 8-10 weeks of age. To take ANY dog that hasnt been raised with animals and just put them in at that age is a big mistake.

    The only way to train them later is with LOTS of time and effort, and probably a shock collar for correcting dangerous behavior
    http://www.bountifulfarm.com/lgd_seminar.htm
     
  5. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Good info all, thanks. As I said, this is just a case that I know of. Debbie and I haven't got goats or a LGD yet and I was interested to know if it's better to get an older trained dog or a pup to start with. New dog, new goats, new place for all .... what's the best and safest way to go?
     
  6. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I'd get an older trained dog - if it were me. We bought a male anatolian pup and we recquired a lot more help than the breeder was willing to provide (none). Thankfully, we found Erick @ Lucky Hit Ranch - he helped us through. We had never owned an anatolian or any lgd before. I'd say that we were successful in raising ours - but there were times when I didn't think we'd make it!

    Niki
     
  7. pyrnad

    pyrnad Well-Known Member

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    I have Great Pyrenees, and put the young pups out with the experienced dogs. The older dogs teach the pups what to do, and do not allow any play from the pup with the goats.
     
  8. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have 5 working adult Anatolians and three 5 month old puppies in training with the older dogs. Seems adult Anatolians speak "guard dog" better than I do, and are much more effective in correcting bad behavior. To my knowledge I have never had one of my dogs so much as nip at their stock. I recently watched my 2 year old male get butted by a 2 year old ram (no horns) and was hit hard enough that he rolled over three times. His reaction - drop his head and look at the ground - thinking I am sure - well I won't do that again. Absolutely no agression at all.

    In addition I have 6 puppies (18 weeks old) that are for sale. All of my puppies are with sheep and goats and most importantly with an adult guard dog from birth. I don't even advertise puppies for sale until they are at least 16 weeks old, preferably older so I am pretty darn sure that they are safe with stock. Fortunately Anatolians are a breed that only gets more valuble the older, safer, and better trained they are. If the puppies are with me when they are a year old they are just that much more valuble and sell for that much more.
     
  9. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    This is kinda what I'm asking about ... we have no adult dog to put them with ... so would we buy the adult first or get a puppy like yours and hope they know enough to work and guard the goats. Also ... do we need to get the goats first? Will a dog accept goats after say 6 months of living without them?
     
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you have no older dog to train your pups, use older adult goats. When I first get LGD pups, they go in with my breeding bucks. They get a small area where they can be alone, but they prefer to spend their main time with the bucks. When they get the urge to play rough(which being pups they WILL), the bucks put them in their place. They stay with my bucks or adult goats until they are mature(which differs with each individual dog). NEVER put an untrained, immature pup in with goats its own age or even a bit older. Usually only mature does and bucks are prepared to put a rambunctious pup in its place.
    Also, having two pups in with mature goats will give the pups a playmate to run off excess energy with. Someone to chew on who chews back. :rolleyes: Pups will be pups, they need to be supervised. Adult goats will fill in on the supervision end when you cannot. Pups are not to be completely trusted until they are mature. Maturity *can* come as late as 2 years with some LGD pups. And some never work out, though most do. In my experience, Pyrs matured faster and had less problems than the Anatolians, though I like both breeds. I reccomend Pyrs for beginners.
    Oh, and yes, you should get your goats first, do not try to get a pup and have nothing for it to guard. Not good for either party. The dog needs something to bond with and if there are no goats, it will bond with you. Then when you get the goats it will be too late for the pup to properly bond with the herd.
     
  11. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    I have sheep, a 3 yr old Akbash/Maremma and a 6 month old GP pup.

    The Akbash/Maremma guarded cattle before he came here. He's pretty good with the sheep. The pup wants to play, and doesn't realize the sheep are not his littermates. I cannot be here all the time to correct him, so, when he got to really harassing the sheep (and I finally realized what was going on) I put a muzzle on him when I wasn't around. I tried locking him in with the tougher sheep, but he escaped continually (my fences, admittedly, leave something to be desired). So, I have put the two weakest sheep in isolation so they get a chance to plump back up (they were also not competing against the bigger sheep very well for food etc) and kept the pup muzzled for a couple of weeks. Gradually, we'd leave the muzzle off longer and longer. He seems to be MUCH better behaved now. Lots of rawhides to chew on, lots of positive reinforcement for being calm.

    When we were supervising him with the sheep, ANY move towards the sheep that looked playful got a growling "NO" yelled at him. Any actual play contact with sheep got him grabbed, rolled on his back, and growled at more. A serious infraction got the "spit in the mouth" technique too (something I read about, no idea if it works, but hey it couldn't hurt). He is very submissive to me and all other humans, actually, and is learning to be gentle with the sheep. The big horned ewes have butted him a couple of times, he's definitely not asking for any more of that!

    Also, having dedicated 'goof off time' outside the sheep pen seems to help. He can be goofy, just not when he's in with the sheep. It's a slow process, but I think he's learning. As are we. :)

    Good luck!
     
  12. Bearfootfarm

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

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    Id get a puppy and put him right in with the goats. Preferrably it will be one from working parents, and already familiar with goats or sheep. But keep in mind LGD's are not pets and need to bond more to their animals than to humans. And since most of them are "giant" breeds, they wont mature until they are about 2 years old. And 2 dogs would be better than one.
    http://www.lgd.org/
     
  13. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again all,
    So, if I'm reading this right ... I should get either a mature trained dog and just put him to work...or a couple of pups and spend lots of time in training them to do what I really don't know how to do myself! Ha

    It's sounding more like the money would be better spent on at least one mature trained dog to begin with.
     
  14. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Papaw - I have a well trained three and a half year old 3/4 Anatolian 1/4 great Pyr female I'll sell you for $100.00. I have a few too many adult dogs right now and can let one go. She is creamy white, sort of like a Pyr, and is a full half sister to my oldest Anatolian Female. She was trained by her half sister and is a great dog. Weighs about 85 lbs, faster than the wind and super gentle. Put her in with a puppy and the puppy will get trained well too. BTW - I have a nice male pup who is totally unrelated and who will be a BIG Anatolian (pups are out of Nightwatch's, Pinarbashi and Ebelings breeding). Would give you the Female adult as free incentive if you want to drive all the way over here to Kerrville Texas and get the two of them. Pups go for $400.00.
     
  15. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    I too recomend getting an older trained dog. If you want a pup/second dog put him in w/ the trained dog.

    we started out w/ a 1 yr. male who was gaurarding alone in an isolated pen a couple of milee from the rancher. He and the goats were tended to everyday but they were not "played" with. He is the best dog. Wonderful gurad dog and great teacher.

    The down side is that he was not handled and so is very shy around people. He would be perfect if he would let us mess w/ him easier. there must be some humanization or vettting and general caring of the animal is very hard.

    When we bought our male we also bought a puppy. the male raised teh puppy and we made sure she was human compatable. she is also a great dog although she is not as much "goat" as our male. she gurads our yard when teh boys are out and gurads the goats when the boys go inside. She dosen't really guard the chickens though :shrug: .

    Our male is w/ my FIL 3 hrs. away and has also raised a 1/2 pyr-- lab puppy we got from the pound. the pup also turned into a great dog. It is amazing to watch the dogs interact w/ each other and work out a gurad plan when the coyotes get too close.
     
  16. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the offer and the advice, but it will still be a little while before we have our goats. We'll keep you in mind when the time comes though.