Livestock dog

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by lamaster, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. lamaster

    lamaster Member

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    We'd like to add a livestock (cattle) dog to our homestead. Any suggestions as to what breed to consider?

    /g.
     
  2. bcfarmer

    bcfarmer Member

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    i have a collie/shepard mix. she works well with sheep, cows, chickens and kids. she barks when another dog or people come in the yard and she even helped me haul some brush the other day.
     

  3. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Australian Shepherd. They are very loyal and don't want to work the stock constantly like other breeds. They will listen to you if training begins first thing when you bring her home. We are still looking for a female blue merle pup.
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I didn't notice if you are in the south before I hit the reply button. In the south, I don't think there is a better cattle dog than the Catahoula Leopard Dog, providing you actually need a work dog and you have the land. They are bred to work cattle and will run them all day long. If you do not need the drive of a Catahoula, then you would be better off with another breed. They are high energy and can get into trouble if not worked. Our Catahoula lives in the house and runs full speed several times a day. She is my home guardian and is very good at that too. Whatever breed you decide on- buy or adopt a working line dog. Good breeding makes all the difference.
     
  5. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I think we can all offer opinions on what breed makes a good dog but the key to success with any breed is training. Start your pup on basic commands and reinforce them continually. Read everything you can on training stock dogs and when the time comes, enroll both of you in a good basic clinic and keep educating yourselves as you advance. Make sure you don't allow a stock dog to just roam, if you don't have work for them, they'll generally find something to herd over at the neighbors. I'm partial to Heelers and Australian Shepherds but have to say, it does take a special person to keep them. I find they're a little slower to mature than some other breeds.
     
  6. lamaster

    lamaster Member

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    Thanks for your advise folks. I love this board. I've found a Great Pyrenese Pup for sale near here.... any experience out there on the Pyr's?
     
  7. jennifer_b

    jennifer_b Member

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    My sister had a Great Pyreneise and she didnt have enough land for him so she sold him. They seem to be real gentle and calm.

    They might make a good farm dog especially if you have a lot of acreage for them to run on. And if you start training them early on.

    They are extremely huge dogs. So might make sure they wont hurt calves and such.
     
  8. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    Hi Lamaster,
    A Pyre would be a great dog if your are looking for a livestock guardian rather than a dog to help you work/move livestock.

    They are gentle and calm, but will fiercely protect anything that they consider part of their "pack"...be they cattle, goats, chicken, children, etc. They will roam far and wide patrolling their territory, and tend to bark at night at anything and everything they decide is out of the ordinary. And they are big!! Most, both male and female, are over 100 lbs. and about +/- 30" at the shoulder, with males usually being at the upper end of both ranges. With their thick, long double coat, they handle cold weather without a problem, but will suffer in heat, make sure they have lots o' shade and water available! From what I've seen, hip dysplasia seems to be the health problem to look out for.

    They tend to be a bit stubborn and strongwilled, but like any dog, they need to know who's boss, and benefit from consistent but fair training, and lots of love. The are a bit aloof to strangers, but very loyal to family.

    Good luck puppy hunting!
    April Z.
     
  9. LuckyGRanch

    LuckyGRanch Well-Known Member

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    We have 4 Pyr's right now (5 if you add the one here for breeding) and love them dearly! Don't intend to "train" a Pyr too much though or you'll be setting yourself up for a lot of frustration! :rolleyes:

    I wouldn't even label them as stubborn. The breeder we bought our first Pyr from put it this way: "They won't play fetch, it's "beneath" them". I think they view most training/commands that way. :(

    Nearly all of what a Pyr does is simply instinct. They will be wonderful guardians but, they generally won't "work" with you moving cattle, etc.

    Just depends on what you want in your farm dog. We also have a Border Collie when we need "work" done! :)
     
  10. I have a friend who loves her Pyr. She's always showing him off to visitors and he is an excellent night watchman for her livestock.
    The Pyr personality (and LGD in general personality) regarding training is perhaps well illustrated with this anecdote:

    The big white dog approaches Marilyn and her guest. The visitor makes a comment about him and Marilyn starts on her usual rave about how wonderful he is. The dog continues to amble toward them while Marilyn talks. When he's within ten feet of them, Marilyn calls him, "Come here, Prince" hoping to speed him up a bit so the visitor can pet him.
    Prince, who has been fully obedience trained and anyway was headed that direction and clearly intending to investigate the visitor, gives Marilyn a "look", immediately turns to one side, and with great dignity walks away.

    He really is a great dog, though. Sleeps in a corner of the barn most of the day and patrols the livestock pens all through the night.
    They just definately use their own judgement about what to do. Orders are out, even polite suggestions, even pleas couched in flattering language are nothing if the dog thinks he knows better, which is 95% of the time.
     
  11. Necie

    Necie Member

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    I have an Australian Sheppard and always wanted one. I found her about 3 weeks ago where someone had put her out on the road. I was sick as a dog myself but my husband pulled off and I went through all kinds of underbrush and briars on my hands and knees to get her. She was scared to death. She was maybe 4-5 months old. I took her and got a rabies shot and made an appointment to be spayed. Now that she has settled in, she is happy and already beginning to try to herd cattle, horses, kids and me. She seems to be smart and loving. I think that she is going to be a great dog. I don't think that anyone could go wrong with one like her
     
  12. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    We have a breeding pair of Australian Cattle Dogs and 2 of their pups. The adults had no training when we got them at age 4 and 2. They have come a long way in a year. They know the basic commands and love to move the cows for us. Though they still hate to stop at times! The puppies are 4 months old. We have been working with them regularly. They are excellent dogs for the cattle (the kids and cats too). They bring the cats back from the road for us (bring 'em around) (I think they do it so they can get the chance at playing with them). They still have a mind of their own at times. They train easier separately but have been combined a couple of times and have listened with the animals well. We love them.

    They choose who is theirs. Each of the dogs has picked a person that he is loyal to. They like everyone, but just love that one person a whole lot more. I have been blessed with Ginger, if I stop quick she bowls me right over. She is attached to my right hip. We have never allowed a dog in our bedroom on the rug, she sleeps in here under the desk. She can't stand to be far from me.

    They need to run and play hard or they will pester the daylights out of you at night. :haha: My DH falls asleep on the couch alot and they sneak up and attack him if they have had nothing to do for the day.
     
  13. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    Upstate SC
    I know everyone thinks of rottweilers as guard dogs but they were originally bred to herd cattle.

    I've had several of them - wonderful dogs. Very intelligent. The only reason I don't have them any more is because of their size - I'm 43 and I knew that as I got older, I wouldn't be able to lift and carry them if necessary. My last one was a 110 lb male - when he hurt his leg, I needed help to get him to the car.

    I still laugh whenever I think of grandma coming over while my boys were young (under 5). She didn't come here that much (we usually went to her house) so Britta (my rottie at the time) didn't feel comfortable letting this strange lady get close to 'her' boys and would constantly be herding them away from her.

    I now have a basset - incredibly cute - but dumb as dirt.
     
  14. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    We tried the Great Py once. Then after the third time retrieving him miles away from home, a lady who had several (tightly penned) asked us, "Don't you know they have a 400-mile roaming radius?" We just stared at her in disbelief. NO. We bought him as a 2yo from a fellow with Boer goats and he was moving. We *thought*, we have goats, so he'll know what to do. It should have tipped us off when the guy said that "sometimes he jumps the fence". What were we thinking, the fence was no less than 6' high! Another lesson learned the hard and expensive way. Might want to do a lot of homework.

    We have an Australian (red) Heeler and DH's family have had a few over the years. They have an Aussie Shephard now and she's sweet. I just can't deal with the hair. Cockleburrs are impossible. The heeler at least pretends to be protecting the goats and annoys the horses. (He seems to be scared of the cows.) We only had horses when we brought him home as a pup. His daddy couldn't be trusted as he was raised in isolation. Ours is wonderful with kids because we raised him that way. He's the only dog I've ever taught not to kill the poultry or leave home. That's why he's here and all others are not.

    I hope you find the pup of your dreams!!!