Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Love My Manchas!
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am soon to be the owner of a mini aussi puppy(its the lady i work for dogs) and by soon i mean the puppys are due january XD but i want to start finding ways to train it to be good with my goats. should i keep it inside or in the goat barn? how do i potty train?(iv heard the rubbing the nose in its mess is a no no). I do have school so i wont be home all the time to house train, but i do want a good family dog and watch dog for my goats. This is a good breed right? Sorry its gona be my first puppy, i have had dogs before but adopted them when they were adults. any advice is welcome :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
The Australian Shepherd is a herding breed so, from reading your post, I'm not sure it is the breed you really want. They are also a homestead guard dog but not bred to do the job the guardian breeds are bred to do.

The Aussie is not suited to being kept in a barn....although many seem to think they do just fine in that environment. They need that family contact and also usually need a job....although, if bred correctly, they are just as happy sleeping at your feet while you type on the computer as they are herding goats. Keeping them kenneled or chained..separated from their humans is not going to get good results and they are not bred to live with the livestock as the guardian breeds are. Aussies kept in these types of situations tend to be constant barkers, diggers and also easily develop aggression issues. Many one time owners got these dogs thinking they could put them in kennels or on chains and get great results. Rescue is full of all these dogs who found ways to entertain themselves while left alone that disturbed the neighbors.

The Minis are unique in that breeders select for size...in most cases to the exclusion of all other attributes. Your dog's pedigree will tell you whether it comes from show or working lines and give you an idea of how much potential it has as a working dog. Also, because size is the most important criteria, even the dogs from proven lines, may not be the best....just the smallest. Minis have the same genetic problems that the Aussie has...hip dysplasia, several eye problems, homozygous merle health issues, epilepsy and autoimmune diseases. Many Mini breeders pay no attention to the genetic health testing because their pups are in demand. Why pay for all the health testing and responsible breeding practicings when they can get top dollar to an unsuspecting public? (Not saying your breeder is doing this...just making sure you know the issues involved with Minis)

You might also consider delaying getting the Mini until you are done with school. To start...house training is successful with consistency. Will you be able to maintain a schedule for the pup that allows it access to the outside regularly...every two hours to start? When I was selling pups I talked at length with buyers about the committment needed when getting a pup. What you do, and don't do, during that first year of the pup's life is going to have a profound affect on how well the dog does at the jobs you want it to do later in life. Raising a pup is quite a committment and raising a pup to work at a job is even bigger as all the basics and bonding will develop and have their roots in that first year of interaction.

I would also suggest you do some pedigree research before getting the pup. If all you want is a pet then the pedigree isn't quite as important. However if you want the dog to do specific jobs, the pedigree becomes extremely critical. Make sure that the pedigree provides ancestors that did the job you want your pup to perform. Aussies, and Minis, have become extremely popular and there are hundreds of breeders out there who are just putting two purebreds together to produce a litter. These breeders give little thought to correctly combining pedigrees and assume that because it is a purebred the puppies will do what the breed is supposed to do. This is not nessecarily true. In fact there are far more Aussies out there now that can't do much at all other than obedience and agility. This doesn't prove anything as far as ability/instinct to herd. Most Aussies are athletic but finding one with good herding lines and ability is a whole different ball game.

Sorry to sound so negative. I love the breed and really hope that you will be thrilled with your new pup. I just hope that you get the dog for all the right reasons and do the research to increase the chances of the dog's success.

Willow101
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,837 Posts
Nope, not a good breed for watch dog to live with the goats. Aussies are a HERDING breed and will constantly bother them. If they don't run, herding dogs instinctually nip at the heels or back end to get them moving - if they're in a small area or refuse to run, the dog can get over excited and injure the goat. They can run young or new ones, who are easily nervous, until exhausted.

Mini aussies are more bred as pets and very rarely, if ever, for utility (at least I've never seen one in person in a working position) If you end up getting one, it'll be best as a house dog.

I've heard a lot of things over the years about dog training 'no nos'... a lot of which I use and which work well. It all depends on the temperament of your dog. If it's hard headed (dominant) it may need spankings - if it's nervous or subordinate, simply a tap, angry face, 'time out' and stomping around is usually enough to chastise.
 

·
Love My Manchas!
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I probably will keep it in the house cause im a big soffty for my animals. both the perants of the dogs were from working herd dogs. They are both healty(i work and play with them every day) and i plan(while im at school to keep it busy with the goats....) i may consider a great pry, but there are no breeds of that dog around here....but i just want a family and guard dog for me and my goats, i know its small dog, but i want to be able to take it every where with me. work, and everyting....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,981 Posts
A working herding dog is going to be difficult for you unless you are actually planning on herding the goats on a regular basis. Even then, I think an aussie may be too rough. The dog is not going to protect the goats, he's going to chase them until they drop. Dogs are not put on livestock until they are two years old, sometimes older, so you aren't even going to be training him for herding (keeping him completely away from the goats) for two years. You are looking at a very active, very intelligent dog. Frankly, he is probably too much dog for you at this time, no matter what his size.

Any dog will guard it's territory. Some will just bark, others will run off the intruder. The thing with a gt pry is that they can be bonded with livestock and live outside. However, this is not going to be a dog that you can take everywhere with you. Can you settle on a good farm and family dog? A sheltie would probably work better for you. They do herd, but are not as hard driven as an aussie, and make good house dogs. A sheltie you can train for obedience and have a reliable dog that you can take anywhere, train to leave the goats alone, and guard bark, as well as herd. A rough coated collie would fill the same bill in a larger package. Papillons are good watch dogs. The ones I've fostered guard barked, but were not excessive and were normally quiet. They are also smart, easily trained, and stayed close to the house when loose outside. Even a large papillon is under 20 pounds and easy to take places. One will guard the territory in a high pitched yap, but that is all you need to alert you. There is no dog that will successfully take on a wolf or coyote, but they will disrupt his stalking pattern and drive one away. Really, the best protection for livestock is good electric fencing.

If you get a puppy when school is out you will have all summer to housebreak it. By the time you are back in school, he will be able to hold his bladder for six hours, know door manners, sit, come, etc.
 

·
Love My Manchas!
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well i found a few pyr breeders in my area but as i went to buy one today my mom screaed bloody murder, saying they were too large....so im not sure what i can do...i think ill do a mini aussie and just have it gaurd the premeter of the pens and watch the house. and just be a pet. thanks for your advice...
minelson, ya my goats HATE dogs...so itll do best on the outside of the pen...
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top