Neighborhood Dogs

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Mazerath, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Mazerath

    Mazerath New Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    Looking for a bit of advice that has driven my husband and I crazy. We have 2 teams of Great Pyrenees (2 females, an unaltered male, and a castrated male). One of the females is 10 months, the other dogs we've had since they were puppies and are now over 4 years. We've spent a small fortune on 6 foot, non-climb horse fencing with welded-pipe posts. We have on maybe 3 or 4 occasions had neighborhood dogs get into our pasture or woods; our dogs have befriended them, I guess, because they won't do a darn thing to chase them out, even if they start terrorizing the flock. We lost a couple of pygmy goats last fall, and long story short, after the sheriff visited, the most aggressive of these neighborhood dogs was "disposed" of. No one in our neck of the woods keeps their dogs in a yard, just lets them run wild. Now, we were heartbroken about losing those pygmy goats, because they were very tame and like puppies with us, but they weren't monetarily valuable. My Nubian goats and Suffolk sheep ARE very valuable though. What do we need to do? A llama, donkey? A different breed of dog? We love our Pyrs, all are AKC registered and have on a rare occasion had a litter of pups which was a decent bit of income, they are great with my young kids... but my flock is much more valuable to me. Any advice? We only have 3.5 acres. Thank you in advance!
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    For only 3.5 acres that is a lot of dogs. Do you have coyotes, actually heard or seen them? Some Pyrs are very aggressive, but for the most part they bark. When they bark it throws off the hunting sequence of the wolf. Wolf goes away. your dogs do not see neighborhood dogs as a threat, or possibly the other dogs are not put off by the initial barking. Since your dogs are gentle giants, they don’t go after the other dogs once they are in the pasture.

    A donkey or two would be much more aggressive. I had two mini donkeys with my sheep and they did an excellent job of protecting the sheep. However they had quite a problem with small dogs who could avoid a kick.

    In your current situation, I would get portable electric fencing and put that around the perimeter of your current fencing. The average dog is looking to play, not looking for lunch. Once they get zapped they respect the fence. They can’t climb over it very easily without getting caught or zapped.

    I would not replace the Prys as they pass on except as pets.
    bluemoonluck, RichNC and CountryMom22 like this.

  3. Phillip

    Phillip Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I'd put down any dog attacking my livestock, even if it's my own dog. Just talk to your neighbors with dogs let them know what you will have to do if their dogs get on your land. Be nice and cordial. Try to patch any holes in your fence as well.
  4. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

    Jul 2, 2002
    Well, I don't think any dog that is not willing to protect it's area is worth much, be they pure blood, expensive or mutts one gets from a pound.

    If you want to keep those GP as money-makers that's up to you. It just sounds as though you cannot count on their work ethics much. Of course, they may be useful to you and your family in other ways.

    As for protecting your live stock on such a small piece of land, the electric lines Maura mentioned would probably be your easiest route. (I am personally against anything like that; however, I'm not in your situation. So whatever works...)
  5. MDKatie

    MDKatie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 13, 2010
    Are you selling them as pets? Because if you're breeding them to sell as guardians, why would you breed dogs who aren't doing their jobs?
  6. Montana_Ranches

    Montana_Ranches Member

    Feb 22, 2017
    I think that your best option is to install some sort of electric fence or find a way to "dog proof" your fence. It's going to take some additional investment it sounds like your neighbors are not going to fence their dogs. In order to protect your livestock, I think that one if not both of those options will be best for you.
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    New Zealand
    Mazerath, what are the dog-owning regulations in your area? These are what should be guiding you.

    In my opinion I don't care if your dogs are completely useless as guard dogs because that doesn't even come into it. You would appear to have gone to a great deal of trouble and, no doubt expense, to keep your dogs within their boundary. Others would appear to have little concern as to where there dogs are and are negating their responsibility as dog owners and making their dogs your problem. So, I am 100% with Phillip. Even if there are holes in your fence, the dogs shouldn't be out and about to get through them in the first place.

    I don't have (or need) guard dogs but I do have two working cattle/sheep dogs which are under my control at all times. If they aren't with me they are kennelled so I know exactly where they are at all times. That is my legal responsibility as a dog owner. If I see dogs on my property worrying my stock they are shot and if I know the owner, they are told to collect it. I don't like doing it - but nor do I like finding sheep with their throats ripped out.

    aoconnor1 likes this.