NEW LGD puppy chewed on goat's ears and tail - HELP!!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Milk n' Honey, May 20, 2006.

  1. Milk n' Honey

    Milk n' Honey Well-Known Member

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    We brought home a puppy that was raised with goats and other critters. The Momma was an awesome personality dog and while the puppies are Lab/Shepherd cross, I felt with the background and such, it would work out OK as a LGD. Anyway, it went fine for about a week or two until we noticed one of the goats that the puppy is in with has ear and tail injuries where he has been chewed on. It is pretty nasty but he seems to be OK. I took the dog out of the kid pen (6 week old kids and older) and she is now in the barn but not with any goats. The bigger goats would kill her. I don't know what to do. I don't need a dog if it won't be good to the goats. Is there a was to train them not to chew on them or just what should I be doing. I know nothing about LGDs. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
     
  2. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Put the puppy in with the big goats....they'll see to it that she minds her manners.
     

  3. Wingdo

    Wingdo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Suzie is correct... puppies chew, goats have some cute little "hangy down things" to chew on. Let Jr. go with the big girls/boys and he'll soon discover chewing "hangy down things" can be detrimental to your health!

    I currently have four goats with their heads on crooked (lop-eared) to various degrees... all because they insist on trying to help my chicken dog out with eating his grub! He doesn't eat the ears all at once. He nips them, just enough to encourage the goat to go away, and if they continue pestering him I've seen him knock them dog and "sound" like he's eating them alive! In all actuality, he is only trying to teach them to stay within their boundries. After doing this, sometimes more than a couple of times, they leave his food alone, and afterwards, he will run and play with them like he's one of their own! I've even seen him sleeping with many of them on a cold night (inside his doghouse!). The first time I saw this, I thought he'd killed one and had it in there eating it, but when I hollered and woke them up they looked just like a couple of kids on their first day of school!

    I'd give the dog to a doe and a couple of older kids for an hour or so (watching from afar)... let them interact with the pup on/in a controlled environment for a little while and try to see what is prompting the pup to nibble their ears/tail. It could just be part of an "education" all around.

    BTW... my lop-eared goats seem to sell just as well as the ones that were smart enough to stay out of the dogfood bowl!

    Just one man's opinion
    Wing
     
  4. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

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    If you have the time to train her, get a shock collar, put her in with the bigger goats. Any time she goes after a goat to nip or bite whether or not it is in play, zap her. LDG's are smart. She 'should' learn after one or two zaps nipping/biting are not tolerated. (although some dogs need to be worked with longer) I used this on my dog with the chickens after he killed two chicks. He never touched a chicken again after the first zap.

    Also keep in mind, LDG's usually do not mature until 3-4 years old. But with training your dog should be ok with the goats. Still, I wouldn't put her in with any smaller goats without constant supervision until she is completely trained and a little older. JMO
     
  5. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    I'd put the LGD puppy in with the herd queen and her "second in command" goat. They'll thunk the rules into the pup and sort things out.

    One other thing - Our adult goats have always been able to recognize when a different species animal is still a baby. Even with a calf that is larger than them, they still know a baby when they see one. They enforce the rules differently with babies than with adult animals. It may be a bit rough at times, but there is also a maternal edge that shows through. They also seem to recognize when a baby animal of another species has no herd of it's own, and they take on the job of working the animal into their herd.

    Lynda
     
  6. T Lynn

    T Lynn Well-Known Member

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    OK, I am having this same prblem with mine. She is 3 months and 3/4 pyrenees and 1/4 anatolian. I have her in with the big goats and all was well until 2 days ago when she started chasing and bitting ears. I don't have a meaner goat to put her with and now even the herd queen seems to run from her. :grump: So, will the shock collar work? I used it on my Assie to teach her to leave chickens alone. Or do I remove her from the goats for a day or so and then put her back?
     
  7. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

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    Removing her from the goats will not stop the behavior! I would definitely use the collar and leave it on her all the time while she is out with the goats so you can shock her at the first sign of aggresion/play towards the goats. Some dogs are stubborn, she may need more than a few shocks to learn. If your Aussie was taught, your Pyr/Ana 'should' be teachable. She is only 3 months old, so a longer training period may be needed.
     
  8. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    How large a pen do you have the Pyr/Ana and the goats in?

    A good way to stop chasing is to let the goats run the dog into the ground. You need several goats, and the more space and rougher the terrain the better. The goats will take turns getting the dog's attention and letting it chase - then as they tire they hand off to another goat who will run the dog some more. On a warm day it doesn't take long for them to work the chasing out of the dog's system, and then the thunking can begin. :)

    This is not a good thing to do in an area small enough for a goat to be cornered, with a single goat, or on flat terrain where the goats don't have a natural advantage. This is also a good way for goats to learn how to handle dogs in general - and will give them some skills to use if a stray get in the yard. Also not a bad idea to take the dog for a long walk first so he's already on the tired side first.

    Two things are really important when bonding dogs with goats. One is to prevent injuries, of course. But the other is to allow them to sort out their own relationships with each other. I would never trust a LGD that works to my command only (as opposed to working to the goats' commands.) The dog needs to be willing to take commands from the goat leaders in the same way that the goats need to learn that in some instances, they need to trust that the dog is rounding them up and bringing them to safe terrain for a reason. Play behaviours, including over enthusiasm and correcting each other's infractions, are a key part of sorting out that kind of very complex relationship.

    Lynda
     
  9. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    This is another perspective:

    With crossbred dogs, you do not know what genes will be dominant. if you crossbreed two LGD, both breeds are used for guarding livestock, so their behaviors are similar and their behavior more predicatable. However, when crossbreeding a LGD with a "Shepherd " type breed, whether it be a German Shepherd, an Australian Shepherd or a Border Collie (etc), there may very well be conflicting behaviors. A Livestock Guardian Dog "guards" while a Shepherd "nips and herds". That is the very nature of a shepherd. That is how they work. That is what they do. That is their genetic behavior. Yes, your dog can be trained not to harm your goats, but keep in mind, it does have some "herding" instincts by virture of it's genetic make up, very different that a dog who is of a pure LGD or a mixture of LGD breeds. One woman's opinion.
     
  10. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Diane about the genetics. The shepherd in your pup would probably work out as an LGD, with proper training, but I'm a little concerned about the Lab, which is a hunting breed. Yes, they are mostly used for retrieving, and are bred to have soft mouths and be gentle, but I'm still not too sure about using a part-Lab for an LGD.

    Use the shock collar, and watch closely. You might be better off to look for an LGD puppy, though.

    Kathleen
     
  11. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    My post did not make total since because I was thinking the dog was a LGD / shepherd mix....but it is a Lab / Shepherd mix. That may make it difficult as well. Labs and shepherds are both intellegent breeds, but not used specifically as livestock guardians. Train, train, train! it won't be a natural instinct like a Great Pyrenees or an Anatolian.
     
  12. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    I am going to tell you what you don't want to hear... but it is the truth.

    you do NOT have a Livestock Guardian Dog.. you have a Mutt!

    Labs are bird dogs.. bred to retrieve ... Shepherds are Herding dogs.. bred to herd. What a conflict in behaviors!

    Herding dogs have a HIGH prey drive which is what causes them to work...and herding dogs work by nipping at the hocks.

    Labs have soft mouths but will go get what ever they are trained to get... Shepherds herd/nip by instinct.

    Livestock Guardian Dogs have LOW prey drive and would rather sleep then get up and do anything.. during the day they sleep with one eye open. It is a night when LGD's come alive.

    While puppies will play with their charges and there are several methods of training you can use to get them to stop... how can you stop a herding dog from doing what comes naturally? or a retriever from doing what they have been bred to do?

    I realize what I am telling is not popular, I realize that not all dogs are the same, maybe you will be lucky and your pup will grow up to be as nice as its mother, but don't expect the same behaviors from your pup/dog that a Livestock Guardian Dog has... they are not the same..
     
  13. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I agree with westbrook on this......sorry.
     
  14. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    build a pen next to the goats or in the center of the goat pen. Place the pup in there. The only time the pup should be allowed to mix with the goats is when you are in the pen with the pup so you can give appriopriate corrections. Before leaving the pen, place the dog back in its pen (next to or inside of the goat pen). This will let the pup get used to the goats behaviors and in time will become used to them they will, no longer bother them. I must add that the pup will also have matured along the way and adding to the corrections you have given the pup, will do fine. If the pup won't listen when you are correcting him and won't break off the chase, you can put him in a choke chain and on a leash. Hook the handle of the leash around a belt and put it on. Where you go the pup goes. If the pup starts to take off.. he quickly comes to the end of the rope .. so to speak. And of course you give a stern, serious correction.

    Other tips.. spray the goats ears, neck, and back legs, with bitter apple or smear them with 'BenGay', two flavors the pup won't like.

    Yes a shock collar will work also.. but you have to be able to observe but not be seen. When the dog gets near the goats you administer a shock. Not a long one but enough that the dog pays attention. The problem with shock collars for training on LGD's is that their pair tolerance is off the charts! How can you shock a dog with an unusally high pain tolerance?

    Do go to http://lgd.org and read the articles in the LIBRARY. There are also LGD groups and breed specific groups you can join to discuss alternatives that will work for you and your farm set up.

    Remember he is a puppy and doesn't have a Mother to show him the ropes.. that is where you come in.
     
  15. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Diane and Kathleen,

    you both put it much more eloquently then I. No one ever said I was 'nice' :shrug:
     
  16. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

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    With our Anatolian, we had to shave the hair under his neck where the 'shock' part of the collar went, plus we had to set the level of shock almost to the highest number. Get a shock collar with different levels of electrical impulse. Trust me, if he has a high tolerance to pain, or is very stubborn, he WILL pay attention when the shock setting is on high or on the highest setting.