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We just got a Polish Tatra puppy, a rare LGD that is said to be amazing - all the perks of a Great Pyr, but said to stay with the sheep and not wander. We will see, but she is awesome so far, and SO smart and calm, considering she is still a little puppy. I can’t wait to see what she’ll be like as an adult. We keep her and the livestock in a barn at night until she is big enough to protect them. My question is, should we get a second dog so she is not as lonely out there? We don’t need two for predators, as we mostly just have a rare coyote, and only two acres pastured right now, so she can handle it when she is older. I know people have very different opinions on this, but wondering what is the best choice for our situation ( 2 acres, 5 sheep, a dozen chickens). The extra cost is not a factor for us, I want the dog to be happy even if a second one isn’t needed practically. But will the sheep be enough company for her? What are the downsides to getting a second one, besides the costs of course? Any thoughts on this or experiences shared is appreciated!
 

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We have three Collies. Why?
One is about 9, a male, and beginning to slow a bit.
The other two are about 9 months old, female and we didn't want to split them up.
The male is outside during the day and inside at night.
The females are outside 24/7.
The girls have distinct personalities; one is stronger and bolder while the other barks at the snap of a twig at night.
They all have their roles.
I would, if I had the room, have two for companionship and in case I should ever lose a death to sickness, etc.
 

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I have had Maremmas as doubles and singles. makes no difference to them.
I prefer the females. the males tend to take in extra land to protect.. your neighbors might not understand this and not like them roaming their land. even though they are keeping predators away for the neighbors, too.
an intact male might get surly as he gets older.
I never quite trusted mine with children. although he never acted menacing to anybody.
our main problem was that we hardly ever had small children visit our place.. so the dogs weren't used to them.
for a second dog, I would wait until the first one is well into adulthood. both females..
.....jiminwisc......
 

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Thanks for the replies! These replies seem to be confirming our original plan to keep her out there alone for now, but to definitely plan on getting another one later, hopefully when she can train it some. She does seem to be getting less lonely, and more content with the sheep, each day. I do appreciate also the info about the difference between males and females, it does sound like females are better for our situation.
 

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The smart approach is to stagger in a couple of years so you have a trained LGD to help teach a younger pup and if they're getting up there in age, you still have a younger one to help with the slack.

You should still be with her a good portion of the time as you never want to leave a pup out by herself. Not only is she at risk for being preyed on herself but she'll need the guidance and corrections from you, her shepherds.
 

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The smart approach is to stagger in a couple of years so you have a trained LGD to help teach a younger pup and if they're getting up there in age, you still have a younger one to help with the slack.
So you don’t think she will be too lonely without a companion dog for a couple of years? She does seem to be getting less depressed, and more content, each day. We have only had her a week, so this is all VERY new to both her and to us.
You should still be with her a good portion of the time as you never want to leave a pup out by herself. Not only is she at risk for being preyed on herself but she'll need the guidance and corrections from you, her shepherds.[/QUOTE
When you say correct and train her, when she is quite young, what would you suggest would be the priorities? Right now we are making sure she is as calm as possible (she is a very young puppy) around all livestock, and she is not showing any signs of aggression (which she is not,) and that she is not play biting us. I think I will teach her to stay and come later, but the breeder told us that the guarding will come naturally with this breed, as long as she bonds with them. Do you think I’m on the right track here? She was mostly with her pack before, not much interaction with humans, so we are working on getting her socialized to people and bonded to us also without jeopardizing the bonding to the sheep, a tricky thing. She took to people very quickly, and loves us, we are more working on bonding to the livestock.
 

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Thanks for the replies! These replies seem to be confirming our original plan to keep her out there alone for now, but to definitely plan on getting another one later, hopefully when she can train it some. She does seem to be getting less lonely, and more content with the sheep, each day. I do appreciate also the info about the difference between males and females, it does sound like females are better for our situation.
A couple other thoughts.
It is more difficult to train multiple dogs together. You have to separate them and teach each one individually. That takes time and they don't always follow the same learning curve. Some dogs can behave differently when they are together than just with you.

Yes, a single dog will want companionship.
When we had to choose our two pups, they were the last two of the litter. I could have brought one home and she would have been fine with our male. We took them both. To this day, those two sisters will trot alongside of each other so close they are touching. The familiarity of a sibling helped greatly with adjusting to their home.
I'm not pro multi dog families because it isn't always practical.
My neighbor has 6 dogs from Pyraneese to English Spaniel.
His fenceline is about 300 yards from our dog kennel. In the morning, his dogs will wait for our dogs, who will sprint over to see them once I open their gate. For about 90 seconds it will sound like a dog pound, lol, as they do their morning meet and greets. Then they all go their separate ways.
That isn't for everyone but my neighbor and I enjoy it as much as the dogs.
 

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Hi Julia,
No, I don't think she'll be lonely being the only dog and for what it's worth, I think your process of getting her boundaries and your attention is a good thing. If you do Facebook, or even if you don't, I very much recommend this LGD group: Farei Kennels LGD Training & Education (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1828786214072789/).

Not only are the admins actual LGD breeders, owners, and trainers, but they have a wide array of stock and set-ups and want to see people succeed with their dogs.
 

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I'm of a different thought it seems. Since the pup is still so young I would go ahead and get a 2nd dog so she will have someone to play with. You don't want her playing with the stock she is to guard...and the more she plays with humans the less inclined she will be to stay with the stock.
 

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I was advised by 'Texas A&M AgriLife Livestock Guardian Dog Program' to get 2 puppies. That way they'd be more likely to play with each other rather than the chickens. (sorry about the C&P. It's late and I'm really tired. But, I'm interested in the opinions of others, so here I am! :))
They also advised using top and bottom electric wires to teach the pups to respect fences.
They also have a Facebook site.
 

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They also advised using top and bottom electric wires to teach the pups to respect fences.
That is what we did. Two strands of polywire have worked very well.
Our oldest dog used to randomly start slowly wandering away, picking up the pace as he got farther until at about 150 yards he was trotting to the livestock fence, where he seemed to have the instincts of a goat to find that weak spot, section bowed or a depression in the ground he could use to slide under.
He was about 7 when he learned to respect that yellow wire, so I suppose I did teach an old dog a new trick.
 

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We only have one because we don’t have her fenced. She has the run of our 40 acres. Our neighbors had two and they couldn’t stop them from roaming, so maybe that should be a consideration as well.
 
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