I'm trying to be very selective as to getting a second dog cause the farmer beside me has free range chickens and he said that if he catches a dog killing them he will shoot it. My current dog has shown no desire to bother them when he and the sheep are on that side of my property. Sometimes the chickens will only be a few yards away from him. My fear is getting another lgd that ends up chasing chickens and teaches him that then they both get shot and I have no protection.
Maura, could you explain this further?With a mixed breed you just donât know what youâll get. Labs like to run off hunting, you might get that gene. If you find a litter of Lab x Pyr, the owner may be savvy enough to tell you which ones are more like a Lab and which are more like a Pyr in their temperament.The mental development of an LGD is different from other dogs. Their socialization period is longer, which is why they donât see their sheep or goats as prey.
Thank you, that does make sense.I can’t find that book, I think the author is Coppinger & Coppinger. As the puppy’s brain develops they enter a biting stage, a fear stage, a prey stage, and so on. The LGD has a longer stage of acceptance (up to 16 weeks, which is why you want them exposed to your livestock prior to 16 weeks). The stage where they really get into stalking and hunting comes later than in other breeds. In most cases, they never develop a stalking/hunting stage. They may eat mice and voles, but they do not ‘hunt’ like a Lab does.
As far as protecting a flock, any dog will protect what he sees as his family. Who he meets in his acceptance phase (it’s not called that, I can’t remember) he will accept as being part of the family. This is why puppies need human interaction beginning at 4 weeks of age, so they accept humans. When they enter their fear stage, well, they are afraid of new things. They can learn to accept new things, but it is not automatic, like at four weeks. I know I’m not explaining it very well, but you can probably find a book or website that explains it.