'yotes and guard animals

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by PaDexterGuy, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. PaDexterGuy

    PaDexterGuy Member

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    I am not sure if this is the right forum for this question, so moderators feel free to move it if you need to.

    Day before yesterday, a pair of coyotes was spotted on the outside of our pasture fence ( 39" woven wire with a strand of barbed wire 6" above the top). We have three calves now and one on the way, plus a new filly colt, all of which spend at least part of the day in the pasture. Well, the three cows formed up and stared them down according to my parents, who were able to watch the whole thing unfold. Unfortunately, my Dad wasn't home to get the .243 out and give them a small parting gift!

    Then, last night my sister's Yorkie male was attacked. He is scuffed up pretty bad, but is expected to make it ok. Vet said 4 fang punctures but no internal organs damaged. I'm not exactly sure where this happened, but I suspect it was in the field that we are going to fence for this years pasture.

    This might have been a 'yote OR a stray or wandering dog, but in any event, we are thinking it's time for a guard animal.

    We have kids around all the time, so we don't really feel comfortable with a large breed of dog around, plus the fact that there isn't really a ton of room for them to roam like has been written here. So we are thinking a donkey would fit the bill for us nicely. We are already set up for mini-horses.

    Do you have any thoughts as to standard or mini? Gelded jack or jennet? Registered or non? Single or more than one?

    Any thoughts and/or advice is greatly appreciated, and don't be afraid of stating the obvious to me. Assume I know nothing...we are both better off that way!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't understand why there would be a problem having large dogs with children. They are generally protective of children. A guardian dog, such as a Pry, barks and breaks the stalk cycle of the predator. Once the pattern of stalking has been interupted, they have to start all over again. A truly wild animal will leave and not come back for at least a day. The neighbor's dog will probably come back fairly quickly. The guardian dog does not fight with the wolf or coyote.

    If you want to use a donkey, you need a standard or mamoth. My mini donkeys will place themselves between the sheep and any percieved threat, but they could not really take on a coyote. Not all donkeys will protect nondonkeys. They need to feel part of the herd. You can buy donkeys (or llamas for that matter) that have been raised with another species and are guarenteed to protect them, but they are more expensive than nonguards.

    I know people who are using donkeys to protect their sheep and they work pretty well. Coydogs are more persistent than coyotes and will hunt in packs. so they use two donkeys. Donkeys are very smart and learn quickly.
     

  3. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I agree with Maura that you should not count a dog out. There are many large and protective breeds of dog that are excellent with children and you do not have to let them "roam" but can contain them quite effectively with fencing and/or tethering.

    Donkeys require a LOT of care (more than you would think) and like the other posters have said, there is no guarantee that they will protect anything. Llamas are also quite more complicated to raise than is generally believed - HUGE PROBLEM WITH PARASITES.

    If you like dogs I would rethink them as an option. Do some research online as to the best temperament for your needs as well as doing research on different guard animals and I think you will agree that dogs are generally, the best option.

    donsgal
     
  4. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

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    I love my pyr - in spite of that other thread ;) and she does a bang up guarding job. She is also great with ds (has been, even as a puppy). If you go for a pyr or LGD go for a breeder who is really experienced and has working dogs. She doesn't have room to roam - although she has a sizable run. She does get bored when the ducks are ranging but she's getting some goats to hang out with asap. You need to have a reasonable amount of space but it doesn't have to be a million acres.

    Also, not all of them roam - no one knows why some do and some don't.

    www.lgd.org has some great resources/info.

    The other option people use around her is llamas - there's not much that doesn't back off them. My friend had a few llamas run off a cougar recently.
     
  5. PaDexterGuy

    PaDexterGuy Member

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    I guess I need to clarify a little. My neices and nephews and my grandkids would be around all the time, but I am wondering about their small friends they might bring home to visit. I am sure any visitors are going to be treated to a tour of the barn and pastures.

    Last summer my parents visited a farm to look at some Dexters. The family had a Gr. Pyr, and the family said that he didnt like anyone, including kids, in the pasture.

    We are all dog owners here, but we just wanted to make sure we considered everything before we decided one way or the other what to do. And we also realize that each animal, be it dog or donkey, has their own temperament and attitude.

    Thanks for the replies so far, and please continue to post your thoughts on this.
     
  6. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

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    I think with the Pyr it will depend on the dog, how you socialize it, the breeding etc. Ours is getting to be more and more working oriented, lives with the flock, rarely in the house and when it is she largely just wants to be sure all is well and go back out. But, I have no worries about her around ds or his friends and she's 1 1/2. Really, she should be a brainless puppy but even at 6 months she had more sense than a lot of 3 or 4 year old dogs I have known/owned.

    The main thing is to meet mum and dad and see what they are like, find out what the dogs are exposed to etc. Although there are those who'd disagree, even a LGD needs really good socialization with people. There is no need for a LGD to be *only* a working dog and ill mannered with people. That's certainly true of my girl's family too - all of her family that I met (which was a significant amount of dogs) were all very appropriate with people and very much working dogs.
     
  7. Madame

    Madame Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Surprisingly, geese are also good guardians and have even been known to chase away mountain lions.
     
  8. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I had my choice of my children being around a properly socialized guardian dog and a donkey........the dog wins hands down. And I do mean *properly* socialized. I would really try a Pyr. Our Pyrs love EVERY child that has ever been here on the farm. Its adults they sometimes have reservations about, but they get over that when introduced.
     
  9. cathyharrell

    cathyharrell Well-Known Member

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    Last night my little dog that sleeps with me was looking out the window barking her little head off. I thought she saw a cat because she likes to chase them and the big dogs outside wern't barking. The guineas were chattering too and maybe the three geese. I was sleeping too hard. Anyway this morning when I went out to feed my chickens I saw a big dead coon close to the tree where the guineas roost. Barrett and Arrfums had killed her. I think she was after the cat food I keep outside under where the guineas sleep but covered up so only the cats can get to it. I thought, "boy these cats can eat" so I don't know how long she had been coming around. Barrett is a mutt and Arrfums is a German Shepard cross and both okay around kids. My other dog, Bruiser, is 16 and is still healthy and barks but is not as energetic as he used to be. He is a Golden Retreiver cross, I think. He still goes all over the place gathering eggs.
     
  10. homemom1fl

    homemom1fl Well-Known Member

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    I took my 4 children to visit 2 different friends about a month ago. Both friend's own Pyr's (2 at one house, 3 at the other) and have goats. All 5 of the dogs were very friendly to my children and did not have a problem with them going in to the goat pens. My kids fell in love with all 5 of the dogs.

    I had another friend who had 2 children and got a jennet to guard her goats. All was well for several months and then one day the donkey just snapped and became very aggresive toward the children and her. I have heard that donkeys can be pretty unpredicatable.

    Of course others may say just the opposite based on their experiences. Just wanted to chime in about the Pyrs.
     
  11. PaDexterGuy

    PaDexterGuy Member

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    Thank you all for the info. These are the kinds of things I need to make an informed decision. :goodjob:
     
  12. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My 2 Pyr's (used to be 3) Pyrs are great with kids too, which is why I went with Pyr's in the first place. Of all the LGD breeds, Great Pyrenees are known to be most temperamentally stable, generally. We found a very reputable breeder whose dogs were known for good temperaments and guarding ability. We paid more, but it was money well spent in the long run.
     
  13. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to get a donkey, be sure that it has been raised around calves & colts. A grown donkey that isn't familiar with them is likely to kill them.
    Our neighbor had a $5000 colt killed by the donkey next door. It got through a good fence with an electric wire at the top, just to kill his colt.
    They are very good protectors, though, if they have been raised with them.
     
  14. nobrabbit

    nobrabbit Transplanted Tarheel

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    Around us, most people that have donkeys with their cattle have them because of dogs chasing the cattle not because of coyote problems. Coyotes do not tend to bother cattle, at least in our area. We have alot of coyotes around here and the cattle farmers say they do not cause a problem as far as cattle are concerned. Pets, goats, sheep, and poultry are a different matter. I have watched coyotes cut right through a herd of grazing cows and calves, neither paid much attention to the other.

    One of our neighbors had a jenny in with their cattle. The jenny gave birth to a jack. When that jack grew older he had to be sold because he abused the calves. He would grab them by their ears and take off running, would bite, kick and generally abuse the heck out of calves. Since he grew up with them, maybe this is just typical behavior for a jack donkey.
     
  15. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

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    Lisa

    I could *not* agree more.
     
  16. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    We have male pyrs and we have no problems with the prediters. the barking messes with them and their scent that they leave all around the property from marking also keeps them away. the yotes can smell them and stay away. our pyrs will give chase if something gets into our property but they are too slow to run down anything so they come back. I think they would do a good job of tearing into a dog or yote that hung around to fight. our guys love kids and most big people. if they have a problem with an adult there is ussually a reason, they sense things.
     
  17. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    A good dog is always needed. I have MEAN dogs. They are known for 3 towns around. The funny thing. They would not hurt a kid or human unless they were a threat.

    We did have one problem. A baby started crying as dad picked the child up. Meat ball went to warn dad NO! Dad set the child down. No one could get by the crying baby cause the dog took control.

    After about 10 mins. The baby was alseep.

    To this day the dog haunts these folks when they stay over. They wake up at 2am to find meat balls face right in the babies face. Checking that she is breathing.

    If I yell at my wife. I get a simple warning attack. Same happens to her.

    When we "pet" each other we have to put the dogs up.

    The3 dogs care about there pets. They have rats that are our pets. They are their babies. The dogs take them for rides and pick them up and move them were they want them.

    The chickens and rabbits know to do as told by the dogs. The goat and the dogs are still trying to figure out controll issues.

    Meat ball

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/daytrader106/lillie033.jpg

    Otis

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/daytrader106/pets010.jpg

    Lilly

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/daytrader106/lilliesnewclothes030.jpg

    Dakota

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/daytrader106/Dakota001.jpg

    Dogs chillin

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/daytrader106/Picture056.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/daytrader106/Picture055.jpg
     
  18. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    i've had pyrs since i got my goats, and the only issue i ever had is over their food-they do NOT like anyone or any animal near their food, easy enough to control that. if they are petted and treated kindly, they do like children-i have 4 kids, ages 5-13, and my 1yo pyr is more gentle with them than i am. my 11yo is in charge of feeding him and the other dog in w/the goats, and they really are very well mannered. all it takes is treating them right and training them to be around people. i do NOT subscribe to the "don't pet them or they'll not guard animals" theory-mine always have. i do make sure they are socialized to humans of all sizes, leash trained, and taught to sit for petting, and to not eat until given permission. but my kids also know not to mess with the dogs while they are eating. no visiting child should be out with the animals unsupervised by an adult anyway, no matter if you have donkeys, llamas, or dogs doing the guarding. donkey's and llamas are perfectly capable of killing a child, just as quickly as a dog can.
     
  19. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

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    ITA. I had been told about food aggression with Pyrs before we had one so right from the beginning she knew her food dish was a communal dish - we have never had any signs of it and everyone is in and out of her dish these days (even the ducks).

    We did lots of "leave it" with bones and giving her freeze dried liver as a reward - it's always important to make the reward better than the thing they are giving up when you are starting that sort of training and we did in spades.

    Anyway, with a little effort that can be completely nipped in the bud,

    ITA as well about other animals being just as a dangerous. I recently had a friend require reconstructive surgery as a result of her llama...