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are german shepherds very good guardians for goats?

Discussion in 'Livestock Guardians' started by bj taylor, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Feb 11, 2013
    bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' with the herd

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    i'm so new to goats i haven't even gotten them yet. in the process of fence building right now. i have two really good german shepherds & wonder how they'll be as guardians for goats.
    we have a bit of a problem of the 2 legged kind for which the dogs do great - i'm hoping they will work well looking out for the goats.
  2. Feb 11, 2013
    Pearce Pastures

    Pearce Pastures Goat Walker Golden Herd Member

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    In a word---no.
  3. Feb 11, 2013
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice True BYH Addict

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    GSD's are not livestock guardians, so it really depends on the capacity in which you will use them.
    How old are your GSD's are they purebred and are they from "pet" AKC lines or working lines. (Either Schutzhund or Herding lines)
    GSD's are not ever going to be a LGD...ever.
    I own 4 LGD's and have bred and always had GSD's . So I understand their capacity. A GSD will protect his/her family property and everything that is important to you but they are NOT adequate to live full time with livestock nor really take on multiple predators.
  4. Feb 12, 2013
    bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' with the herd

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    thank you for the replies. sooooo, are there dogs (or other animals) good for livestock in a small capacity. i'll probably have no more than six or so at any given time. it will be a small area. three acres. i understand great pyrenees and anatolians need lots of territory. any suggestions?
    p.s. i don't want animal(s) that will be in conflict w/my german shepherds. am i asking for too much?
  5. Feb 12, 2013
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice True BYH Addict

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    That is not too small of an area. Historically LGD's served and guarded over large areas. Many of your LGD's today are on the small ranch/farm. There is a reason why many breeders do not like their dogs going to the small farms, and it is a legitimate reason.
    On many small farms the people may not be in farming for the "long haul", so to speak. When after a few years they decide it's not worth it, don't have the time etc... the dogs are now "disposed" of. The livestock itself is easy to sell, yet the LGD is not, and is very difficult to re home. They often end up in rescues or destroyed.

    You can integrate the GSD and the LGD, but this needs to start young and often once the LGD has established its territory to guard it may take strong offense and ACTION towards your GSD's if they enter that space. Outside of that space the LGD is usually fine and will play etc...if always from the start introduced to the GSD and has frequent playtimes with the GSD OUTSIDE of that fencing.

    There really are no "small" LGD's. There is a reason for their massive size...they need it. They must have the power and strength to take down a variety of preditors.

    Maybe you could be more specific here.

    also... if you could share...
    This is important because of the type of GSD and the integration if you do get a LGD. An extreme hard driven Schutzhund lined dog will have a strong prey drive yes but they can really stress the livestock out... the LGD will not tolerate that kind of animal stressing the herd/flock. My GSD runs the fenceline... my F pyr will try to go after her through the fence as that kind of play is not ok with her. Outside the pyrs and Toli play with the GSD... I cannot take the GSD in any field with either team of LGD's.

    LGD's take a real serious commitment, they are not an EASY dog, they are not like other dogs. They are awesome dogs but can be a real handful to those who have not researched and visited farms, and headed experienced LGD owner advice. I say that because I really want to emphasize that they are not like any dog you've ever come across. :)
  6. Feb 13, 2013
    bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' with the herd

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    i really appreciate the responses to my questions. i think what i'm going to do is bring the goats into a pen at night. my german shepherds will then have the entire area at their disposal during the night. they will deal with any coyotes, domestic dogs, and humans that come along. they are family & after hearing the responses i don't think my situation would warrant adding a lsg.

    the german shepherds have been quite a commitment. one is eastern german bloodlines. he's a superlative dog & has been trained for protection. the other is a much more inferior dog, but she's his companion & she doesn't know she has problems (so nobody tell her).
    we are not on the young side anymore. if i bring an animal into our life - it stays for life. we will deal with any predation in other ways.
    thanks again.
  7. Feb 13, 2013
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice True BYH Addict

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    I commend you for really looking at this so carefully.

    I too have a working GSD, unfortunately damaged by a bad Schutzhund trainer. I purchased her after the fact. I am re-trainer her and she is a tough one. :lol: She is as hard as they come, extremely driven and a handful. I've had working GSD's my whole life so I obviously love them and have great respect for what they do.

    The only advantage I see for you in getting a LGD is that they are nocturnal and hard wired for "patrolling" and "watching". Whereas most GSd's will not patrol through the night, they tend to stay right up by the house not wanting to be far from their masters. That is their first loyalty. The LGD is loyal to it's territory and it's livestock.

    Having said that, I am not suggesting you need a LGD, just wanted to share some differences. :)
  8. Feb 13, 2013
    bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' with the herd

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    i won't belabor the point, but i can't imagine the damage a poor schutzhund trainer could do. your dog is very lucky to have you. it sounds like a dog most would put down. i sure wish you all success in rehabilitating her.

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