frustratedearthmother

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She is a beautiful girl. But - poor baby - going from a nice cozy barn to being plopped into 20 degree snowy weather (at only 8 weeks when she hasn't even had all her shots yet). Of course, I don't have to deal with that kind of weather so I don't really know how cold is too cold. What kind of temps would it take for frostbite to be a concern? Maybe she should go snuggle with Murphy! He's bound to be a big ol' bundle of warmth. How's he working out? They would sure make some pretty babies!
 

thistlebloom

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She certainly has a plush coat. Bred to be a tough and rugged guardian!

Even my farm dog Bernese prefers laying in the snow belly up when it's snowing to being in shelter. She rarely uses her dog house and is comfortable in all manner of "awful" weather. And she wasn't bred specifically to withstand harsh conditions.

Makes me think of the contrast between a store bought horse and a mustang.
My QH gelding sought his shelter in inclement weather, spent a lot of time in there looking out. My little mustang only uses the shelter when I put her hay in there. Otherwise she prefers to be out in everything. Her coat is plush and keeps her plenty warm. I've never seen her shiver, even when the snow has melted on her coat and turned to ice, and the hair inside her ears is frosted with ice. Tougher genetics.
 

Ridgetop

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Beautiful pup! Looks to be very well integrated with the sheep already. Where are you? Ohio is cold weather winter territory too so maybe not as drastic a change as you think. When we got Angel from Idaho, it was cold with lots of snow on the ground and the pups had access to a shed of straw. However they spent a lot of time outside the shed in the goat pen playing. They would also lay down and nap in the snow!

Anatolians and Akbash have a short top coat of guard hairs. Like all LGDs these guard hairs are made to ward off water and mud. No matter how muddy our Pyrs got, the mud would simply fall off once they were dry leaving the Pyrs' bright white. The Anatolians are the same. They have a warm undercoat that insulates them. Remember that although we may think of Turkey as being hot and dry, the mountainous regions are extremely cold in winter and do get lot of snow.

The most interesting aspect of LGDs (and I see this particularly well in our shorter coated Anatolians) is the amount of loose skin they have on their bodies and necks. This excess skin makes them able to turn their bodies inside their skin if a predator (wolf, bear, lion) gets hold of them. I have seen my dogs actually do this while playing with each other. One will have what looks a death grip on a throat or nape of the neck and the one that is being held is able to turn around and grab its attacker!

They also seem to have a higher pain threshhold than most dogs. When Angel got that humongous tear in her upper flank, she didn't even whine when I put antiseptic on the gaping wound, bound it up together and took her to the vet. It was during the beginning of the quarantine last March, on a Sunday night of course, and it took us a couple of hours to locate an emergency vet to see her. 2 hours later she didn't move or cry while the vet examined the wound!
 

Beekissed

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She certainly has a plush coat. Bred to be a tough and rugged guardian!

Even my farm dog Bernese prefers laying in the snow belly up when it's snowing to being in shelter. She rarely uses her dog house and is comfortable in all manner of "awful" weather. And she wasn't bred specifically to withstand harsh conditions.

Makes me think of the contrast between a store bought horse and a mustang.
My QH gelding sought his shelter in inclement weather, spent a lot of time in there looking out. My little mustang only uses the shelter when I put her hay in there. Otherwise she prefers to be out in everything. Her coat is plush and keeps her plenty warm. I've never seen her shiver, even when the snow has melted on her coat and turned to ice, and the hair inside her ears is frosted with ice. Tougher genetics.

Those Bernies are mountain dogs! :D =D I'd say it's all in her genetics, wouldn't you say? I wish Blue had as deep a pelt as this pup...to me he looks pretty scantily clad for winter. I'd say HIS genetics may be to blame for that.
 

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Beautiful pup! Looks to be very well integrated with the sheep already. Where are you? Ohio is cold weather winter territory too so maybe not as drastic a change as you think.

I'm in WV....a bit further east and of higher elevations but pretty much the same weather, though this pup has been spending all her time in a nice, dry stall with Mom and siblings for warmth, so I guess it surprised me how quickly she acclimated to damp, cold, snow, rain and wind. She hasn't sought shelter since her second night here and now prefers to remain with the sheep and Blue rather than snuggling in the warmth of the hay in her range hut. She seems to love every minute of her new life....I guess to us it seems bleak and holding no comfort during the winter weather, but to her it seems like she has more to do, more things to see and smell, and has a job to do, which is important for this type of dog. Just never saw it in one so young!

The most interesting aspect of LGDs (and I see this particularly well in our shorter coated Anatolians) is the amount of loose skin they have on their bodies and necks.

That's this pup.....more loose skin than on any other LGD breed pup I've had~you could fit another pup in there! Blue doesn't have much loose skin except around his neck, like most of them. This pup can practically swim in all the extra hide she's got and she's a plump little rolly polly.
 

Baymule

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She sounds like she is made for your farm. A baby and already stepping up like a 2 year old dog. These dogs are so tough. My anatolians are usually outside where they can see and hear what’s going on. I don’t put them in the barn at night with the sheep, but they can access a small part of it to get out of bad weather if they wish.

Pinkie Pie. I love it.
So what about Murphy? I know he was a handful and only wanted to fight with Blue. Did you keep him or find him another home?
 

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So what about Murphy? I know he was a handful and only wanted to fight with Blue. Did you keep him or find him another home?

Murphy was really coming around and I was liking the changes in his demeanor towards humans...he was responding to some training and seemed like he could eventually be trained on working. But, no, he couldn't resolve his aggression towards Blue. It's a shame, because I was growing to really like that dog...he was beautiful, strong and intelligent.

I was going to get him and Blue neutered but then had many people state their LDGs didn't get along, even after neutering...so, I was at an impasse. Couldn't drag both dogs to the vet(they both despise riding in vehicles) for neutering that may or may not work to ease the aggression. Couldn't keep him tethered all his life and he couldn't do his job that way, couldn't get him to tolerate Blue and Blue was getting quite wary of Murphy's aggression. I couldn't risk him hurting Blue, as Blue is the only one here that is dependable guarding the sheep and this winter is crucial...I'll have the only easy prey around and all these hungry predators.

So, Murphy doesn't live here any longer. I tried all I could and everything I knew, but it didn't work out the way I'd hoped and prayed. And I really miss him....was growing quite attached to the big, sweet lug, so it hurts.
 

thistlebloom

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I'm sorry Murphy didn't work out for your situation Bee, but I know you worked hard at trying to make him fit. With a working animal that you have to rely on for the welfare of your livestock you didn't have the luxury of keeping him around for sentimental reasons.
I respect your quest to find a dog that will protect as well as get along.
Looks like you've found her in Pink.

Those Bernies are mountain dogs! :D =D I'd say it's all in her genetics, wouldn't you say?

Yes, her love of cold weather is certainly genetic. I meant that she wasn't bred to be out in all weathers guarding a flock. I'm sure her ancestors had the option of a nice barn or maybe even a farmhouse kitchen to come into if they chose.
 

Beekissed

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I'm sorry Murphy didn't work out for your situation Bee, but I know you worked hard at trying to make him fit. With a working animal that you have to rely on for the welfare of your livestock you didn't have the luxury of keeping him around for sentimental reasons.
I respect your quest to find a dog that will protect as well as get along.
Looks like you've found her in Pink.



Yes, her love of cold weather is certainly genetic. I meant that she wasn't bred to be out in all weathers guarding a flock. I'm sure her ancestors had the option of a nice barn or maybe even a farmhouse kitchen to come into if they chose.

You have hit the nail on the head. I don't have the luxury of keeping every dog...only those that can help us here. It's like interviewing for a job and some don't seem fit for the job, so they get jobs elsewhere that they ARE suited for.

Most folks don't view dogs in that manner and I didn't used to either, but that's before I had a flock of sheep that we've spent a good bit of money on and the start of our farm here. These dogs aren't merely pets but actual farm employees....but are also pets to me. But, if I have to choose between those that can help me and are pets, and those that cannot but are pets, the choices become more clear. Any dog can be a pet, but not any dog can do this particular job.

I'm hoping and praying that this little girl pup will grow into the job as I'm really tired of rehoming/selling dogs that I've grown attached to because they aren't able to do the job well. If we were rich folks, I think we could just feed them and fence them in places where they couldn't harm one another or the livestock, but that wouldn't make any sense either. And we are not rich people...not even middle class, so the option to keep all the dogs is not on the table. Only those that are necessary to work the farm.
 

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