Fencing, high tensile or woven sheep/goat? Also best interior fencing? PermaNet??

chanceosunshine

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I feel like I need to expand on my opinion about Boz Kangals. An article from the Kangal Dog of America homepage ( I don’t see it there now) described BKs as a breed invented in Turkey a few years ago to take advantage of the growing market for LGDs.
Unfortunately other Turkish breeds were intermingled with the LGDs. There have been problems with certain Anatolian bloodlines since, especially regarding aggression. Be very careful about where you get an Anatolian Shepherd.
Thank you for expounding.
I started reading the LGD forum and read about the recommended book, “Livestock Guardian Dogs”. I downloaded and read the sample from Amazon and will be ordering it.
Hopefully it will give us good guidance on what and how to choose the right breed for us.
 

Blue Sky

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A good Anatolian is worth its weight in any precious substance. In fact IS precious. Just do your homework. Sorry I do go on. :old Is that a dead horse?
 

Ridgetop

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No it is always good to discuss extensively.

What is vital to remember is not only are there differences between the different breeds and how they guard, but that each individual of each breed is different. The individual pup is different from it's siblings just like members of your own family. This is even more important when you realize that all those pups from the litter do not stay with one person for training. They are sold as pups to different owners with different personalities and different levels of training knowledge. Some dogs are given no training since some novice LGD owner are told that the pup can be tossed into the field and will "instinctively do the job".

Training is essential for LGDs since they do not respond to obedience work like normal dogs. However, the training they require is not the same as the average house or ranch dog. Several commands are necessary:

Come -
 

Ridgetop

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Sorry, to continue -
The commands
Come - Teaching the "come" command is essential but remember that if the LGD believes that the far pasture harbors danger, he or she will ignore your command even when it is for his dinner bowl.
Heel - Not happening - although you can (and must) teach the dog to walk on lead. These are very powerful dogs and when the dog is off property and on lead you need to be vigilant that something does not trigger the "protect" action. A sudden lunge from even a small LGD of 110 lbs. can pull you off balance. A sudden charge from a 160 lbs. dog in full protect mode is almost impossible to control unless you are braced and ready. Control is essential.
Stay - Never going to be reliable although you can teach the dog to remain in one place for a few minutes.
Back off - Very important and valuable command to tech since there will be a time when you want the dog to back away - from a lamb or kid, from another dog, from the door, etc.
Leave it - Another good command that will come in handy.

One thing we had to learn is that these dogs are accustomed to having their flocks in a certain place. Due to the steep layout of our current place it is difficult to move our sheep from the main pen to lambing jugs, breeding pen, separate out rams and move them to the breeding pen, etc. Apparently they think we are really stupid for allowing the sheep to "escape". The dogs will try to put them back in their original pens as we try to move them to new quarters! :gigNow we find it easier on us to lock them in a lambing jug or in the house while we move the sheep around.

One thing you will not have to teach most of these massive dogs is to be calm inside the house. Our smaller dogs were very excitable in the house while our 3 Anatolians can be inside at one time and lay quietly. We tend to forget they are inside (after locking up the sheep) until they ask to go outside or sometimes share the %*^#*! out of us by suddenly barking at a noise outside. :ep:thIt might be a good idea to get an EKG before getting one of these dogs. :gig

I don't recommend rescue dogs as LGD since you don't know their history. Since training these dogs is not always easy, more of them are ruined by ignorant owners that other breeds. Also, poor breeders that don't test for genetic problems, or ignore temperament problems have produced a lot of bad LGDs that are not safe around livestock or sometimes even around peoples. When you combine these poor specimens with poor trainers, the result ends up in the shelter. Not every member of a guardian breed is suitable for livestock guarding. If you buy a dog from a breeder, make sure that the breeder is knowledgeable about training. You will want to rely on them for any problems that arise with your dog.

Of our 3 Anatolians, Rika (Miss Perfect) is the brains. She is the smallest in stature and weight at 110 lbs. She trained the other 2 and directs them when all 3 are in pursuit of a threat. DS1 has named her "The Brains". She is 9 and when she goes I will be devastated. Truly the perfect LGD and home guardian for my grandchildren. Also sensible to distinguish a true threat.

Second is Bubba. DS1 has named him the "Brawn". He is the heavy artillery of the operation. 160 lbs. of muscle, he is an all around ranch guardian as well as sheep protector, Going on for 6 now, gentle with the grandchildren, but very suspicious of strangers. He has a sharper temperament, more typical of old style Anatolians in attitude. Very menacing after dark when his suspicions rise towards everyone except family.

Finally, Angel. Just turning 3 this month she has come into her full growth. Taller than Rika but not as heavily built as the older 2, she is 125 lbs. of muscle. She is the "foot soldier", youngest and least experience she is assigned a lot of night duty. Devoted to the sheep she is less a home protector. Her temperament is much softer towards people and strangers. She loves the grandchildren too.

Three Anatolians, same bloodlines, closely related, same kennel, totally different personalities and temperaments. Different styles of protection, different levels of aggression. They all work as a team, communicating with each other. A new puppy will join them next year - before Rika is too old and grouchy to train her. Another of Erick Conard's Lucky Hit dogs. I have been waiting for him to finally breed another litter for several years. :celebrate
 

Ridgetop

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4' fences easily jumpable by any LGD. Pyrs also climb like cats and can squeeze themselves through a stock panel missing one wire! Perimeter fences need to be high, but interior pen divisions can be 42" to 48" to allow the LGD to go over from pen to pen if needed.

Actually, DH and I plan to build our next interior pen fencing in TX on flat land with stiles on the corner posts so we don't have to open the gates. My plan is to build a central alleyway large enough for a truck and trailer or the tractor to access, then have the pasture gates be 10-12' wide into the alley. When open the gates will reach across the alleyway completely to close the alley. It ill make moving sheep from pen to pen easier as well as loading them in the trailer. Also will build pass thru openings for the dogs in the fencing so they can access all the pens together in case of hogs or cougar.
 

Alaskan

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Sorry Bruce, but that is wrong. My male Great Pyrenees, Trip, can Jump a 4’ fence like it’s not even there. He also jumps cow panels, doesn’t climb, he jumps.
That always amazes me... .


No idea why our Pyrenees was so easy to contain...but he was.

The only time he left the yard was when we left the gate open.

:idunno
 

chanceosunshine

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Sorry, to continue -
The commands
Come - Teaching the "come" command is essential but remember that if the LGD believes that the far pasture harbors danger, he or she will ignore your command even when it is for his dinner bowl.
Heel - Not happening - although you can (and must) teach the dog to walk on lead. These are very powerful dogs and when the dog is off property and on lead you need to be vigilant that something does not trigger the "protect" action. A sudden lunge from even a small LGD of 110 lbs. can pull you off balance. A sudden charge from a 160 lbs. dog in full protect mode is almost impossible to control unless you are braced and ready. Control is essential.
Stay - Never going to be reliable although you can teach the dog to remain in one place for a few minutes.
Back off - Very important and valuable command to tech since there will be a time when you want the dog to back away - from a lamb or kid, from another dog, from the door, etc.
Leave it - Another good command that will come in handy.

One thing we had to learn is that these dogs are accustomed to having their flocks in a certain place. Due to the steep layout of our current place it is difficult to move our sheep from the main pen to lambing jugs, breeding pen, separate out rams and move them to the breeding pen, etc. Apparently they think we are really stupid for allowing the sheep to "escape". The dogs will try to put them back in their original pens as we try to move them to new quarters! :gigNow we find it easier on us to lock them in a lambing jug or in the house while we move the sheep around.

One thing you will not have to teach most of these massive dogs is to be calm inside the house. Our smaller dogs were very excitable in the house while our 3 Anatolians can be inside at one time and lay quietly. We tend to forget they are inside (after locking up the sheep) until they ask to go outside or sometimes share the %*^#*! out of us by suddenly barking at a noise outside. :ep:thIt might be a good idea to get an EKG before getting one of these dogs. :gig

I don't recommend rescue dogs as LGD since you don't know their history. Since training these dogs is not always easy, more of them are ruined by ignorant owners that other breeds. Also, poor breeders that don't test for genetic problems, or ignore temperament problems have produced a lot of bad LGDs that are not safe around livestock or sometimes even around peoples. When you combine these poor specimens with poor trainers, the result ends up in the shelter. Not every member of a guardian breed is suitable for livestock guarding. If you buy a dog from a breeder, make sure that the breeder is knowledgeable about training. You will want to rely on them for any problems that arise with your dog.

Of our 3 Anatolians, Rika (Miss Perfect) is the brains. She is the smallest in stature and weight at 110 lbs. She trained the other 2 and directs them when all 3 are in pursuit of a threat. DS1 has named her "The Brains". She is 9 and when she goes I will be devastated. Truly the perfect LGD and home guardian for my grandchildren. Also sensible to distinguish a true threat.

Second is Bubba. DS1 has named him the "Brawn". He is the heavy artillery of the operation. 160 lbs. of muscle, he is an all around ranch guardian as well as sheep protector, Going on for 6 now, gentle with the grandchildren, but very suspicious of strangers. He has a sharper temperament, more typical of old style Anatolians in attitude. Very menacing after dark when his suspicions rise towards everyone except family.

Finally, Angel. Just turning 3 this month she has come into her full growth. Taller than Rika but not as heavily built as the older 2, she is 125 lbs. of muscle. She is the "foot soldier", youngest and least experience she is assigned a lot of night duty. Devoted to the sheep she is less a home protector. Her temperament is much softer towards people and strangers. She loves the grandchildren too.

Three Anatolians, same bloodlines, closely related, same kennel, totally different personalities and temperaments. Different styles of protection, different levels of aggression. They all work as a team, communicating with each other. A new puppy will join them next year - before Rika is too old and grouchy to train her. Another of Erick Conard's Lucky Hit dogs. I have been waiting for him to finally breed another litter for several years. :celebrate
Thank you. I read part 1 before bed and was bummed. I’m glad you were able to finish your thoughts. That’s a lot to digest.

Doing a cursory search for LGDs didn’t bring up much that gave me confidence in finding a good breeder of any of the breeds. Hopefully I get better results when I’m more seriously looking.
 

Bruce

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Morgan at Goldshawfarm (youtube) has found a Maremma breeder in Cal that isn't the same bloodlines as the one he got from a breeder in Maine. As I understand it both of the breeders are the "good" kind. They assess the pups and choose one with the proper personality for the buyers needs.
 

Ridgetop

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Thank you. I read part 1 before bed and was bummed. I’m glad you were able to finish your thoughts. That’s a lot to digest.

Doing a cursory search for LGDs didn’t bring up much that gave me confidence in finding a good breeder of any of the breeds. Hopefully I get better results when I’m more seriously looking.

I don't know where you are located, for Anatolians Debra Buckner is in Mesa, Idaho, and my favorite breeder of all time, Erick Conard, is in Leander TX. He has a website with lots of great articles about Anatolian LGDs that he has written over his 35 years of breeding experience and observation of these dogs His dogs are all working dogs in rough hill country, but he has shown them and they quickly became champions. They protect his goats from wild hogs, cougar, coyotes, and any other predator in the southern Texan hill country.

Another thing that I like about Erick is that if you have any worries about your dog's behavior, he wants you to call him immediately so he can help you understand what is going on and fix the problem before it gets out of hand. Since buying y first Anatolian some years ago we have become very good friends, and it always a pleasure to phone him and discuss different behavior I have observed in my dogs. Debra has good working animals and is a good trainer. She lives in a Idaho where her dogs have to protect her sheep and goats against coyotes, cougar, foxes, and bear. I bought my 3rd Anatolian from her - out of a bitch bred by Erick.

Their puppies (and older dogs) are not cheap, but all breeding sires and dams have been x-rayed, and tested for genetic problems and are guaranteed. Erick also chooses puppies for the prospective buyer based on their needs and situations.

If you just want to learn more about LGDs look up Lucky Hit Anatolians and read Erick's articles. They are fascinating and he continues to add to them and change them as he sees differences in training needs, etc.

 
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