Frustrated with my two LGD's... :( Help Please.

WhiteMountainsRanch

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So, I do have to admit that my dogs have been VERY good overall. Toli is 11 months now and Diego is 13 months. They have really only "play chased" the goats maybe about 3 times in the whole year I have had them, of which I scruffed them and firmly scolded them, I thought that 'mostly' solved the problem.

... Until these last two weeks. My bad dogs have dug INTO our pasture FOUR times in the last couple weeks and have literally chased and pinned down one of my goats to the point of her screaming to death. They haven't made any breaks in her skin yet, but have completely exhausted her and made her limp and sore. I have caught them doing this about 50% of the time and the last two times I ran up there screaming like a mad woman and scared the crap out of them, but they did it AGAIN this morning! I am SO mad at them! I am afraid they are going to kill poor Camille! It's always the same goat too. :( And they don't ever do it when I am around and it's ALWAYS early in the morning before anyone is up. :( They are perfectly fine following the goats around on the hills during the day protecting them, and I have even seen the pair chasing skunks, raccoons, cats, and coyotes! So I don't know why they just started this extremely bad bahavior all at once now. :(

I am going to put up hotwire around the base of the fence so they can't dig in (or out), and I know that will "fix" the problem, but I feel like it's a band-aid and I want to learn how to teach them not to do it.

Help please!!!!
 
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BrownSheep

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Maybe seperate them...dogs in general tend to behave worst when they are togeather. Pack mentality....

I don't have LGDs so can't really speak on them specifically
 

Southern by choice

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When did she start her heat cycle? How long did it last? I know she is bred now. How long ago was it?

Females especially the Toli females have abnormally weird long heat cycles and tend to do stupid and bad things that they do not normally do.

Definitely put the wire up.
Where are the dogs in the morning that then the go elsewhere and dig to get to the pasture? I am missing this piece.... where are their goats?
 

WhiteMountainsRanch

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Her heat cycle started about Jan 10th, she was bred on the 17th. And today is Feb 9th, so it's been a month. I don't see any signs of her still being in heat.

The dogs are in our yard and each goat pasture is within our yard, we have been keeping them in the yard but not in with the goats. So they are digging from the yard into the pastures...
 

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I figured the heat thing was probably over but figured a good place to start as even the males act so stupid.

Why aren't the dogs in with the goats? Or did you separate them once this started?

Obviously this isn't a good situation and not part of their general character so I would go backwards and start with a step by step, mentally, of what changed. When dogs start displaying a "sudden" behavior there is usually a reason... you know how LGD's are... very much so creatures of habit unless conditioned for constant change.
 

WhiteMountainsRanch

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We started keeping them outside of the goat yards about 3 months ago after the second "attack play" which they hadn't done since up until about 2 weeks ago.

I can't see anything that has changed, no new animals, no pens or animals moved, nothing new that I can think of. Maybe a puppy stage? I have noticed that Diego is less "submissive" to the goats than I think he probably should be. He will chase them from his food and if they step on his he will snap at them, of which I always correct him. But it seems to mostly be Toli that starts the "play" chasing of the goats. But neither of them bother the big goats, just the "babies" which are 8-10 months old now. And they don't do it during the day or while I am around, always the same time early in the morning, and the same goat. :hu
 

WhiteMountainsRanch

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Well they are still doing it. Different goats though, seems like mostly maybe the weakest one. Toli is definitely the instigator, Diego won't do it unless she starts it, at least I have never seen him do it by himself. I am going to put up hotwire on the other pen and pen Toli in there by herself with the big bucks so hopefully they will teach her some manners. :/ Anyone else have any thoughts?
 

bcnewe2

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We went through this at a younger age. It was tight confinement that was setting off our Jesse. During the worst snow storms when the ewes were locked in the barn (lambing of course) because of temps, if Jesse was in with them she would chew lamb ears. I built a pen within the barn where she could see but not chase. The few times I did catch her and corrected her didn't help much till I came unglued on her.
I had the bloody eared lamb in my arm and cornered her with a stock stick in my other hand. I beat the ground around her with the stick till she rolled over then I beat it some more. She moved into her pen, I followed still yelling and beating the ground. She moved outside of the small paddock and lied down, I let her go. I glared at her, kept up my mean voice for a few more minutes but from the barn door not going after her. Then went about my afternoon chores. She didn't run, she just submitted. You could see a complete change in her body posture and her head set. After I finished with chores I called her in nicely and the incident was over in both our minds.
Since then I am able to just say or holler (depending on how far away she is) NO sternly for anything and she will sit or flop down and stare at me.
It was at that same moment that she became leash broke her too. I guess she finally believed that I was truly the boss.
I'm a nice boss. I don't take advantage of her, she gets away with allot but anything that has to do with playing with my livestock is a punishable offence.
It's worked for us. And I have a much better behaved dog to boot!

We recently added some young pullets. She is used to older chickens but the pullets got the best of her. I hadn't introduced her to them yet and knew until I did we were going to have an issue. I accidently left the coop door open and they got out. I found 4 of the 5 in a barn stall. Jesse was up the hill, when I found her (from a distance) I saw that she had a pullet hangin from her mouth. I couldn't get mad, as she knew nothing about the young chicks and I hadn't really claimed them or introduced her to them. I hollered NO, she dropped it and I just let things go. That was a few weeks ago. Today she was laying in the barn. I let the young pullets out and pushed them on top of her. The whole time she just laid there watching me. I didn't act mean. Just pushed them up to her and watched her. Thank doG she got the message and just laid there. I watched her all day. She lay there watching them, acting interested but never moving. Good dog Jesse....

It is possible, just keep trying and you'll get it done.
I also wonder about her being pregnant(did I read that right) so lots of raging hormones. For now she'd be in lock down till I knew she got the message, one way or another.
 
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