Today i had my LGD pup kill one of my doelings he had been with for about 3 weeks he is in with 8 does and buck along with what was 5 doelings. Is this the end of this pup or can he still be saved and kept from doing this again?
I don't know if he played with her to death or if it was on purpose. So they were fine have been ok for the past 3 weeks nothing too outrageous other than chasing the doelings (which was corrected),but everything was good in the morning no signs of nipping or anything but when i got back from work was when i found her dead with some bite marks on her ears mouth area and two puncture wounds on her neck. Bite marks were too small for a bigger dog or any other predator in my area the body was not torn up just those bite marks. He is a Great pyrenees(to what we know his parents were around goats but owner in my opinion pulled him way too young when we got him) he is about 5 months had been doing wonderful with the older goats just this incident that has me wondering..Did he play with the doeling to death? Or did he maliciously kill her on purpose?
Separate him now. How old is he? What breed?
He will be a puppy until 2 1/2 years old. These dogs need training. Yes they make fabulous guard dogs, but they still need training.
He had a small bout of biting again not too long ago but was biting and the ankles of one of our older goats. He got corrected real quick and didn't want anything to do with the goats but to what i saw it was playing the way he was moving and his mannerisms it was not aggressive at all. Thank you for all the infoLGDs of all breeds are individuals with different sill levels. Some are fantastic natural guardians who seem to automatically do it all right BUT those dogs are rare cases and not the norm.
The majority of LGDs, regardless of the breed, go through episodes of play with their charges. Normally they will have a favorite - their BFF - and this is often the youngster that shows up with bite marks.
LGDs sometimes go through 2 periods of play behavior with their livestock at different ages. The first can occur anywhere from 3-6 months. Any play behavior before this will not result in damage so you might not notice it, or think it is "cute". This equates to childhood behavior. The second episode occurs anywhere from 12 to 18 months old. This time the behavior will result in worse damage to the animals since the dog is older, larger and has mor bite power. The LGD may go through one of these age play behaviors or 2 behaviors, or not go through any. The thing to remember is that this sort of play behavior, if it occurs, is normal teenage behavior and needs to be dealt with immediately. By the time the dog is 2-3 years old this behavior no linger occurs. (Excessive chewing of lawn furniture, outside toys, hoses, etc. also usually stops when the dog is 2-3 years old too LOL.)
During this puppyhood/teenagerhood play behavior it is the lambs or kids that show wear and tear since the older flock animals normally won't "play" with the dog by running. Older animals, in particular cranky ones, will butt the pup to show their annoyance with it. The young ones are usually the dog's "playmates". If you watch a litter of pups or even 2 older dogs "playing" with each other you will see that they bite each other's ears, legs, faces and necks. This play fighting is how young dogs learn to fight predators and in the wild take down prey. If one pup is too rough the other pup will turn on it and bite back. This is not what kids or lambs do. They don't bite the dogs, instead they simply try to run away. The puppy sees this as play behavior and will give chase.
In the case of your dead doeling, the bite damage was around the ears, and face. The killing bite was to the neck or even head. Usually, the killing bite is an accident. What you don't want to happen is for the dog to decide that killing is more fun than protecting his herd.
Removing the puppy from the flock was a good decision. You can try putting the puppy in with adult bucks and does (no kids) to see if the adults will "discipline" the puppy by butting it when it tries to play. If the adults don't provide strict enough discipline, remove the dog again and supervise his visits to the herd.
Guardian dogs do require training. Different LGDs may require different specialized training depending on what their unwanted behaviors are. One of our LGDs, a male Anatolian, loved the newborn lambs so much that he tried to steal them from the mothers. It took several years of lambing to break him of this, along with some behavior modifications of our own human behavior. This dog has an extremely protective nature, and like all male Anatolians is highly protective of all babies, both human and sheep. This male never indulged in any teenage "play" behavior. Our 2 females do not try to steal lambs. However, one female did go through 2 separate age related episodes of "playing" with her besties. The second episode at 18 months of age resulted in injuries to a number of 5 months old lambs. Her behavior required modification by a pen of rams and several months of severe supervision and chastisement when she tried to run after any member of the flock. She is now an excellent guardian at 3 years old and excellent with lambs.
Take the puppy in with the young kids and supervise his behavior. Scold him for any chasing of the animals. A trained livestock guardian does not chase the animals under his protection. If the puppy does not listen to your corrections, put him on a leash during this exercise. Eventually a long lead (20') to make sure you can yank him back from chasing.
You also need to teach him to come to your call, back away when you walk forward into him (this is a good command to get the dog to move back from a situation you don't want him in) and walk on a leash. Remember you are going to have to take this 125 lb + adult dog to the vet occasionally and he will need to have some manners so you can control him.
Hopefully we will her that your young LGD has come out of his "Play" phase and is settling into his guardianship job well.