Help me find the LGD breed/mix for me!

farmerjan

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Farm I used to farm sit for had Maremmas. They killed the lambs and chased the turkeys until they were older. He had them from puppies but was not very good about teaching them right from wrong. They barked at everyone but were very people friendly..... so I can't say anything about them for being protective. I felt sorry for them because they were ignorant of what they were supposed to do, and they also roamed. There are a couple of people that have GP's and all of them roam although they are good with people/kids.

I hate to say it but I don't think you are going to have time to take care of or teach an LGD pup the ropes while you are dealing with twins. Not in the beginning. You are going to be very busy and find out there aren't enough hours in the day. If you get a pup and then it kills a few chickens you will be worse off than if you just do what you are doing now and make sure the chickens get taken care of, locked up at night and such.
 

Mini Horses

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He had them from puppies but was not very good about teaching them right from wrong.
And that fact is critical for a good dog, LGD or not. They are born with tendencies but need instruction to fine tune them. Just like obedience training.

Plus I totally agree -- you have NO IDEA how busy those precious babes will keep YOU!🤗💓
 

Cecilia's-herd

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I hate to say it but I don't think you are going to have time to take care of or teach an LGD pup the ropes while you are dealing with twins. Not in the beginning. You are going to be very busy and find out there aren't enough hours in the day. If you get a pup and then it kills a few chickens you will be worse off than if you just do what you are doing now and make sure the chickens get taken care of, locked up at night and such.
As much as I am doing all I can, we went from 10 chickens to 7. That's too many losses for such a small flock. One was a neighbors dog, one egg binding, and one was a yote.

This is what i do. One of the only things I understand is dogs. I just want familiarity again.
 

Baymule

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This is what i do. One of the only things I understand is dogs. I just want familiarity again.
Best advice I can give you is to read the LGD forums. There is a lot of information there. LGD's are not your normal dog, it's almost like they are a different species.

DO NOT get a LGD cross bred with any other type of dog. LGD cross with a herding or hunting dog already has it's instincts and wires crossed, no telling what it will do. LGD crossed with another LGD breed is ok.

I will agree with @farmerjan on this one. Twins will keep you BUSY for awhile. Training a puppy is time consuming. Try to look around for a grown dog. Sometimes you can find someone that has sold their flock for whatever reason.


click on change breed. A lot of these are mixed breed-I think they just assign a breed name to the dog because it looks like _________ (fill in the blank) But I have seen some very good dogs on here. Key word-BEWARE Stay away from rescues that want you to make a LGD a house dog, paint it's toenails and take it to the groomer weekly. Those people are idiots and should not be allowed to breed and have more people like themselves.
 

Ridgetop

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I agree - if you are having twin human babies, you will be super busy. Too busy for an LGD pup. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't learn all you can about these wonderful dogs now. Then when you are in the position to get your LGD you will have a lot of information on which to base questions to the breeders and find your perfect LGD.

Here is a very long post (as most of mine are) of info on LGDs, purchase, etc.

Sometimes you can obtain grown LGDs that are already trained, but the good ones will be expensive. Good, trained LGDs however, may be worth the cost if you get them from excellent breeders who are also experts in training LGDs. For your money, you do not have to do the puppy training when the LGD tries to play doggy fashion with his BFFs and mangles the leg or ears on a ewe. This is normal puppy behavior at certain stages of growth similar to the Terrible Twos or Tantrum Threes of human children. Or even, God Forbid THE TEEN YEARS. :barnie An adult, trained LGD from a responsible breeder will set you back a couple thousand dollars, but they are ready to guard, have been genetically tested, and are steady, responsible guardians. If the dog doesn't work for your family the breeder will usually take the dog back. Don't be afraid to introduce a grown LGD to a family with small children. LGDs even when not raised with babies or toddlers usually adore small children and babies. Ours did.

On the other hand, good LGD puppies from good bloodlines, with good conformation, whose parents have been x-rayed for dysplasia, etc. and have been properly exposed to livestock in a working environment will also be expensive.

What is expensive to you? For a purebred, genetically tested puppy of any breed you will be looking at a price starting at $1000+. For show puppy the price will be much higher. For a puppy from certain bloodlines that you are buying as a "herding prospect" or "hunting prospect" prices can start at $2000 and higher. Even cross bred puppies of designer lineage - "puggles", "labradoodles", etc. the prices can start at $1000.

So, again, what is expensive to you? I have had purebred dogs all my life. Some have been champions, some have had hunting titles, all have been good dogs, some have been wonder dogs. All have been loved. All have loved our family. All have been obedience trained. All have fulfilled their purpose. BUT they were not Livestock Guardian Dogs.

Livestock Guardian Dogs are breeds so different as to be almost another species. Most are not trainable as we consider obedience training. Come, sit, heel, down, stay. Nope those are commands that, while they can be taught and mastered by the LGD, are not commands that you can rely on being obeyed consistently. LGDs will obey those commands if they consider them necessary, if they consider you to be the Alpha, or if they haven't got anything better to do - like chase off a perceived threat.

Free dogs and rescue dogs often have major behavior problems. The owner either did not choose wisely (genetic problems, bad breeder) or did not train the dog properly. That is why they are in rescue. I am really opposed to rescue LGDs especially for a first LGD. And YES, LGDs do require some training. The dog parent training the puppy is a myth. The puppy knowing instinctively what to do is a myth. Not socializing the LGD is a myth. being able to turn your young puppy out into the field alone to protect the flock is a myth - it will result in another coyote kill, this time of your expensive LGD pup.

So again, you need to decide what price you can afford to pay. This will depend, not only on your income or financial situation, but on how great is your need for predator protection. In two years after the death of our last LGD, we lost 3 flocks of sheep to coyotes that learned to come in during the day since we locked the sheep in the barn at night. After counting the cost of dead sheep (most at term and ready to deliver lambs) we figured the financial loss at over $6000. That was for unregistered commercial sheep. If you have more expensive pedigreed stock, your dollar losses will be higher. We were thrilled to finally find an 18 months old Anatolian bitch, fully trained, for $2000. It took me months of searching and another month of constant communication with the breeder to find her and be approved by him. There were waiting lists for good LGD puppies but we needed a dog that could work now. That was 7 years ago and we had to drive to Texas from California to pick her up. Her breeder did not ship because he believed that driving home with the dog in the car helped the bonding process. He is right about that. That $2000 is the best money we ever invested. Rika has protected our registered Dorper flock from constant coyote attack, went out with our 5 and 3 year old grandsons into the gully so they could play safely, has helped train two subsequent Anatolian puppies, and adored and protected our family. At an investment of less than $300 per year over the past 7 years. She s still going strong.

As to breed, that is a personal decision. I have had Pyrenees, Anatolians, and a Maremma x Sar Pleninetz. All were good dogs, effective at their jobs. The Pyrs roamed - they could not be contained other than being chained up which negates their effectiveness. During kidding they remained close until the smell of newborns had dissipated then they were off again. Our entire neighborhood of over 150 acres was predator free, but they were not with our goats and sheep while protecting the neighbor's properties. Sweet tempered dogs though which we needed at the time since we had small children whose friends were always at our house and constant strangers at the property for 4-H meetings. The Maremma x Sar P also liked to roam. He stood off a huge Doberman at only 3 months of age, and at 9 months he and our aging Weimaraner chased off a cougar. No losses while we had our Pyrs, butI don't like dogs to roam outside my fences.

Now that we are older and young children (other than family) don't wander in we have switched breeds to Anatolians. These dogs suit our current situation perfectly. They are constantly with the sheep. They do not leave the premises. They have killed several coyotes inside our fences over the years. They do not have the long fluffy coats that Pyrs have. They have short coats with a winter undercoat. Water does not bother them. They are happy to lay out in the field during pouring rain watching the sheep. They do not require any shelter although they can go inside the barn, under porches, and into dugouts they make in the summer under large bushes.

Anatolians do have drawbacks. They are more aggressive than Pyrs, although breeders have reduced this a great deal. They are suspicious of strangers. You cannot keep 2 of the same sex and age together because once they mature they fight, even if they are littermates. You can only keep one male on the property at a time. Several females can be kept together as long as they are about 2 years apart in age. They are fierce protectors. They need training since they are very dominant.

If you want to learn more about Anatolians you can go to Lucky Hit Farm on line and read the articles that Erick Conard has written and posted about the breed. He has been breeding and observing this breed for over 30 years and has made many fascinating discoveries about how they guard, how the flock responds to their signals, and the body language of training. Also some of the history and background of this breed which originated in Turkey. Occasionally Erick has adult dogs available. He only breeds one litter per year. His dogs win in the breed ring when he shows them, but he prefers working homes for his puppies. He is also ready to help anyone with any training problems. If you are thinking about an Anatolian call him. He does not believe that everyone can or should have an Anatolian since they are not easy dogs.

No matter which breed you finally decide on, be sure to ask lots of questions of the different breeders. Look for my article in Livestock Guardian forums - "To Buy or Not to Buy - A Livestock Guardian Dog". In it I discuss how to find a responsible breeder and the questions to ask as well as what to stay away from. It can help you avoid any mistakes in buying from someone that sounds great and then leaves you with a bad dog and no help.

Good luck on those twins! Post pix. Just because we love pix of animal babies doesn't mean we don't welcome those from our human BYH family! :hugs
 

Cecilia's-herd

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What is expensive to you? For a purebred, genetically tested puppy of any breed you will be looking at a price starting at $1000+. For show puppy the price will be much higher. For a puppy from certain bloodlines that you are buying as a "herding prospect" or "hunting prospect" prices can start at $2000 and higher. Even cross bred puppies of designer lineage - "puggles", "labradoodles", etc. the prices can start at $1000.
I am willing to pay at the most? 5000 for a show prospect puppy. I’ve (almost) done it before. Sight hounds am I right?! 🤣

I’m never buying those backyard bred doodles and puggles. It’s completely wrong. But I digress.

I don’t think an Anatolian is for me. I have no sheep for them to guard. I feel it would be unjust.

A great pyr is the only one that I have found a good, responsible breeder who is OK with me showing on of her dogs. Many were not excited about the idea.

My prospect breeder told me I could have free range over registered names. That makes me so happy! I’ve never had free range before. All I have to do is put her kennel name in there somewhere.

As for rescue- absolutely no. It seems like a really bad idea for a first LGD.

Training a LGD is definitely going to be where I am unfamiliar. I’ve had biddable dogs and not biddable dogs. But LGDs are a whole new kind of not biddable. With honestly excited me.

As far as my kiddos- I’ll let you know as soon as they are here! DW and I are ver excited. Our first children to ever come (God willing) earth side ❤️🌈.
 

Ridgetop

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Go on Lucky Hit website page and read all the articles about training LGDs - most of the training is good for all the LGD breeds. And the articles are fascinating.
 

Cecilia's-herd

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Go on Lucky Hit website page and read all the articles about training LGDs - most of the training is good for all the LGD breeds. And the articles are fascinating.
Ohh they very much are!!
 

Ridgetop

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A great pyr is the only one that I have found a good, responsible breeder who is OK with me showing on of her dogs. Many were not excited about the idea.
Breeders that are sincere about breeding working dogs normally want them to go to working homes. They also have waiting lists for good puppies with working abilities who are often repeat buyers. All 3 of mine are show quality out of the same bloodlines. Originally, I planned to show them. With our predator load I couldn't spare them from their duties long enough to finish one of them. Now I have spayed both bitches and have collected the male so I can neuter him if I choose. He has been shown and did well, but an eye injury stopped that career. Also, Anatolians are more difficult to show. They don't like strangers taking liberties with them, they are aloof and protective of their handlers in and out of the ring, and some have growled in the ring at judges for this reason. A good Anatolian judge will have the owner show the bite and will be more careful how he approaches the dog. True Anatolian temperament tends to be more aggressive even in the breed ring. The recent specialty had a major dog fight in the specials class. While handlers and judges like to see terriers going after each other to show "true terrier temperament" that is disaster in the Anatolian ring. Breeders currently have been softening the Anatolian temperament to the point where they are losing some of that hard courage to take a fight with a predator to the death. Anatolians that are consistent winners in the show ring are often on the road more than they are in the pasture.

Unfortunately, we have seen this trend in the dog world for years. Collies used to be excellent herders, but years of breeding trends has removed a lot of that ability. Hunting dog breeds often have 2 main bloodlines - one for field and one for the breed ring. Show coats and working coats on many breeds are completely different since breeders and show people like the huge fluffy coats while working dogs can do with a smoother coat and less feathering around the legs and hacks. Many LGD breeds are becoming less able in the pasture as guardians as the breeders choose specimens for docility in the ring, and form over function. My breeder produces both, as evidenced by the excellent conformation of my 3 dogs. However, I am no longer interested in showing (that would have been heresy to me 40 years go!) and while I would put a handler on a future dog to finish it, I am just not interested anymore in the breed ring.

Remember that Pyrenees are roamers. You will spend a lot of time chasing down the dog or retrieving it from neighbors as far as several miles away. With twin babies on the way, consider getting a collie pup as a playmate for the older one. They are trainable and you can show it. Since you only want protection for your chicken flock, I would suggest that you upgrade the fencing around the poultry yard, and roof over the enclosure instead of investing in a livestock guardian dog.
 

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