Help! Stress with Moving WITH working Guardian Dogs and their herd

AmberRaif

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Can anyone give me some counsel or confirmation that we're going to be okay?
We just moved from a small farm to a 40 acre farm out in the country. Just today we moved the LGD's and their goat herd to the farm. They have a 1 acre paddock, field fenced with goat fencing and electric wire along the top. So far it is containing them well. But they are freaked out!!! And the neighbors have LGD's that roam and are coming up to our fence line and I can hear the dogs barking at each other (the neighbors dogs are anatolians). I can't sleep up in their paddock, but I am so worried about them. There is a barn for shelter, but it's the open front type, and they are used to be closed in a barn at night (though they hated it and had to be chased down.) We thought this move to more "open spaces" would be grand....but today is proving that it's STRESSFUL and I'm concerned for my dogs safety dealing with the neighbor dogs. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of scenario?
 

Baymule

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Hot wire the fence inside to keep your dogs in and outside to hopefully give a shock to the trespassing dogs. Then as you are able, fence the parameter of your property to keep neighbor dogs OUT. Talk to your neighbors and get to know them. A good fence between neighbors makes for good neighbors and they may agree to a double electric wire on the parameter fence to keep yours and their dogs separated. Since your dogs are in an enclosure on your property, move out 10 or 20 feet and set up a hot wire fence to keep the neighbor dogs away from yours.
 

Mini Horses

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ANY move is stressful to humans and animals. With LGDs, they need to renew their own "comfort zone". Now add more LGDs and wow, just wow.

I agree with Bay....hot wire further out and talk with neighbors. While they will be contrary for a while, the LGDS should adapt to one another -- to some degree -- but, it may take time and even introduction. Do the neighbors have livestock?
 

AmberRaif

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Hot wire the fence inside to keep your dogs in and outside to hopefully give a shock to the trespassing dogs. Then as you are able, fence the parameter of your property to keep neighbor dogs OUT. Talk to your neighbors and get to know them. A good fence between neighbors makes for good neighbors and they may agree to a double electric wire on the parameter fence to keep yours and their dogs separated. Since your dogs are in an enclosure on your property, move out 10 or 20 feet and set up a hot wire fence to keep the neighbor dogs away from yours.
This outside electric is high on our priority list. As well as fencing the road frontage of the property with fence they can't come through. But it's over 600 feet of road frontage....so it will take a while. But running electric line at nose and ground level on the outside fencing is a must. Our neighbors yards are fenced, but they leave the gate open and their livestock dogs roam the neighborhood cattle fields. Our fields are home to two donkeys left by the previous owners and they keep the neighbors dogs from being too comfortable here, it seems.
 

AmberRaif

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ANY move is stressful to humans and animals. With LGDs, they need to renew their own "comfort zone". Now add more LGDs and wow, just wow.

I agree with Bay....hot wire further out and talk with neighbors. While they will be contrary for a while, the LGDS should adapt to one another -- to some degree -- but, it may take time and even introduction. Do the neighbors have livestock?
Our dogs have settled a lot now, and have naturally taken "charge" of the acre they are in. Are no longer crazed trying to escape it and follow me back to the house. Whew. It was a loooong three days of stress. But the end of the third day they seemed so much more content.
The neighbors do have sheep or something, but out here is major "country"....fences to most seem negotiable. Not to us, and we are determined to keep it that way...but the neighborhood is pretty relaxed and since we're the new comers I'm pretty sure we won't have much luck changing the "way things are done". The dogs do seem to have come to an understanding, so that's positive! I don't think the neighbors LGD's will be a threat to our herd. They are comfortable around livestock.
 

AmberRaif

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Thank you both for your comments. More hotwires will hopefully be installed this weekend to keep the other dogs at a safer and unchallenging distance.
 

AmberRaif

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Hot wire the fence inside to keep your dogs in and outside to hopefully give a shock to the trespassing dogs. TheA good fence between neighbors makes for good neighbors and they may agree to a double electric wire on the parameter fence to keep yours and their dogs separated.

We actually don't share a perimeter fence...they live across the road from us and they leave their front gate open and allow their dogs to wander.
 

Ridgetop

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What breed of LGDs do you have?

Once you have moved in and are present on the property with your livestock and dogs everything will settle down into a new pattern. The constant barking will eventually stop as the dogs get used to the new property.

At your old place they were familiar with all neighborhood predators, dogs, coyote packs, etc. they knew all your normal outside noises and what would be a threat. They knew who was welcome around you on the roads (neighbors), and who was not (strangers and predators). Then you moved into totally new and foreign territory. This completely changed the dynamics of the entire pack (you, dogs, and flock). Along with the stress they felt from you during the move (and dogs can smell stress in humans), the flock was unsettled as well at the change in territory. This made the dogs themselves more certain that there was a threat.

The move threw your dogs into “High Alert”. The LGDs no longer knew what predators were around them. All sounds were foreign, the neighbors and their dogs and animals were different and might be a threat to the flock and to YOU. They were constantly on guard.

Remember that with LGDs their method of protection is not to hunt down and kill all predators in the area surrounding them. Their method is to warn off all possible predators. Both predators and LGDs know that a fight can result in injury or death. Predators can’t risk injury since they will not be able to hunt and it could mean their death. Predators normally will not continue an attc when faced th defenders of their own size and strength. They will retreat for easier prey, That is why LGDs are so successful. LGDs only resort to killing the intruder that does not heed their warnings and perimeter markings. Both female and male LGDs urine mark their perimeter boundaries. Since the neghbor’s strange LGDs persisted in coming to investigate the newcomers, your LGDs were thrown into a frenzy of protective mode.

REMEMBER the neighbors’ dogs are also LGDS. You and your strange LGDs and flock have moved into their territory. It has been their duty to protect your property before your arrival. To them you and your dogs are possible predators. Until they understand that you belong there and are not a threat to them and their flock and owners, they will investigate you and try to warn you off by excessive barking.

The neighbor’s dogs are Anatolians and will eventually learn that their boundaries have changed. The open gate is a problem. You can deal with that though. If your neighbors are willing to put their dogs on a leash and walk them along the outside perimeter of the road fence and tell them by pulling them back from your fence and gate that this is no longer their territory to guard, they may back off. It would be doubly effective if you can put your dogs on a leash and walk them on the inside of your boundary fence at the same time. This will tell both LGDs (yours and your neighbor’s) that they need to stay on their side of the boundary and that the other is ok on their own side. You can have a chat with your neighbors at the same time.

If your neighbors are not willing to do that, then you should put your dogs on a leash and walk the perimeter of your fences on the inside of the fence. This will tell your dogs where their perimeter is, and also allow them to mark the fence there. That will inform the neighbors’ LGDs that this is a new territory perimeter and no longer theirs. It may take a while, but eventually the neighbor’s Anatolians will learn that your dogs belong across the street. Unfortunately, since you have not fenced all of your acreage yet, you will have to go through this excessive barking and hyper protective situation each time you fence in and use a new pasture. Your dogs will have to learn the layout of the new pasture, its predator threats, smells, and sounds before they will calmly protect your flock in the new enclosure. Also, each time you move your flock to a new pasture – even after the dogs have been used to it before – the dogs need to go in first to check the perimeters before moving the flock into it. Once the LGDs have checked the pasture and are satisfied there is no hidden threat, the sheep will go in easily.

As an Anatolian owner, your neighbor should keep his dogs on his premises. Leaving the gates open so the dogs can wander is taking a chance on them getting hit by a car, or causing some pedestrian a problem. Some Anatolians have more aggressive temperaments than others. You need to become acquainted with your neighbors so that their dogs recognize you as belonging to the area. Besides, you never know when you may need help, and in the country good neighbors are everything. I do not allow my Anatolians off my property. We even extended the height of our existing fencing to 8’ around our property. You will probably not have any trouble in more open range area, once your dogs have acclimatized to their surroundings and the neighbors’ dogs learn that you belong there. We didn’t want to take a chance on the dogs getting out and being accused of biting someone. Southern California is a litigious area and since we are on steep terrain our fences in some downhill areas had gone from 5’ to 3-4’ due to sloughing of debris. We feel much more secure now – not from predators but from lawsuits! LOL

If you continue to have problems with the neighbors' Anatolians, send me a message and I will put you in touch with Erick Conard. He has been raising training and REtraining Anatolians for over 30 years. He should have some help for you in dealing with the neighbors's Anatolians if they become a problem. Hopefully they are as smart as mine and will figure out that the boundaries of their protection have changed.
 
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