LGD chews on lambs

TheSheeper

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My LGD won’t stop trying to chew on my lambs. She’s 6 months old and has been with them since she was an 8-week-old puppy. This morning I’m giving the animals water and I look over and the LGD is standing over a lamb, she grabs the lamb by the extra skin and she’s about to lift him when I yell NO! Here’s the main problem. When I tell her no firmly, she always acts like she didn’t do anything wrong. She refuses to look me in the eye. She refuses to look at the lamb that she was going to chew on. I’ve had problems with her trying to chew on the lambs before but I “thought” she had given up. Maybe I just gave up. Any ideas how to stop her? I’ve tried shock collars but it just doesn’t seem to stop her.
 

Baymule

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I went through this with 3 dogs. I penned the dog, Trip, and only let him out when supervised. Not all dogs, but some hit this stupid teenager stage and they want to play with the lambs, sometimes the ewes. I would put Trip in the barn and let the sheep out in the pasture, then vice-versa. If we left, I made sure Trip was penned where he couldn't chase the lambs. He got lots of supervised "visits". He finally outgrew it and is now perfectly safe with all the sheep.

I had another pup, Sentry, and he started chasing the lambs. I put him with the weaned lambs, but he chased and played with them. I penned them at night and when we left, with him in a lot next to them. It took time and training. I let him with the lambs under supervision, praised him when he was good. I would make the lambs run, just to excite Sentry into chasing, then I lowered the boom on him. A rolled up paper feed sack makes a wonderful punishment. I beat the ground, the fence, my leg and him with it. It was terrifying to him. I also yelled, scolded and made a lot of noise. Then I penned him for punishment. He finally outgrew it. He now is my "lamb" guard and is in the barn at night, even when the ewes are lambing. He respects the ewes, gives them space and doesn't mess with the lambs.

You have to take the dog out of where the lambs are for their safety and so this doesn't become further ingrained in the dog as a behavior that you do not want. Cowpanels and T-posts make great easy and fast pens. Cut one in half for a gate. You can put them together with hog rings or hay string. The pen will have to have shelter, shade from the heat and a cover for rain. You want her to be with the lambs, by proximity, but only out with them when you can supervise.
 

Beekissed

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Soft tether her in the sheep's area...she can still be on guard but cannot access the sheep as easily and they can get away from her. You can also try spitzing the lambs with citronella....dogs HATE that stuff and it's what they use in bark collars to correct dogs for barking.

She may also need a companion dog with whom to play and mouth on instead of the lambs...does she have a working partner? Doesn't have to be a LGD, any old farm mutt will do.
 

Baymule

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You don't want another puppy. Puppies play together, then you have TWO puppies to correct. If you have a farm dog or a house dog, you can take her out of the sheep field for some play time. I used to let Trip out for play time, he thoroughly enjoyed it and he got to run off some energy.

Train one dog and let her mature, usually around 2 years old, before introducing another puppy. Note: I mean another LGD, not house or farm dogs that have no access to the sheep.

Citronella is a good idea, I never thought of that. Probably because that stuff is pure poison to me, it ranks up there with the chemicals that I react to. I even react to the live plants. But for someone who doesn't have that problem, it would be a super good training aid.

I tried tethering with a light chain. But I have so many trees that they wrapped themselves up. If I put one of those screw in the ground tether rings in a clear spot, they got too hot. It worked for short periods, but I had to keep a close eye on them so the dummies didn't get hot or find a way to choke themselves.

My advice, is READ. Read the posts in the LGD section. There is tons of information there and you will find many ways of training LGDs. Not every training method will work for you, you can choose what works for you and your dog. Every dog is an individual, just like people.

Keep us updated on her progress. You Might want to change the title of this post to her name and make it her thread. I did with my dogs. They all have their own threads and I update periodically. It is rewarding to ME to go back and read them to see how far we have come. My first LGD was a free throw away chicken killer with problems. It took two years to turn her into a chicken guard. Then we moved to 8 acres and got sheep. All she wanted to do was attack them, I had to back off and slowly introduce them and now she is a good sheep guard. She is getting old now, so we have added more LGDs. The fun never stops! If you like, I can post the links for you to read.
 

TheSheeper

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I will keep you updated. I started off last night by tying her up around the lambs last night. Leaving just enough space for her to reach the water bowl. I don’t trust her yet to leave her loose around lambs. I’ll try the citronella. I’ve been reading different articles lately but I will read as many as possible. She does have a companion. She’s got a Lab/Pyrenees mix who is a year old. They play and distract each other. The year old dog has given me no reason to tie him up at night. I can leave him all day with the sheep and our chickens and know he won’t harm them. Of course I still keep an eye on him and I’ve kept training him. In the end you cannot trust a dog that young no matter how good they are. Thank you for the info. I will keep it in mind and let you know how it goes.
 

Sheepshape

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I have a 6 month old Border Collie pup who would like to chase sheep, too, and lambing is going to start soon. I will keep her tethered in the sheep shed as pups act way ahead of thinking and can kill a lamb very easily if they bite the neck.
 

TheSheeper

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She’s doing better now. I’ve been watching her when she thinks I’m not nearby. Sometimes she will try to start chewing on them but when that happens I take the advice you gave me and grab a rolled up newspaper, make noise, and scare her, while I yell NO. I’ve noticed that when the lambs are sleeping she likes to nudge them awake. Then follow them very closely. I’ve lectured her about it and when I see her do it I correct her. I have another habit I’d like to break, the past month was frigid here. Temps kept dropping to the -20° To -30° at night. I kept the dogs in the shed since my sheep were lambing. Kept the sheep in the barn. The lab was pretty happy he didn’t have to sleep in the shed anymore. He’s gotten well adjusted and seems glad to be outside. But the Anatolian, she got used pretty quick. Now when I tie her up near the sheep she barks all night and keeps us all awake. Do you have any advice?
 

Beekissed

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She’s doing better now. I’ve been watching her when she thinks I’m not nearby. Sometimes she will try to start chewing on them but when that happens I take the advice you gave me and grab a rolled up newspaper, make noise, and scare her, while I yell NO. I’ve noticed that when the lambs are sleeping she likes to nudge them awake. Then follow them very closely. I’ve lectured her about it and when I see her do it I correct her. I have another habit I’d like to break, the past month was frigid here. Temps kept dropping to the -20° To -30° at night. I kept the dogs in the shed since my sheep were lambing. Kept the sheep in the barn. The lab was pretty happy he didn’t have to sleep in the shed anymore. He’s gotten well adjusted and seems glad to be outside. But the Anatolian, she got used pretty quick. Now when I tie her up near the sheep she barks all night and keeps us all awake. Do you have any advice?

Either she's barking due to predators or barking in protest of being tied. Can you describe the barking? Is it just repetitive and rhythmic, like a dog that's protesting being tied or kenneled? Or is it periodic and short, urgent bursts of barking like a dog on guard when predators are nearby?

If just protesting, correct the barking....if a verbal correction doesn't stop her, then a shock collar on vibrate may do the trick. Every dog needs to learn to be tethered or tied without freaking out about it, so it's time to train her on that.
 

Baymule

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It will take effort on your part. I tap on the window glass first. Then I go to the door, clap my hands and holler HUSH! Then I go whallop with the rolled up newspaper. I yell HUSH the whole time.

That is ONLY to be used when you KNOW that it’s barking just to be barking.

Sometimes there are predators that you can’t see, hear or smell, but they can. I have gone outside and talked quietly to the dogs, praised and petted them, to let them know I am their back up. This reassures them, I am the Alpha B!tch and I lead the pack. They may go back to barking to warn away a predator, that’s just how it is.

This sounds like your Anatolian is unhappy and letting you know it. The other dog is not barking like he would if there was a predator. Get ready for some sleepless nights. In time, tapping the window will let them know that if they are barking at the moon, you disapprove and they should shut up. If they cannot hear the window tap, like mine can’t unless they are close, then going to the door, clapping hands and yelling HUSH! will get the message across.

We have FIVE dogs. This has worked for them. Our female Anatolian is one year old and finding her voice. I cut her some slack because she is learning. Our big black Labrador and Great Dane will be up at the front gate barking he’s head off, clapping hands and yelling HUSH brings him running to me. I wait, pet him and give him the reassurance that I’ve got his back.
 
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