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LGD space?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by june2013, Mar 7, 2015.

?

How much space do you think a *true* LGD needs?

  1. Less than or an acre

    12.5%
  2. 2-3 acres

    25.0%
  3. 4+ acres

    62.5%
  1. Mar 9, 2015
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    I have a Great Pyr/Border Collie mix (Mikey) who stays with 15 does and currently 4 babies (with more on the way) on about 2 1/2 acres. I have a Great Pyr (Angel) who lives with 5 bucks on a little over an acre. I have 4 ft fence and no issues.
    The Pyr comes into the house for regular visits. She is very friendly and affectionate towards everyone in the family. I also take her over to visit with Mikey regularly and they enjoy each others company.
    Mikey is also very loving and affectionate to the family but he doesn't like to come into the house. He get's very anxious if he is removed from the goats.
     
  2. Mar 10, 2015
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    @OneFineAcre Mikey is an exceptional dog when it comes to that mix, but I am sure you have been told that before. Herd/guard mix can be confusing to the dog and to the owners at time. The song "Should I Stay or Should I Go" comes to mind :) But he is working for you so that is all the matters.

    On a small amount of land I can't even imagine not bonding and and interacting with my dogs. I rub bellies, scratch backs, and love on them daily. They are always happy to see me, but ok when I leave too. Just remember that there are times that you have to treat the dog, clip nails, groom, take to vet, etc. You need it to like you and to TRUST you completely. Trust me, you will want to fall in love with these dogs, can't help it. They are amazing.
     
    OneFineAcre likes this.
  3. Mar 10, 2015
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    We raise up our dogs and pups the same way yet there individual traits will come through. Like @OneFineAcre was sharing about his dog... we have had one pup that absolutely (as he developed) refuse to head to the house. All our others love their visits to the house. Not this boy. He does not like to come out of his field for anything. This particular dog is not a lead dog and the field is his safety zone.

    I will say if you want a LGD to be an actual LGD you will still need to raise the dog outside and do things that will be conducive to the dog developing into a LGD. Confusion is not something you want.

    For your setting and needs and what you mention, if you were on our pup list I would be looking at one of our pups in particular. He is currently showing traits of being more of a companion dog. He is very much in tune with people loves people wants people needs people.:rolleyes: His instinct is there but he will not be the kind of dog I would place as a true field LGD. Rather an environment with lots of human interaction and socialization. He is in the field and does live outside but he actively waits for his humans and barks and barks when we are outside as he wants his people. The other pups do not, they watch, lounge or do whatever puppy stuff they are doing.
    This pup is different.
    That is what I mean by a dog that is being evaluated for a particular environment. There is much more to it but that is a brief description. As the pup grows the instinct as guardian is still there but he would do well in a multi faceted setting with a lot of human companionship. Without it he would be a nightmare for a more "normal" LGD environment. These dogs must learn boredom early on and this guy will not do well with the boredom aspect.;)

    Hope that helps some.
     
    luvmypets likes this.
  4. Mar 10, 2015
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    I forgot to mention.
    One reason many breeders do not want their dogs to go to small environments is because there are many that start out with small scale farming, or with a few sheep and goats. The new farmer feels they must have a LGD after doing a lot of reading then they get these dogs and within a few years they give up on the farming thing. Dog now has nowhere to go, no work and end up in a shelter and ultimately put down.
    I cannot tell you how many calls we get about helping to rehome dogs. Biggest reason... got goats to clear brush and land. All 3 acres. Most people don't realize that is easily done in weeks to months and once it is dead killed it ain't coming back. The first year may be ok but after the second all dead killed. Land cleared, nothing to feed the goats without now spending money... get rid of goats and now here is this dog has no job. People feel they invested a lot and now want to sell the dog and get their money back out of him/her.
    Generally doesn't have a great ending.

    Breeders do look at how much is invested by the person looking at the dog? Are they new to livestock? What is their dog history?
     
    luvmypets likes this.
  5. Mar 10, 2015
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    You better believe I've been told that before. ;)
     
  6. Mar 10, 2015
    MsDeb

    MsDeb Loving the herd life

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    As LGD owners we are a major fail. (I blame my husband.) We live on 5 acres. The dog we adopted, as an adult rescue Great Pyr, had been fostered with goats, chickens, other dogs, in and out of the house, etc. When we got him home my husband thought he should spend the first night in the house. Turns out he likes the house and after a couple of days refused to go in the goat pen. We are able to keep our doe pen small and close to the house (if i stop getting new goats.) The buck pen is a little farther back. It's very comforting at stinking time change dark thirty to let Finn out of the house first to roam the yard barking at whatever he thinks needs barked at before I come out, fetch the milk goat, feed and water, all before getting to work by 7:00. When the goats are out grazing he is constantly on watch. When the grandchildren are out he is also on watch. When we brought home our milk goat a couple weeks ago our 2 year old granddaughter came wandering down to where I was leading her around and Finn casually got up and wandered down to keep an eye on things. His first priority has become guarding his people, the small people in particular, but he considers those goats and our chihuahua his also. We are very happy with the arrangement. (I'm curious to see how he handles the chickens.) For the record, neither us, Finn, nor our situation is typical.
     
  7. Mar 10, 2015
    Hens and Roos

    Hens and Roos Herd Master

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    my kids would find this cool but DH not so much ;) so it's a good thing DD doesn't read over my shoulder!
     
  8. Mar 10, 2015
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    I would not say that! You haven't failed at all as far as I can see. What makes you think you have failed?

    Herein lies the answers... many dogs are rescued but many are also not evaluated for type of work. He may have been a family pet beforehand. Fostering with livestock doesn't give the whole picture. I do believe he shows great guarding attributes, his is the "family" herd first.
    I can promise you this does not ruin a dog for LGD work. :hugs
    There are still breeders out there that show their Pyrs and after they are a finished Champion will then put them in the field, or raise them in both environments. These dogs are successful and they have had enormous amount of human handling, sleeping inside, crated, traveled with etc.

    I would love to know what Finn's original background was.
    I am just amazed that you have a pyr that sleeps through the night.:lol:

    Truly as much as I would love to have a full time house/family pyr pyr/toli or toli as a house dog it just hasn't happened. Callie may get there though. She is so spoiled right now.;)

    More and more time with the goats and he will adapt more than likely. Sometimes it is a matter of them understanding this is what you want and that it pleases you.
     
    bonbean01 and luvmypets like this.
  9. Mar 10, 2015
    MsDeb

    MsDeb Loving the herd life

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    Awww....SBC, thanks for the vote of confidence. I guess I feel like we failed in that he doesn't live outside with the herd. Although if we're all happy then I suppose that's really a success.
    I don't know if I'd want to know his original background or not. Thinking about it makes me sad. He was aprox a year old when he was rescued from a death camp. He had been found wandering, weighing less than 80 pounds. His front teeth and one of his canines are broken, almost like he had to chew his way through something. There were "found" posters put up but no one claimed him so he was taken into foster care and spent time among three amazing ladies involved in the TX rescue system. I'm still in contact with them and give them FB updates. He is the only GPyr we've ever had experience with but all three of those ladies (who are GP owners and have had many fostered in their homes) swear that there is something about him that is special. The original rescuer will be in KS this summer and we've already made plans for her family to come visit him.
    He doesn't actually sleep through the night. He gets up every night to eat, drink then go back to crib mattress. If he realizes I'm awake he'll stop at my side of the bed so I can pet him.
    I get what you're saying about understanding what we want and that it pleases us, because that is obvious. And when he and David are outside when I get home he immediately jumps up, looks for the nearest squirrel, bird or leaf and runs to prevent it from attacking me. Then he greets me with this big goofy grin on his face wanting to be told that he's done good.
    My apologies, June 2013, for hijacking your thread. :rolleyes: I hope you find your dream dog, just like we found ours.
     
  10. Mar 10, 2015
    Honest Omnivore

    Honest Omnivore Chillin' with the herd

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    We have under ten acres (about 9.3 or so) and 3/4 of this is fenced to contain tricky Nigerian Dwarf kids. I'm planning on two dogs to work the rear or back pasture which is out of site from the house. They will be inside a fence with electric at the top and bottom. I have a GP pup now and I'm tempted by a SM as a second dog. We have owned Neapolitan Mastiffs for over a decade (wow- almost TWO decades!) and we love them, the Spanish Mastiff seems like a LGD version of the Neo.

    Our GP pup is hanging out in our backyard with our chickens and goats. She was raised with goats and is "adjusting" to the chickens. We're totally in love with her, but she's only been here a week so I'm trying to keep my expectations realistic!
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