New Anatolian Shephard puppy - Questions

Hideaway Pines

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I am looking for advice, we just got an Anatolian shepherd to guard and protect our critters. But I was not sure if she needed to be kept in a completely fenced area? We were hoping as she matures and grows that she would know to remain nearby, but some places say that they tend to run off. She will not be off leash or left outside unattended until we are confident she is able to stay on our place, but I wondered if anyone had experience with this breed they wanted to share. We only have small areas of our land fenced. But we may need to consider fencing more if this is going to be an issue.

Our pup is currently only 6 weeks and is tiny as you can see from the pics, so she is in the house for now. But we have a dog kennel and attached doghouse ready for her when she is bigger. We were planning to put her in with our Pigs when we get them in a few months, I was hoping she would be able to fend off any would-be attackers... but now I am wondering if she will be ready for that when she is 5-6 months of age... or do they need to be older. We are in the deep woods here in Texas and have a wide range of predators we are concerned about, thus the reason we bought a 4th dog... yep, 4th..I think I need to have my head examined. But this one will be outdoors, and has a real purpose unlike the other three free loaders who sit in the comfort of our home most of the time...
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AgnesGray

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Congratulations on your beautiful puppy!

There are a lot of differing opinions about how to raise a good livestock guardian, but there are the things I have learned with our two.

They themselves are prey and at risk if unprotected and alone in the face of a predator. This can be if they are young and don't have the size, speed, and experience to defend themselves or it can also be if they are outnumbered. In areas of heavy predator load, multiple dogs will work together to protect a flock/herd/themselves.
Classic example: our two cornered a raccoon recently and our male who is 100 lbs, but only 15 months old, wanted to do it alone. He told our female to stay behind him and she did. The raccoon was much faster than him and he ended up with a slice on his face, just missing his eye and a bite on one of his legs before we were able to step in.
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He is going to be fine, but the learning definitely isn't done. Our 2-year-old female, on the other hand, that is part anatolian, part GP and maremma, knows exactly how to dispatch a threat. Her weakness is her size as she is 65 lbs soaking wet. We are closing in on the two of them having the maturity and combined ability/strength/size they need to do the job.

Roaming is 9 times out of 10 going to be a thing with these dogs. Someone told me "if they see it, it's theirs" and that is about how they think. We use field fencing with top and bottom hotwire and have recently added a sportdog containment system to keep our female home.

Bonding with our dogs before they go to "work" has helped with their training. While they are growing, think of them as a kid. 6 months old started a rough patch with our boy where he killed a bird by playing with him and he tried to do that with another that we were able to retrieve from him before that could happen. The bond that we built with him and making sure he knew "leave it" or "drop it" was later a lifesaver. When he was playing with that bird and he saw how upset it disappointed it made me, it was crushing to him. What was important to me eventually became important to him and he responded to training instead of resenting my interference, thanks to all the time we've spent together forming a bond when he was a "kid". He's just now maturing into a dog we can trust with all of our stock (he looooooves his pigs! :) ). Basically love them and let them love you and when they're able and ready, they'll defend you with their lives. Our female was adopted at a year and a half old and we started with bonding with her like if she was a puppy. She's fiercely loyal and protective, just as she should be. :)

Good luck to you! They're unlike other breeds we've ever had, but a wonderful asset!
 

Baymule

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Beautiful puppy! You can’t put a puppy in harms way as said above. But a puppy should spend time in the barn/pasture area, under supervision. When you transition her to the barn, a pen in the barn with the animals is usually a good idea. You can pen train her now, so she doesn’t have a screaming fit later. Training her to stay in the pen she’s in now will certainly help later.

Most LGDs hate pigs. Mine do. I’ve only kept feeder pigs, but when I got them, the dogs alerted on them as a danger. I have to leash the dogs, introduce them to the new batch of feeder pigs-on the outside of the pig pen-and say MINE , petting and praising the dogs. But they still don’t like them.

Predators generally don’t mess with pigs. Maybe if you have a little tiny piglet, but then mean momma comes after the predator. Since we have such a heavy feral hog population, that aren’t afraid and are mean, predators don’t mess with them.

Do you have chickens?
 

Hideaway Pines

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Thanks for the info and advice. I will certainly take this all into consideration.

We do plan to put our pigs up each night in a mini barn (not built yet but we have all the material ready), we will put her with them at night too. It will be mostly predator proof but wanted her to bond with them and them with her - so when they are out in the field they work well together. We may need to fence in more of our place from the sounds of it... not easy with the density of woods we have.

I considered getting her brother but was a bit overwhelmed at the hurdles we would have with her on top of our other dogs/critters. But the breeder is just down the road, so maybe we get another one or I could get a rescue to add to our pack. I have seen some ASD in Dallas that might be a good fit. I have read that if they work in pairs, it is best. We just wanted to bond with this one really well, since one of our rescue dogs has been a long haul to bond with us, did not want to have to overcome that hurdle with her. Did you let yours in the house? did they stay with the animals at night as well as in the day? Just so many things to consider with guardian dogs.

I am glad your dog's eye was not damaged. who would have guessed a racoon would be that fierce.
 

Hideaway Pines

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Beautiful puppy! You can’t put a puppy in harms way as said above. But a puppy should spend time in the barn/pasture area, under supervision. When you transition her to the barn, a pen in the barn with the animals is usually a good idea. You can pen train her now, so she doesn’t have a screaming fit later. Training her to stay in the pen she’s in now will certainly help later.

Most LGDs hate pigs. Mine do. I’ve only kept feeder pigs, but when I got them, the dogs alerted on them as a danger. I have to leash the dogs, introduce them to the new batch of feeder pigs-on the outside of the pig pen-and say MINE , petting and praising the dogs. But they still don’t like them.

Predators generally don’t mess with pigs. Maybe if you have a little tiny piglet, but then mean momma comes after the predator. Since we have such a heavy feral hog population, that aren’t afraid and are mean, predators don’t mess with them.

Do you have chickens?
Thanks, her name is Jojo.

We do have chickens and rabbits - we are hoping to free range some with her as a guardian. We have not done that at all up to this point, because they are lunch to half the forest.

We would not leave her with the pigs until we were certain that all would be okay, and knowing me, I will be up checking on them all several time through the night to make sure things are okay. We plan to do the long lead/leash training with her as we teach her our place. I want to get her accustomed to the animals and to the night sounds. Since she was raised just up the road from us, she is familiar with the things in these woods. I was going to hold off putting her outside till she was at least 12 weeks old, she was the smallest in the litter - so she is not as beefy as her siblings. Just wanted her to be a bit sturdier before putting her out there. Did your dogs stay inside with you or with the animals? I am hopeful to get a goat in the near future to be in the same pasture as the pigs. So, there will be more to tend than just pigs. The chicks are not close to the pig area, so can't mix them with the rest of the critters, but I can easily put Jojo in with the chicks/bunnies to get her familiar with them.
 

Baymule

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In the house or in the barn? I've done it both ways. Paris was my first, a throw away messed up Great Pyrenees that killed chickens. We lived in town on a small lot with chickens in the back yard. She hated them and charged their coop snarling. Whatever her previous owners did to punish her for playing with squeaky toys, she blamed the chickens. 2 years later, she was the finest chicken guard ever. By virtue of them being in HER yard, she protected them and over time, they became HERS. When introduced to sheep a few years later, she attacked. Obviously they were monsters that would hurt me. I trained her to sheep the same way, built a small pen in her yard and weaned lambs in it. They became HERS and slowly we let them out in the yard, praising her for good behavior. I caught her chasing them when we came home one day and went ballistic on her with a rolled up paper, screaming and chasing her. She never chased sheep again and was awesome with lambing ewes. She would come get me and lead me to the new lambs. RIP Paris at 13 years old.

Trip, male Great Pyrenees. We got him at a couple of months old, 3 weeks before we moved here. Paris had the back yard, she hated Trip, would not share, we had to put him on a chain during the day until we got a cow panel pen built for him. We brought him in at night to keep the coyotes from eating him. He was a year old when we got sheep. He saw them as something to play with. It took time. He never bonded with the sheep, but guards the premises, thus they benefit from his presence. He's a fence jumper, annoying. I don't mind him jumping internal fences, but he ignores even hot wire to jump OUT. He wants to be in the yard, about an acre and sleep on the porch at night or in the heat of the summer, under the porch. Trip is 7 years old now.

Sentry is half Anatolian, 1/4 Great Pyrenees and 1/4 Akbash. I put him in the barn the first night, in a pen, separated from the sheep. He squeezed through the cow panels to be in with the sheep. He did that until he couldn't fit through the holes anymore. Interestingly, he never squeezed through a cow panel to get out, he wanted to be with the sheep. As a teenager, he chased, so had to separate him at night. He grew out of it, plus scolding and hurting his feelings. At 9 months old, we discovered he had hip dysplasia and he had femoral head ostectomy or FMO surgery. He had to stay in the house in a dog crate, I used a sling to walk him multiple times a day to go potty, followed a therapy care program. After 3 weeks he could go back to the barn, but in a small pen. I walked him, gradually longer and more time. It was a 3 month program and finally he was free. Can't even tell it today. Sentry is brilliant, wise and the best guard I have. He worships me and guards me too. Awesome with children.

Sheba is Anatolian. She stayed in the house as a puppy, the transitioned outside to the barn. Sentry adored her and let her maul him, which she still does. He trained her to the sheep. I have to keep her out of the barn when the ewes are lambing because she wants to lick and love the newborns. That would make the ewe reject her dog slobbered lamb. LOL She went through the teenager chase lambs thing, I closed her up with some cranky ewes and they put her in her place.

Sheba and Sentry are currently with Ringo the ram and his harem of 8 young ewes.

Carson is a big black Labrador/Great Dane cross. He thinks he is a LGD and I don't tell him any different. He is ok with chickens and sheep. Not really guarding them, but not chasing them either. One night he cornered a prowling bobcat that was after newborn lambs.

So looking back over my post, I have done a lot of things wrong and a lot of things right. I will continue forward with Anatolians. Great Pyrenees are good dogs, but are a pain to keep in the fence.

The next puppy I get will go to the barn like I did Sentry. It will get in the house time and be properly spoiled like all my dogs are. LOL So, in the house or in the barn, it is up to you. Both ways work, both are right, neither one is wrong.

You will figure this out. yes, you will make mistakes, but you will correct them. These dogs are resilient, smart and do fantastic jobs at what they do, no matter what our inept efforts are. The fact that the breeder lives near you is awesome, you have a mentor nearby.

Fence your entire property, it can be done in stages, 1 pasture at a time. That's what we did.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Livestock Guardian Dogs. I never want to be without 1 or 2 or 3 or 4............
 

Baymule

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One more thing. Socialize your dog. Leash train him, car/truck ride train him. It will be a big help when taking him to the vet and trying to lift a 100 pound unwilling dog in the truck. Take him to Tractor Supply, let him spend time on the dog aisle, pick out a toy, treat and praise him for being in the store. Take him to Lowes, they allow dogs on a leash. I let strangers pet my pups after letting the pup know it was ok. I don't want biting mean dogs. They bark, the Anatolians are distrustful until I say it is ok, but will still take awhile to warm up. The GP and goofball will bark, look mean, but are more likely to lick people to death. LOL We have a front gate that NOBODY tries to come through with 2 big dogs barking at them.

Take your puppy on a car/truck ride. Socialize to the degree you desire. Make the car ride a pleasant experience, you will be glad you did.
 

Cecilia's-herd

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I'm just a touch concerned that he is only 6 weeks.

At six weeks old, a puppy needs his mother for play, contact and reassurance of social cues. He doesn’t need to be with her 24/7, and she needs time away from her puppies sometimes. But it's still very important that she is there. So, it really isn’t okay to bring a puppy home at six weeks. Even more importantly than his need for his mother, a six week old pup needs his litter mates/friends.

Litter mates help teach him social cues, and how to socialize later in the future. It really helps teach them when to bite, and when not to bite. Bite inhibition takes a long time to learn, and now that the puppy has been taken to soon- you need to teach him! this is on labs, but same effect -https://www.thelabradorsite.com/teaching-bite-inhibition-to-your-labrador-puppy/

You will also need to jostle him around constantly, to mimic what it is like to be in a litter at 6 weeks. If you don't, he may dislike being touched or bumped in certain parts of his body.

I wish you luck my friend!! 🥰🥰🥰Your baby is very cute!
 

Hideaway Pines

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One more thing. Socialize your dog. Leash train him, car/truck ride train him. It will be a big help when taking him to the vet and trying to lift a 100 pound unwilling dog in the truck. Take him to Tractor Supply, let him spend time on the dog aisle, pick out a toy, treat and praise him for being in the store. Take him to Lowes, they allow dogs on a leash. I let strangers pet my pups after letting the pup know it was ok. I don't want biting mean dogs. They bark, the Anatolians are distrustful until I say it is ok, but will still take awhile to warm up. The GP and goofball will bark, look mean, but are more likely to lick people to death. LOL We have a front gate that NOBODY tries to come through with 2 big dogs barking at them.

Take your puppy on a car/truck ride. Socialize to the degree you desire. Make the car ride a pleasant experience, you will be glad you did.
You always give the best advice; you are truly a treasure of info!! You have had more than a few of these LGD, and you always encourage me to try new things and give great tips from your experience. I so appreciate you taking the time to do that!!

I am thinking we will keep her inside for the next month, then transition her out to her space and begin to get her introduced to the chickens and rabbits. I will put Sadie with her when she is put in the kennel, just so she is not alone. Once we do get pigs, I will see how that goes and take it one day at a time. But I believe we do need to put a fence up around her kennel giving her an actual yard to run in without us having to be there 24/7 to watch her. We do intend to give our chickens a larger fenced area for them to free range now that we have her to guard them. So that is on the list of things to do... which is a long never-ending list.

But as she grows, I am going to try not to let her be in the house too much, mainly because of her shedding. We already have one dog that sheds, and two that don't - but her shedding is going to be excessive, and my allergies might be an issue with that.

You brought up some great points, we were already discussing the idea of taking her with us when we go to town and walking her in stores just to socialize her. We do not get many visitors out here, so we will take her with us when we go places. We took our last pup, Sadie (part German shepherd and part Australian Cattle Dog) for the first year of her life for the same reason, it worked great, she loves car rides and meeting new people. So as long as our truck has room for her we will do this for her too.

You amaze me with all you did to nurse Sentry, that sounded like a really crazy few months. But you won his heart forever. Jojo is loving playing with two of our three dogs. The older (and smallest in size) of the three is not interested in the least, the others play and enjoy her. She snuggles with them and wrestles with them quite a bit. So even though she does not have young siblings she is getting some of the same tussling with them. Cecilia's-herd mentioned that might be an issue, but hoping they are good substitutes for them. At the very least she is learning about pecking order, which is good because she will be bigger than all of the others when full grown.

stay tuned, we will see how this goes...

 

Baymule

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One thing to know about puppies. When they are playing and one bites too hard, the bitten puppy will yell out YIPE!!! They all stop, look worried, may lick each other, like I didn’t mean to hurt you, then go back to playing. I have used that YIPE before, but very sparingly.

Now to sheep—puppy plays with sheep. Sheep don’t yell YIPE! So as far as the puppy knows, the sheep is having a good time and is running because it’s part of the game. With no YIPE! to stop the roughness, it escalates. Sheep may yell BAA, but puppy doesn’t speak sheep and sheep doesn’t speak puppy. This will be the same communication block for whatever animal you put him with.

This is explaining the communication gap so that you better understand what is going on. 9 months to 1 1/2 years, puppies have an attack of stupid.

Chickens are the ultimate squeaky toy. When this one stops moving, just get another! Fun! Until Momma catches dog, tosses dog in chicken coop, beats dog with rolled up paper feed sack, yells, tosses chicken on dog and beats dog until dog is screaming for its life. Hahahaha! Here! Have another chicken! Swat. Swat. Swat! Gee I love rolled up paper!
 

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