Newbie over here!:)

Homesteadingmama7

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Hey guys! I’m a newbie on this homesteading journey and so happy to learn from you all along the way:)

So as of now, my husband and I are purchasing 23 acres of land where we want to build a homestead. We currently have 3 kids ages 6, 3, and 8months.

Our goal (animal-wise) is a couple LGD dogs, some goats, chickens and maybe some bunnies or ducks. I just have no idea the best way to get there!🤪

LGD dogs sounded great to my husband and me as they protect your stock but also your family too. Obviously we want to keep our stock safe but more importantly I want an LGD that would throw down for one of my kids against a snake or bear etc.

So my questions are :
Any tried and true LGD breeds that you guys can recommend for our needs?

Also, In what order should we purchase the animals so that everyone bonds well and is kept safe?

Thanks so much!
 

messybun

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Hello and welcome! We started with chickens and goats at the same time. Ducks came much later because I’d heard they were difficult. Turns out ducks are my favorite! I personally have a huge preference for Great Pyrenees dogs. My grandparents breed and raise them and I have memories of riding them as a kid. But I’ve heard that they don’t always bond to livestock as well as Anatolians. That being said, my grandparents dogs would protect me from anything and are loyal unto death. So it’s totally up to you! See what you have local and decide from there.
 

Baymule

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As someone who has a life long history of doing things bass-ackwards, I feel supremely qualified to give advice on what order to acquire animals. :lol:

I was given a free throw away chicken killing Great Pyrenees, it took me 2 years to turn her around into a fantastic chicken guard. Do you have the patience of Job? Do you handle failure well?

We bought this place on 8 acres and moved 160 miles from just north of Houston. 3 weeks before moving date, my husband bought me a fluffy white Great Pyrenees puppy. Poor boy had to spend 3 weeks in the chicken run since I was painting/laying floors/building fence in preparation to move.

I joined BYH 5 YEARS before we moved. During that time I studied small livestock. I've had cattle, I like cattle, but into our retirement years, I no longer wanted to wrangle 2,000 pound bulls and protective mamma cows that wanted to grind my guts into dust. I used these forums to study goats and sheep. I chose sheep, then in particular, hair sheep. I studied the LGD forums, reading everything I could. BYH is a fount of information!

We had Paris, the female GP several years before we moved, she was in our small backyard, guarding the chickens from hawks, motorcycles going down the streets, an occasional raccoon, neighbors, falling acorns, the tire store noise from across the street, cats from the cat hoarder next door, loud trucks, people walking or on bikes, basically anything and everything that "in town" had to offer. She hated the new puppy and didn't want him in her backyard.

We had to put the puppy, Trip on a chain to start with and bring him in at night so the coyotes didn't eat him. No way Paris was going to share her new backyard. We finally got him a pen built and let him out during the day to hang out with us and our other 2 dogs.

We finally got up enough fence and bought 4 bred ewes. By this time, Trip was almost a year old. Both dogs wanted to chase, bite and beat up the sheep. Where was this guarding instinct??? They were protecting US from these interloper, dangerous sheep! It took a LOT of time to train them to the sheep, which they never quite bonded to, but did protect because the sheep are on their territory.

From experience, introducing grown dogs to sheep was an abject failure. It took a lot of time, effort and training to get the dogs to the point where they no longer viewed the sheep as the enemy to be destroyed.

My LGD journey. It's a lot of reading. It chronicles my mistakes (many) my victories and how my dogs came along on their journey to becoming guard dogs. There are many posts on LGD's. Read all you can, learn from others. LGD's are not your normal dog. They are not treat oriented, don't play fetch and do not live to be at your beck and call. They are independent, think for themselves and don't need you to tell them what to do. Read. Read. Read.

Most important--FENCE. Keep your dogs IN and don't let them roam. Great Pyrenees are famous for roaming and may not return. If my dogs ever got out on the country road we live on, they would get run over by a garbage truck. They chase trucks up and down the fence, on the inside. It's their entertainment.









 

Homesteadingmama7

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Hello and welcome! We started with chickens and goats at the same time. Ducks came much later because I’d heard they were difficult. Turns out ducks are my favorite! I personally have a huge preference for Great Pyrenees dogs. My grandparents breed and raise them and I have memories of riding them as a kid. But I’ve heard that they don’t always bond to livestock as well as Anatolians. That being said, my grandparents dogs would protect me from anything and are loyal unto death. So it’s totally up to you! See what you have local and decide from there.
Hello and welcome! We started with chickens and goats at the same time. Ducks came much later because I’d heard they were difficult. Turns out ducks are my favorite! I personally have a huge preference for Great Pyrenees dogs. My grandparents breed and raise them and I have memories of riding them as a kid. But I’ve heard that they don’t always bond to livestock as well as Anatolians. That being said, my grandparents dogs would protect me from anything and are loyal unto death. So it’s totally up to you! See what you have local and decide from there.
Hey! Thanks so much:) So Ineresting! Omg ducks are now your favorite?! Who knew!☺ I never thought to start two kinds of animals at the same time! Did you start your chickens and goats with a LGD already in place? I’m so curious what comes first. The dog then the other animals? Or the other way around. Would an LGD get depressed with only children and no animals to guard? Or would the animals get attacked by predators without an LGDs protection?
Yes! What an awesome story to hear about your expirience with great pyrenees! I keep hearing about how amazing they are with children. So so good to hear again—they’re definitely at the top of my LGD list now for sure!
Thank you!
 

messybun

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I actually don’t have any lgds right now. We don’t really have enough land to make them worth it. As far as guardian animals(aside from dogs) you will always get them in pairs so they won’t get lonely but they may have trouble accepting new creatures on “their” land. We actually have geese for our chickens and I can barely imagine how I used to live without them! Our two bonded ganders have actually chased away a rabid bobcat among countless aerial predators and the like. They also help herd things to bed sometimes. I would definitely suggest geese if you have free ranged birds. They are loud, but amazing!
 

Homesteadingmama7

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Hello and welcome! We started with chickens and goats at the same time. Ducks came much later because I’d heard they were difficult. Turns out ducks are my favorite! I personally have a huge preference for Great Pyrenees dogs. My grandparents breed and raise them and I have memories of riding them as a kid. But I’ve heard that they don’t always bond to livestock as well as Anatolians. That being said, my grandparents dogs would protect me from anything and are loyal unto death. So it’s totally up to you! See what you have local and decide from there.
Hello and welcome! We started with chickens and goats at the same time. Ducks came much later because I’d heard they were difficult. Turns out ducks are my favorite! I personally have a huge preference for Great Pyrenees dogs. My grandparents breed and raise them and I have memories of riding them as a kid. But I’ve heard that they don’t always bond to livestock as well as Anatolians. That being said, my grandparents dogs would protect me from anything and are loyal unto death. So it’s totally up to you! See what you have local and decide from there.
I actually don’t have any lgds right now. We don’t really have enough land to make them worth it. As far as guardian animals(aside from dogs) you will always get them in pairs so they won’t get lonely but they may have trouble accepting new creatures on “their” land. We actually have geese for our chickens and I can barely imagine how I used to live without them! Our two bonded ganders have actually chased away a rabid bobcat among countless aerial predators and the like. They also help herd things to bed sometimes. I would definitely suggest geese if you have free ranged birds. They are loud, but amazing!
Oh ok. So good to know you should get them in pairs☺ I’m definitely looking into geese! Great advice! Thanks so much!
 

Homesteadingmama7

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As someone who has a life long history of doing things bass-ackwards, I feel supremely qualified to give advice on what order to acquire animals. :lol:

I was given a free throw away chicken killing Great Pyrenees, it took me 2 years to turn her around into a fantastic chicken guard. Do you have the patience of Job? Do you handle failure well?

We bought this place on 8 acres and moved 160 miles from just north of Houston. 3 weeks before moving date, my husband bought me a fluffy white Great Pyrenees puppy. Poor boy had to spend 3 weeks in the chicken run since I was painting/laying floors/building fence in preparation to move.

I joined BYH 5 YEARS before we moved. During that time I studied small livestock. I've had cattle, I like cattle, but into our retirement years, I no longer wanted to wrangle 2,000 pound bulls and protective mamma cows that wanted to grind my guts into dust. I used these forums to study goats and sheep. I chose sheep, then in particular, hair sheep. I studied the LGD forums, reading everything I could. BYH is a fount of information!

We had Paris, the female GP several years before we moved, she was in our small backyard, guarding the chickens from hawks, motorcycles going down the streets, an occasional raccoon, neighbors, falling acorns, the tire store noise from across the street, cats from the cat hoarder next door, loud trucks, people walking or on bikes, basically anything and everything that "in town" had to offer. She hated the new puppy and didn't want him in her backyard.

We had to put the puppy, Trip on a chain to start with and bring him in at night so the coyotes didn't eat him. No way Paris was going to share her new backyard. We finally got him a pen built and let him out during the day to hang out with us and our other 2 dogs.

We finally got up enough fence and bought 4 bred ewes. By this time, Trip was almost a year old. Both dogs wanted to chase, bite and beat up the sheep. Where was this guarding instinct??? They were protecting US from these interloper, dangerous sheep! It took a LOT of time to train them to the sheep, which they never quite bonded to, but did protect because the sheep are on their territory.

From experience, introducing grown dogs to sheep was an abject failure. It took a lot of time, effort and training to get the dogs to the point where they no longer viewed the sheep as the enemy to be destroyed.

My LGD journey. It's a lot of reading. It chronicles my mistakes (many) my victories and how my dogs came along on their journey to becoming guard dogs. There are many posts on LGD's. Read all you can, learn from others. LGD's are not your normal dog. They are not treat oriented, don't play fetch and do not live to be at your beck and call. They are independent, think for themselves and don't need you to tell them what to do. Read. Read. Read.

Most important--FENCE. Keep your dogs IN and don't let them roam. Great Pyrenees are famous for roaming and may not return. If my dogs ever got out on the country road we live on, they would get run over by a garbage truck. They chase trucks up and down the fence, on the inside. It's their entertainment.










Oh wow! Such great information! Thank you so much! I’ve been reading your previous posts too about your journey. So fascinating!

I’d like to think of myself as a patient person ie I have 3 little kids but I know this all new territory for me! I’m definitely up for the challenge though😉

How crazy and amazing that the dogs were protecting YOU from the sheep! So cool but a pain at the same time! 🤪

Btw I adore all the stories about your dog Paris! She sounds amazing!🥰

And such great advice about researching. And the FENCE! I hadn’t thought about that for the LGDs anyway.

So from everything you’ve said, I’m wondering ( if at all possible), I should try to get all the animals as babies and at the same time? Would that be the best scenario for a good outcome for an inexperienced person like me? 

Thanks so much!❤🙏🏼
 
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