Our LGD Journey

AgnesGray

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
62
Reaction score
116
Points
103
I had a female Great Pyrenees that also wanted to be the only lady, had to keep her and Sheba separated. Paris went to that green pasture in the sky in October. Sheba is now the reigning Queen. But I have 3 males, Sentry (Anatolian) hates the other two. Sigh….. dog drama!

Sentry has hip dysphasia. He underwent Femoral Head Ostectomy surgery. Can’t tell it now.
Oh, how wonderful! It's amazing what they're able to do through surgery nowadays.

You're right... always some dog drama! We love their spunk though. haha
 

bethh

True BYH Addict
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
514
Reaction score
1,143
Points
233
Location
Duluth, GA
Mid-summer, Shep is growing up and living his best life with his new buddy Annie. We start to notice the side of his jaw is a little bit sloped to one side and where his baby teeth vacated space, there are no adult teeth on one side.

We start to see the dog vet, then another, then our farm vet took a look at him... no one had ever seen anything like it. So the search begins to sort out what is going on with our toothless tiger.

The current theory is craniomandibular osteopathy. Basically, his jaw bones seemed to swell during his development and didn't fully form or form correctly. Now we're uncertain what he will be able to do or not do. His jawline on one side is ultra thin and he's missing important teeth.

View attachment 88637

Even on the "good" side his teeth are crumbling and falling out.
View attachment 88638


The current plan is to allow him to finish developing and take xrays. We love him to bits and fortunately have puppy health insurance on him that I've never got in the past, but expected that they might get into scrapes here and there and that it might end up being useful.

Now our question is whether or not we should add a third dog. And if we do, how soon or how long should we wait?

We expected challenges with training and those have been surmountable. We didn't expect the negative outcome with the crazy maremma pup or with Shep's genetics. We didn't expect the very positive outcome with Annie's poultry tending skills. We haven't had a dull moment on our journey with LGDs and we've loved (just about) every minute of it.
I hope that Shep will be okay. We had a health issue fairly soon starting out with our LGD. If neither of your dogs have been fixed, I’d suggest that you have Shep fixed so that you don’t breed his genetic issues. Our Chewy was born with genetic heart problems, term evades me, after an accidental breeding, we had to spay our female because Chewy wasn’t strong enough to withstand surgery.

Just in case you had t thought of this, I wanted you to know.
 

AgnesGray

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
62
Reaction score
116
Points
103
I hope that Shep will be okay. We had a health issue fairly soon starting out with our LGD. If neither of your dogs have been fixed, I’d suggest that you have Shep fixed so that you don’t breed his genetic issues. Our Chewy was born with genetic heart problems, term evades me, after an accidental breeding, we had to spay our female because Chewy wasn’t strong enough to withstand surgery.

Just in case you had t thought of this, I wanted you to know.
Awe, poor Chewy! How is he doing now?

We did spay Annie in November for that reason. I had hoped to have a litter from her that we could keep a pup from as she's been such a great dog. But we agree with you about not wanting to breed forward defects so we spayed her. Also wanted him to finish growing before we neutered him which was another reason we chose to fix her instead.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
12,724
Points
553
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
It is such a shame that your male has s genetic flaw that is such a problem. Having a delicate jaw is bad in any dog but in a LGD it is really a problem.

I applaud your choice in neutering your dogs. So many good LGDs are available that spay and neuter is a good choice for working dogs. Unless you have enough working LGDs to cover your ranch protection, breeding takes a bitch out of the protection work pool for at least 3 months. Not to mention the time she comes in season each year.

We have 3 purebred Anatolians, ages 9, 5, and 3 years. Both bitches are spayed and we are considering neutering the male. The one we spayed that I regret is Harika. Exquisite conformation, perfect guardian technique, perfect with newborns and new mamas, and she is a good trainer for the other Anatolians too. :( The youngest LGD bitch was spayed because we were unable to get papers on her. She is out of an import that the Anatolian society refused to register. Beautiful bitch and excellent worker. We have a gorgeous male Anatolian, also a spectacular guardian. He is out of Harika's littermate. He has been collected and I could neuter him now, but am waiting for a while. We will be buying our 4th Anatolian this summer, another female.

Love our Anatolians. We had 5 Pyrs, and while we liked their temperaments, I found Pyrs roamed and were impossible for us to keep inside our perimeter fencing. Anatolians are very dominant, and you have to be watchful of temperament, but they stay with their flock, and are aggressive against predators and intruders. They are wonderful with our small grandchildren too. We have raised our 5' perimeter fences and along the road we have wrought iron fencing with deadbolts on the gates. This is not only to keep the dogs in, but to prevent stupid people from walking into our yard and confronting an angry Anatolian that doesn't like trespassers!

Good luck in finding a good LGD.
 

AgnesGray

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
62
Reaction score
116
Points
103
Thank you!

It is unfortunate that it turned out this way with Shep's jaw. I guess being new to this when we got him, we were unsure of whether or not to bring him in and I'm glad we did, considering the way it's going.

You mentioned spaying working females to keep them on the job. Three weeks of keeping her and Shep apart was enough fun. Can't imagine 3 months.

Sounds like you have a wonderful pack! To be good with grandkids as well as their jobs is really the ideal dog. 🥰
It's incredible that anyone would trespass on a property with three Anatolians though.

We were a little intimidated by Anatolians when we first started looking into getting LGDs. Shep is a big teddy bear unless he really feels threatened. He has been so easy on us and we love him dearly, whatever his purpose in our lives ends up being. Annie though... her noble loyalty is so beautiful and she has worked her way into our hearts with her antics and funny personality. Her fierceness in the face of a threat is downright terrifying if you're not expecting it. She's fearless. She seems to have a lot of the Anatolian personality traits from what I read after we got her DNA back. After our experience with her, we will seriously consider an Anatolian for our third dog if we find a good one near us. I have never had such an intensely loyal dog.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
12,724
Points
553
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
We had the same worries about switching to Anatolians after our years with easy natured Pyrenees. Our Pyrs were easy with people not with predators. LOL

Having constant back up from Erick Conard, our breeder and friend, was the only thing that kept me going some days. He was always there at the end of the phone to help with encouragement, suggestions, and corrections in training. Having backup from people that know the breed, and the problems you are experiencing, and can give you help is essential with Anatolians. I wrote a series of 4 articles for the Anatolian Times about getting our first Anatolian. It required intense work. Even though I got a perfectly trained Anatolian, Harika, I would have given up on Anatolians due to the problems we had introducing her to our other dogs. Next, we got Bubba at 14 weeks. More crazy trouble, different but harder, in training him! Another series of articles will be going off to the Anatolian Times about our experiences there. Angel's problems were dealt with more easily because we had been through them before. She had more puppy/sheep play problems than Bubba. Another series of articles? :lol:
 

AgnesGray

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
62
Reaction score
116
Points
103
We had the same worries about switching to Anatolians after our years with easy natured Pyrenees. Our Pyrs were easy with people not with predators. LOL

Having constant back up from Erick Conard, our breeder and friend, was the only thing that kept me going some days. He was always there at the end of the phone to help with encouragement, suggestions, and corrections in training. Having backup from people that know the breed, and the problems you are experiencing, and can give you help is essential with Anatolians. I wrote a series of 4 articles for the Anatolian Times about getting our first Anatolian. It required intense work. Even though I got a perfectly trained Anatolian, Harika, I would have given up on Anatolians due to the problems we had introducing her to our other dogs. Next, we got Bubba at 14 weeks. More crazy trouble, different but harder, in training him! Another series of articles will be going off to the Anatolian Times about our experiences there. Angel's problems were dealt with more easily because we had been through them before. She had more puppy/sheep play problems than Bubba. Another series of articles? :lol:
I think a good breeder like that is essential, whatever the breed. Although he's been a pretty easy dog, after all of the health problems with Shep (who wasn't cheap anyway) and then the unhinged registered maremma pup, we really want to get our next dog from a breeder that has a history and not only raises healthy dogs, but puts the time into them to know their pups and curb those early behavioral issues before they get to us. Maybe even more (or as much) important as the breed is the breeder?
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
12,724
Points
553
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Definitely the breeder is paramount! Having luckily found the wonderful breeder of Anatolians who has helped us with every problem we have encountered, I know that the right breeder is as important as the right dog. In spite of having had many Pyrenees and a cross LGD, without this breeder we would probably have given up on Anatolians. Instead, they are our breed of choice as long as we have livestock. They are not an easy dog. They are highly dominant, both bitches and males. Unless you have help in understanding the minds of LGDs you can have problems. They are not like other breeds of dogs. To me a good LGD is so different as to be almost another species.

A reputable breeder will be recommended by several sources who know their dogs and have had good experiences with them. A reputable breeder will have repeat buyers and usually a waiting list for pups. The waiting list is because the reputable breeder is not a puppy mill and does not turn out litter after litter. They restrict themselves to one or two litters per year, which means that repeat buyers wanting one of the puppies from their good breeding will have to book one in advance.

The reputable breeder tests their dogs for hips, elbows, and any other congenital abnormalities in the breed. They are particular about which sire to use on which bitch to ensure good working ability, conformation and temperament. (More about conformation later.) The reputable breeder has a take back policy which will require you to return the dog if it does not work out for you. The reputable breeder will often have a contract that puts all health guarantees and working guarantees in writing.

Some breeders are only interested in the breed ring. Those are not the breeders you want. While many are reputable and do the testing I listed, they are not as interested in the dog as a working dog. This is true of many breeds that excel in the show ring and have lost much of their ability to guard livestock, hunt, or herd. They make wonderful pets and excellent show dogs with excellent health and temperament, but these are not the breeders you want either.

When looking for a specific working dog, you need to get recommendations to breeders that produce dogs that can herd, guard or hunt. Some of these excellent breeders both show and work their dogs. Some of these reputable breeders don't show themselves but have dogs that do with other owners. And some of the reputable breeders are only interested in the working abilities of their dogs. These are the breeders you want.

Next, you want a breeder that does not put you off with a lack of interest in discussing the breed with you. Particularly you want the breeder that discusses the breeds' worst proclivities and discusses the training needed to avoid any problems. The BEST BREEDERS are those that are always available to help you with training. On the other hand, if you ignore the training suggestions, after a while even those excellent breeders will have to wash their hands of you. There are some people that ask for help but are not willing to follow the instructions. These people can ruin a good dog of any breed.

I previously mentioned conformation and showing. While conformation is most highly valued in the dog show world, do not discount it in your working dog. Proper conformation of any animal in any species is necessary to allow that animal to work properly. Meat animals are built differently from dairy animals and have different conformation requirements for a reason. It is the same with dogs.

The conformation of a working guardian dog needs strength in the bones and muscles. Cow hocks or narrow front will impede working ability. The width and depth of chest allows enough room for the lungs and allows the dog to take in enough air to breath while chasing predators or fighting them off. Cow hocks will cut down on the dogs walking and running ability over time. Heavy bone and size as opposed to small, lightly built dogs enable the guardian to withstand larger predators. However, too heavily built and the dog loses its maneuverability in a strength of the bite and agility of the guardian fight. If you look at your guardian dogs, you will see a slightly roached back behind the ribcage. This gives the guardian incredible speed (consider the way sight hounds are built). A strongly muscled jaw is essential to fight off predators. Usually, the size of the guardian and its constant patrol and barking challenge is enough to protect, but in a fight the strength of the bite and agility of body can mean life or death to both flock and guardian.

Temperament is also key in selection. Do you require a friendly dog because you have a lot of visitors to the farm? Do you want a more aggressive dog due to type of predator, or your need for more protection in an isolated area. Do you need something for specific livestock. Poultry? Rabbits? Small livestock? Home and ranch general guardian? These are all things that the reputable and knowledgeable breeder can select for you in the litter of puppies. The knowledgeable breeder knows their dogs. The experienced ones know what puppy traits to select for in the adult dog. The knowledgeable working LGD breeder will be able to select the pup with the qualities you need among those adorable fluff balls.

Just as every breed has different techniques of guarding, so does each puppy in the litter have a variation of how they will guard. The reputable breeder will be there to help you over each training hurdle (and there will be many) to produce the perfect guardian.

It is a shame about your male's jaw problems. Your female is working well though and he can be back up for her you might not have problems with his jaw for many years. if you have a bad predator problem, I would recommend that you find another female Anatolian when your bitch turns 2 or 3. Anatolian males will not tolerate other males, but Anatolian females will tolerate other females if they are several years apart. Oddly neither sex will tolerate same age dogs of the same sex. Even littermates raised together will begin to fight when they reach 2 years old. This seems to be specific to Anatolians.
 

Cecilia's-herd

True BYH Addict
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
604
Reaction score
1,021
Points
203
Location
Zone 5b
a breeder that has a history and not only raises healthy dogs, but puts the time into them to know their pups and curb those early behavioral issues before they get to us. Maybe even more (or as much) important as the breed is the breeder?
OFA is very easy to navigate these days, use it to your advantage!!! https://www.ofa.org/
Definitely the breeder is paramount! Having luckily found the wonderful breeder of Anatolians who has helped us with every problem we have encountered, I know that the right breeder is as important as the right dog. In spite of having had many Pyrenees and a cross LGD, without this breeder we would probably have given up on Anatolians. Instead, they are our breed of choice as long as we have livestock. They are not an easy dog. They are highly dominant, both bitches and males. Unless you have help in understanding the minds of LGDs you can have problems. They are not like other breeds of dogs. To me a good LGD is so different as to be almost another species.

A reputable breeder will be recommended by several sources who know their dogs and have had good experiences with them. A reputable breeder will have repeat buyers and usually a waiting list for pups. The waiting list is because the reputable breeder is not a puppy mill and does not turn out litter after litter. They restrict themselves to one or two litters per year, which means that repeat buyers wanting one of the puppies from their good breeding will have to book one in advance.

The reputable breeder tests their dogs for hips, elbows, and any other congenital abnormalities in the breed. They are particular about which sire to use on which bitch to ensure good working ability, conformation and temperament. (More about conformation later.) The reputable breeder has a take back policy which will require you to return the dog if it does not work out for you. The reputable breeder will often have a contract that puts all health guarantees and working guarantees in writing.

Some breeders are only interested in the breed ring. Those are not the breeders you want. While many are reputable and do the testing I listed, they are not as interested in the dog as a working dog. This is true of many breeds that excel in the show ring and have lost much of their ability to guard livestock, hunt, or herd. They make wonderful pets and excellent show dogs with excellent health and temperament, but these are not the breeders you want either.

When looking for a specific working dog, you need to get recommendations to breeders that produce dogs that can herd, guard or hunt. Some of these excellent breeders both show and work their dogs. Some of these reputable breeders don't show themselves but have dogs that do with other owners. And some of the reputable breeders are only interested in the working abilities of their dogs. These are the breeders you want.

Next, you want a breeder that does not put you off with a lack of interest in discussing the breed with you. Particularly you want the breeder that discusses the breeds' worst proclivities and discusses the training needed to avoid any problems. The BEST BREEDERS are those that are always available to help you with training. On the other hand, if you ignore the training suggestions, after a while even those excellent breeders will have to wash their hands of you. There are some people that ask for help but are not willing to follow the instructions. These people can ruin a good dog of any breed.

I previously mentioned conformation and showing. While conformation is most highly valued in the dog show world, do not discount it in your working dog. Proper conformation of any animal in any species is necessary to allow that animal to work properly. Meat animals are built differently from dairy animals and have different conformation requirements for a reason. It is the same with dogs.

The conformation of a working guardian dog needs strength in the bones and muscles. Cow hocks or narrow front will impede working ability. The width and depth of chest allows enough room for the lungs and allows the dog to take in enough air to breath while chasing predators or fighting them off. Cow hocks will cut down on the dogs walking and running ability over time. Heavy bone and size as opposed to small, lightly built dogs enable the guardian to withstand larger predators. However, too heavily built and the dog loses its maneuverability in a strength of the bite and agility of the guardian fight. If you look at your guardian dogs, you will see a slightly roached back behind the ribcage. This gives the guardian incredible speed (consider the way sight hounds are built). A strongly muscled jaw is essential to fight off predators. Usually, the size of the guardian and its constant patrol and barking challenge is enough to protect, but in a fight the strength of the bite and agility of body can mean life or death to both flock and guardian.

Temperament is also key in selection. Do you require a friendly dog because you have a lot of visitors to the farm? Do you want a more aggressive dog due to type of predator, or your need for more protection in an isolated area. Do you need something for specific livestock. Poultry? Rabbits? Small livestock? Home and ranch general guardian? These are all things that the reputable and knowledgeable breeder can select for you in the litter of puppies. The knowledgeable breeder knows their dogs. The experienced ones know what puppy traits to select for in the adult dog. The knowledgeable working LGD breeder will be able to select the pup with the qualities you need among those adorable fluff balls.

Just as every breed has different techniques of guarding, so does each puppy in the litter have a variation of how they will guard. The reputable breeder will be there to help you over each training hurdle (and there will be many) to produce the perfect guardian.

It is a shame about your male's jaw problems. Your female is working well though and he can be back up for her you might not have problems with his jaw for many years. if you have a bad predator problem, I would recommend that you find another female Anatolian when your bitch turns 2 or 3. Anatolian males will not tolerate other males, but Anatolian females will tolerate other females if they are several years apart. Oddly neither sex will tolerate same age dogs of the same sex. Even littermates raised together will begin to fight when they reach 2 years old. This seems to be specific to Anatolians.
Stole the words out of my mouth!!
 

Finnie

True BYH Addict
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
702
Reaction score
1,579
Points
263
Location
Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis
Definitely the breeder is paramount! Having luckily found the wonderful breeder of Anatolians who has helped us with every problem we have encountered, I know that the right breeder is as important as the right dog. In spite of having had many Pyrenees and a cross LGD, without this breeder we would probably have given up on Anatolians. Instead, they are our breed of choice as long as we have livestock. They are not an easy dog. They are highly dominant, both bitches and males. Unless you have help in understanding the minds of LGDs you can have problems. They are not like other breeds of dogs. To me a good LGD is so different as to be almost another species.

A reputable breeder will be recommended by several sources who know their dogs and have had good experiences with them. A reputable breeder will have repeat buyers and usually a waiting list for pups. The waiting list is because the reputable breeder is not a puppy mill and does not turn out litter after litter. They restrict themselves to one or two litters per year, which means that repeat buyers wanting one of the puppies from their good breeding will have to book one in advance.

The reputable breeder tests their dogs for hips, elbows, and any other congenital abnormalities in the breed. They are particular about which sire to use on which bitch to ensure good working ability, conformation and temperament. (More about conformation later.) The reputable breeder has a take back policy which will require you to return the dog if it does not work out for you. The reputable breeder will often have a contract that puts all health guarantees and working guarantees in writing.

Some breeders are only interested in the breed ring. Those are not the breeders you want. While many are reputable and do the testing I listed, they are not as interested in the dog as a working dog. This is true of many breeds that excel in the show ring and have lost much of their ability to guard livestock, hunt, or herd. They make wonderful pets and excellent show dogs with excellent health and temperament, but these are not the breeders you want either.

When looking for a specific working dog, you need to get recommendations to breeders that produce dogs that can herd, guard or hunt. Some of these excellent breeders both show and work their dogs. Some of these reputable breeders don't show themselves but have dogs that do with other owners. And some of the reputable breeders are only interested in the working abilities of their dogs. These are the breeders you want.

Next, you want a breeder that does not put you off with a lack of interest in discussing the breed with you. Particularly you want the breeder that discusses the breeds' worst proclivities and discusses the training needed to avoid any problems. The BEST BREEDERS are those that are always available to help you with training. On the other hand, if you ignore the training suggestions, after a while even those excellent breeders will have to wash their hands of you. There are some people that ask for help but are not willing to follow the instructions. These people can ruin a good dog of any breed.

I previously mentioned conformation and showing. While conformation is most highly valued in the dog show world, do not discount it in your working dog. Proper conformation of any animal in any species is necessary to allow that animal to work properly. Meat animals are built differently from dairy animals and have different conformation requirements for a reason. It is the same with dogs.

The conformation of a working guardian dog needs strength in the bones and muscles. Cow hocks or narrow front will impede working ability. The width and depth of chest allows enough room for the lungs and allows the dog to take in enough air to breath while chasing predators or fighting them off. Cow hocks will cut down on the dogs walking and running ability over time. Heavy bone and size as opposed to small, lightly built dogs enable the guardian to withstand larger predators. However, too heavily built and the dog loses its maneuverability in a strength of the bite and agility of the guardian fight. If you look at your guardian dogs, you will see a slightly roached back behind the ribcage. This gives the guardian incredible speed (consider the way sight hounds are built). A strongly muscled jaw is essential to fight off predators. Usually, the size of the guardian and its constant patrol and barking challenge is enough to protect, but in a fight the strength of the bite and agility of body can mean life or death to both flock and guardian.

Temperament is also key in selection. Do you require a friendly dog because you have a lot of visitors to the farm? Do you want a more aggressive dog due to type of predator, or your need for more protection in an isolated area. Do you need something for specific livestock. Poultry? Rabbits? Small livestock? Home and ranch general guardian? These are all things that the reputable and knowledgeable breeder can select for you in the litter of puppies. The knowledgeable breeder knows their dogs. The experienced ones know what puppy traits to select for in the adult dog. The knowledgeable working LGD breeder will be able to select the pup with the qualities you need among those adorable fluff balls.

Just as every breed has different techniques of guarding, so does each puppy in the litter have a variation of how they will guard. The reputable breeder will be there to help you over each training hurdle (and there will be many) to produce the perfect guardian.

It is a shame about your male's jaw problems. Your female is working well though and he can be back up for her you might not have problems with his jaw for many years. if you have a bad predator problem, I would recommend that you find another female Anatolian when your bitch turns 2 or 3. Anatolian males will not tolerate other males, but Anatolian females will tolerate other females if they are several years apart. Oddly neither sex will tolerate same age dogs of the same sex. Even littermates raised together will begin to fight when they reach 2 years old. This seems to be specific to Anatolians.
😍😍😍😍😍!!!!!
 
Top