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Quick question about LGD breeds

Discussion in 'Livestock Guardians' started by FRED DESANTIS, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Mar 19, 2019
    FRED DESANTIS

    FRED DESANTIS Overrun with beasties

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    Hi,
    I have a quick question about LGD breeds. I have a one year old great Pyrenees female.
    She doesn't seem happy here. I think she feels more like a captive than a member of a team. What breed of LGD would be more obedient and loyal. Just wondering.
     
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  2. Mar 19, 2019
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    You need to bond with her. You do that by seeing her as a partner.
    LGD's are not obedience animals. They think differently and need to. Loyalty is built on trust and relationship.
    This is not a "dog" this is a partner, talk to her like a partner - an equal. Praise her.
    It won't matter what breed you get, if you do not have that ability to connect as a partner and shepherd.

    You mention obedient and loyal... what exactly is she doing or not doing that you mention this?
    How long have you had her?
     
  3. Mar 19, 2019
    FRED DESANTIS

    FRED DESANTIS Overrun with beasties

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    IMG_20181007_155923.jpg Hi,
    I have had her for six months. I have been through 3 or 4 types of dog food she'll like one for a few weeks then turn her nose up. Most times she comes when called which is good. I need to get her to be able to walk with a leash . I try I even use treats as rewards she's not really interested in learning new things. She needs to be able to go into a crate for the vet. I'll keep trying with love and treats I get the impression from her that she feels more like a captive than a partner. You can kinda tell when a dog is happy and enthusiastic,she doesn't seem to be. My last dog was a yellow lab she was great, eager to learn and very obedient. You could talk to her in a calm voice you could say " don't go up on the road" and she would listen. I think that a dog needs to be obedient for their own safety.I'll keep trying to work with her. I bring her over near the house away from the area where the goats are fenced in. Where we practice walking and heeling she's a nice little dog. I just wish she wasn't unruly and a little happier
     

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  4. Mar 19, 2019
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    But LGD's are not pet dogs. They have a very distinct purpose. Their job is a livestock guardian. They must be able to do their job, think quickly and make decisions faster than you can blink your eye. They are not obedience dogs, nor should they be and doing so and trying to make them what they are not is what will cause them to be unhappy and restless. They are not wired for this.
    Whoever you got the dog from should have counseled you on the ways of an LGD.
    They are not "dogs" as we think of dogs. They are a species unto themselves.

    Most LGD's will not be enticed or bribed with treats. They are really better off not doing so.
    Our neighbor tried making friends with our dogs as pups by trying to bribe with treats. He made a permanent enemy of every dog on the farm.... why... because the neighbor bypassed us. The dogs would have accepted him IF he had gone through us.

    As a trainer of working dogs that are geared for obedience/protection/schutzhund I would never ever expect my German Shepherds to do my LGD's work just as I would never expect my LGD's to behave like my German Shepherd Dogs. Very different animals, with very different jobs.

    Having her walk on a lead, load into a car is easy... but you have to change the way you approach a LGD.
    Your LGD will and does sense your displeasure and frustration.
    When you have the trust and respect of the dog they are actually quite willing to please... BUT ... trying to make them into something they were NOT bred for is only going to exacerbate the problems.

    Praise her every day for the wonderful job she is doing. Tell her what a great dog she is.
    Earn the respect of your LGD. They are smarter then we are.

    The dog is not the one being the unwilling partner. I do not say that to be mean, it is simple fact that the shepherd MUST bond and respect the dog. Pets are taught to respect you and the person is master. LGD's are not wired as such... you are equal partners. When respect of the LGD is not given they are the most stubborn frustrating dogs in the world! LOL
     
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  5. Mar 19, 2019
    goatgurl

    goatgurl Herd Master

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    hi fred, pretty girl you've got there. first you have to realize that a great pyrenees is not and will never be anything like a lab. come, sit, stay are all suggestions to a livestock guardian dog not a command. she will never act like an 'ordinary' dog because she isn't. she will not play fetch or any of the other things that your lab did. these dogs are not really treat oriented so you have to find something she really, really likes, think chicken or hot dogs or something like that. I understand the need for leash and crate training but don't make it an all important thing. they are laid back dogs that really only become alert and active when they persevere a threat. as far as her not eating well they don't eat a lot for dogs their size. maybe when you feed her she eats a little but just doesn't want the rest. if she doesn't do a lot then she won't eat a lot. go more by her condition than the amount she eats. I had an anatolian that drove me nuts because he didn't eat as much as I thought he should. as SBC said, you have to make them partners its not a master/dog kinda thing. does she stay with your goats? is she happy there? my LGD's wouldn't come in my house unless I dragged them and it would be a real struggle. they don't want to be in my yard they want to be with their livestock. does she bark at threats? do you go out to be her back up and see what she barks at? do you sit with her and her goats? these are the things that make a partner. she has to know she can count on you just like you have to know you can count on her. I hope you both can work thru the problems youall are having and she becomes the best guardian she can be. she will be happier if you don't try to make a yard dog out of her.
     
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  6. Mar 19, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    That dog looks like she has some Aussie in the line. As always SBC is right on and you are not going to have an obedient LGD. They do or at least try to do what they think needs doing. I also have herding dogs and with them I expect 100% obedience since if I can't stop the dog when I need to, I can't herd the sheep.

    I have one wonderful Great Pyrenees that I would not even think about correcting since she does what she needs to do. I also have a young Akbash who I have gone through several growling sessions that I definitely would not recommend doing with a 100 pound plus dog unless you really seriously know how to read their body language.
     
  7. Mar 19, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Fred, I went back and read your post again and something stood out to me. You mentioned about the dog coming/or not when called. How much time do you spend wandering around with her while she is doing her job? She isn't seeing a partnership here. I spend hours every day with a new dog just roaming the territory with my dogs. It doesn't take a lot of that for them to see who is supporting the "job"
     
  8. Mar 19, 2019
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    When I was a teenager I took an obedience class with my Dalmatian and there was a Great Pyrenees in the class. He was the only dog in the class that could make my Dalmatian look like she was behaving. I have never seen a more stubborn but incredibly lovable dog. Now that I have LGDs I understand the behavior. My LGDs know how to walk on a leash and get in the car. That is about the extent of their training.
     
  9. Mar 19, 2019
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    That is an understatement but pretty much says it all.
     
  10. Mar 19, 2019
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    SBC is 100% correct!

    Goatgurl also said that commands are a suggestion and she couldn’t be more right!

    I’d learned with my first Pyr that you leave them and don’t interact with them. It felt wrong so I loved him. In turn, he loved me! This was his farm and he more than once protected me as well.

    My Anatolian was an amazing girl! She was a heart dog and I miss her daily. DH would get so frustrated when she wouldn’t “listen.” I trusted her and she was protecting us from things we couldn’t see and/or hear. I’ve learned so much from SBC about these amazing dogs. I’ll have another or ten! Just have to get the timing right.

    I will say that all of mine enjoyed attention. They could care less about treats. They thrived on physical affection. I spent time every day hugging on them and I’d sit with them flopped down in my lap. They love to be scratched right above their tail and between their front legs. You can win her over!

    I will say that she may need a partner BUT she needs that connection with you first. Removing her from her animals is stressful for her. I know some vets do farm calls so that LGDs don’t even have to leave the farm at all.

    Please keep us posted.
     
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