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Rough Collie as LGD?

Discussion in 'Other Animals' started by christy_was_here, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Mar 28, 2011
    christy_was_here

    christy_was_here Chillin' with the herd

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    Are rough collies (like Lassie) a herding breed or a guardian?

    I'm looking to add a good farm dog to my barn/house to deter predators and people and was thinking maybe a collie would be a good choice. I grew up with a very protective collie and think they might be a little more manageable than a pry or anatolian who likes to roam a large perimeter and may not be as people friendly, which is important here.

    I need a dog who can be intimidating when needed, but friendly otherwise. I realize a collie probably wouldn't be much of a threat to a coyote, but, (praying) I have yet to have an issue with them and I've kept chickens/ducks for the past 7 years.

    To be honest, I am feeling a little vulnerable too because with the economy where it is there are a lot of shady people coming around the area and several of my neighbors have had stuff stolen from their barns and sheds. Part of me thinks a pry would be such an awesome protector for me and the goats/birds, but I just don't know what to do...

    Thanks for reading this and your advice, comments!

    Christy
     
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    Rebbetzin

    Rebbetzin Loving the herd life

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    I do hope some one can answer your question. I don't have much experience with Collies. A neighbor had one once that would "herd" the kids into a tight group and not let them "escape".

    It was funny but, some kids would get scared.

    I do know not all dogs, within a breed will "do" what most people expect of them. They are all individuals, and will need training to do what you want them to do.

    Maybe contact a Collie Rescue group in your area, or a breeder and talk to them about their dogs.
     
  3. Mar 29, 2011
    carolinagirl

    carolinagirl Ridin' The Range

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    Herding dogs don't normally make good LGDs. A herding dog has the instincts to herd and chase, the LGD breeds have no prey drive and are content to sit quietly and keep a watchful eye on their stock. Of course there are a few exceptional hearding breed dogs that have made good LGDs but for the most part, you would be much better off with a guardian breed and not a herding breed.
     
  4. Mar 29, 2011
    SDGsoap&dairy

    SDGsoap&dairy Loving the herd life

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    Both the rough and smooth collies are herding dogs. A herding dog will work with the handler to move livestock, but the herding drive (modified prey drive) is strong and they aren't meant to work animals without a handler. An LGD is meant to guard livestock and works independently. They don't have the same instinct to move/chase animals the way a herding dog does.
     
  5. Mar 29, 2011
    patandchickens

    patandchickens Overrun with beasties

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    Herding breed, absolutely. NOT a guardian that lives with the flock and protects it against predators.

    Although it does not sound to me from your description that you necessarily want a true guardian animal anyhow. (If you do, the Great Pyrenees is by reputation the one least apt to be biting people; but if you want it to do livestock-guardian duties, you would want to get one from working LGD lines not pet lines)

    Just having "a" dog on the property will warn off some predators to some extent, and obviously some people to some extent too. So maybe, if you don't actually want a true LGD with all of the lifestyle/actions inherent in that type career, just a good larger-breed farm dog would be good. A collie *that does not have real strong herding instincts* (so you can leave it loose) or some other good-sized breed that is not going to chase the livestock.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    helmstead

    helmstead Goat Mistress

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    Perhaps he's the exception, but my Aussie will only herd my goats when we're out there with him. Otherwise, he chills in the pens. I am completely comfortable leaving him with my ADULT goats for extended periods of time. He's also an excellent guard dog, anyone who has been to our place when we hadn't locked him up can attest to that. This winter we left him outside every night because the coyotes got hungry - and every time we had a doe kid, they'd be here for the next few nights. That boy kept a perimeter around our entire property for two solid months, all night, every night. He might be a bit of a PITA (VERY high work drive) but he's worth his weight in gold.
     
  7. Mar 29, 2011
    christy_was_here

    christy_was_here Chillin' with the herd

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    Thanks for your advice/opinions. I had always thought collies were herders, but I wasn't completely sure. I don't think I can trust a dog with a high prey drive around my chickens anyway, so I'll just keep my eyes and ears open for a better fit.
     
  8. Mar 31, 2011
    PJisaMom

    PJisaMom Ridin' The Range

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    FWIW, I recently lucked into a 2 year old Great Pyr.... and she ROCKS. She's a wanna-be lap dog when she's getting her loving, but totally on the job all night, every night. My youngest daughter has significant health issues and previously had a HUGE fear of dogs. She has taken to my GP like nothing I've ever seen. My children now belong to the dog and she's *excellent* with my goats.

    We have wanted a dog for a long time, but due to allergies, we can't have one in the house... my GP is just as nice as I'd like a house dog to be, but with the added working expertise of an LGD.

    (Heard the coyotes out the other night... in the distance... She was MORE than ready to tell them to kiss off - and i'm sure the neighbors were *thrilled* :hide )

    Keep looking and you'll find the right fit! Good luck!
     
  9. Apr 3, 2011
    AlpacaEmployee

    AlpacaEmployee Exploring the pasture

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    I like both herding breeds and LGDs, but I hate seeing them left outdoors without proper grooming. May just be what I've seen, but I just can't stand it.
     
  10. Apr 4, 2011
    carolinagirl

    carolinagirl Ridin' The Range

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    Studies have shown that active working Anatolian shepherds actually live longer when they are working dogs than as house pets. They stay conditioned and toned.