To Buy or Not to Buy - A Livestock Guardian Dog

Silly_me

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I may be the odd man out as they say, but I adopted a 6 month old Maremma that was living chained under a backyard deck in the suburbs. She had never been in contact with any livestock and got her for a couple hundred bucks about 18 months ago.
At first I only had rabbits and had just started with some ducklings and I introduced her gradually, removing her when she got too playful. There have been no issues of harm done to the animals. She just loves being with them.
My 5 acres are not fenced except for the small barnyard area and she does go visit the neighbours on either side as they always have a treat for her and then she comes back. she Takes off barking into the woods daily to let the coyotes and bears know she’s the boss I suppose but comes back shortly.
Now we have added a goat and a pig and all is well. Bella does eat alot but I’ve always had big dogs so I’m used to that.
 

Baymule

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I may be the odd man out as they say, but I adopted a 6 month old Maremma that was living chained under a backyard deck in the suburbs. She had never been in contact with any livestock and got her for a couple hundred bucks about 18 months ago.
At first I only had rabbits and had just started with some ducklings and I introduced her gradually, removing her when she got too playful. There have been no issues of harm done to the animals. She just loves being with them.
My 5 acres are not fenced except for the small barnyard area and she does go visit the neighbours on either side as they always have a treat for her and then she comes back. she Takes off barking into the woods daily to let the coyotes and bears know she’s the boss I suppose but comes back shortly.
Now we have added a goat and a pig and all is well. Bella does eat alot but I’ve always had big dogs so I’m used to that.
You are not the Lone Ranger. We had 2 Great Pyrenees that had never seen sheep, one was a year old, the other was 5 years old. There was a learning curve, these dogs are awesome.
 

Wild Bug Ranch

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@Baymule @Ridgetop

I have a 9 month old female Akbash/Great Pyrenees puppy that is guarding my herd of goats. My show goat who is new to showing is not showing anymore because of activities my LGD dog is doing to her. This morning my LGD dog Dallas playful attacked Dixie and she is bleeding front and back legs. How do I stop this?
 

Beekissed

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@Baymule @Ridgetop

I have a 9 month old female Akbash/Great Pyrenees puppy that is guarding my herd of goats. My show goat who is new to showing is not showing anymore because of activities my LGD dog is doing to her. This morning my LGD dog Dallas playful attacked Dixie and she is bleeding front and back legs. How do I stop this?
First, that's not playing. Even when dogs play with one another I never see blood. That's predator behavior, so you have to treat it like that. You'll need to do some leash training with this dog to establish a relationship with her wherein you are the authority over her, her pack leader. Use correction words for undesirable behavior during these walks, make sure she's not walking you...ever, the desired goal with leash training is that she walks beside you on a loose leash. She stops when you stop, make her sit each time. She goes when you go, turns when you turn, she doesn't stop and sniff or pull towards a distraction, etc. Give plenty of praise and treats for good behavior, instant correction for any bad.

Every day, make this a routine until she is responding to your corrections, watching you for cues on how to behave properly. Then work her with the goats on a long lead, so you can grab that line to give a physical as well as a verbal correction for any overt excitement around the goats...especially when they run. That's usually when pups get excited and want to chase, jump on or otherwise harass the livestock.

When not working with her, I suggest she be tethered in the goat area but not near where they eat or drink. You might use a large, soft rope for the tether instead of the usual plastic coated wire...that will help avoid any injuries to the goats that may become tangled in her tether.

Correct every single wrong behavior around the goats...barking at them, lunging at them, jumping up on them, snapping at them or any and all chase behavior. Keep at it, be consistent and watch for appropriate responses to your corrections~immediately stopping said behavior, moving away from the goats with head down and tail down, lying down away from the goats, etc.

I'd try that first and see what happens. If none of that works after several days and even weeks of working with the pup, you can escalate to a shock collar....usually these dogs only require a vibration given at the appropriate time, so I'd try that first.
 

Baymule

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Start over at square one. Go back to the basics. Tether the dog near the goats as Beekissed said, but not when you are not home. Only put her with the goats under supervision. Do not even pen your dog next to the goats as she can chase up and down the fence and reinforce the bad behavior. Take the dog out.
 

rachels.haven

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x3 I used this technique on our puppy/dog for chickens before he neurologically self destructed. And he got it-it was probably the last thing that got through before the doors of opportunity to learn closed for him and he started falling apart. And to the end he respected those darn chickens, and guarded them when he could. If anything is going to work, that will.
 
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