depending on how used to goats the dog is if she is not real used to them I would put her in a run or kennel adjacent to or in the goat area. Letting them together for supervised visits. There is a permanent fear imprint stage for the pups from about 8 weeks to 12 weeks. I would be careful in this time to get the dog well socialized with the goats but also not to let the goats be overly aggressive with the dog.
Thank you for that info Freedom! I hadn't known about the fear imprint stage.... I have a kidding stall that is right next to the goat pen, so the pup may stay in there for the first few days when I'm not around...
I think my goats are more fearful of dogs than actually aggressive towards them. Two have had bad experiences with dogs, and two more have no experience whatsoever (except seeing our golden retriever from a distance) with dogs. Right now, the pup is with a small herd of goats (I think around 10 of them?), so she is used to them in general; which I think will help matters. The breeder said that she has never shown and aggression/rough playing towards any of their animals, but she's also only 9-10 weeks old.
The hardest part of all is going to be not playing with her!!! She's so fluffy and cute (oh wait, aren't all puppies? )! So I'm mentally preparing myself, "This is a working dog. Not a companion for yourself..."
I am only one,
But I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But I can do something.
What I can do,
I ought to do.
And what I ought to do,
By the grace of God, I will do!
Just because she is a working dog doesn't mean no playing and love. You can give her love but find a happy medium. You want her to want to stay with the goats not go looking for you to love. Each dog will differ in how much love you can give before they want you more than the goats.
It is Very good that she is with goats already!!! During that 8-12 week period the animals and people they call their family will help determine their bonds in the future. If a dog is left with its litter during that time and not socialized well they will end up being more of a dog pack dog. One with goats will be more of a goat dog and so forth. The 8-12 week is so very important in so many ways.
make an escape proof pen for her before you get her...one that will last her a lifetime. This will be her feeding area as she gets older. For now it will be where she is housed when you are not around to supervise. make sure that you put a hay net or grain feeder along her fenceline so the goats have to get used to being near her but are safe from her as she gets a little older and more rambunctious. Your goal as an LGD trainer is to make sure you never allow her to pick up bad habits. Easiest and most effective way to do this when you don't have an adult LGD to train her is to only leave her out with the goats when you are outside and able to supervise and correct any unwanted behaviors. Bad behavior is after all easily learned and very difficult to break.
Her current owners should keep the parents with the pups... a pup alone is not being taught and is missing valuable training.
As your pup reaches the 6-8 month mark...put her on a trolley line in the goat area....this way she can interact completely with the goats but they are able to escape her. Again...she should only be allowed off when she is supervised. Around 18 months..she should be allowed to run free with the herd as long as you are home and check on her frequently. 18-24 months is a known reverting age for those last annoying puppy antics! If you have done this...by her 2nd birthday she should be completely trustworthy.
Side note: Make sure to train her standard commands, sit, stay lay down, back and so on. You will use these when training during kidding season. Not to mention a well trained animal is just easier all the way around. Start leash training immediately and keep her used to the occassional car ride.
Socailization is VERY important. I can NOT say this enough...socialize, socialize, socialize. These dogs NEED attention and training. Not doing so will only make her a less effective guardian.
Good luck with your new pup! Prepare for her pain the rear puppy antics but know it will be worth it in the end!
our GP pup is 10 weeks old too almost 11 and she is doing great so far, we do play with her once a day (just a couple mins), but she definitely thinks she is a goat. After she eats she wants right back in with the goats. Its cute
North Ga Mountains
Unregistered Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf goats
2 Great Pyrs, 2 mini pigs, and some chickens