Guard Dog questions

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Tarheel Acres, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. Tarheel Acres

    Tarheel Acres New Member

    35
    Aug 26, 2009
    Hello, I was wondering if some of you experienced guard dog owners could help me out. We have never had a dog in with our goats before, but have decided to get a Great Pyranese probably this weekend.

    1st - Is that still considered the best breed to have in with goats?
    2nd - Do you put a seperate dog house in the field/barn, or just let them sleep with the goats?
    3rd - How do you feed them? Dog food cant be good for goats, so how do you keep them from eating it?
    4th - Can you just buy a puppy and "unleash" it with the goats? Does it need to be a certain age or size?
    5th - I am not a dog trainer, so I am assuming and hoping all of the guardian traits are built into the dog? Am I correct in assuming this?

    Thanks in advance for your responses. I am looking forward to having the extra peace of mind in knowing that my babies have protection.
     
  2. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    The Pyrs make a great LGD however I have an Anatolian & another one with 1/4 Pyr.
    If the pup you are getting was born with working parents & exposed to his charges from day 1 you are ahead of the game.
    Good idea to have a seperate place for your pup for feeding that goats cant get to.(Tho my goats dont bother dog food, some do)
    When we got pup #2 we put him right in I think he was about 10 weeks.
    Both dogs are very stubborn & independent. We can sleep at night there are coyotes around here & even a cougar last yr; thats when we added another.
    Yes their instincts to protect are inherent. The only training I did was to teach how to sit etc.
     

  3. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    We did walk the perimeter several days on a leash & watch very carefully on the first one.
    The one with a little Pyr in him was a whole lot easier cause he was actually born out with goats & the owner worked with him some. Tho the first dog was raised with goats too Im not sure that he got to spend a lot of time being shown his job by either his mom or human.
     
  4. Tarheel Acres

    Tarheel Acres New Member

    35
    Aug 26, 2009
    Thank you for the reply and info Nancy. Anyone else care to give their thoughts? Also wondering if males or females tend to do better?
     
  5. MiGoat

    MiGoat New Member

    304
    Apr 21, 2010
    West Michigan
  6. 7acreranch

    7acreranch New Member

    140
    Mar 8, 2010
    Eastern OK
    I am far from an expert but we have had goats for a little better then a year and a just about the same time we got a GP puppy from another family in the area. Our great pry was born in the barn and raised around the other families goats till we took him home at 10 weeks. At that time we were still new and made a mistake of putting him in with goats in their pen we only had a small goat pen 100 x100. at that time we had a 2y/o Boer doe and 6 m/o buck along with a kiki/Boer yearling doe. The goats bonded to him and he bonded with the goats. The older doe straighten him out if he got to puppy but the buck and him played around all the time. Everything I have since read says this is a no no. He is alert and protective of his all of his goats now we are up to 12 plus the kids. He has saved 2 kids alerts us if a goat is stuck or hurt and is friendly towards us. Feeding him has always been a challenge since goats seem to love dog food we tried to give him a break and feed him in a separate pen he didn't like being away from his charges we tried putting his food on the other side of the fence that resulted in stuck goats. Some say make them jump a small fence to get their food but I do not want to encourage a fence jumping dog.If he is hungry he will eat and will causally warn the herd this is my food leave it alone so we feed him 1x a day when we feed the goats so he has some piece but the goats will leave their food and go for the dog food if he doesn't eat all of it we will take it and try a bit later. And see if he comes for it.
    I wish I had done some deeper research before we got him but it seems to work out OK for us. As for Male or female we have a male and are looking for a female once again the vote seems to be split some recommended fixing them so they do not go into heat or get excited when they sense the neighbor dog in heat. Ours is not fixed and we would like to have some puppies

    Do not let the puppies climb one you it cute when they are little but when he can put his paws on your shoulders I am 6'4" its no so cute.
    Ours will not leave the pasture even if the gate is open as a matter of fact he will guard the open gate to keep the goats in.
    I think alot has to do with genes and if they were working dogs since birth.
    My wife is petrified of dogs but she had no problem with the parent of our pups.
    from what I understand Prys are not as aggressive with humans as some other breeds can be. I have heard a Pry's with kill a four legged predator but let a 2 legged thief load the trailer. Ours does alert to strangers but once we see the why he is alerting its back under the tree.

    One more thing these dogs first weapon is their bark and they can bark I have heard some complaints about neighbors complaining of a barking Pry. I did have a neighbor say something to me and I told him to tie up/fence in his dog to keep it from wandering on my property.
    Ours is a babysitter to the kids along with being a jungle gym for them. He is a doctor for a scrape on a goat, a midwife and a will always meet you with a smile.
     
  7. MiGoat

    MiGoat New Member

    304
    Apr 21, 2010
    West Michigan
    Your dog sounds like a champ 7acreranch. You definately need to breed him...put those genes into some great pups!
     
  8. Itchysmom

    Itchysmom New Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington
    I have a GP that is 2 years old. She is very protective of my yard, but has not been around goats..only horses and cats. I have yet to lose a cat!

    Since she has never been around goats, when I get mine I plan on tieing her outside the pen for awhile so she gets used to them. She loves the horses and will kiss on them all the time. She is gentle, plays with the kittens, a bit rough at times but they tell her when she gets too rough. I think she will be a good goat dog. I do plan on getting a male GP pup when my friend has her litter. I think a male/female combo will be the best for me. I do plan on fixing both of them as GP's can be wanderers and I do not want mix pups! Plus I think they will stay close to home if they are fixed.

    My situation with my GP is this. I got her when she was 8 weeks old and lived on 10 acres. She likes being outside and pretty much stayed on the property...until my heeler taught her to chase cars! I then moved into town when she was 10 mos old and we have been here ever since. We just bought 40 acres so she will go back out to the country in a few months. Here in town I have to tie her up as she will get out of the yard and wander! She has a very loud booming bark which irritates my neighbor, so she is in the house alot. When we move, she can bark all she wants!

    As far as people goes, she is very wary of them. She has her friends, but most people that come over she will stand back and observe. She has growled at people but has never attempted to attack them. Everyone wants to pet her and have said I should have socialized her when she was a pup. The reason I didn't do this was because I wanted her as a guard dog, not a pet! I tell people to just ignore her and let her come up to them IF she wants to. This works for me.

    I have never had a GP before and so far she has been a great dog and I will enjoy having another. My big problem will be the heeler as she is a very active and likes to chase. She will have to learn that the goats are not toys that she can chase all over the place!
     
  9. 7acreranch

    7acreranch New Member

    140
    Mar 8, 2010
    Eastern OK
    BTW dont even waste time or money on a dog house. Mine is either with the goats or lying outside. Its funny he sleeps on his back all stretched out but I have not been able to get a pic of it becuase he reacts to quick.
     
  10. Tarheel Acres

    Tarheel Acres New Member

    35
    Aug 26, 2009
    Thanks everyone for all of your responses. It gives me a lot better idea of what I should be aware of. If anyone else has any input, I would still be interested in hearing it. Thanks again!
     
  11. DPW

    DPW New Member

    92
    Mar 13, 2010
    Crow, Oregon.
    We love our Pyr. That's Cider in my avatar. Pyr's are less aggressive than most breeds of LGD'S. Not every Pyr makes a good LGD though. 7acre has a very disciplined dog. Most Pyrs will wander if given the chance. Especially during adolescence. Most Pyrs do very well at protecting their territory. Unfortunately, to them their territory is as far as they can see.
    I could go on and on telling you how we raised Cider. And all the successes and all the setbacks. And I can pretty much guarentee there will be setbacks. Instead I suggest that before you get your Pyr buy this book and study it. It's been extrememly helpful to us.

    "Livestock Protection Dogs: Selection, Care, and Training."
     
  12. Itchysmom

    Itchysmom New Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington
    7acres.My Gp sleeps on her back all the time! Must be a GP thing!
     
  13. 7acreranch

    7acreranch New Member

    140
    Mar 8, 2010
    Eastern OK
    I have heard they wander also. I have no idea other then the fact that he has never been anywhere but behing the fence. The pen where he started is surrrounded by the pasture and he has never been free to run. The vet gives him a once over if hes up here for something else and even he recomended unless it is an emergency do not take him on a road trip since he will want to explore.
    I do beleive we got lucky and after reading all the info (after the fact) realize that we are lucky it has gone smooth.
     
  14. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    645
    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    Granted I'm probably biased, but Great Pyrs are the best for goatie guardians! I recommend reviewing the following site to help the integration go as smoothly as possible:

    http://sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library.htm
     
  15. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Say DPW, I for one would like to hear about your trials & errors.
    Both our dogs at seperate times have deserved lead poisening especially the first one in his first year.
    By the time we got #2 we knew more of what to expect.
     
  16. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA