How do you know you need a LGD

Discussion in 'Precious Protectors' started by Suellen, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Suellen

    Suellen New Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    Paragonah, Utah
    How do you know you need a LGD? I've been thinking of getting one. I found some puppies that are Anatolian/Pry mix. The puppies will be ready to leave mid Feb. They are being raised by the alpacas, llamas, goats and the owners two small children. The owner will start working on manners and leash work.

    "Freya & Balder (the parents) are excellent LGDs, from working stock, currently guarding alpacas, llamas and goats. Excellent temperament, good with small children and cats."

    I have Alpine/Obers 3 pregnant does, 2 doelings and 1 Wether. In the spring I think Christy will have 3-4 kids and at least 1 from each of the other 2. That would give me a total of 11 goats. If we breed the 2 doelings that would add at least 2 more kids. I am assuming that some of them might be boys :( and we would sell them.
    We are increasing our dairy goats because my husband makes cheese and we are getting certified to sell in store.
    How does one know they need a guardian dog?? I love puppies but I also know they are a lot of work. She has adult dogs but they have not been exposed to chickens and during the summer we free range the chickens.

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    So confused.

  2. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    How do you know you need an LGD?
    Someday some predator(s) is bound to show up for a meal or to play it comes with the territory. And they will come back!
    I have too much invested in my girls both emotionally & financially to feed those nice neighborhood doggies or provide entertainment.
    They need protection!
    We found an Anatolian but Prys are great too. Anatolians are extremely hard headed you have to be the alfa and are still pups at 2yrs old & 150lbs.
    This fall we had a buck visit so I put the dog in another pen. One morning I woke up to find Sheriff in with the goats. Several days later I learned a cougar had been spotted close by. (shudder)

  3. goatheaven

    goatheaven New Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    South Carolina
    Sometimes you find out too late you need a LGD. Our next door neighbor lost 5 nubians to a pack of dogs and by the next weekend we had two Great Pyrs. I wouldn't want to think what would happen without them. It's easy to think you don't need them when you have them because they are always taking care of everything.
  4. Suellen

    Suellen New Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    Paragonah, Utah
    I have a border collie/heeler mix that is our outside dog. She is not allowed to be with the goats. She does not understand that goats but when they play. She thinks it is a threat. If the goats are out she is on cable so at night she is off cable. She lets us know when coyotes or dogs are near by. In the winter the goats are shut inside the barn. During the summer the goats have the option to stay in their outside pen.
    Do you think that an adult LGD can be taught about chickens? I have some worries about a puppy’s safety with the goats the adults getting pissy or the kids playing too hard.
    I need more information about raising a LGD and training.
  5. goatheaven

    goatheaven New Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    South Carolina
    Well to be honest, I think most of the success with a LGD is not you as the owner it is the actual dog itself. We used to raise Great Pyrenees. The first two we got we never trained at all. We bought a 5 month old female who was guarding a flock of llamas with her siblings and we also bought a 10 week old male puppy. We just put them in the pasture and the 5 month old starting guarding right then and then the male started learning. He never played with the goats but got butted several times. They have to get butted when little to understand how it all works. First never buy a LGD that isn't raised with livestock. We made that mistake this last time we purchased one. The owner said they were raised with the goats but actually they were being raised beside the goats in a separate pen and she was not good with goats. Some of my pups I sold to pet only homes because they were not good with the goats and others were great and I sold as guardians. I feel that it is natural for the dog and they should be with the goats from day one. I also never let our Pyrs out of their guarding area even when our female had pups. She knew where she was supposed to be. Of course that is just my opinion as a past breeder and from my experiences.
  6. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Yes you should keep the guard dog in with the goats at all times.

    I wouldn't get an adult dog, my friend owned a kennel and had around 30-40 dogs, including several LGD, she said that you should only purchase a young one because adults are usually too bonded with their owners and other animals, and will not be very effective with the new owner.
  7. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Google Great Pyrs antolians, any Livestock Guardian Dog. learn as much as you can. Keep in mind these are not pets and are very different than your collie, who is not going to kill a coyote.
    You see, LGD's have a natural instinct to protect whatever livestock they are raised with.
    I understand you lock your goats up at night but is someone there during the day? Packs of dogs know if someone not there.
    Not to scare you at all just givin ya a heads up.
    Our dog will kill any varmints that come into goat land. He gets upset when people he doenst know are on the property.
    On the other hand, he knows that the children next door belong there, I have seen them come up and pet him thru the fence.
    He was about 10 weeks old when we got him. He was chained up outside fence. I was in the barn doing kidding chores when I heard him whining. I stepped out to see what was up...a pair of strangers had come on the place looking at the goats.
    GoatHaven summed it so well when she said "Sometimes you find out too late..."
    On the way to pick up ours dh was a little skeptical. "Are you sure we can afford this?" The reply was "We cant afford not too.
    There are horror stories about goats being mauled by preditors. I am passionate about having at least one LGD!
  8. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I agree with what everyone said. We have LOTS of coyotes around our house, nothing has happened yet, but I was having such a bad feeling that something could happen I had to get a LGD. I feel so safe now. Believe me, it's worth the money if you have a herd of goats, whether it be a small herd or large.

    I HIGHLY recommend a Akbash for a goat guardian. We got a 4 month on pup a month and a half ago and my gosh, best dog I have ever bought! They are a little on the spendy side and a bit harder to find. But if you can find one, my gosh, they know their job. Our puppy hasn't once tried to "play" with the goats and is extremely protective of them. I think the best way to get a LGD would be to find anatolian, pyrenese, just a guard breed and find a puppy that HAS been raised with goats. Our pup was born and raised in with a goat herd which made it so easy for her to bond and figure out her job when we brought her home.

    Anywho, good luck!
  9. Suellen

    Suellen New Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    Paragonah, Utah
    Everyone has been very helpful. I have desided to go for it. I have come up with some questions that I will want answers to.
    Some of the questions I already have the answers to. Here are the questions:
    Are the parents guardian dogs? YES
    Are the puppy's raised with the goats? YES and Llamas, Alpacas and two young children.
    Hip displasia:
    Do the parents have it?
    Have the parents been tested?
    Can the puppy's be tested (FORUM FRIENDS Do I need to have the puppys tested?)
    Have any of her preivious litters had hip displasia?
    Puppy shots?
    What kind of training will you give the puppy? MANNORS AND START LEASH TRAINING.

    Can you all think of anymore questions to ask?


    Suellen and Nisha (Alpine)
  10. rgbdab

    rgbdab New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I knew when a 6 month old buckling was killed. I had goats for about 3 years before and was pretty complacent. My goats are near my house and I have 4 "pet" dogs that I was sure would bark if something was going on with the goats. The night it happened I never heard ANYTHING. When I walked the pen I found where the coyote had dug under the fence and knew I would be hard pressed to keep it from happening again. I got 2 1/2 Great Pyrenees and 1/2 Anatolian sisters that were 5 months old. Now I will readily tell you they are a pain but they do work hard all night keeping any predators away. They are 10 months old now and still too playful with my goats for my liking and they can get out of any fence I've put them in but I am still working with them. Good luck! Denise
  11. all1965

    all1965 New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    the sad thing is that you wont know you need one until something tragic happens, but I disagree on the adult/puppy thing. I started out with a young (pup) dog and without an older dog there to keep her in line all she wanted to do was play with the goats. So I then got an adult female (3 years old) who took over the lead and taught the other dog how to follow her lead. You just have to be careful that you get an adult that has been around goats most of it's life and introduce it to the herd slowly. Dont just throw them out there because they wont recognize the herd as theirs. It took about a week of having her in a kennel inside the goat pen for her to attach herself to her new herd and claim them as hers. She is now the lead dog of my pyrs and the once pup is the bringing up the rear dog. You will find that some dogs are natural leaders (first dogs to alert and approach the threat) and some dogs lag behind as back ups (not out of fear or laziness) but you have to have dogs for each position so that they surround the herd. If they all ran ahead then there would be no one left back with the herd. I think you should start with an experienced adult and let them teach your pup.

    We have since added a 1/2 karakachan 1/2 maremma female to the mix and in March we are getting a male karakachan pup to learn the ropes.
  12. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    I agree with all1965 about the adult / puppy thing :thumb: . Because I have talked to goat breeders that say they lost a few goats to overly playful pups ( 3 years and younger) that just need to play. But when they got an adult dog it kept the pups in line trained them etc. I have a anatolian and he is a great dog and obeys my commands in a heart beat. The main thing is you have to be boss PERIOD . I have seen farms that have anatolians as chicken guardians but it takes a lot of careful training .
  13. mekasmom

    mekasmom Guest

    Feb 23, 2009
    The neat thing about LGDs is that they have no prey drive. I have a pyr that I put into the rabbit colony at night. She stays with the goats during the day. When I go out in the mornings to feed, I find her laying in the middle of a pile of rabbits and bunnies. She has never hurt any of them. They lay near the heat lamp together in the middle of cold weather. I think the bunnies like to curl up to her for heat. I let her out of the rabbit shed every morning and she rushes out to find her dog friend and the goats.
    My anatolian is a bit younger than she is. I wouldn't trust him with the rabbits yet because he would try to play with them. But he is fine with the kids during the day when he is out with my pyr and the goats. He usually stays near the porch in his doghouse at night. Neither of the dogs bother my chickens at all.
  14. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    We have a lot of area dogs that are not leashed and before we got our Great Pyr, I worried constantly that one of them would get into the goat pen and do serious damage. We also live in the country were there are lots of coyotes & other predators. We can hear them very close at night. But, thanks to Athena, you can go outside in the morning and see that while there are a lot of tracks in the snow in the woods behind the pastures, there are no coyote tracks inside the summer pasture for the horses (and the goat pen is inside of that).

    I hope to someday be able to afford another Great Pyr to share the load, but it is very hard to find one raised around livestock & of hip displasia-free parents. Maybe I'll get a boyfriend for Athena and start breeding Pyr's too.