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I have finally talked my husband into considering an LDG for the goats and chickens but from what I hear it's better to have more than one.
Technically yes. One goes to the threat while one stays with livestock in case the go guy goes down. However. It depends on predator type and load you have. How close the herd is to you beiing able to hear and see them. Is the herd locked up at night so you can get away with one. Is the lgd a go guy or stay guy. Will he remember he jas a herd to protect if he is tcb in another area. Lots of things come in to play as far as if one or more are needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I only have 5 goats right now and about 1/4 acre. My only concern is the eagles, coyotes, and possibly cougars. I usually don't lock them up at night. For 8 years I have never had an issue other than eagles killing chickens. We do have cameras everywhere and they are only about 200ft from our house.
 

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1/4 of an acre is a small area for most LGDs. One LGD can and will take on a coyote. But a pack of them needs a few dogs. A cougar also needs a few dogs. However, a cougar is more likely to avoid an area with a big dog in it (in my experience anyway).
When there’s a heavy predator load, a few dogs will go after the threat while one stays with the animals, getting them to safety.

Since you’ve had a long span without problems,
you may just need a good farm dog to chase away the eagles. Or you’ll want a LGD that doesn’t need/want a lot of space or a demanding job. A bored LGD can cause big issues. I’d also consider locking the animals up at night if there are coyotes and cougars in your area. I don’t know if you have the space or number of animals to support two working LGDs, but one dog just can’t be asked to take on a pack of coyotes or a hunting cougar.

One more thing to consider is how close you are to your neighbors. Some LGDs bark often, especially at night as they are announcing their presence and keeping intruders at bay. So if that might cause a problem, it’s something to think about.

A good LGD is worth its weight in gold, you just have to make sure you fit the right dog to the right job. And I know some small farms that have done just fine with one or two LGDs and some who decided they were a better fit for a good old farm dog/pet who protected during the day and cuddled up on the couch with them at night while the other animals were safely locked up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll have to think about all this we live on 3 acres but only 1/4 is for goats and chickens we plan to make it bigger in the future. I do worry about it being to small of a space for the LDG.
 

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I keep at least two even with a small lot. One is fine if that's all the husband allows as it is better than none. We are down to about 2 acres since we down sized from 80 acres. When we had the 80 acres we had 3 LGD's and one llama. Now that we have down sized we are down to two. Everything I have seen they still practice one stays with or near the small herd and one checks the fence line. Then if one needs a break they change positions and take turns.

Are you looking for an already trained older dog or a puppy? I always had the experience of raising at least two puppies together to keep them from playing too rough with the kids while still learning their job. Other people have mixed feelings about this but it's been easier for me over the years of training.
 

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If you have three acres and are expanding into it gradually, you should have enough space. I’d just look for a dog that is used to a small farm and doesn’t tend to wander. If you’re starting with a young dog, make sure its parents are close guarders who stay in their boundaries. None of that is a guarantee, just stacking the odds in your favor. Some dogs do great and know their boundaries in one acre. Some run off a 50 acre farm.

I really like starting with an older dog who knows what its doing but that is only a personal preference. Either way, it’s a lot of work. But if you get the right dog, it’s such a relief and you wonder why you waited so long. You end up with the wrong dog, and you feel like you’re worse off than before. As long as you do your research and learn about the dogs, handling and training them, and get a quality worker, I think you’re more likely to be in that first pleasantly surprised category.
 
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