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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really want an LGD but am not set up for one where I am now. Curently we are on over 10 acres in an area where all lots are a minimum of 10 acres so barking is not a problem, however my 10 acres is not completely fenced so I don't have a safe way to keep an LGD yet. We are hoping to move up to WA sometime in the next year or so. We will probably be in a more residential area on 2-5 acres so neighbors will be closer and barking will be more of an issue. I understand that LGD's bark in doing their job. How do those of you on smaller acerages handle the barking? Are there any LGD breeds that bark less than others?

Jen
 

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I'd recommend getting a male... that way you won't risk the chance of having that icky shril bark.... the males almost always have that deep booming bark that is really almost lulling. :) LGD's will bark at EVERYTHING for about the first month on your property. This is when they are learning what is supposed to be and what is not to be. The best way to silence barking.... is validation.... go out stop, listen, look around and figure out what the dog is barking at.... then either reward the behavior or say its ok... thats supposed to be there. Obviously they are listening to your tone not your words (giggle) but it will help transition go much more smoothly and even help inquieting things down a bit. Just remember that an LGD is supposed to bark.... the BEST, strongest LGD's can keep a predator away with their voice without ever needing to risk injury through physical contact. :)

www.lgd.org is a great site to start researching LGDs :)
 

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Great Pyrs or other LGDs will bark - a lot. I can now clearly distinguish Athena's 'general barks' meaning to any predators that might be near to stay away, her 'don't know this person' bark, which means 'get over here before I make this person think I'm gonna eat them', and the menacing 'some type of critter that isn't supposed to be here - come quick and bring the 20 gauge.'

Meaning, if you're going to be living on a small acreage with close neighbors that might get annoyed by the barking, maybe you should think about getting a guard llama that wouldn't be so noisy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sigh... that is kind of what I thought. We have 2 "neighbors" that have GP's for LGD's and the GP's are debarked. I hate de-barking - I think it is cruel for any dog but to debark a LGD is like making someone a cop and then tieing their hands behind their back. How can they possibly do their job correctly if they can't bark :shrug:. If I end up on smaller acreage with close neighbors then I just might have to consider a llama or donkey.

Jen
 

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Whoa whoa, not so fast, dont give up your LGD plan quite yet! I have good news for you! Up here, at least in Snohomish County, working dogs are exempt from noise ordinances.
We dont have a large place but two LGDs. One of them barks alot but no neighbors have complained. In fact, they appreciate the job they are doing.
One night they heard one barking up a storm & banging on fence...they looked out to see a pair of coyotes in their front yard.
 

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I don't have a GP but I have 3 dogs ( German Shepard, Newfoundland, Bloodhound) all over 100 pounds and LOUD on 2.5 acres and I have neighbors right up next to me, my dogs bark at anyone on the road any dog in their sight who isn't fenced and people on our shared fenceline not constant but their going to let me know and whatever it is that their barking at that something is up. My neighbors have dogs as well and they way I play it is if my dogs are less annoying than theirs they can't complain, (they have a little yap yap ) If your in a area where the majority of people have dogs I don't think it should be an issue. I doubt that a LGD would be too much of an issue after the intial introduction and learning what is allowed and what isn't allowed. I think you should wait and see where your going to be settled before giving up on the idea.
 

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Jen - I agree with your comment that de-barking is excessively cruel, especially with the Great Pyr breed where the bark is instinctive & part of how they do their job. If you have potential neighbors that are obviously anti-barking, this combo could be disastrous.

Nancy / Goatnutty - I'd have to humbly and respectfully disagree with you. With the Pyr breed specifically, you cannot realistically 'train' the bark out of them. Current 'working dog' ordinances may be on your side, but that's not much help against neighbors pissed of at you because your dog barks a lot. I'd rather be 'happy and have a good relationship with my neighbors' than 'right with the law on my side'.

Just IMHO.
 

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In our case, we are blessed to have the law on our side as well as neighbors that appeciate what they do. :wink:
"Training" em not to bark has never crossed our minds. As a matter of fact they are never asked to be quiet.
 

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MissMM I'm not saying to train them not to bark I'm saying once they settle in they won't bark at everything the wind blows into the yard My dogs are only quiet once they know the problem has been eradicated and that I am in control of the situation. I fully believe dogs should be allowed to bark as we are allowed to talk its their form of communication
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd have to humbly and respectfully disagree with you. With the Pyr breed specifically, you cannot realistically 'train' the bark out of them. Current 'working dog' ordinances may be on your side, but that's not much help against neighbors pissed of at you because your dog barks a lot. I'd rather be 'happy and have a good relationship with my neighbors' than 'right with the law on my side'.
I'm with you on this one. When I lived in Danvers MA we had a 2 family house. We had 3 dogs and our tenants had 3 dogs so 6 dogs total for the whole house. The town limit was 3 dogs but since it was a 2 family house we were ok, however, our neighbors were not dog lovers so anytime a dog barked in the neighborhood they were calling animal control complaining that it was our dogs :veryangry: (it didn't help that between us and the tenants we had a Malinios, a GSD, a Pit Bull, a Doberman and a Schutzund 3 Jack Russel Terrier oh yeah, and a Golden Retriever :) ). We never got in trouble but it was a pain, always having to defend ourselves. That is just the kind of BS that I want to avoid. I will have to feel out whatever area we end up in. Hopefully we can find something in an area with other animal people.

Jen
 

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There is a HUGE difference between a nuisance yapping pet dog and a WORKING LGD. I also do not understand why people think the only LGDs are Great Pyrennes??? Again.... research DIFFERENT breeds of LGD.... there is a breed that would fit in WELL for practically every family with livestock. The GP may not be the breed for you... but there are at least another 25 breeds of LGD not to mention LGD crosses I'm sure at least one of these breeds would fit in wonderfully with your family and situation.

I live on 5 acres.... we have 2 Maremmas and my neighbors stupid GSD bark a whole heck of a lot more than our dogs do.

Though they would never complain about our barking dogs since they know we GOT our Maremmas to keep their dogs (whom they allow to roam daily) from killing all of our chickens, ripping our cats out of trees and killing them in front of my toddlers and scaring the bejesus out of my kids. Now the neighbors dogs terrorize our other neighbors but tuck their tails between their legs and run for dear life away from our property. I appreciate being able to go to sleep at night without worrying about waking up to dead animals.
 

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Sorry - I didn't mean to imply the Gr. Pyr is the only type of LGD. It is what I have so I confess being excessively partial to them because it has worked out so well for us. After - extensive - research on the various breeds of LGDs out there, the Pyr is what I chose to guard our herd but is not appropriate for everybody. You are correct again - research is vital.

It took over a year to find the appropriate dog for our farm and in that time, I came across so many LGDs of all breeds currently in rescue for one reason or another. I'm just trying to do what I can to save another animal from that fate.
 

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MissMM said:
Sorry - I didn't mean to imply the Gr. Pyr is the only type of LGD. It is what I have so I confess being excessively partial to them because it has worked out so well for us. After - extensive - research on the various breeds of LGDs out there, the Pyr is what I chose to guard our herd but is not appropriate for everybody. You are correct again - research is vital.

It took over a year to find the appropriate dog for our farm and in that time, I came across so many LGDs of all breeds currently in rescue for one reason or another. I'm just trying to do what I can to save another animal from that fate.
Sorry... sometimes tone is hard to figure out in emails... I wasn't trying to imply that there was anything wrong with Pyrs.... my mom has them and loves them.... I'm just trying to let her know there ARE other options besides Pyrs... some of which are known to be far less noisy. :)

research and knowing the predator load in your area (everything from snakes, domestic dogs, coyotes, bobcat, fox, bear, wolves...etc.. etc... ) as well as your needs for your LGD are very important to have figured out before you start researching breeds.... some breeds sound wonderful until you put your needs down on paper and figure out they would not be a match at all for your situation. :) I was about to import Pyrenean Mastiff LGD's in to the US before I took the time to realize they would not fit into my lifestyle... that was almost a HUGE mistake..... thank god these free Maremma pups needed rescuing and I couldn't turn down their precious, homeless faces. :love:
 

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I live in the town right now. My neighbor has sensitive hearing...yeah ok, and does not like listening to my GP bark. She does not like any barking dogs, tho I understand she had two before I moved here that barked all the time! I will be moving to 40 acres soon and I want her to bark!

This is what I do. When she just barks, I go out and check. If I don't see anything, or think it is something that should not concern her..I tell her to be quiet. IF she goes off into her very loud, very bomming bark, I do check and usually it is something that needs my attention. She does however hate kids and will bark at them when the are going down the street. Also at any loose dog. It is hard for me as I do not want her to stop barking, it is what she is bred to do. I have also tried a bark collar, but her hair is so thick, even if I shave it the collar moves and does not work. Of course mt neighbor is very close, if she were and acre away I would not be so concerned about her sensitive hearing!
 

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To add my two cents worth to this discussion; I have a GP that I have had since she was 3 mo. old. In the beginning she barked at everything and I mean everything. If a bug didn't look right to her she would bark. Now that she is a bit over two years old the barking has quieted down a lot. Pyrs mature rather late and I think the worst of the barking occurs when they are trying to figure out what's bad and what's good. I have a neighbor who would complain if the wind were blowing the wrong way; but since she has matured no more complaints. So don't count pyrs out; they just get the idea a bit slower. :)
 

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I too will go check when I hear the dog barking excessively. I do not acknowledge Athena in any way until I have investigated possible reasons for her noisiness. If there is no apparent reason for her bark, I ignore her entirely. If there was a stray anything - 2 or 4 legged variety, I'll reward her with verbal praise. That seems to have toned down on the 'barking cause I'm bored or want attention.'
 

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When Dierks does his "S#!T is hitting the fan!" bark, I say "Where is it? Where is it boy?" And he will literally POINT the direction I need to point my flashlight. That's how we got the ****. And that's also how I've seen many, many deer LOL! But, in the end, he barks. He barks a lot. BUT His "I'm bored and broadcasting" bark is much lower volume and won't wake me from a dead sleep. His serious bark? Wakes me every time. After observing what he's reacting to, it's easy to tell from inside the house whether he's telling whatever it is "I'm here, don't come near" "I'm here, go away" or "I'm going to kick your butt if you come any closer" I only leave the house for the last two, and eventually- I'll only leave for the last one. I have neighbors across the creek with dogs (and I mean at least 20 dogs) who are allowed to bark all. night. long. I don't really think anyone will complain about Dierks, especially now with our signs from lgd.org up :)
 
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