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Looking for LGD advice

1206 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  motdaugrnds
Hello all. I have a new LGD named Marley and I am looking for some tips on how to train her so she will work best for me. She is an Anatolian Shepherd 1.5 years old. I wanted to start with a pup and I realize it will be a bit more difficult to train a dog who is much closer to maturity, but I got this dog for free and I was looking for one that could help me as soon as this winter whereas a pup would take some time to mature. She came from a large sheep farm. The owner said he was giving her away because he had 2 dogs and she and her brother would play when in the pasture together rather than doing their job to his satisfaction. So he had her chained up when I picked her up and she seemed very meek not sure if she was treated real well but she is not aggressive at all and already seems to be coming out of that shell.

I have 4 medium/large rescue dogs (lab, collie, healer, and boxer) and they have access to my pastures. They are not LGDs but they have been raised with the goats and chickens and do great with them. The problem is that they all go to the garage to sleep at night when the coyotes are active and you can go bang a garbage can lid in the barn and sometimes it wont even raise them as they arent bred to keep watch over animals. So I was hoping Marley would sleep in or near the barn. My girls all are locked in at night in a pen with a barnlot, but I'm worried about coyotes getting through the fences to them in the dark. We have alot of woods behind my little 30 acre farm here and they already took my biggest rooster (who I hated so hope he was tasty) and a chicken or 2. I just want Marley to keep them from getting to my Nubians at night.

Right now shes with the other dogs up front but she hasnt learned the trick to get back into the pasture. I dont want to teach her until Im sure shes comfortable with all the animals (goats, cows, and chickens). I would like her to be somewhat socialized to my dogs but defensive against any others. I'm not sure if I can have it both ways like this. She did chase chickens out of the yard so Ive been taking her back and trying to get her used to them without chasing them. She seems to be getting better when Im around, but I still dont see chickens up in the yard which makes me think shes still chasing them out when Im not there. She also seems to shy away from the goats who are very curious about her. Ive had her back there off the leash with them 3 or 4 times under supervision. She seemed almost scared of them at first. Is this normal? She seems to be getting less so but she certainly doesnt feel that comfy with them yet. I'm wondering if I should lock her in their pen with them once shes used to them to get her used to sleeping out there, or just let her run free around the outside at night.

Ok sorry that was so long. Any tips for socializing a year and a half old LGD to these animals to help protect them would be appreciated.

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I'm not a LGD expert but I do have a couple. Here's what I've been told by people who raise LGDs. The dog should stay in the pasture with the animals you want it to guard. It has to bond to them and want to protect them because they are its "pack". I heard you shouldn't allow other dogs, even your own, in the pasture with the animals. I also have a boxer and she will come up to the gate and my LGDs will greet her but I don't bring her into the pasture with me. They have never been with her but they accept her and have never shown aggression towards her. If you have Facebook there is a really great group that has helped me out a lot. They are really friendly without being rude. If you don't have facebook I can ask them for advice for you :) They know way more than I do
I think it going to take a lot of supervised time with your LDG in with the goats. She should be with them 24/7 ...but at first she needs to be watched . I would say that the other dogs aren't the priority with her... Just work with the dog and goats. Also-not an expert, just trained mine from a pup.
Not an expert here either but on an LGD website I noticed the breeder was feeding her dogs right up on the fenceline with the livestock so the dogs, starting from pups would associate them with good things, and positives (not sure this would be good with goats as they might be into the dogfood, she had sheep)... she also penned her dogs/pups up next to the fenceline for the livestock and fed them their hay there so the dogs would get used to the sight/smell/ sound of the livestock...

We have family dogs too but if they hear so much as a bump in the night off they go barking their heads off!
(we have a 20week old LGD pup as well)...
Thanks you all for the replies. Some really useful information.
concerned about ...

What I'm hearing is that this 1-1/2 yr old LGD is intimidated by the very goats you want it to guard. If I'm hearing correctly, your first task is to let her learn the goats are not going to hurt her as long as she doesn't try to hurt them. This will take a lot of time on your part!

If that were my situation, I would take the LGD on a leash into the barn where the goats are locked up and stay with them all for hours at a time. When the dog starts feeling powerful enough to walk around amongst those goats, your job is done.
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