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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My new Pack Goat Protectors...

Hey All,

Just thought I would share a few thoughts. As some of you know, since I got my pack goats a few months ago I have been kgetting more and more concerned about predators (both wild & domestic) as the property I have (16 acres) is right on the edge of a 10,000' mountain. Actually there is only one house between my goat property & the rest of the mountain; its about 4 blocks (1/2 mile) from my actual physical home. So of course, things like coyotes and neighboring dogs are always concerning but in years past even Big Cats have hassled the previous resident horses. No one has seen one down this low in a lot of years but it is always a concern. This all is especially concerning in the spring when I get my 4 new Ober kids. BTW none of my goats have horns.

For the winter, the two 2.5 year olds are in corrals that I have fenced VERY tight & VERY low with 4"x4" woven field fencing. However, the steel paneled gates were not wrapped. I had intended to plug any gaps and wrap all the gates before I got the kids but just put it off since winter had hit and also likely add a hot wire on top & bottom. As I look back on it, the goats couldn't get out but I imagine most predators could get in the gates. (There is basically no cost effective way to stop a Big Cat, period with fencing measures.) At first I was thinking the two full size goats, my and my accompanying Springer's regular presence would likely deter most coyotes. I have also probably had a false sense of security though, due to having 7-10 deer feeding & bedding down in the fields nearly every night. I was thinking that it couldn't be too bad if they were there...but then again, they can run and are not captive.

Anyway, as many of you also know I haven't felt like I could get a LGD (Especially the more aggressive Anatolian that I originally wanted.) as I don't actually own the property and the 70+ year old lady owner lives on site. She has friends and relatives who visit and I am sure visit my animals so hence a very protective and aggressive to human canine was just more liability than I thought I could take. I just felt like I couldn't risk the people, hence the dogs...and consequently the use of the property with its, pasture, water, electricity, corrals, barns, storage and stalls if something bad happened because of my LGD. Then the property owner lost three ducks from her yard which has a pond (now Frozen), dead/mauled but not eaten. This could have been anything but still concerning & she was really concerned about my goats and the new kids in the spring...she welcomed a LGD or Guard Llama. Then there have been several around this forum that have lost full size goats to coyotes lately...more concerning. Hence I started to realize that I may have been lucky so far but it was probably an eventuality that something ill might happen, especially with the kids and especially when I put them all out in the pasture next spring.

So after much reading & researching here and elsewhere, I was starting to lean towards a Guard Llama, nice concept but one more hassle and it seems that their "guarding" abilities are a bit hit and miss. In the end, there is no way they would be as god of a guard as a LGD. After really weighing this out, in the end I decided that a Guard Llama probably will not work for me and decide to pass. If for no other reason I have a prized and very precious to me purebred hunting stock English Springer Spaniel that accompanies me to feed the goats 50% of the time as well as on all hikes and campouts...she also hunts for me.



Anyway, I just feel that I can't take a chance on a rogue Llama that can't work out a relationship with my dog the way the goats have with her.

I went back to looking at and researching LGS's. both here and on the Net. While some are perfect for guarding and are even known to chase down and kill coyotes, like Anatolians, there maybe better options for my unique situation. (Anatolians seem to have more of a reputation of extreme hostility with non-introduced humans.) It seems the Great Pyrenees while great protectors and defenders, are a bit more conservative in their approach...suits me and my situation. Then there is another LGD called a Komondor that seems very close to a GP in regards to attributes and demeanor.

Basic attributes (I'm sure there are more):

Komondor: fearless, affectionate, gentle, loyal, protective, independent, calm, steady,
Great Pyrenees: fearless, affectionate, gentle, loyal, protective, independent, patient, confident, strong willed

And while they may be wary of people invading their territory, they are very in tune with the stress level of their charges and measure their responses accordingly, especially when it comes to two legged creatures. (many times knocking them down and holding until the master comes.) I don't really need them chasing down and killing anything that is not physically harming or trying to harm my goats. I just need them to watch over and protect on the rare occasion. IMHO, I'm guessing that 99% of the time that LGD are essentially deterrents more than defenders and just having their physical presence wins the battles 99.5% of the time when it comes to wild predators and lone domestic dogs. There is no way I believe that a coyote will be sticking his head in the corrals with two 100-125+ lb LGD dogs. I would think that even a Big Cat would think twice.

Anyway, what I did on Thursday instead of a Guard Llama is that I was lucky enough to find two 4-5 months old 3/4 Great Pyrenees 1/4 Komondor puppies (brothers) for a VERY fair deal. The largest, Sampson, likely weighs nearly 70 lbs already & while his brother Goliath (55-60 lbs) is smaller but that is very relative and he tends to be the more dominant of the two. :-D Sampson was the largest of the litter while the Goliath was the runt...interestingly the more dominant though. They are completely bonded to each other and in sync with each other which I would think would make them great working companions. It is also the reason I was given such a sweet deal on the two. The former owner mainly wanted to see them stay as working dogs and to stay together as they are moving back to the city & can't keep them. (Not many city folks looking for TWO 100+ lb LGD's. :-D)

I put them right in the corrals with the goats the first night and they were fine with it even if the goats were giving them a leery eye. ;) That said, after three nights, my goats still won't let them sleep with them...they seem content to curl up in a patch of snow or some straw in my 3 sided shed/barn. (The cured up in a patch of snow fast asleep while I worked on the fence, perfectly content and snoring. LOL :-D.

Unfortunately though, my Alpine, Chester, seems to be pushing them around a bit; they aren't as fast as Tess who likes to play chicken with the goats. I have stayed out of it and let them mainly work it out as I don't think it will change their desire to guard the goats though, especially the 4 kids I have coming late next spring. They are very much gentle giants and very mellow and lovable so far...maybe a bit too much so in some ways. I think they will come in to their own with the goats when they age and mature a bit. Anyway, I really think they are going to work out great & they seem to be already bonding to my Tess & the goats...even if the Goats aren't bonding as strong to them yet. I think having my new kids grow u with them will help. Right now though, they want to be with me more than the goats though, which is a tad concerning. I do hope they eventually bond more to the goats than me and my children. I like that they are fairly friendly with people though...but its very early and I have them locked down with the goats and will only visit them twice a day for the next few weeks to feed & water them. Hopefully being in the corrals together all winter, they will be extremely bonded to the goats by spring. I will then finish "goat fencing" the pasture.

On the down side...I had to really upgrade my fencing even more in order to make sure they stay put until they are fully bonded to the goats...and not wander to find me any more. The gates were the hardest part, but I think I have it all zipped up now. I figure if my smaller, wily and wiry Springer can't get out, neither will they. That isn't the bad part though; the bad part is that on the second night, they came looking for me maybe 30 minutes after I fed & left them at 5:00 pm. My daughter took a friend to see them & the goats while we went Christmas shopping and found they were gone. (6:15 pm) We all came back to look for the two "little" guys but had no luck and it was after dark...they had no tags yet. So we got some flashlights and started tracking their BIG paws in the fresh snow. Three doors down, I saw the prints going to a porch of a home. I knocked on the door to ask if they had seen them? They had and said that he had loaded them in a police car an hour and a half ago. I said, "DANG!"

The owner said well, "They were running all over the place bugging everyone."

Riiiiight. :eyeroll: There is no way they even hardly had time to "bug" anyone...keep in mind it was only 3 doors down and likely with in 30-45 minutes after I left.

So off I went down to the local police station, they keep their animal control shelter on the premises...no luck, no one there. (It was a Friday night.) I then called dispatch and they confirmed that they had them & the officer picked them up at 6:10 pm. I apologized and noted I had only had them for about 36 hours. They told me that the only officer on duty (the one that had picked them up.) was busy helping traffic with a main water line break. (icy). They said that he would call me ASAP and see what we could do.

An hour later, sitting in front of City Hall, he called and apologized for the delay. Long story shorter, he had other calls and met me 2 hours later & let me have them on the promise that I would register them on Monday. I noticed that their pretty white coats had streaks of yellow and they had a pungent smell to them. The officer told me that the lady that had called them in had sprayed them with Mace! Grrrrrrr. :mad: They didn't have time to "bug" anyone that much, the officer & I were NOT impressed. They are big but are super lovable...they are obvious big clumsy puppies but there is no way they were aggressive or bugging anyone. The previous owner taught them not to even jump up...they are gentle giants that were just trying to find me. I would have loved to have charged that lady with animal cruelty...because that is just what it was. It was just plain mean! But, my dogs had gotten out and the people would just say they felt threatened and I would likely have gotten fined or worse. I just decided to let it go and go home and lock down my fencing completely. (I spent all Saturday, snowing, locking it down completely...nothing is getting in, and nothing is getting out.) I figure 6 months from now, they would be so bonded to my animals that they would likely never wander again.

Anyway, I feel really blessed to have them and even get them back not much worse for the wear. As far as predators are concerned, my mind is completely at ease. Besides it made me finish my fencing and it is ready for the kids. My only real concerns now are if they stay too bonded to people...and if that Komondor coat that they seem to have, will get to unwieldy. :-D

Hope you enjoy something in my rambling.

TOU

Here are some pics of them...sorry so dark, it was late:

















Here are some with my boys...keep in mind these pups are only 4-5 months old.





 

· Goatless goat momma
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what adorable pups! hope they work well for you (I'm sure they will). they look kind of like goldendoodles at the moment. will be quite hilarious when they grow in their komodor coats.
 

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Congratulations on your new puppies. They are adorable and should work out very nicely for you. I had thought of getting a Komondor many years ago. I love your springer also, I have 2 springers and they are the love of my life. They go everywhere with me and hunt and they are just great with the goats and even the chickens..... I would be interested in how these 2 pups work out as they mature, keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you all.

Congratulations on your new puppies. They are adorable and should work out very nicely for you. I had thought of getting a Komondor many years ago.
Thx again. Its interesting that they are a mix but ended up with the Komondor coat...must be extremely genetically dominant.

I love your springer also, I have 2 springers and they are the love of my life. They go everywhere with me and hunt and they are just great with the goats and even the chickens.....
I don't know that I would trust her around any birds let alone chickens but then I don't have any so it is tough to teach her to leave them. Basically she goes nuts if I shoot or gets around any bird. BTW, I too take my Springer everywhere that I can if for no other reason than to socialize her; we take her to all the kids baseball & soccer games. I'm amazed at how attached I've gotten to this little girl in just a year. I have really fallen in love with the breed & I think I will always have one from here on out. This what she looked like last November.







This is what she looked like a month ago at 14 months old when we were hunting/training this fall. Amazing the difference a year makes, eh?!



Previously I had a Beagle who raised all my kids...we lost him this spring at the age of 18. It was a very sad day for all & loved him dearly. That said the nature of the two different dogs is vast and the nature of a Springer to please, serve & work. They make excellent house & travel dogs and shed much less than my beagle.

I would be interested in how these 2 pups work out as they mature, keep us posted.
You and me both. :razz: Will do.
 

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Love your puppies ,so cute ! How someone could mace them is just beyond mean , its heartless :(

Im so glad you got them back :) Your Springer is just gorgeous ! Such sweet puppy pictures , love the sock monkey :)
 
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