Need a herd protector

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by mistyblue, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Ok a friend of mine wants a dog to protect her boar goats. She wants a medium to smaller type dog as she has medical problems and is scared that the bigger LGD's would be to much for her to handle.

    So what breeds would you recommend for her to get? I only know of the bigger types.
     
  2. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    645
    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    I'm not aware of a smaller LGD. My Great Pyr does a beautiful job of protecting, but she's definitely a big dog.

    If your friend has health issues but still needs a protector that would be on the lower maintenance end, maybe she should consider a llama or donkey?
     

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Yeah, I don't think there are any smaller sized LGDs, but I could be wrong. We have an akbash and she is just amazing, but not small at all, but she does awesome with the goats and knows her job. We got her in November as a 4 month old pup and she's done just an awesome job. Couldn't be more happy with that breed.
     
  4. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Not a donkey if she has physical limitations, besides, they are just as likely to injure their "flock" as "defend" them. My mini-horse will chase any kind of "canine" invader, but thinks it's fun to play "tag" with the goats too. And then she'd have the trouble of hoof trimming etc. They eat alot too (well compared to goats).
     
  5. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Minnesota
    I agree with Di, we got a donkey to 'protect' our goats; instead he likes munching on them and turning them into little furry snacks, so we have to keep them seperate.
    But, there are great donkeys out there, so it can work out.
     
  6. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    To protect them from coyotes I guess? That's our main issue here. My pound puppy has gone from predator mode to protector mode but only watches the goats around the house as she is mainly a house and yard protector.

    If she had a real LGD she would probably not have that much contact with the dog. That's my issue: since I have two (3 if you count the indoor dog) other dogs, I haven't gotten an LGD pup strictly to bond with the goats because I think my dogs would encourage the LGD to bond with the dog pack instead.

    I plan on using electric net fencing as my primary defense, and locking my goats up at night. The electric net fencing sold on Premier is coyote proof. I got my fencing from Gallagher and it should be as well. Of course I haven't had the heart to send my two little dainty does out into the brush yet, but once I get the weed goats I'm going to see how much I can rely on the electric fencing (hope all my coyotes are trained to electric fence).

    Good luck to your friend -- that is such a big issue in our neck of the woods.
     
  7. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Yes, the coyotes are horrible here, I even have a den with cubs on my property right now. :GAAH:

    Unfortunately the donkeys will not work for the same reason, physical limitations. But I will talk to her about the getting a LGD and having no contact except to feed it. I think she was worried about trying to handle it for routine vet care, like shots.

    She was thinking about maybe like a collie, but my thoughts on that is as they are herding dogs they would be more likely to run the poor goats to death. :shrug:
     
  8. Amos

    Amos New Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Minnesota
    There are alot of coyotes around here too, raccoon, weasel, fox, owl, hawk, mink, possum, etc, and we should really get a LGD, but we haven't yet..

    When my mom and I were out in the field picking rocks she found a coyote den with pups, so she found a nice large rock and rolled over the opening :ROFL:
    We never found any other openings so I think that took care of those little nasties. Unfortuantly we still have many other coyotes around.
     
  9. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    How about a Miniature Australian Shepard? They are good herd protectors and are smaller than the average.
     
  10. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    429
    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    A Mini Aussie would be a herding breed. I wouldn't use a herding dog to try to protect my goats. Herding is just a redirected form of prey drive.
     
  11. Crissa

    Crissa New Member

    Oct 7, 2007
    Cashion, Oklahoma
    I vote the Great Pyr. My boss is older and she can handle them just fine, they are friendly but they still do their job EXTREMELY well. We haven't had any problems with coyotes since she got them. I know once I get more land I'll be getting myself a couple of 'em.
     
  12. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    Are the coyotes already whelping here? I had one go after the afterbirth when I had a heifer calve a couple of weeks ago. Brazen coyote - I had to literally chase him/her away, run it down so to speak. But it makes sense if they have pups on them already.

    And like everyone has said, make sure she doesn't get a herding breed. http://www.lgd.org gives a lot of basic information. I would think handling a LGD would be easier than handling goats, but who knows.
     
  13. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Update: she has decided to go ahead and get a Great Pyr.

    Coyotes normaly breed around February and whelp around April. I believe what I heard was last years juveniles. They did not seem to have the adult voice yet, but I could be wrong and it was all adults.
     
  14. ArcticGoats

    ArcticGoats New Member

    170
    Jun 9, 2008
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    I'd recommend getting a female as they are usually smaller - the breed standard for Maremmas for females ranges from 80 down to 66 pounds - so maybe she could look around for someone who has one on the smaller size. Of course, I recommend Maremmas (I'm REALLY biased :greengrin: ) but pyrs are much the same from what I've heard.
     
  15. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    With our terrible drought and no winter to speak of, I wouldn't be surprised is they are whelping early.

    Glad she is going to get a good dog.
     
  16. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    429
    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    I hope she's getting an already trained pyr. Ken bought a female pyr pup and she's grown up into the sorriest guardian ever. She'd much rather be around people than goats. Also she is the biggest pyr I've ever seen and dwarfs most males.
     
  17. mistyblue

    mistyblue Senior Member

    815
    Nov 13, 2008
    Angleton, Texas
    Unfortunatly she is going to get a puppy, which I have a feeling that it will turn out to be more of a pet than anything.

    Come to think if it BeeLady, you have a good point and would not surprise me either.