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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 12 goats and will be kidding in the early spring. I have a German Shepherd/Collie mix, but she is too much of a pet to do any good protecting my herd. I want to get a puppy in the spring so I can raise it with my kids. So here is where all my questions begin....

*What breeds are the best with goats?
*How much training is involved?
*How do I go about finding people that sell the pups?
*What is a general cost?

Thank you everyone for your help :D
 

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Goatfarmer, those questions are difficult to respond to because the answer(s) is so broad.

I have 12 goats and will be kidding in the early spring. I have a German Shepherd/Collie mix, but she is too much of a pet to do any good protecting my herd. I want to get a puppy in the spring so I can raise it with my kids. So here is where all my questions begin....

*What breeds are the best with goats?

There are so many breeds of LGDs, many doing well with goats. However, I would hesitate to place a "puppy" in with goat kids. (Are those kids in a separate pen from their dam? That might make a difference in the play/bonding that would be going on.)

*How much training is involved?

A "puppy" needs protected while it bonds with its charges and learns to guard as its genetics permit. It is always best to let the pup's parents train it to be a good LGD guarding goats (or any other charges). I did get a pup that was just weaned and train it myself; however, that pup was never just placed with what I wanted it to guard and expected to perform. A pup is a pup is a pup. Puppies will play with whatever it finds enjoyable; and that could well be those kids you talk about placing it with. To train an LGD pup, you literally need to let it go thru all its developmental stages in the presence of its charges. This requires a lot of sensitivity on the part of the owner and a lot of protections (for goats as well as the pup).

*How do I go about finding people that sell the pups?

What I did was search "LGD (livestock guardian dogs", decide which breed might best fit my needs, then search "for sale" sites relative to that breed.

*What is a general cost?

The prices I discovered ranged from $300 to $2000

Thank you everyone for your help :D
Goatfarmer, you might get more responses if you stated how large your place is, how many goats the LGD would need to guard, whether or not you leave the goat kids on their dams and what experiences you've had training dogs in general.
 

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I have 12 goats and will be kidding in the early spring. I have a German Shepherd/Collie mix, but she is too much of a pet to do any good protecting my herd. I want to get a puppy in the spring so I can raise it with my kids. So here is where all my questions begin.... *What breeds are the best with goats? *How much training is involved? *How do I go about finding people that sell the pups? *What is a general cost? Thank you everyone for your help :D
We have 3 great pyrenees the two females i raised from puppies are better i got them when they were 5 weeks old. The male was 5 months old when we got him and it took awhile for him to bond with out herd. The females are more attentive and aggressive and the male is lazy and docile but still does his job when HAS to. As far as training I dont do any. I put them in with the goats from day one and pretty much ignore them. I had to get after the older male a few times for chasing/playing too ruff at first. But thats it. I also let my 3 yr old daughter play with them all she wants so they wont be aggressive with her. When i buy dogs I like to go by word of mouth. I knew the neighbors had a great dog and asked where he got him. I got all three of mine from that same breeder he did. I now know several people that are very happy with there guardians from him. His price range was $350ish for puppies and up for the older dogs Also mine are a blood line from out of the country they are true "mountain" dogs and dont look like the typical great pyrenees with tons of hair. This is how docile Alaska is he eats with his kitties they even run him off his food lol big sissy Dog Dog breed Carnivore Fawn Companion dog
This is the breeders dogs Dog Vertebrate Dog breed Sky Carnivore
 

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Look! A whole herd of em!

We have a pair of Anatolians. The better younger smarter dog is 1/4 Pyr.
The only things I have taught them is "Sit" & "Leave it!" And to not poop in the goat lounging area. Younger dog got that the first time. The older one is still a dunce/set in his ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for your responses! I know that those weren't very detailed questions that I had so they are difficult to answer :) I live in Indiana with a herd of 14 goats and growing (yes the number has increased since I first posted this lol). I have a variety of breeds, but mostly ADGA Nubians. I will be kidding them in the spring. I have a 5 ft fence around their large lot, but Coyotes are thick around here and they will come over or under anything to get to livestock. They are pushing into the suburb areas too which shows how desperate they are getting. My German Shepherd is in a separate area than the goats and hopefully keeps most of them away by her bark, but I need a large dog that is in with my herd to protect everyone should a problem arise. I have chickens, ducks, and barn cats on the farm also so I need something that I can raise with everyone that will be gentle, but aggressive when needed with predators. I will be having kids within the next couple of years so I would also like a breed that has a good history with being gentle.
 

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Well, you'll want an LGD that is content to stay within that limited space. If I were in your shoes, I would choose an LGD "already trained" to be with goats, i.e. 1-2 yrs old, from a breed NOT known for its desire to tend LARGE areas.

I know Karakachans are great in smaller areas. My little Karakachan (now 8 months old) is bonded well with Nubians, assorted fowl as well as the family dog and humans on a well-fenced 6 acres. I also know the Sarplaninac breed is great with small acreage. If interested in those breeds, you can either PM me for some contacts or you can google the breed with "for sale". (Just remember a "puppy" requires training and, if it is not that pup's parents training him on the job as he/she is growing, it will need to be YOU who provides the training.!
 

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I disagree with a few things just from my experiences but to each is own thats what makes the world go round :) Ive never had luck with an older dog they are never content with staying on our 20acres they always find a way out. I believe its because they werent raised with our herd and they dont care as much like they do when they are strongly bonded. Guardian dogs know predators and keep them away regardless but when you raise a very young puppy with your herd they are strongly bonded. Those goats are there very best friends and are happy to stay together. My dogs go where the goats go at all times and panic when they are separated.

I believe that a dog that comes from good actual working blood doesnt need to learn from others it is instinct. I dont believe there is any teaching technique you can use to actually "train" a dog to protect or guard. I believe it has to be bred into them.

"Training" for my dogs is actually leaving them alone with the goats so they know that is there family. I also move dogs and goats around so that each dog has been penned with every goat at one time or another so they are familiar with all the goats. I also believe it is important if you have more then one dog to separate them at times so they dont always want only each other.

As far as what breed to choose thats your preference. We have always had GPs just because thats what we like. They are great guard dogs but also friendly with most people. But we have had some bad ones in the past. A puppy from show lines never wanted to protect the livestock. And a few older dogs that were givin to us because they were no longer needed never completely stayed with our herd. So now we just strictly stay with working lines and breed our own.
 
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