problem with livestock guardian dog

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by webbstace, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. webbstace

    webbstace Guest

    Oct 17, 2009
    Our Great pyrenees found an unexpected baby goat this afternoonwhile we were out and she ate it.
    What we would like to know is whether or not she is now going to be trouble or if we can get this out of her, she is less than a year old. :tears:
  2. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    A friend of mine had issues with their LGD grabbing and tackling their sheep. They removed her from the herd for awhile and she got better. I'd probably put her in a separate pasture or something until she can be trusted. I'm sorry for your loss :(

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Might make a better pet.
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I have to admit I would probably put the dog down. I'm sorry you lost a kid. :(
  5. Idahodreamer

    Idahodreamer Senior Member

    :thumb: to what KW and Epona said.
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Oh that is devastating...I am sorry..... :( it will definitely be hard trust the dog again......
    The only way to correct it to catch the dog at it, but that would mean putting a precious life at risk... :hug:
  7. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    1. Were you there when the doe delivered? Do you know that it was not a stillborn or that the doe did not leave the kid in the sack? Any LGD will dispose of dead livestock as it would otherwise attract predators... that is a natural reaction for them.
    2. An LGD under 2 years old is STILL A PUPPY... They are never to be completely trusted ALONE with livestock until they are over 2. Otherwise when something bad happens (and it will... again PUPPY) it is not their fault. That would be like putting a 2 year old child in front of his favorite toy, telling him not to play with it and then walking into another room.... would you trust the 2 year old child NOT to play with the toy?

    Here is how to fix the problem (even if the dog did not kill the kid... being under 2 and allowed alone with kidding does will become a problem):

    you need a kennel run or one of those 75 ft. trolley lines in the same pasture as the goats but where the goats have plenty of space to stay out of his reach.
    He/she needs to ONLY be let out of the run or off the line when you can supervise. If you don't have a trained adult LGD then YOU have to be the teacher and enforcer of right from wrong. You need to properly introduce "kidding" to the dog. It needs to be on a leash ( on a down stay) near a doe while she delivers. You need to reprimand IMMEDIATELY if the dog makes ANY move toward the doe. Make them learn to wait. The dog should be allowed to lick and help clean the kids though as this is a bonding process... do not allow the dog to CLAIM the kid though... or to defend the kid from it's mom. You will need to do this numerous times to "kid proof" this dog as it has not been taught etiquette yet.

    You absolutely still have a chance with this dog... you just need to give your time and PATIENCE... because TRUST me until an LGD hits the "magical age 2" you will likely want to kill them at least once! LOL I have had the most difficult time training mine to poultry but guess what... I didn't shoot them in the head (though I admit... I thought about a few times :slapfloor: ) My female is now chicken proof... my male wea re still working on, but he is definitely improving.

    Just keep your head up and try for a patience of steel... and remember, supervise, reprimand for bad but definitely reward for good behaviour too. Oh... and when I say reprimand... I MEAN reprimand. If you found your dog eating a baby I sure hope you made him think you were about to kill and eat him. :wink:

    Faint-Hearted Ranch
  8. Well, I have to say his age is a big part here. You need to pull him or find him an older exsperianced LDG to help him learn. If you pull him try him when he is older.

    On the other hand if you know this kid, like posted, was dead in same way, your LDG was doing his job. A good LDG will dispose of any animals that are dead and could bring preditors to your herd. My LDG did this last year for the first time, before I learned this was correct I was very unhappy and let her know it. The only other time after that we had a dead kid they all sat around it till I found it. I felt real bad too because they had done nothing wrong the first go round. So be sure to KNOW before you make your final choice on what is to be done. In the end you know your dog and heart. It will be your final call.
  9. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    I think the last two postings were 100% correct. :thumb: Thats what I have heard from Experienced breeders and experienced ( some of those things) myself .
  10. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Right on Jenna.
    I realize a chicken & a goat are two differnt things, but our pup killed a couple of chickens before he learned they are off limits.
    Not just no no I mean NO NO with you growling & baring your teeth. Or LEAVE IT whatever your command is.
    When my dogs do something bad I show it to them with a great display of anger (alfa) on the other hand if I find a dead possum I ask in a pleased voice "Did you do this?" And lavish them with praise.
    And yes, if that kid was already dead he was doing his job.
  11. Dreamchaser

    Dreamchaser New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Camp Verde, AZ
    Yep. They will eat the afterbirth to protect the herd from predators, so if it was a stillborn, I could see it eating the baby. I would be a little wary myself though.
  12. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    Unless you are absolutely certain the baby goat was born alive and the dog "murdered" it, I would be very leary of judging this dog based on what you have described. If the goat was stillborn or near death, the dog was actually doing its job by disposing of it before area predators could get a "whiff" of it and become a threat to the rest of the herd. I realize this is a hard concept to understand, but that is part of the instinct of an LGD. If there is any doubt, do as the others have suggested and sequester this LGD from baby goats unless you are present and can "teach" appropriate interaction. Especially with LGDs under 2 because their natural playing behavior can exhaust a younger goat.

    Please don't be too quick to judge your LGD & use the "high speed lead poisoning" theory, but do be mindful of your LGDs training before leaving him/her in charge of young goats.
  13. bheila

    bheila New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    We have 2 dogs that lived in the same pasture as our chickens for a year. Then one day one of the dogs decided it would be good to catch and kill one of them. Now I don't know if they were playing/chasing the chicken and it died or if they just killed the chicken to eat it. After that we never put the dogs with any animals. I'm so glad we didn't have goats then because it could've been one of the goats the dog/s killed. I was just so puzzled as to why after a year of living together the dog/s would go after the chickens. We still have the dogs in the same pasture but they are fenced off so they can't harm any animals and they still keep the coyotes away.
  14. sealawyer

    sealawyer New Member

    May 31, 2009
    Dew, Texas
    My anatolian, Thomas doesn't want to harm the birds, he just doesn't want them to fly away. He holds them in his mouth to prevent this. All of my LGDs will stay near a kid, even if it's momma leaves it, until we recover it. If we find it dead, we allow them to dispose of it in the only instinctive way that they know how.... to eat the carcass. And they are better for it because they will not touch a kid until we either take it to the house and try to save it or walk away from it's lifeless body.
    Circle of life, Folks. :cry:
  15. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Yeah, but I don't think this was a dead newborn kid. Because how would the op know there was even a kid born dead if the dog disposed of it by the time she got home??? She wouldn't have even known that the kid was born. It sounds like the dog killed it and ate it from what the origional post said. That is something you cannot train out of a dog or trust again to safely be with your goats especially since the op wasn't there to correct this behavior.
  16. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    It is something that can be fixed. This puppy is under a year old and it is an LGD... not a German Shepherd or another breed that naturally carries the "kill" instinct. It is a nurturing breed and has not been taught the correct way to care for a baby. Also... under a year old might just play with a dead kid... like a toy... it is not living so the dog would see no reason to view it as anything but another bone to chew on. Now... my LGD's used to sleep with my chickens until they hit their terrorist age (usually about 9 months of age) then they suddenly decided to chase... which then lead to chew... which then lead to plucking out all of the feathers and some kills. I used the same training method as I listed above... now my LGD Atty is my poultry guardian... she listens for their alarm calls and checks them to see what is wrong... she stands guard over the hens while they are squacking and laying their eggs, she nudges the cat away when the cat decides SHE wants to "play" with the chickens. An LGD has it in them to do this.... the only reason that you would need to give up on one and determine it "not Fit" would be if you weren't willing to put in the effort to teach it. Trust me... I wouldn't judge anybody that did that because I know FIRST HAND that getting some LGD's through puppyhood is a full time job. I am also one to say... if you have the time to put in.... the payoff in the end is worth it. I LOVE my LGD's (now! LOL) there was a time not that long ago when you could not have gotten that sentence out of my mouth!!!! :hair: Basically, if you don't have the time and patience to put up with puppy antics... then save up your money and get a proven adult (over 2)that someone else has invested the time and effort into.

    I know of a goat breeder that had a 2 year old Pyrenees that "suddenly" started killing kids.... they were horribly traumatized. The first time they found a kid it was being eaten by their LGD... it was wet and had some chew marks on it... they punished the dog but were so confused because he had been such a great LGD. They decided to keep him in there to "Catch him in the act" next time. Well, the next day they were out doing chores and WITNESSED their LGD pulling a DEAD kid out of the water trough.... it had fallen in and drowned. Also, the reason why the kid they had found the day before was soaking wet when they found it. They switched to shallow water buckets and haven't lost another kid again.
  17. Faith Farms

    Faith Farms Guest

    Dec 28, 2009
    This is a great thread ! I'm not sure how the owner knew the dog ate the kid unless it was only partially eaten. Maybe they will clarify, obviously makes a big difference. Great input on the dogs though. My one year old Anatolian has done some of the examples given, he's a great dog though. When we got him I think he had been beaten? He would shrink at you when you came too close and run into a corner, especially if you had a leash or shovel for cleanup or something. It took us about 2 months of carefulness, treats etc.. and he's probably 90% better.

    With all due respect to the thread. Is it bad for my dog to play with my 2 cows he is in with?? He grabs their horns and they all jump around together is this bad? I don't have him with my does for this reason too, he was a little too aggressive for them, but the cows just throw him around. The cows have fun most of the time, except when they want to eat. I just don't want to train him to play with livestock???
  18. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    No playing with the livestock! As cute as it is and even if the livestock is initiating it.... REPRIMAND him. The worst possible punishment for an LGD is a time-out.. Throw him in a crate (out of the elements) or a kennel run and growl and act ferocious. Trust me a few times of that and he won't do it again.

    My male used to do that with my bucks and I let him because the bucks would initiate games with him.... it was all fun and cute until he put a hole in one of my best bucks ears!!! I had allowed it for so long that he was really hard to break of the habit too. Learn from my mistake here.... DON"T ALLOW ANY PLAY WITH LIVESTOCK. This is where having that 2nd LGD comes in handy.... a playmate!!! Also, they will work together as a team when a predator threatens. One stays with the herd while the other will rush forward to meet the threat. (they do this naturally without's really neat to watch! :thumbup: )

    Also, for those reading this thread that are just starting out with new pups.... LEASH TRAIN, teach basic commands such as sit and lay down. You will use those during introduction to any new livestock or animals and also with introducing kidding. Make it easy on yourself whenever possible. :)
  19. Faith Farms

    Faith Farms Guest

    Dec 28, 2009
    :thumb: I thought so!!! Just needed to hear it. Thanks ALFA :)
  20. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Jess...I probably shouldn't have said it is impossible to break that habit, but it is hard with most dogs and many won't be able to be trained out of that. You may be willing to take that risk of another kill or injury to the goats, but I personally am not willing to take that risk. Just one or two kids is a big loss, not only emotionally, but financially. It's just not worth it in my opinion. I'm glad you have more patience than me. I wish the op would come back on and tell us more of the story. :shrug: It's hard to judge what went on based on the first post.