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Sharksladie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I've kept a small herd of goats for two years. Eight months ago, I purchased a 5 month old Great Pyrenees and slowly introduced him to my herd. He has only been in with the goats full time a few months. He is and always has been the most gentle dog I've ever owned (and I've had many over 30 years). I had to bottle feed a baby pig which stayed in the house awhile and it slept on top of him. We also have a Rat Terrier dog, cat, chickens and the goats, all of which he is wonderful with. Two of our female goats just kidded about four weeks ago. We have been carefully supervising them and he was interested, would lick them, no problems at all. Yesterday, we found one of the four babies dead, and two others limping. We had been out working a few hours, my son, 12, was home though, and he said that he saw Brody (the Pyrenees) trying to play with the babies, jumping up, running around them. I can't imagine what else could've happened to these baby goats. Brody is pretty well trained and follows commands. Is he simply still too young, at a year old, and as gentle as he is and has been, to trust around babies? I haven't kept goats for years, nor am I a professional trainer, but I am responsible and have common sense. Perhaps I was naïve regarding his age and the danger he could pose to the little goats? Is there a more appropriate age to trust him?
 

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I am so sorry for your loss.

As big and gentle as the LGD type dogs are when young, it is easy for us to forget they are still puppies, and puppies do puppy things.

As a general rule of thumb, they aren't completely mentally or physically mature until around 2 years old. Some are born knowing what to do and are angels their whole life, others, it takes a bit for them to really comprehend what they are doing, especially when they don't have an adult dog showing them the ropes.

With that being said, your pup probably doesn't know he did anything wrong, and you need to help him learn right from wrong. He needs to be under very close supervision. If/when you see him wanting to play with the kids, he needs to be corrected. When you aren't there to supervise, you can tether him in with the goats, so he still has contact with them, but so he can't chase the kids.

Hopefully that helps a bit. I have only had 1 LGD who is now three, but we definitely went through some "I want to wring your neck" times...so we have learned a lot with him. He was mostly good by 1.5 yrs, but I have really seen some maturity in him in the last several months.

(PS, last but not least, are you sure he is 100% Pyrenees? If there is any other breed in him (that is not an LGD breed) that can really throw a wrench in things)
 

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He's still a baby. Too young and playful to trust him alone. Some are trustworthy at that age, others aren't. I would really recommend a second LGD. Dogs are pack animals and do so much better with at least one other dog companion. A big problem with trying to raise an LGD pup alone is that they need to get their playful energy out somehow otherwise they're bottled up. They love to romp around, play fight, etc. with their pack members, but with goats as his pack, he will try to play with them. This causes a ton of problems. I have two and they're playing with each other all the time. I've had single LGDs in the past, had the same problem you're having, it never worked out.
 

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Sharksladie
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He's still a baby. Too young and playful to trust him alone. Some are trustworthy at that age, others aren't. I would really recommend a second LGD. Dogs are pack animals and do so much better with at least one other dog companion. A big problem with trying to raise an LGD pup alone is that they need to get their playful energy out somehow otherwise they're bottled up. They love to romp around, play fight, etc. with their pack members, but with goats as his pack, he will try to play with them. This causes a ton of problems. I have two and they're playing with each other all the time. I've had single LGDs in the past, had the same problem you're having, it never worked out.
Thank you for the tip, which makes perfect sense.... we have considered this and have been looking for a mate for him, but hadn't yet found the perfect situation/match. I think it is time to speed the process and find him a partner and playmate. Thanks so much!!
 

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Sharksladie
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am so sorry for your loss.

As big and gentle as the LGD type dogs are when young, it is easy for us to forget they are still puppies, and puppies do puppy things.

As a general rule of thumb, they aren't completely mentally or physically mature until around 2 years old. Some are born knowing what to do and are angels their whole life, others, it takes a bit for them to really comprehend what they are doing, especially when they don't have an adult dog showing them the ropes.

With that being said, your pup probably doesn't know he did anything wrong, and you need to help him learn right from wrong. He needs to be under very close supervision. If/when you see him wanting to play with the kids, he needs to be corrected. When you aren't there to supervise, you can tether him in with the goats, so he still has contact with them, but so he can't chase the kids.

Hopefully that helps a bit. I have only had 1 LGD who is now three, but we definitely went through some "I want to wring your neck" times...so we have learned a lot with him. He was mostly good by 1.5 yrs, but I have really seen some maturity in him in the last several months.

(PS, last but not least, are you sure he is 100% Pyrenees? If there is any other breed in him (that is not an LGD breed) that can really throw a wrench in things)
Thanks so much for your reply and informative advice.: ) I relate to the "want to wring his neck" days, lol. Apparently, these dogs prefer grills, car tires, and tractor seats as play toys as opposed to the normal dog toys we give him. He's very destructive... just chewed up a set of large jumper cables he pulled out of the back of our truck!! He is a full Pyrenees, and I've taken your advice to tether him in with the goats for a bit... which is working well so far. I also let him out every day for awhile to play with us and let him "off the clock" for a bit, (my husband would just leave him in there all the time) but I think he needs a break from work, and I've also read other people posting the same regarding their LGD's.... that it's good to let them out to play with the fam, interact with us and other little dog we have. Who wants to work 24/7? He probably doesn't either. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to advise and give me things to consider and file for future reference about their age, maturity, tethering, etc. We are also looking at purchasing a 2 1/2 year old female Pyrenees who is a trained goat protector already.... she could certainly teach him a thing or two!! : ) Have a great day and Merry Christmas!! : )
 

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So sorry, and that 2.5 year old sounds like a great match. She's a nice age, and can still have energy to play with him and teach him appropriate protection. I have 3 LGD, and I'm a little apprehensive about the kids coming soon. They're so big and look so mature at a year old, it's easy to forget they're still puppies who need guidance and training. Just let him know through supervised training that chasing goats is ALWAYS bad. If he's wonderful in all the ways you note, he's trainable. He just needs to learn what you want.
 
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