Livestock Guardian Dogs?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by sillysally, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I am curious about them....

    What are the common breeds and what are their pros and cons? How does the whole LGD thing work? Are the dogs raised outside with the stock? Do you socialize them like you would a regular pup? How are they with their families? How are they with other dogs that are in the family, buy live in the house?
     
  2. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    From my very limited experience, it is my understanding that true working LGDs are raised outside with the stock, typically with another experienced LGD. The flock becomes their family. You don't socialize them, you don't take them places, they stay with the flock. You may get them used to oft-visiting people, but to have them accept everyone with open arms would slightly defeat the purpose of having them guard the flock.

    My neighbors have a Great Pyr that is a full time working LGD for their goats. It is great with them, no problem. It is also good with their two other dogs, the cats, the chickens, the ducks, the geese, etc., etc. It does, however, try to attack anyone who is not "supposed to be there". Its okay when its owners are around (say, if you walked up to the house and the owner was outside or what not), but there were numerous incidents of it trying to attack people just walking by the property. It had the same attitude towards other dogs. After some complaints of concerned neighbors, they now keep it in the goat fencing instead of letting it roam the farm.
    Now, I'm fairly certain their Pyr is rather unstable in the fact that it should not be that keen to full out attack "intruders"...but that just goes to show you what can go wrong if you get a dog from the wrong lines.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  3. SpicyBulldog

    SpicyBulldog New Member

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    I dont know about common breeds but will tell you about Caucasian Ovcharka and Kangal.

    Yes they are raised around the stock for best outcome.

    I think socializing can be important for a balanced dog. One that can be taken in puclic without issue. Any dog may need to go to the vet, ect

    Excellent with family, gentless of giants.

    With other dogs they can be very good. Though you should consider same sex male aggression and if a dog didnt know the house dog and that dog approached their stock its reasonable for them to act.

    Pros protect stock from predation, also detter predators, great protection of home and family

    Con with CO longer coat is most common and when they shed their undercoat its a ton of hair, some people dont want a dog with such a high defense drive, not the most biddable . . . with Kangal sometimes male on male dominance, need for secure fence and large space, move more than CO
     
  4. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    There are many Anatolian Shepherds that guard their flock and others that are family pets. Some of the best guardians are also show dogs when they aren't with their flock. Yes, it's good to socialize them. They love their family but do have "a mind of their own" which may be difficult for the first time owner.
     
  5. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    The maremmas I've been around weren't exactly biddable and they were certainly predator aggressive - but not dog aggressive. Their particular strategy was more of a body block and threat.

    Keep in mind that LSG dogs are designed to work independently of humans to face predators on large tracts of property. Each LSG breed from my understanding is designed towards a certain level of independence and to deal with predators and stock thieves with variable points of aggression. So if you're considering one for a pet please be very aware of what you're buying into along with the unique traits of each of the LSG breeds- a couple walks a day and a small backyard isn't going to cut it with some of these dogs. Poor Sasha (maremma) looked like a caged lion in a 1 acre fenced area, she didn't really mellow out until she got her 20 acre lot to roam.

    http://www.denstarfarm.us/Denstar Web/Trash/LGD/LGD_Selection.html

    This guy has some pretty fun reading about living with LSG dogs.
     
  6. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    If we would own one it would not be as a pet. We want to eventually get property with goats, possibly a few cattle, and poultry and I keep reading about people using them as predator control buy realized I don't know a thing about them. I do know people who have Great Pyrenees but they keep them as pets.
     
  7. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    the central asian breeds are more generalized guardians. that is they guard the stock, the people & their camps. they're supposed to range less on pursuits because their nomad owners would be more likely to just leave them.
    the CAS & CAO are BS breeds because they try to combine ALL the different breeds from Kazakhstan in the north to Pakistan & Iran in the south into one/two breeds. Obviously the Anatolian Sheperd debacle slipped everyone's mind.
    anyway off the top of my head some breeds popular in the USA are: Anatolian sheperd, kangal, akhbash, spanish mastiff, great pyrennese, maremma (sp) & mixes of these.
    rare but being used are CAS, CAO, CO, kuvasz, possibly sarplaniac, pyrenean mastiff. filas are doing a fair job for the small homesteader w/ only a few head of stock.
    range cattle (most cattle for that matter) aren't dog friendly. you'd have to start from scratch & raise them together to get them to accept the LGDs
     
  8. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Filas are going to be more oriented toward protecting their people and want to be closer to the family so they really aren't a good "stay out with the stock" dog. They have different priorities than the typical LGDs.

    I know people who use Pyrs with goats and have great success.
     
  9. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I think which breed you would want to go with depends on what kind of predators you have around. Great Pyrs are really common here - I don't think I've ever seen any other type of LGD around. And because I'm assuming they are so common, I haven't met many I like.

    I do know that there is a Spanish Mastiff breeder in WI whose dogs are with her goats. I drool over her dogs and I want one so bad. Alas, renting with a LGD may not be the best idea, not to mention the boyfriend is allergic to dog drool and isn't fond of huge dogs. Bah. So I'll have to put my Spanish Mastiff want on hold until we have a house with property.

    If you want more info on Spanish Mastiffs, here is a link you can check out: http://www.fallcreekfarm.net/temperament.htm (<- This is also the breeder in WI whom I drool over. ^^) If you like the sound of the temperament, but would prefer a long-haired dog, Pyrenean Mastiffs are very similar.

    When I was looking at the various LGD breeds, these were my favorite. But, I was also looking at them from a pet perspective and not a strictly working perspective. But, what I liked about them is that they are serious enough to do their job, but friendly enough that being on a small, family hobby farm is perfect for them. They'll keep the stock safe, and still be a good family pet. And they are reputed to be AMAZING with children.

    If the only predator you'll be worrying about are coyotes and feral/stray dogs, then I think any "generic" LGD will do. But, if you are worried about large predators (bears, wolves, mountain lions, etc.) then you'll need a more serious dog that can handle those predators (the more "intense" LGD breeds).

    If I'm allowed to post it (I think I am...), this is another breeder I'd look in to. They have a wide variety of breeds and cross breeds (including Spanish Mastiffs, which is why I discovered them in the first place) that are bred to work and do their job. I don't know anything about them other than what is on their site, but I like what I've seen: http://www.lgdnevada.com/Home_Page.php
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Another thing to take into account, too, is your climate. An LGD bred for colder conditions is going to be miserable if you have hot summers.
     
  11. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    We live in northwest Indiana and will likely stay in that area. We have fairly hot, humid summers and typically our winters get pretty cold (not this winter though so far). The predators I would have to be worrying about for goats would be coyotes and stray dogs and raccoons, etc, for poultry. Also, if the horses were dog friendly do LGDs do well with horses? The cattle info is good to know too...
     
  12. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    This gal is a friend of mine, you can tell her Adrianne sent you, and if you're interested in Anatolians she's a great source. She's had them for quite some time, she even bought them goats. lol I know they do very well in warm *and* cold climates.

    http://www.mysticasds.com/
     
  14. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    From my understanding, LGDs are great with family animals - dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits, kids, you name it. If they are raised with it and they know it is "theirs", then they will accept it as such and keep it safe, which is one of the reasons I'm drawn to them, I think, as I grew up with dogs that kept our property free of "intruders", but were great with our animals and humans. And when I was looking at various types of guardian type dogs (just my personal preference in attitude), they were the group that would consistently be okay with family pets/not have prey aggression towards family animals.
     
  15. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I think Anatolian Shepherd would be what you're looking for. Here's a link to the ASDCA: http://www.asdca.org/
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I wanted to third Anatolian. All of the ones I've met have been very aloof dogs, but very stable. Not very biddable though. :p
     
  17. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Around here we seem to have loads of people using Maremmas as LGB. They are used to protect sheep mostly.

    Good friends of our spent a lot of time with their dog and he is very social and friendly. Most of the farmers don't though. Their dogs you can't really get near, they kind of corner them for the occasional rabies shot sort of thing. Angus, my friend's maremma is from one of the farms where they don't handle them and he is delightful.

    Yes they are all raised out with the live stock.

    Angus is fine with strange dogs (he has great respect for JRTs lol) and they are all fine with horses etc. They do quite well with our winters and tolerate our summers well.

    They are also not at all human aggressive. Even the unhanded ones just want to avoid you and are shy. They do a great job with the coyotes though.
     
  18. SpicyBulldog

    SpicyBulldog New Member

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    I agree. Great fun.

    Out of the COs Ive met Zakat is one of my favs. Atia is my COs daughter (she bred before I got her).
     
  19. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Yeah, I really don't want a dog that we cannot get near. Does socialization negatively effect their guarding abilities?
     
  20. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Not that I have seen. I wondered how well Angus was going to do guarding the sheep after watching him try to roll over and be lower than a JRT lol. He is SOOO meek with other dogs.

    My doubts were groundless. He was fantastic and guarding the sheep. The was is due to the fact that after they got him a few years later they got out of sheep. They still have him he guards the chickens etc.
     

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