View Full Version : Livestock Guardians

12-15-2006, 09:36 PM
We have had a neutered male and spayed female stock guardians. The female passed away of old age last summer and the male was so lonely we wanted to find another female. We found a female rescue a great distance away that was supposedly started on sheep. We have goats. She has been with us for 3 mos. now, and she is 20 mos. old. We have done all of the introductions with the stock, walking fencelines, etc. She had our male as a mentor but he is now getting old also and is going through surgery. The female wants to chase the goats, and we are at a loss for what to do next. We have closed her in with some of the goats day and night, hoping she would bond with that group. When we try to let her out, she eventually will cause a problem. Tonight, we saw a little blood on the back of several of their necks. We immediately removed her and isolated her. I cannot think of anything else to try. Any advice or suggestions PLEASE????

12-19-2006, 03:24 PM
It is often quite a bit more difficult with an older dog unless you know that it was raised with livestock from a very young age and socialized properly.

Dog will learn from an older, more experienced animal, however if that is no longer in the picture, it will be more difficult as the dog will instead rely on previous experience, good or bad and will often inprovise for the rest

You will likely eventually have success, however it will just take longer as the dog will have to unlearn some of what it learned early in life.

Supervised sessions with the livestock and having you make any corrections will help as you will need to fill the role of the older dog and help the other one learn how to become an effective guardian.

Most Pyrs will not seriously injure lifestock, often it is small incidents.

Missouri Hobby Farmer
12-20-2006, 06:32 PM
Wanted to respond when I saw your dilemma. I am on my second pyr. We lost a 6 yr old to bloat this last spring. We have goats and chickens so we sought out another. Both dogs were rescues and were about a year old when we got them. Both dogs turned out beautifully. Neither had been around any livestock before. From my experience the key is spending ALOT of time with them and don't let them start bad things. You need to be there if and when they do something wrong like starting to chase and they need to be reprimanded immediately. Both of the two I have trained would stop when I yelled at them "NO"! I said it loud and let them know what they tried to do was WRONG. I introduced them slowly to the animals on leash...if they tried anything I was there to give them a verbal command and a tug if needed. Then it progressed to off leash only with me present...then I would do chores nearby and watch...still within yelling distance....then eventually moved a little farther away....even hiding at times waiting for them to start something then jumped out with a "NO"!! My guys think I could be hiding anywhere! I spent ALOT of time the first several weeks...but it has paid off big time. My husband kept saying "Just put him out there he will be fine"...but I knew I wanted to make his training successful and didn't want him to make a mistake. I was more worried about the chickens than the goats, and when he first saw them he was sooo excited and wanted to chase...but a firm "NO" and tug on the leash let him know that he couldn't do that. My kids and I took turns with him on leash out in the shade last spring with the chickens. We talked to him and had him relax and let the chickens all gather around...since we put in the time, he has never chased a chicken. Our other pyr that we lost even saved chickens on two different occasions from hawks! We have never lost a chicken or goat. Both dogs did find it irresistable at times to want to "play" or "chase" on occasion. I have found it happens more when they are younger, and also at times when they are more active, like mornings and evenings. I try to play with them at these times and wear them down a little so they aren't so full of energy. Both of the dogs I have had are neutered males. Females may be a little different or want to be more dominant, but I think the key is alot of time and supervision. A friend of mine has a female and she didn't properly train her around her chickens and she has killed a couple. I spent time on this and have had success. Hang in there, it will be worth it! Good luck...pyrs are great!