10 week old puppy training questions as LGD
Hi! So We are brand new with a Pyrenees. We need advice!!
Background: We got our dog Willis the Brave from dear friends who had just bred their male and female. We got him at 10 weeks. Both of his parents were raised protecting chickens and goats. Since Willis was born he has been around chickens and goats raised by both his parents who were excellent teacHers and his 8 siblings. He was also socialized with four young children. He is extremely friendly and submissive. We even had a vet temperament test him to make sure that he would be a good LGD. . .
Our setup: We have a small 36 acre farm. We have 5 paddocks. One has pigs. One cows and one has our new puppy with our laying hens.
Questions: My concern is how to introduce him to my chickens. We got him to protect our laying hens and broilers mostly. Currently he is in a paddock right outside our front door. SO he sees us, our three small kids and our 2 dogs coming and going. He has been in the paddock for 3 days now with the chickens but they are closed off from him currently in a hoop house. Tomorrow I was going to let the chickens out an hour before dusk so I can supervise him with them. And do that for the rest of the week. Or longer? Am I just being overprotective since he was raised around a bunch of chickens with no troubles? How much socializing are my kids to do with him? I am keeping our dogs away from him. . .At what point can I leave him with the chickens unsupervised? How long before imprinting occurs?
More Concerns: He seems to whine and cry a lot to be with us and our dogs when he sees us. SHould I move him to a paddock that has less distraction? I am training him basics like sit and come and not to jump. But am wondering if he shouldn't have a lot of interaction with the kids at this point so that he can really start focusing on guarding chickens.
Sorry this is so long. It's my first post online. Ever. My husband says no one will read it b/c its so long.
Old Dawg (Senior Member)
Hi and welcome, of course we will read it, and the more information you give us we are better able to respond. My Pyr is strictly a pet, but I have seen lots of members with working dogs give advice. Here is my suggestion and why I would offer this advice. At 10 weeks he is not trustworthy, is still very much a baby and is probably lonely and feeling ostracized. I would socialize him with the human family extensively at this age. I would bring him in the house at night, and do potty training and crate training as well. He needs to see you as part of his family and have lots of interaction with you as well as animals. With the chickens, I would make sure he is leashed when you do any introductions so he isn't tempted to chase them.
He needs companionship and playmates. They learn and grow by socialization and leaving him alone, blocked from everyone is probably not very pleasant for him considering he had his parents and other puppies to play and interact with.
Generally speaking they are not really ready to guard till around 2 and if you have serious predators he will need a back up. A pack of coyotes can kill a single pyr, most often they guard in pairs. I am sure a few others will give more detailed responses to you questions and concerns.
Old Dawg (Senior Member)
Welcome rbeckula & Willis...
and I agree with Christi..more info is very helpful...
first thing, get yourself the book...Livestock Protection Dogs by Orysia Dawydiak & David Sims
very informative & she encourages communication if you have questions
since our Pyr's have all been companions, I have very little advise to offer. But I am sure the other more experienced owners will jump on board soon.
Nancy & Rudy