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  1. #11
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    For poodle owners, many people hate doodles because of breeders do charge unjustifable prices for them. Today I saw a Pyredoodle at the farmer's market and the owners said they paid $4k. I've seen Bernedoodles go for $6k. I understand the justification here because the doodle breeders are seen as unethical and greedy. I'm sure this isn't true for all doodle breeders but the general trend for poodle mixes are very expensive and the demand remains high. Now, why shame LGD mixed breed? I've also seen a lot of shaming of bully breeds but that is a new can of worms.
    Okay as a groomer I am going to chime in on this one. Your boy Lucky is what I call a rare doodle. He has the perfect coat and color. 95% of the doodles that I work on are being sold as hypo allergenic which isn't the case until you get into an F3 doodle which is a third generation doodle bred to another third generation doodle. That's the only time you get the proper head and body structure as well as the coat. I have a customer who paid $3000 for a maltipoo and that dog is a maltipoo/yorkie and they got took. Designer mutts are just that mutts. I say that as the owner of a designer mutt that's right Pyr/Berner mixes are called Ozark Mountain Dogs...it's a mutt.

    Now onto why people shame a border collie LGD mix...they shame that because you are breeding a dog with a high prey drive with a dog that should have little to no prey drive and then trying to market them as LGD's when in reality they will most likely fail due to the herding dog in them. A border collie is a neurotic breed they are giant chihuahuas unless you are giving them something to dog. They aren't happy just laying in the middle of the flock doing nothing they have to work physically or mentally they have to be doing something. You don't want that in a LGD. Now that being said I own Missy who is two different styles of working dogs bred together and she thrives in a working situation.

    As for LGD's not making good companions that's a lie because not everyone is made to work. I use to volunteer with a Pyr rescue who took in working dogs so we were trained to look for whether or not that dog could actually work safely with a flock. Even if you took them back to their roots you would find out not all of them are made to work. It's an individual thing that you have to look at when picking a dog.

    Can an LGD be trained heck yes they can. Missy is CGC certified and had all of the qualifications to become a therapy dog. Hell if her leg wasn't bad she could have been trained to be a service animal because she naturally picks up on the proper ques.

    Now I have been told that it is mean of me to keep Missy as a pet knowing that she can excel in LGD work. She is great with chickens and air born predators which is something you usually can't train a dog to do they have to know how to do it naturally for the most part. Missy has saved my Mom's chihuahua from hawks at least 10 times. One time the bird was flying low enough that I could have probably touched it. Missy positioned herself over the chihuahua while barking and growling and stayed over that dog until it was safely inside. Some dogs have it some dogs don't and if anyone says differently they are a liar.

  2. #12
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    The reason all of this came up was because I friended this woman who owns a Maremma from the same breeder and her dog is related to Kit. I sent her a couple of photos of Kit and one of them was her sitting on my bed with Lucky goofing around. She went on to educate me how a Maremma should never be kept as a pet because their personality change around 2 years and cannot be a successful pet. Her Maremma exhibited some of the same aggression/ grumpy guarding tendencies as Sahara. Her dog was very resource aggressive, hated people, and disliked other dogs. She believed it was breed characteristics rather than particular to an individual dog. I had tried to let her know that Kit loves people more than any of my other dogs. She tried to convince me that this friendly puppy behavior would soon come to an end no matter how much socialization/training I put in. Kit would most likely end up like Sahara or possibly worse. Her dog is a working dog rather than a pet who is kept mostly outdoors. I don't think she meant to be mean but definitely tried to let me know that Kit needs to be an guardian of livestock rather than kept as a pet. To be honest, the conversation kinda freaked me out and made me feel bad.

    I had consulted my trainer about this and she said Kit is very unusual for an LGD. She has worked with a lot of pyreneeses over the years and she said they tend to be aloof around people and not treat motivated. She said some of her behavior is because she is a puppy but she thinks that each dog is unique and Kit might just be super friendly and food motivated. I also asked my trainer about the behavioral change around 2. She said it applied to dogs who have not been fixed. They can expereince temperment changes during their heat cycles. It is like human puberty and PMS. I laughed at her response and it made sense. She explained that if we continued to socialize her and spayed her, she most likely will remain the same.

    The Maremma/Border collie thing was a thing a while back. I don't' think it was in an LGD group but a Maremma group. I've seen crossposting across different groups so it might have ended up in other places. Every once in a while these group get into a spat over how someone's dog is better than everyones. They are the one breeding the 'truest' LGD with the best structure, temperment, and etc.. You see these spats all the time across most dog breeds. I suppose the drama is like any other niche profession.

  3. #13
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    My experience is limited to pyrs so can only speak as to pyrs. We've had pyrs for 17 years and I've been around a lot of them over the years. Compared to pyrs, Kit is not entirely freak unique in her friendliness with humans. I've met plenty who are great with humans. They are plenty that work as therapy dogs. So I wouldn't say that Kit's temperament is really that unusual.

    As to the personality shift, it happens to some and plenty others do not go through that. My first pyr and Bijou never had that personality shift. Ren is doing well at 12 months and counting. Even Bro, who was the only one of mine that turned dog reactive and human shy as he turned two, eventually mellowed out so much that people who met him later in his life could not believe he was ever reactive. I can also say that the personality shift didn't happen with many of my friends' dogs - and many of those are intact show dogs. Indeed, when I was at the 2013 Pyr Nationals that was held in Texas, I was impressed watching all these people walking these huge intact pyrs around the hotel grounds on flex leads in relatively close quarters without any issues.

  4. #14
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    The reason all of this came up was because I friended this woman who owns a Maremma from the same breeder and her dog is related to Kit. I sent her a couple of photos of Kit and one of them was her sitting on my bed with Lucky goofing around. She went on to educate me how a Maremma should never be kept as a pet because their personality change around 2 years and cannot be a successful pet. Her Maremma exhibited some of the same aggression/ grumpy guarding tendencies as Sahara. Her dog was very resource aggressive, hated people, and disliked other dogs. She believed it was breed characteristics rather than particular to an individual dog. I had tried to let her know that Kit loves people more than any of my other dogs. She tried to convince me that this friendly puppy behavior would soon come to an end no matter how much socialization/training I put in. Kit would most likely end up like Sahara or possibly worse. Her dog is a working dog rather than a pet who is kept mostly outdoors. I don't think she meant to be mean but definitely tried to let me know that Kit needs to be an guardian of livestock rather than kept as a pet. To be honest, the conversation kinda freaked me out and made me feel bad.
    Yes, it is true that when an LGD grows into their adult personality, they CAN become less tolerant of new people and/or dogs, regardless of how well the dog was socialized. That does not, however, mean that it happens across the board to every dog. It sounds like this woman is basing her entire worldview of LGDs on her personal experience with one dog. Not really fair to the LGDs who reach adulthood without undergoing this change. I can think of several Pyrs and several Anatolians just off the top of my head who excelled at therapy work. That requires that the dog NOT be unfriendly or aloof.

    If I remember correctly, Kit’s breeder selected the puppy that was best suited to your needs. Thus far, Kit is very well suited to the life she leads. The puppy your FB friend ended up with, I’m not so sure. However, the issue with her dog could just as easily been one of nurture, as opposed to nature.

    Now, several of us have said this before, and I am going to say it again. Resource guarding IS NOT AN INHERENT TRAIT IN THE MAJORITY OF LGDs!!! It’s maladaptive in the working world. Imagine a working dog out in the field is chewing on a stick, or something, and is approached by one of its charges. Do you think that dog is going to live to see tomorrow if it goes after a lamb or a ewe or a goat or a chicken for coming too close to its stick? Doubt it.

    A good working LGD also has to demonstrate that they have good judgement of who is friend and who is foe. For example, you have stated before that Sahara had a problem when workers came to your house, and wouldn’t settle down even though it was pretty obvious that you were 1) okay with the worker being there and 2) in no danger from said worker. There are a lot of scenarios in which that would very much be a dangerous liability. Assessing the situation and responding appropriately is as much a part of the job they do as alerting to the presence of a potential threat. An inappropriate aggressive response could cost the farmer the farm.

    Sahara may be the true love of your life, but she was not the end-all-be-all of what a typical LGD is or should be, no matter how badly you might want her to be. That doesn’t mean that she was any less valuable.

    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    I had consulted my trainer about this and she said Kit is very unusual for an LGD. She has worked with a lot of pyreneeses over the years and she said they tend to be aloof around people and not treat motivated. She said some of her behavior is because she is a puppy but she thinks that each dog is unique and Kit might just be super friendly and food motivated. I also asked my trainer about the behavioral change around 2. She said it applied to dogs who have not been fixed. They can expereince temperment changes during their heat cycles. It is like human puberty and PMS. I laughed at her response and it made sense. She explained that if we continued to socialize her and spayed her, she most likely will remain the same.
    Kit actually fits the “typical LGD” profile a lot better than Sahara. Yes, some of her friendly, boisterous behavior IS probably rooted in the fact that she is still a puppy. There IS a chance that she COULD lose interest in making new friends as she matures. That doesn’t mean that it definitely WILL happen, though. It just MIGHT.

    The notion that LGDs aren’t typically food motivated is baloney. A lot of people try one or two things before deciding that their dog isn’t motivated by food. The truth is that for the vast majority of these cases, it just takes the RIGHT food to motivate them. Give Sebastian certain treats, and he will literally spit them out. Give him brisket, and he turns into a circus poodle. Some dogs also perform better when a variety of treats are offered. Not only does it help to prevent them from getting sick of the same old same old, the anticipation of, “What treat am I going to get this time? Chicken? Hot Dog? Cheese? BRISKET!?!?!?!” helps to keep them excited and motivated.

    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    The Maremma/Border collie thing was a thing a while back. I don't' think it was in an LGD group but a Maremma group. I've seen crossposting across different groups so it might have ended up in other places. Every once in a while these group get into a spat over how someone's dog is better than everyones. They are the one breeding the 'truest' LGD with the best structure, temperment, and etc.. You see these spats all the time across most dog breeds. I suppose the drama is like any other niche profession.
    I would treat any American Maremma group as a working-dogs-only group. Sure, there are Maremmas out there who are kept as pets, but the parent breed club tends to frown upon that. Again, I think that person was reacting more to a breed mix that is ill-suited to LGD work, and that they might have had a different response to seeing a picture of puppies that were Maremma mixed with a second LGD breed.

    If you read the breed standard for any particular LGD breed, you’ll notice that the desirable traits described in the breed standard directly promote the breed’s working ability, even in breeds recognized by the AKC. It’s not like Labrador Retrievers, where the stocky, “English” type occupy the show ring, and the leaner “Field” type work as gun dogs. With purebred LGDs, traits sought in show lines are exactly the same as traits sought in good working lines. It’s not unheard of for successful show LGDs to “retire” to guarding livestock at the ends of their careers.

    As to anyone who thinks that their breed is the purest and the all-around best, well, methinks they might be trying to sell puppies, and, well, they are full of you-know-what. For example, Anatolians are used in Kenya to guard livestock against cheetahs, because their coats, temperaments, and fast running speeds make them well-suited to the task. (The Anatolians were gifted to Kenyan ranchers as part of a cheetah conservation initiative.) Central Asian Shepherds, on the other hand, are bulkier, and have a more aggressive protection style, making them less well-suited to protecting livestock from Cheetahs. I’m sure there are applications where CASs are better suited to a particular situation than Anatolians.

    Sahara was Sahara, and Kit is Kit. They are/were both wonderful in their own ways. Yes, it’s fun to see the ways in which they are alike and the ways they differ, but it’s a little unfair to Kit to say that she’s an oddball LGD just because she’s not a carbon copy of Sahara. In reality, it’s Sahara that doesn’t quite fit the profile of what an ideal LGD should be. That doesn’t mean that she had any less value. She spent eight years as an irreplaceable member of your family. That is, in and of itself, priceless.
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  5. #15
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    It is hard for me to not idolize Sahara. My husband tells me that I remembered all the good and excused any of the bad. He said the dogs we have in many ways are exactly what I wanted in a dog: friendly, silly, and playful. If you asked me, Sahara was like a magical unicorn dog that came to my life at a time. when I needed a friend. Despite the fact that I rescued her, it felt like we’ve developed an unbreakable bond and it felt like she rescued me. She felt like my guardian angel who was always watching over me. Sometimes I felt like she was the only soul who understood me. It is hard to remember her in any other way. I think when she passed away, it happened too fast and I was not prepared. I tried to get Sahara back by getting a new dog of the same breed. If she fit into a certain breed mold, then perhaps I can get my Sahara back again. It doesn’t make any logical sense but is more of an emotional response that I figured I would have gotten over by now.

    As for Kit, she is wonderful dog. She has her moments where she embarrasses the crap out of me. Sometimes I wonder if young Sahara was like this but I can’t imagine her as anything but diginified and majestic. Kit is exactly how I had always imagined what it would be like to own a dog. She is the cuddliest dog I’ve ever met. This morning I was sleeping in because it is Columbus Day and I had the day off. I woke up around 10 am to find a giant warm Kit sprawled out on my bed and cuddling against my back. I was surprised she didn’t wake me earlier because when she pants, the whole bed shakes. Lol. I tried to move over and she cuddles even closer and chased me across the bed until I had no room. At that point, she rested her head on my shoulders. She is as affectionate as they come. It was such a sweet and magical moment! If you asked me what kind of dog I had wanted when I was five years old, I would have told you Clifford the big red dog. Kit is now I’d imagine Clifford would be my big cuddly goofball.

    I was thinking about Jewels comment about the various Pyrenees I’ve met over the years and almost all of them are friendly except a working dog that spent most of its life tethered to a tree. Hey, I would be grumpy too if I was tethered to a tree. I’ve met a few friendly Pyrenees who worked on farms through the fl pyr rescue but most Pyrs I’ve seen in public live in the suburbs, or the city.

    Akc nationals are here in Orlando every December and I was at the Pyr conformation show. It was the closet I could get to a Maremma show since they are not part of Akc. They were all intact and well behaved. I would describe them as mellow, friendly, and silly. This was one of the reasons, I was drawn to LGDs in the first place. I haven’t met many adolescent LGDs in public come to think of it but they do make interesting stories.
    Kits breeder actually thought Kit was on the dominant side. I guessed that she was ok selling me a Maremma due to my experience with Sahara. She warned me Kit might end up like that so I was well prepared. I tried pretty hard socializing this dog and now she likes people a little too much. A few days ago, I practiced socialization with her down a busy part of town that is super dog friendly. As we cruised by the outdoor dining area, I got a lot of people who stop us every few mins to ask questions. This is Kits favorite thing. Every time she sits calmly to be petted. The ones who are dog people get a little too excited by her energy and talk in a silly voice, which usually prompts her to jump up to say hello, except this time she tried to steal this family’s food. She jumped up and the got a piece of flatbread and started running away. It was incredibly silly and made everyone laugh. I had to apologize profusely but they didn’t care and thought it was hysterical.

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