Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2

    Default Will it be too late to train to guard my livestock?

    Hello, new to the forum. So I have 2 Great Pyrenees sisters that will be 6 months old Feb 3. The breeder had kept their mom and the litter in the sheep pasture (they were born there). Since coming to my place they have only had cats to "guard" lol. I was hoping to have my goats and sheep by now and that looks to not happen for some time. I do have 3 large horned goats and they hate the two girls and can't keep them with the goats. The goats want to ram them and are actually not super nice to each other. So they have 40 acres plus neighboring land to wander... I hate this.. Anyway once we do get our young herd of dwarf goats kids and lambs a year from now, will it be too late to use my girls as guardian dogs? Its taking us longer to fence in the pasture than we anticipated so I am concerned that its going to be too late for the girls to be guardians and will not have a job to keep them closer to home.

    Thanks,
    Michelle

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,521
      Antonia`s Photos

    Default

    Welcome, Michelle! The ideal scenario is to raise young dogs with the stock you intend for them to bond to, as you obviously are aware. With your dogs being older when you get stock, there is no guarantee that they will become exclusive livestock guardians. That is not to say that they can't watch over your home and the stock contained there, they just might not be content being exclusively with stock and may not want to be in a pen with stock. You are wise to keep them away from your aggressive goats. Being bullied by stock can adversely affect their view of stock in the future.

    There are cases when dogs have made a transition from pet to livestock guardian but it is more rare. Generally the dogs prefer what they know and have bonded to humans more than stock. Not sure what type of fencing you have but no amount of stock will keep livestock guardian breeds at home or from roaming if they are not securely fenced. These breeds were generally bred to cover large distances and many will go very far from home chasing off a predator or just "watching over" the area they decide is theirs... Secure fencing is a must for their safety.

    I have brought in a couple of mature dogs. They have learned excellent behavior around the stock but I would never leave them alone with the goats. Mine are more farm dogs and patrol around the goat, chicken and duck pens rather than being inside. It is a system that works out well for us but requires a different type of fencing arrangement. I'm sorry I can't answer your question more directly but maybe this will give you some more thoughts to see the best way forward with your girls.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonia View Post
    Welcome, Michelle! The ideal scenario is to raise young dogs with the stock you intend for them to bond to, as you obviously are aware. With your dogs being older when you get stock, there is no guarantee that they will become exclusive livestock guardians. That is not to say that they can't watch over your home and the stock contained there, they just might not be content being exclusively with stock and may not want to be in a pen with stock. You are wise to keep them away from your aggressive goats. Being bullied by stock can adversely affect their view of stock in the future.

    There are cases when dogs have made a transition from pet to livestock guardian but it is more rare. Generally the dogs prefer what they know and have bonded to humans more than stock. Not sure what type of fencing you have but no amount of stock will keep livestock guardian breeds at home or from roaming if they are not securely fenced. These breeds were generally bred to cover large distances and many will go very far from home chasing off a predator or just "watching over" the area they decide is theirs... Secure fencing is a must for their safety.

    I have brought in a couple of mature dogs. They have learned excellent behavior around the stock but I would never leave them alone with the goats. Mine are more farm dogs and patrol around the goat, chicken and duck pens rather than being inside. It is a system that works out well for us but requires a different type of fencing arrangement. I'm sorry I can't answer your question more directly but maybe this will give you some more thoughts to see the best way forward with your girls.
    Thank you so much for your response! Our 40 acres has only barbed wire around the perimeter, but plan to do about 12 acres of woven wire fencing plus a line or two of electric. The girls are traveling now about a half mile out from our house. We ordered pet trackers for them to see exactly where they are going. We are surrounded by 100 of acres of woods with a few neighbors about a half mile away. I know they go visiting but I really wish they wouldn't... Anyway I really want to get the fence up and some young sheep and goats asap before they get much older. I know it will be very time consuming to stay with them while we slowly introduce them through fences , then leashed interactions and so on. At least it will be warmer outside then! If we can't make it work then perimeter guards might be the only option..
    Thanks again!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •