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

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    Default Training an Adult Pyr to be an LGD

    Hi everyone,

    I am considering adding some sheep to our little herd and was hoping they could stay with my Pyrs. My question is, can my two adult pyrs be trained to act as a guardian to the sheep? Both dogs came from guardian stock (both parents of each dog were livestock guardians), but since we got them they have not been around any livestock animals. We are not planning on getting any poultry/chickens, only sheep. If they can be trained, any info on how to go about it would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

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

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    Welcome back, Tessy!

    I think a lot depends on how they respond to being around sheep. Sebastian has pretty decent Guardian instincts, but he didnít have a lot of early exposure to Livestock, and seems not to like the Livestock animals he has met.

    If, for instance, your next-door neighbor has a flock of sheep that your dogs are able to interact with on a regular basis, and you know for a fact that the dogs seem to like the sheep, then thatís a really really really good sign. If not, I would try leash walking them past a fenced sheep pasture a few times to see how they respond. You definitely donít want to go through the process of bringing home animals that your dogs arenít going to respond well to.

    If they do well with the sheep, then you would go about the socialization process the same way you would with a puppy. House the dogs in an enclosure where they can see and smell the sheep, but not interact with them directly (they can interact through the safety of a fence, but not have full bodily access). Give them full access to the sheep only when you can be there to supervise the dogs and the sheep to see how they respond to one another. Redirect any inappropriate behavior.

    Donít let them be unsupervised with the sheep until you are absolutely, positively, 100% sure that it is safe for everyone involved.

    Iíve found that the homesteading website Mother Earth News has some really good information about LGDs and getting them acclimated to a working situation. I would recommend checking them out!

    Please let us know how it goes!
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  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tessy's Avatar

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    Thanks for the tips! No one very close by has sheep, but perhaps we could try leash walking our pyrs at the place where we would buy the sheep? We would probably have to come by a few times to see how they react to them, but maybe that is an idea? We have a split fence set up where the pyrs could stay in one side, and the sheep in another, so that would work for the socializing part later.

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

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    I am excited to hear how it goes! Please keep us updated!
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  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    Sheep are pretty defenseless creatures so you want to be sure you can securely keep them separated from your pups until they are trustworthy around the sheep. It can take some time if they are not accustomed to livestock as many dogs find the stock unbearably exciting. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tessy's Avatar

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    Thanks everyone! Now, I have a plan on how to move forward! I will let you know what happens from here.

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