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Old 01-06-2012, 07:58 PM
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Default Livestock Guardian Dogs?

I am curious about them....

What are the common breeds and what are their pros and cons? How does the whole LGD thing work? Are the dogs raised outside with the stock? Do you socialize them like you would a regular pup? How are they with their families? How are they with other dogs that are in the family, buy live in the house?
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post
I am curious about them....

What are the common breeds and what are their pros and cons? How does the whole LGD thing work? Are the dogs raised outside with the stock? Do you socialize them like you would a regular pup? How are they with their families? How are they with other dogs that are in the family, buy live in the house?
From my very limited experience, it is my understanding that true working LGDs are raised outside with the stock, typically with another experienced LGD. The flock becomes their family. You don't socialize them, you don't take them places, they stay with the flock. You may get them used to oft-visiting people, but to have them accept everyone with open arms would slightly defeat the purpose of having them guard the flock.

My neighbors have a Great Pyr that is a full time working LGD for their goats. It is great with them, no problem. It is also good with their two other dogs, the cats, the chickens, the ducks, the geese, etc., etc. It does, however, try to attack anyone who is not "supposed to be there". Its okay when its owners are around (say, if you walked up to the house and the owner was outside or what not), but there were numerous incidents of it trying to attack people just walking by the property. It had the same attitude towards other dogs. After some complaints of concerned neighbors, they now keep it in the goat fencing instead of letting it roam the farm.
Now, I'm fairly certain their Pyr is rather unstable in the fact that it should not be that keen to full out attack "intruders"...but that just goes to show you what can go wrong if you get a dog from the wrong lines.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post
I am curious about them....

What are the common breeds and what are their pros and cons? How does the whole LGD thing work? Are the dogs raised outside with the stock? Do you socialize them like you would a regular pup? How are they with their families? How are they with other dogs that are in the family, buy live in the house?
I dont know about common breeds but will tell you about Caucasian Ovcharka and Kangal.

Yes they are raised around the stock for best outcome.

I think socializing can be important for a balanced dog. One that can be taken in puclic without issue. Any dog may need to go to the vet, ect

Excellent with family, gentless of giants.

With other dogs they can be very good. Though you should consider same sex male aggression and if a dog didnt know the house dog and that dog approached their stock its reasonable for them to act.

Pros protect stock from predation, also detter predators, great protection of home and family

Con with CO longer coat is most common and when they shed their undercoat its a ton of hair, some people dont want a dog with such a high defense drive, not the most biddable . . . with Kangal sometimes male on male dominance, need for secure fence and large space, move more than CO
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:53 AM
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There are many Anatolian Shepherds that guard their flock and others that are family pets. Some of the best guardians are also show dogs when they aren't with their flock. Yes, it's good to socialize them. They love their family but do have "a mind of their own" which may be difficult for the first time owner.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:24 AM
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The maremmas I've been around weren't exactly biddable and they were certainly predator aggressive - but not dog aggressive. Their particular strategy was more of a body block and threat.

Keep in mind that LSG dogs are designed to work independently of humans to face predators on large tracts of property. Each LSG breed from my understanding is designed towards a certain level of independence and to deal with predators and stock thieves with variable points of aggression. So if you're considering one for a pet please be very aware of what you're buying into along with the unique traits of each of the LSG breeds- a couple walks a day and a small backyard isn't going to cut it with some of these dogs. Poor Sasha (maremma) looked like a caged lion in a 1 acre fenced area, she didn't really mellow out until she got her 20 acre lot to roam.

http://www.denstarfarm.us/Denstar%20...Selection.html

This guy has some pretty fun reading about living with LSG dogs.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:09 AM
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If we would own one it would not be as a pet. We want to eventually get property with goats, possibly a few cattle, and poultry and I keep reading about people using them as predator control buy realized I don't know a thing about them. I do know people who have Great Pyrenees but they keep them as pets.
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Pickles & Kiwi--3 yr old white winged parakeets
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Solo--12 yr old Senegal parrot
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:10 PM
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the central asian breeds are more generalized guardians. that is they guard the stock, the people & their camps. they're supposed to range less on pursuits because their nomad owners would be more likely to just leave them.
the CAS & CAO are BS breeds because they try to combine ALL the different breeds from Kazakhstan in the north to Pakistan & Iran in the south into one/two breeds. Obviously the Anatolian Sheperd debacle slipped everyone's mind.
anyway off the top of my head some breeds popular in the USA are: Anatolian sheperd, kangal, akhbash, spanish mastiff, great pyrennese, maremma (sp) & mixes of these.
rare but being used are CAS, CAO, CO, kuvasz, possibly sarplaniac, pyrenean mastiff. filas are doing a fair job for the small homesteader w/ only a few head of stock.
range cattle (most cattle for that matter) aren't dog friendly. you'd have to start from scratch & raise them together to get them to accept the LGDs
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:37 PM
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Filas are going to be more oriented toward protecting their people and want to be closer to the family so they really aren't a good "stay out with the stock" dog. They have different priorities than the typical LGDs.

I know people who use Pyrs with goats and have great success.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post
If we would own one it would not be as a pet. We want to eventually get property with goats, possibly a few cattle, and poultry and I keep reading about people using them as predator control buy realized I don't know a thing about them. I do know people who have Great Pyrenees but they keep them as pets.
I think which breed you would want to go with depends on what kind of predators you have around. Great Pyrs are really common here - I don't think I've ever seen any other type of LGD around. And because I'm assuming they are so common, I haven't met many I like.

I do know that there is a Spanish Mastiff breeder in WI whose dogs are with her goats. I drool over her dogs and I want one so bad. Alas, renting with a LGD may not be the best idea, not to mention the boyfriend is allergic to dog drool and isn't fond of huge dogs. Bah. So I'll have to put my Spanish Mastiff want on hold until we have a house with property.

If you want more info on Spanish Mastiffs, here is a link you can check out: http://www.fallcreekfarm.net/temperament.htm (<- This is also the breeder in WI whom I drool over. ^^) If you like the sound of the temperament, but would prefer a long-haired dog, Pyrenean Mastiffs are very similar.

When I was looking at the various LGD breeds, these were my favorite. But, I was also looking at them from a pet perspective and not a strictly working perspective. But, what I liked about them is that they are serious enough to do their job, but friendly enough that being on a small, family hobby farm is perfect for them. They'll keep the stock safe, and still be a good family pet. And they are reputed to be AMAZING with children.

If the only predator you'll be worrying about are coyotes and feral/stray dogs, then I think any "generic" LGD will do. But, if you are worried about large predators (bears, wolves, mountain lions, etc.) then you'll need a more serious dog that can handle those predators (the more "intense" LGD breeds).

If I'm allowed to post it (I think I am...), this is another breeder I'd look in to. They have a wide variety of breeds and cross breeds (including Spanish Mastiffs, which is why I discovered them in the first place) that are bred to work and do their job. I don't know anything about them other than what is on their site, but I like what I've seen: http://www.lgdnevada.com/Home_Page.php
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:55 PM
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Another thing to take into account, too, is your climate. An LGD bred for colder conditions is going to be miserable if you have hot summers.
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