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Livestock Guardian Dogs?

This is a discussion on Livestock Guardian Dogs? within the Farm Forum forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Drags on livestock guardian dogs
  • Rhodesian ridgeback livestock guardians

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    12-05-2012, 08:28 PM
  #21
Weanling
Rhodesian Ridgebacks would not make good LG dogs in my opinion. We once had one and when we moved to a cattle ranch, we slowly introduced him to cows and he did great, but we had a hand on his collar the whole time. The first time we let him out with a cow, he attacked it and and would not stop no matter what we did. Finally, my dad got close enough to grab him and drag him off. He also attacked and ate our chickens when ever he had the chance. He was a really dumb dog, and we finally had to get rid of him.
     
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    12-05-2012, 08:32 PM
  #22
Weanling
Now we have two Pyranees, and we totally love them! One time our older one attacked and killed a coyote that was about to attack one of our goats, and he always starts barking and freaking out when a strange dog or person comes around. He even lets us know when the cows get out! Both of them are very sensitive to punishment and easy to train.
     
    12-05-2012, 08:41 PM
  #23
Showing
IMHO, if you're looking for something that can guard against larger predators like cougars, then I would be more inclined to look for a mule or a donkey...maybe even a llama or alpaca. Those are common around here as livestock guardians. Then, you could get whatever dog breed you wanted for trail riding. I only have personal experience with herding dogs like Border Collies, Heelers, and Kelpies and they make excellent trail companions because they are high energy, easily trained, and loyal. However, pretty much any breed that is in reasonably good shape can make a good trail companion for leisurely trail rides.
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    12-05-2012, 09:16 PM
  #24
Showing
A local hay farmer breeds GPs and swears up and down they're the greatest livestock guard dogs out there. A GP would be my first pick for livestock. We have coyotes, fox, and coons out here, for what it's worth.
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    12-10-2012, 09:51 PM
  #25
Foal
GPs are not a fighting dog, so unless those cougars scare easily, your horses and dog will be in danger. Akbash and other such breeds were bred for actually standing up to dangerous predators and not just barking at them.
Any LGD can jump a 5ft fence, hot wire won't stop them, think sheep. That fur will insulate them and if they are chasing off a predator, even a dog that never escaped for fun, may jump out after it.
My GP and all the ones I know are very people friendly, not what I wanted. But I was hoping her Maremma side would make her a bit more wary of them...nope.

Also, you didn't mention if your horses are dog aggressive or not. My pony likes to harass other animals, my mare only likes dogs that are calm and give her space.
     
    12-11-2012, 02:01 PM
  #26
Weanling
Like I said, secuono, both of my GPs would attack pretty much anything if it was going after there goats. The older one has killed a big coyote that was trying to get two of our goats and was trying to get at a cougar once.
     
    12-11-2012, 02:49 PM
  #27
Trained
I have a colleague that has a Great Pyrenees, and he is an excellent guard dog. He would fight anything that messed with his goat flock. I once knew a GP who was (ironically) named Killer. He was lazy and would not get up to walk across the field if a stray dog came in and stared chasing his goats.
     
    01-07-2013, 01:05 PM
  #28
Foal
Another thought - Get some Guinea hens. They're like feathered guard dogs.
     
    01-10-2013, 11:13 PM
  #29
Yearling
My family has had 5 GP. Four of them were great! The one turned on my brother, but we should have known better than to get him in the first place because his dad was nasty as well. Lesson learned.
Our female, Ruthy, that was still have (9 years old) would go with us kids anytime we took a horse out of the pasture. We rode 10, 12, 14 miles. One time we rode 24 miles (mostly at a high speed trot, canter, of gallop... our horses were in shape, and we gave them a half hour rest with water at the 12 mile point), that time the dog came along but she only made it 12 miles and then we went and got her with the truck later (she was in a friend's yard). I should mention that Ruthy got clipped by a car (they are stupid about chasing cars) when she was 3 and broke her pelvis. She just last year stopped going on rides with me, but still goes for 4 mile walks with mom (who walks quite fast). So what I am trying to say, don't discount the GPs for going on rides. The four of ours were/are wonderful with the kids (youngest now 3 1/2), and protective, but not overly so. We only saw Ruthy act aggressive once, and she never growled just jumped in between the person and Sara (2 at the time).
As someone else mentioned, they aren't the best for obeying voice commands (though, we never did train ours, except, no jumping and no chasing chickens). I wouldn't recommend many of the other big guard breeds that are common for sheep guarding, the ones I have met and what I have heard is that they aren't all that good with people.
That's my 5 cents. One is a bad penny, but the rest were jewels. (so far we lost two to cars, one to trappers (we assume, either that, he was stolen, or the wolves got him), one to 'lead poisoning' and still have the old girl.
If you are planning to get one, look for for one with a broader head, those we found were less skittish. And make sure they were handled from birth.
     
    01-11-2013, 02:20 PM
  #30
Yearling
An LGD is just that. They need to be raised and kept in the same perimeter fencing as their herds. GP are great and yes, they will attack if in need. They don't just stand around and watch something attack their herd. LGD are not ment to be buddy buddy with people. They are ment to protect livestock. They can get spoiled very easily and will steer away from their job at hand. Most everyone I know uses GP but they are kept out to pasture with the herds and are never aloud to leave their herd.
     

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