What breed of dog is the best "guardian dog" for livestock?

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

What breed of dog is the best "guardian dog" for livestock like alpacas, sheep, cows, etc.?

Thanks,
:) Glenda

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Glenda i am looking into that too. We are favoring the Great Pyranesse.
here is a link if it helps
http://www.milkandhoneyfarm.com/index.htm

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

What a beautiful dog! I loved their website too. If you end up getting one, make sure you post a picture of him/her!! :)

You've probably already checked this out, but here is a link to AKC's page about the Great Pyranesse http://www.akc.org/breeds/great_pyrenees/index.cfm
where it describes their temperament as:

Temperament
Character and temperament are of utmost importance. In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle, and affectionate. While territorial and protective of his flock or family when necessary, his general demeanor is one of quiet composure, both patient and tolerant. He is strong willed, independent and somewhat reserved, yet attentive, fearless and loyal to his charges both human and animal.

Sounds perfect to me!! :)

Glenda

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

I have not seen that siite. I will look into it.
Yes there personality is what really drew us to them. My son was bit by our GSD. So we are looking for a more family friendlly dog.
THese GR Pyr sound wonderful. :)
thanks for the link Glenda
sue

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

I like the Anatolian Shepherd myself. I work for ASD rescue www.nasrn.com Their coats are carefree, not nearly as heavy as the Pyr coat. You can also get good info on livestock guardians here www.lgd.org

Lana

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Lana is there temperment ?
what i like about the Gr Pyr is the mellow dispostion and mellow attitude and very family friendly.
thanks for the link i bookmarked it
sue

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

Some are some aren't. All Pyrs aren't mellow either. They all have that independent attitude. My ASD is a mellow boy and adores children. If you get an adult dog from rescue they can tell you exactly what that dog is like.

Lana

(Zone 6a)

Hi Lana,
I work with NASRN too and have 2 ASDs that I got through them. They are wonderful dogs and very family friendly. Our male is more aloof and our female is friendlier, I've heard their personalities described as similar to a cats.
If you are thinking of getting one,remember they have been bred to be alone with livestock and are very independent thinkers. If you tell them to do something, they'll think it over and do it if they agree, if not you will have a struggle on your hands. They definitely aren't for everyone. Definitely not a lab personality!
While my dogs are very family friendly and friendly with people they have been properly introduced to, they are NOT friendly with strangers. This is part of their guardian nature. If I'm walking my male and a stranger walks up to us, my dog will step in front of me and tell the stranger in no uncertain terms not to approach. If you are considering a ASD, think of what people are coming in and out of your house or farmland.
My dogs have never been livestock guardians, however my first ASD would guard my tortoises. I'd let the tortoises out in my back yard, and if they wandered near the fence, the neighbor's beagle would bark and try to get at them. My ASD would bound over, and put himself between the tortoise and the beagle. It was funny watching him "guard" a tortoise!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Lake that is too funny. how cute. :)
we do have people comming in and out. My Inlaws are very nervous around dogs. I would have to say ASD would not be for us. they look like great dogs. :) my kids are a bit scared of large dogs too. We would like to get a puppy . So the kids can get to know the dog and not so overwhelmed by a large dog. I try and take them to pet stores , dog parks and the animal shelters to get them used to the dogs. Son was bit by our GSD and DD saw it and so they are a bit gun shy with the larger dogs.
I was thinking also of getting a small house dog first like a Corgi, my parents have one and when they visit DD loves her to death. Just the right size too. :)
Im learning alot GLenda thanks for starting this thread :)
sue

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

You're very welcome, Sue! The folks here on DG are the best in helping us find info on anything under the sun! ...I'm learning a lot too! ;)

Thanks for the info and links, Lana!

Glenda

londonderry, Australia

how about a blue cattle

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

How are Gr Pyr with cattle? We have about 15 cows and babies - but the land they graze is 1/2 mile up the road. Would the pup stay there? Would it be better to get an adult? I want one to guard cattle especially while the moms are giving birth - between coyotes, buzzards, and other dogs that roam, the calves and moms are often at risk. I also thought about getting a donkey. Any thoughts are helpful.

Thank you Glenda for starting this thread. I have been thinking about this for sometime.

Melissa

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

Pups can't guard and the only way they should be left with livestock is with an older experienced LGD to train it. Even then, unless the older dog is really good at training, you shouldn't leave a pup with the herd.

As to whether they would stay with the herd that depends on the dog and the fencing. LGD's need tight fence or they tend to "widen" their territory to whatever they think is appropriate, which can be miles of land :) They do have a mind of their own remember.

Lana

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Mules or Burros are excellent Guard *dogs* for Cattle or Llamas etc...and because of their size are preferred...

I raised Great Pyrs in the 70's and my male topped out at 208 pounds...They are wonderful family dogs and very aware of their size so tend to make themselves invisible inside a home, but they are quite fearsome to anything that threatens thier property...They herded my sheep, and geese and my horses, and would bring them all to barns when I called for them...They even took on wild dog packs, and sent them on their way...
Right here in my driving range for work, I have seen Pyrs with both sheep and goats, Burros and mules with both Dairy and beef cattle, and the farmer that I am getting my farm from has 60 acres down the road a few miles full of Boer goats that is tended strictly by a magnificent Anatolian...His 3rd one, and has never lost a goat to a predator..He says he even attacks and kills snakes in the barns...

I would highly recommend a Pyr for you Sue...and immediate training...Also if you get a pup, he will cost you a fortune in food his first 18 months, as they need a very special diet because of their bone growth rate, but I will give you my recipes if you need them...

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Reading Dusty's post, the last paragraph was the one that struck me most. We raise Border Collies, and the thing I find most often a barrier between a working dog and its people is that the PEOPLE haven't had any training in how to work with their dog. Consider training for both you and the dog, whichever breed you choose.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Absolutely Kathleen...Without it you are doomed to failure even with a Chihuahua!!! LOL

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

lol, oh that brings some bad memories of a Chihuahua that my FIL had - nasty little dog and the owner had his moments, too.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Thanks Dusty
sounds great
LOL yes i can imagine how much they eat
We gave our GSD a Raw diet i think that dog ate better than we did lol.
hope you don't mind but i might pick your brain on this . :)
Im looking forward to getting a dog again.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Pick away love... I'll soon be close enough to you to help out...

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

clapping hands with gleee yeah
:)
They do look like great dogs.
I use to be a groomer and vowed to never have a long coated dog ever again. !!! lolol but DH loves and i mean loves !! dogs with big coats !! so i think this will work out well. i found a place i can do a groom and bath in Springfleild a "do it yourself type place." and they were smart enought to have a ramp for big dogs lol you wouldn't believe other places dont have ramps ? yikes.
hugs
sue

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Good.. You can groom my 3 Poos while yer at it...LOL

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Ok but my grooming days were back in 1995 LOL love them pin brushes

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Thats no excuse madam... Mine were back in 1965 ROFLLLLLL

Lewiston, MN

We got a female Great Pyraneese pup last summer.
The "cons" of our girl (and common to the breed)--
She does a lot of barking at night. It's great that she's a good guard dog, but we don't always need to know if she hears coyotes in the distance, if there are bats out insect hawking, if someone drives by down on the main road, and so on.

She is quite independent, as has been mentioned-- not a lab personality. She's happy to please her people, but it's not the #1 priority in her life. She's pretty good, but it has taken a firm hand and a LOT of patience. You can't ever not follow through or you'll make a lot more work for yourself; think of a kid in his or her "terrible twos". Ginger has tested, "Do I have to?" over and over and over. As she matures and as she's met with consistancy, she's getting much more cooperative. (I actually think helping train her will prove helpful to my kids if & when they ever have kids of their own.)

She has a very heavy coat, and even here in MN she got pretty warm last summer.

Pros--
She's been a great help herding cattle. She's been surprisingly (amazingly, even) cooperative about being called off when she's chased them where we want them. I think she's just a tiny bit wary of them, and only willing to take them on if she thinks my husband is or I am backing her up.

She's very protective of her yard. We're not seeing many 'coons, 'possums, woodchucks and so on this spring! (On the minus side, she also caught at least 2 woodpeckers and a bat---quicker than she looks I guess -- but I'm hoping she'll leave flying things alone when she leaves puppy-hood behind.)

She's great with the kids, very easy-going. She'll bark at strangers, but she'll settle down immediately if she sees we're around. She's never been aggresive toward anyone, but if there ever was a prowler, I think she'd be a darned good intimidator!

She does a lot of self-grooming. While her long coat attracts burrs like a magnet, she pulls out a lot of them herself, right away. She takes a little grooming, but not nearly the amount I was afraid she'd take. A 20 min brushing once or twice a week keeps her matt-free. Her coat just seems not to be prone to tangling, matting or holding burrs tight.

I guess those are the main points. I agree with DustyDS; it sounds like a Great Pyraneese would be an excellent dog for you if you don't mind putting in the time training.

Lewiston, MN

One other point-- while they do need special bone-building food during puppyhood (and puppyhood is longer than with other breeds) they're not heavy feeders for their size. Ginger, at around 100 pounds doesn't eat much more than her old "sister" less than half her size (weimaraner/blue heeler cross).


Ugh-- why do I never notice my misspellings/mistypings before I hit "send"?

This message was edited May 31, 2008 9:26 AM

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

Sue, you could skip the terrible two's by adopting one from rescue. Most of these dogs are in foster homes so they can tell you what they're like, how they are with kids, other animals, etc. You'd be surprised at how easily your family and the dog adapt to one another, you won't miss puppyhood or the terrible teenage years at all! LOL
I can put you in touch with a Pyr rescue woman who started out rescuing ASD's. She still cross rescue's with us.

oojen, their barking is their first line of defense. That's why all the guardian breeds bark so much at night. If they keep predators away with their deep bark they don't have to fight and their livestock is safer :) My Anatolians coat is like that with burrs, etc. Have never brushed him in 5 years but he's never had a matt. In spring, like right now, whenever I'm out there I pull shedding hair from him in gobs. This is all the grooming he ever gets.

Lana

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

LOL Dusty .I know i can't find my clippers lol Dusty how many did you have Pryns ? and how many poodles do you have now ?
I do have a dog food i do like very high quality . The ingrediants are more like a meat loaf lol :) but with no corn.
Ooojen your Ginger sounds wonderful. :) thanks for the pros and cons. always good to know the cons too
lana wow i didn't know they shed so much :) i m sure the birds appreciate it.
Great to know all this stuff
I wish i had only asked this stuff when we got our GSD. Everyone we talked to gave us all the pros but no cons , I thought i did my research but .... you just never kow how dogs and kids will mix. Our GSD turned two and decided no one should get near me. He is with the police drug inforcement in Virngina somewhere we found him a good home
Lana i would love to do an older dog but DH really ahs his heart set on a pup. I still have the link from prevoius mentioed and will look into her pups . Also will look around OH too. :)

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

I had a GSD who was very protective of me. Got him from the shelter and in less than 24 hours he would attack if he felt I was threatened. He was maybe a year old when I got him.

In ASD's we don't call it shedding, it's "blowing" their coat because you've never seen such hair ;) Yes, there's more than even the birds can use...much more!

I feed Innova EVO Red Meat. The dogs and I love it though for different reasons. I like the ingredients the dogs like the smell. It's the only thing my poodles with their tiny stomachs, can eat enough of to keep weight on them. It's not cheap but well worth it for me. Plus, I don't worry as much about recalls like happened last year.

Lana

Lana

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

i like the Innova too and the Solid Gold is good to

(Tia) Norman, OK(Zone 7a)

I have had GP's for 3 years now. They are wonderfull herd dogs. When we had livestock (we are down to 2 ponies now, just got to much for us) My male GP was everywhere the livestock was. I have a female also and she just had puppies and we still have 3 left, hopefully we will get them to new homes this week.

My daughter and I were out trying like heck to "rustle" up the chickens last year, we were chasing these boogers all over. Finally the male GP came up and gave us "city girls" a look like do you want me to help you idiots. He got them in no problem, it was like the chickens got in a row and just went into the coop.

One thing about them, they are determined, if they set their mind to something a brick wall will not stop them. I am alone alot due to DH's work out of state and I feel very secure to know I have that dog outside.
L2G

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

L2G, that is funny about the chickens. When my dad was a kid growing up in northern New Jersey in the '30s, he had a collie. One of their neighbors had chickens and every evening, Lassie went out and rounded them up and herded them into the coop. The neighbor said she didn't know what she'd do when Lassie was gone.

(Tia) Norman, OK(Zone 7a)

It was funny, my daughter and I fought for well over 30 minutes with them chickens and that dern dog just looking at us. Then finally he stepped in like get out of my way, I WILL DO IT. We still have him and he is a dream. Determined to get into my fenced yard where all my flower beds are. My place looks like fort knox with all the extra wires and such on top so he cant climb the fence. YES he can climb a fence. Its field wire and gives him just the right "spring" to climb up on and spring on over.
L2G

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

What a great story luvs.
Go figure what our pets teach us LOL i would love to have seen that expression on his face :)
I m alone alot to. My Dh is in china and next will be in Mexico. Its just me and the kids. Having a dog around would be nice.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Sue and I both need a puppy L2G!!!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

LOL :)

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/862951/ This is my 6 mons old GP girl ..name Babebera means Baby Bear..still in training..haha

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

holy cow that is 6 months !!! I think i need a bigger dog house ? lolol :)
very beautiful pup. love the name too.

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

Hee hee, Sue! :)

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

We are trying to decide between a Great Pyr, German Shepherd or Australian Shepherd - I am partial to the GP's. We need to get a puppy, and eventually we will have our own livestock (goats, chickens, cow) in addition to the horse and pig that we inherited. I just don't know enough yet to know whether to get the pup now, before the livestock, or wait until after.

J also wants the LGD to guard me while he's gone, since we don't know when he can make it up here full-time. While my little Jack Russell THINKS he's the size of an LGD, we would like a larger dog as well.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

We had a GSD . We didn't have good luck iwth him. But everyone is different. Once they hit two they seem to decide if they like kids or not and ours just didn't want anything to do with them. He is in another home. But that is us. I wish we new then what i know now !
I m really leaning on the GP's with kids i think it would be much better .
Hineni did you check out some of the links given abouve . I learned alot from them.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images
    BACK TO TOP