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secuono
May. 22, 2012, 09:19 PM
Hey there, I am getting a female Maremma crossed with a Great Pyrenees around the week of June 5th.
I'm wondering if my particularly odd situation will be possible with her.
We are on 5 fenced acres, mainly 4ft field fencing. We have 2 horses & breeding trio of mini sheep out on 4 acres. Three pet dogs & 2 cats that live inside, but have a yard to go out 24/7, cats never leave the yard. Also have a 100ft square yard that we keep ducks, chickens and rabbits in. These last animals are the ones that need protection.
I've added 6 strands of electric wire to this yard and two Niteguard lights. Foxes and raccoons still come around and kill our critters.
I'd love for the girl to live peacefully out with the horses & sheep during the day, so she can have that space to wander. But then I need her to be in the critter yard every night to keep predators from killing all my babies.
So, I just don't know if she will be able to make friends with the big animals, my pets and then bond to protect the small critters.
We need a dog for their protection, since we moved in last April, we have lost well over 100 animals. I have a trap set, snares and sit out to shoot em, but so far, only one coon dead.
Sheep are not used to a dog being pleasant to them, but if she doesn't get too close, no problem. Mare is fine with dogs, again, as long as dog doesn't go after her. Pony gelding is a little....special. He's a lot like a puppy and will chase down a dog, just like he does the sheep. Sheep have an area just for them to get away from him. He doesn't really hurt the dogs, but I worry the LGD will take it the wrong way, even though what she is guarding is not out there and it would only be during the day.
Lastly, where do I need to put a strand of hot wire to keep the LGD on the property? Along the top on 4in spacers pointing inward?
Thanks!


Oh, and I've had dogs my whole life, definitely not afraid to pin any dog down and demand respect.

cowboymom
May. 22, 2012, 09:37 PM
I think you'll be fine-how old is this dog you're getting? It will make a difference on how things go at first...

I have a 2 year old male GP and the ranch I lived on in the past had one, just so you know I have first hand experience.

One thing I noticed with my dog is that he never has bonded with the chickens, for example, but he takes major offense that any other animal would be in his territory. He hasn't bonded with the hay stack nor the garden but he won't let the deer in that area either. So yours will learn what you want to be protected and not have to have a love affair with the individual critters.

She's going to work all night and sleep all day so that should work well with what you're thinking-give her a safe place to work it out with the pony, she will probably learn to sleep where the sheep do, they are conducive to sleeping the afternoon away. :)

Your fence sounds good-hot wire on the top and if she blows under it put an offset wire near the bottom. My GP despises electric and won't come near it, a single strand a foot high holds him. You should be ok but feed out the independence slowly, don't just turn her loose. walk that fenceline and try to keep her in it always. They will eventually get that pattern burned into their minds but they like the repeated lesson.

Also-don't ever roll her or think about establishing dominance or any of that. If you want her to be confident and think for herself all night while she's fighting and outwitting fox and coons and whatever else you do not want to be treating her like an obedience dog during the day. Give her as much free rein to be herself that you possibly can. They aren't mature until they're upwards of two years old, if you squash them young they won't be confident to do battle for you. I taught mine to sit for a treat and that if he comes when I call him I will give him a treat-but I didn't insist he come when I call him. Now at two he will sometimes stop barking when I call him-he always comes when I call him to me. If you really want this dog to guard you HAVE to respect her and give her the space to do it.

That Maremma is a weird personality-we've had one in the past and they tend to, IME, be a lot more singular about people. The one we had loved her people fiercely and would protect them that way, no exceptions. IME, a GP tends to be a better judge of character and more intuitive about what their people want. I think a Maremma is a little more primitive, if you will. A GP is more in tune to people. The problem you may run into is that your dog is too "guardy" about people. Prevent bad situations, guide her, but if you want her to do her job do not punish her for guarding. I've met guard dogs that were doing pet therapy, ect and they were corrected for unwarranted guard behavior but again, IME, if you want them to kill another creature on your behalf be very aware of how you treat her. I've treated my GP like a partner from the start and he's happily given me respect and tried to do what I ask of him. I have no doubt if I had disciplined him any harder he would not rear up and run down the neighbor's chicken killing dogs like he does. He doesn't need to look back to me for permission, he knows I'm backing him up. Just be really aware of that-it's a fine line....

They're an amazing dog but they are not your typical dog, especially when used in their intended role. It's a LOT of dog, in every way. I love them-you'll love yours too.

You do know she will bark all. night. long, right? it's not a bad bark, I can sleep right through it and I'm a terrible sleeper-but it is a constant. They guard by discouraging, they bark and warn and only go to battle if something dares to cross the line.

secuono
May. 23, 2012, 07:34 AM
That's the other thing, I hate pointless barking. When my dogs bark at a leaf or the sheep or other invisible thing, I totally hate their guts. But if there's something there, a different bark, concentrated on something that's off, that's fine. Because they eventually shut up.
I have a huge problem with sleeping, I can't sleep for hours and had to be on pills for almost a year. I recently learned how to fall asleep on my own in under an hour, whereas it used to be 3-4hrs before I'd actually get to sleep.
Are you sure they all bark just because? Do none bark when they hear/see something instead?
I have no idea on her age, I'd say 8-12wks as the pictures of them are all very cute and young. He has new pics every week as they grow up. I forget when they were born.
Our Doberman is also a 'one person' type, he knows his family and everyone else is the Devil in his eyes. It's only me and my fiance here, so if we ever need the farrier out or hay guy, I can tie/pen her up if she just flat out refuses to settle.

GoForAGallop
May. 23, 2012, 08:09 AM
Oh, and I've had dogs my whole life, definitely not afraid to pin any dog down and demand respect.



I have a huge problem with sleeping, I can't sleep for hours and had to be on pills for almost a year. I recently learned how to fall asleep on my own in under an hour, whereas it used to be 3-4hrs before I'd actually get to sleep.
Are you sure they all bark just because? Do none bark when they hear/see something instead?


It doesn't sound like a LGD is the dog for you. Sorry.

They need to be trained in a pretty unique way, so I would be calling around looking for local experts, or at least find a trainer who is willing to speak to you intensively over the phone.

And no, they're not barking at nothing. Like the other poster already explained, they do their guarding mostly by alerting the neighborhood that there is a BIG, scary dog on the property. So it's not barking at nothing. But it is a lot of barking.

shakeytails
May. 23, 2012, 10:37 AM
I think they ALL bark all night long. I don't even hear my Pyr at night anymore, except when her bark changes to warn of an actual intruder. She's very independent and thinks for herself. She has never been on a leash since I owned her (I got her at about 6 mo for free- people realized she was no house pet!) refuses to be penned up, and has no formal training of any kind. The only time she comes when she's called is if she wants to. I feel absolutely no need to establish dominance over this dog. I think the only time I ever scold her is when she chases the ducks out of the barn (she learned that from one of my corgis), but she does it in a half-hearted manner and I'm 100% sure she'd never hurt the birds.

When she was younger, our former neighbors also bought a Pyr. Together the 2 girls would patrol both properties- about 80 acres total. It was wild to see how quickly they could cover ground and jump fences in pursuit of a coyote! Since the neighbors moved away and my dog has gotten a little older, she pretty much lounges around the barn all day, and patrols (and barks) close to the buildings at night.

I think the Pyrenees is an awesome dog, but not right for everybody. As much as I love mine, I'm not sure I'll get another LGD when the time comes.

cowboymom
May. 23, 2012, 10:44 AM
OP I don't think you want a GP-you might look into another sort of dog that will serve the same purpose. Maybe a heeler or BMC-you'll be getting out of the bark warning system and back to the barking AT something.

GP's do bark a lot, all night long. More if they actually see or hear something. It's not barking at nothing, it's the warning system.

I think you'll be frustrated with a GP-look into other breeds, any good farm dog will do what you're after and it won't take long for the varmits to realize there is a dog there and reduce their presence.

SimpleSimon
May. 23, 2012, 12:45 PM
Are you sure they all bark just because? Do none bark when they hear/see something instead?


My first thoguht when I saw you were only on 5 acres was for your poor neighbors.

I live next door (5 acre parcels) to a GP mix. He barks all the time. From the second he steps outside ...

secuono
May. 23, 2012, 01:39 PM
The issue is there are no other working dogs in my are for a price I can pay. Heck, no working dogs other than this breeder with this mix. And others are all in central USA and I am not having my pup shipped.
I can't believe that they bark literally nonstop. I can see some barking, then silence and then more in a pattern, not just like a broken record.

SGray
May. 23, 2012, 01:46 PM
many lgd's have a highly developed sense of 'justice' and 'retribution' - if pony hurts dog, dog will retaliate in kind - not overdo it but as in, you slap me, I'll slap you back, only a little harder

SGray
May. 23, 2012, 01:48 PM
re barking at nothing -- to you it can be 'nothing', to the lgd it is the coyote they hear (that you and your neighbors cannot hear) a mile away - the bark means 'I hear you over there, don't come any closer or there will be consequences'

shakeytails
May. 23, 2012, 01:52 PM
I can't believe that they bark literally nonstop. I can see some barking, then silence and then more in a pattern, not just like a broken record.

It's more like a broken record than not, seriously.

wendy
May. 23, 2012, 03:59 PM
you have a pup lined up and don't know anything about the breed(s) involved? are the bloodlines any good? some of the "show lines" GP don't have any of the guarding instincts intact.


Oh, and I've had dogs my whole life, definitely not afraid to pin any dog down and demand respect.

you should never do this to any dog, ever- it doesn't do anything except convince the dog you're an insane idiot. The "pinning dogs down" was totally discredited as a really bad idea decades ago- I guess you didn't get the memo?try looking it up. Has really bad effects on the dog's behavior such as causing aggression. Anyone who continues to think "alpha rolls" are a good idea knows nothing about dogs, and you are considering getting a very special breed and abusing it in this way? I foresee disaster.

yes, they bark. Yes, they roam.

If you have a fairly small "critter pen" that keeps getting raided, surely the best solution is to just build a better fence?

Bluey
May. 23, 2012, 04:36 PM
There is a reason farmers put their small critters in for the night, in coops, stables, etc.
That is a proven way to keep them safe from varmints.

Doing that would be one more option.:yes:

Gloria
May. 23, 2012, 05:37 PM
Is 5 acres not too small for a LGD? I have 15 acres, and I think it's a bit too small for my Maremma. He hates leashes and small fenced in areas.
My understanding is that GP roams even more.

As to bonding with large animals, mine has no problem bonding them - well, actually not sure it is bonding or not, but he certain sees them as his charges to protect. One evening when I was riding in the arena with my Maremma louging by the fence dozing off, a neighbor shot a series of shotgun into the tree tops. The moment that happened, he jumped up and bolted into every single pasture to check on everybody, including the evil filly who chased him while back. He then came back, flopped down, and dozed off once he was sure all were fine.

My spoiled rotten cat who does nothing but hiss and swipe at him, he also protect.

By the way, I never try to assert dominance over him - it just never seems necessary. If I may say, he shows submission to me. I don't try that rolling thing either: he does that often enough on his own accord...

Simkie
May. 23, 2012, 06:07 PM
I can't believe that they bark literally nonstop. I can see some barking, then silence and then more in a pattern, not just like a broken record.

Um, you have people here WITH THESE DOGS that are telling you they bark all the time.

What more do you want, here? :rolleyes: Do you think they're lying to you? I agree that it sounds like this is definitely not the dog for you. They were bred for a very specific purpose and if that purpose (and method) doesn't mesh with your life, the dog will be miserable, you will be miserable and your neighbors will be miserable.

PhoenixFarm
May. 23, 2012, 06:41 PM
I have a dog of this exact cross--he's 6 years old and I got him at about 6 mos of age.

He is a wonderful dog, and I'm terrified of having to replace him at some point. He keeps my small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats from becoming coyote/hog/bobcat/puma chow. I chose him pretty carefully, from a breeder that produces dogs that excel at protection AND can also be decent family pets (IOW, I wasn't looking for theft protection, I wanted a dog that was people friendly, but I wanted any predators to not get much mercy).

That being said, he is not a pet, and doesn't want to be one. He lives with his herd, and is unhappy without them. I worked very hard to put a few basics on him--he walks on a leash, will take a bath and get groomed and clipped a few times a year, and he knows his name. Other than that, he is not pet-like.

So from someone with this EXACT cross of dog, let me tell you: YES, THEY BARK ALL NIGHT, AND OFTEN DURING LONG STRETCHES OF THE DAY. THAT IS THEIR JOB. While they can "fight off" an attacking predator, the goal of their protection style is to convince the predators not to show up in the first place. They do that by patrolling and aggressively announcing their presence.

Now, I live on 65 acres, and the dog and goats are not right next to my house. My nearest neighbors are at least half a mile away. I don't hear Zeus unless I'm listening for him, and my neighbors haven't said boo, BUT I'm not sure those two things would be true if he was sitting outside my window at night, or sitting under a neighbor's window.

And yes, dominance work is definitely contra-indicated with these dogs. You don't want them "obedient" or "submissive" you want them working. Very different things, and they aren't hard-wired to operate that way.

It doesn't sound like this is a good fit for your situation. Sorry.

BeeHoney
May. 23, 2012, 06:51 PM
Yes, they do bark all night long, but it since it is so constant I tune it out. House guests always complain about it. The tone of the bark gets more intense if something is actually going on (in the dog's opinion). I think LGDs work because I don't think any predator can stand the excruciating noise and they take their bleeding eardrums to more peaceful territory.

Your fence does not sound adequate, you would definitely need to add some hot-wires to it. Any respectable LGD can squeeze under a fence or clear 4ft with ease, so you probably need a wire at the top and the bottom. LGDs like to expand their territory, they don't understand that the land on the other side of the fence really belongs to your neighbor.

The up side is that they are incredible farm guardians. Here's how it works: there will be a big, low key dog lounging around all day and barking all night, and there will be a few large, crater-like holes in your yard, but your predator losses will mysteriously stop. You almost certainly would not need to put the dog in the "critter yard" at night.

Keep in mind that setting up an LGD takes a little time. They have to get settled in and learn their home base and learn who belongs on the property. They don't just run around killing coons and possums the way a hunting dog would.

ETA, I agree with using minimal dominance with these dogs. Treat them fair and square and maintain yourself as the boss, but without any theatrics.

ldaziens
May. 23, 2012, 07:17 PM
I have a 10 acre farm, and I have 2 LGD sisters 2 yo that I have had since puppies.

You need to stop and immediately go join the Working LGD Yahoo Group and post this same query and be sure to mention your dislike of barking and sleeping problems.

IMO, this idea is a disaster. I am probably going to come across as rude & harsh, but this is a serious decision which is life or death for that puppy and for your livestock.

#1 LGDs cannot be counted on to "guard up" until age 2. Putting a puppy out where you have a known predator problem is simply putting out more prey for the predators.

#2 If you have a predator problem, you need at least 2 adult LGD who are proven with poultry.

#3 LGD require excellent fencing to keep them in -- their instinct is to expand their territory and perimeter. These are giant dogs and having them loose is a huge legal liability - not to mention the risk to the dog of being shot or hit by a car. I suspect, based on your predator losses, that you do not have adequate fencing. Adequate fencing is going to keep out most predators except big cats and birds of prey. An LGD is not a substitute for adequate fencing in the situation you described. They are used out West on BLM lands with grazing flocks, but that is a whole nother can of worms.

#4 Barking -- some LGD breeds are thought to bark more than others and individuals within a breed may vary in the amount of barking that they do. My 2 girls are not big barkers; unless there is a predator. Barking is how LGDs work. They bark to say "I see you". They bark to say say, "this is my area - stay away". My girls rarely barked at our old place, but we have a terrible coyote pack at our new place; and the coyotes will circle the perimeter barking right back at the dogs. So, during lambing, there was serious barking for most of the night - the girls were doing their job. There is no way an LGD can do its job w/o barking; and you've already trained your local predators that you provide great meals. For most people, the main concern is the impact of the dogs on neighbors. Sometimes working LGDs are protected under local right to farm laws, but most people talk to their neighbors about the dogs, their job and why they bark.

#5 LGD puppies kill birds -- you can get the best puppy and be the best trainer, but you will still lose birds to the puppies. Puppies will also chase and maim livestock given the opportunity. Just like herding dogs, LGDs have an instinct that is only useful if they are properly trained and supervised. My birds have a night shelter surrounded by electric net fencing, and my LGDs patrol around that -- however, I lost birds when they were younger due to chickens flying over and ducks charging through the net fencing. I cannot imagine confining a puppy with birds - okay, actually I can imagine it:o

Please go to the Working LGD yahoo group for advice and really think this through before you take possession of a puppy. That puppy's success or failure, its life, and the life of your stock are your repsonsibility; so you really need to educate yourself. PLEASE!

ldaziens
May. 23, 2012, 07:21 PM
You need to stop and immediately go join the Working LGD Yahoo Group and post this same query and be sure to mention your dislike of barking and sleeping problems.

And, here is the link to that group --
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/workingLGDs/

secuono
May. 23, 2012, 07:34 PM
What is a "BMC"?

secuono
May. 23, 2012, 07:48 PM
Pups were born sometime before April 23rd.

Some of you guys are saying you can sleep through it, that's why it's so weird that they bark all night. I can sleep though roosters crowing at 4am, took time to get used to, had 12 at one time. They live right under the bedroom window, so they are loud. Even the past guineas I eventually didn't hear.
There's no way of knowing if I can sleep through a LGD barking w/o having one and trying. There's a huge market near me for dogs who can live with the animals I have, so it won't be a total lost cause.

The fence that is there is what came with the house, I don't have 5 grand to install a 7ft fence with 1ft in the ground as well.
There's 6 strands of hot wire on shared neighbor fence, I cannot put the hot wire on their side, so I also cannot put up 60in woven wire.
There is an easement I have to deal with also, which I rather not dump any money into, since once the house is renovated and the market goes up a bit, we will sell it and upgrade.
I made a sheep paddock out of pallets in the easement, since I can easily move it if need be. Then there is field fencing on my side of the easement down around and back up to the house. There used to be the same fencing on the other side of the critter yard, but it was rusted, missing and smashed down. I took that all off, added 4ft chain link and then on the outside, horse side, there's 3 lines of hot wire. The ground in the critter yard is a full 1.5ft up, so from the horse side, the fence is a total of 5.5ft tall.
The second sheep paddock is part field fencing, pallets, barn and then 6 lines of hot wire. Behind the hot wire is 2 wood boards at the top and 3ft of mesh fencing along the bottom.
The fox/coon are coming from the poll gates, have a total of 4 of them. Two are at the back, one is full 6 strands and the other is 3 strands of moveable gate wires. The other two are at the driveway, I still need to add 3 gate wires to that.
Pics to help. They are older pics, since they were taken, more strands have been added.
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/s720x720/529802_407932445906936_100000705527207_1299007_605 506898_n.jpg
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/s720x720/545776_407932462573601_100000705527207_1299008_103 4323299_n.jpg
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/533040_411727525527428_100000705527207_1309949_186 0219100_n.jpg
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/s720x720/559403_404828909550623_100000705527207_1289857_209 458673_n.jpg
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/s720x720/536159_401164599917054_100000705527207_1280719_134 0490862_n.jpg

Bluey
May. 23, 2012, 07:56 PM
I would say, for your situation, the few acres you have for the dog to roam, you are better off being the one that protects your critters, not want the kind of large dog to do so.
The dog may be more of a liability, not being in the right place for it, not enough to do, too small # of acres to roam in.

Good that you asked, now you have enough information to re-evaluate and re-consider what exactly would fit your situation best.

secuono
May. 23, 2012, 08:05 PM
I know several poultry people who have GPs in 2 acres down to 1/3 acre 24/7 with weaker fencing than I do. So that really isn't going to discourage me.
My pony broke through literally every fencing known to man, until he met the electric fence for the first time. Now he's an angel and stays where he is supposed to me.

carp
May. 23, 2012, 09:11 PM
I do hope you have good insurance. These animal are NOT pets. They can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing, and sometimes even if you do.

Out west there was a situation a few years ago involving a sheep herder and a mountain bike race. Some idiot organized a race through public grazing land. Nobody bothered to alert the sheep herder, so he didn't know to move his sheep. End result was that one of the racers plowed through the flock; the LGD with the herd pulled her off her bike and mauled her.

When I was a callow youth I had the opportunity to hang out with Ray Coppinger, who was doing a lot of work with Maremmas and LGD at the time. One of Ray's bitches got out one time and started knocking over trash cans in the neighborhood. A passing jogger attempted to discipline the dog; the dog bit the jogger pretty hard. Another time a male dog, which objected to being moved away from a bitch in heat knocked Ray down and went for his throat. Ray told me he defused the situation by whimpering like a scared puppy. Otherwise the fight would probably have continued, and Ray would have lost. So much for alpha rolls in the real world.

Seriously, if someone with the experience of the Coppingers has these kinds of accidents, the average suburbanite should think long and hard about whether they can handle a LGD.

cowboymom
May. 23, 2012, 11:19 PM
One thing-I do think that you can have a guardian dog there and have some success. You may have to beef up the fences but if I were you I would instead look into an adult dog, from a rescue or whatever. I think the job is a good one for the right dog-I understand being annoyed and frustrated and needing the help.

Where I want to encourage you is that you sound (SOUND, your words and tone here) very frustrated bordering on combative. I think if you proceed with a pup there is going to be a lot of pressure on that dog, judging from your tone here. I'd like to hear more of a "in time things will improve while we learn and progress" sort of thing here, not a come he!! or high water tone. The dog is going to learn, you are going to learn, chickens and ducks will appreciate you both working together. An older dog is going to take to it better than a pup. For what you're looking for I think an older dog is perfect-it's not too much, it's enough. I know you have to look further and that is frustrating but it's time and money well spent to get the right dog for this job. Down the road, this dog will train your next pup-it's an investment. 5 acres for a young dog might be way too small-for a mature dog it's just about right if there is a job. We had 10 acres before, now we have 16, my dog protects where the animals are but likes to patrol out. He can live without patrolling, he'd love to do it as much as possible but he lives within his limits. He's almost two now and he is slowing down.

I can't tell you enough, I was seriously trying to figure out how to record my dog last night for you, they will sometime bark continuously all night or all day or until. Sometimes they're tired or relaxed and they don't bark at all. Or once really loudly at 2 am...Only you know your tolerance. My dog sometimes wakes me up with the barking but I easily fall back asleep b/c then I am able to think how safe we all are-it's a mind game. It's not a yappy bark, it's a low muffled resonant roaring sort of bark... travels far. I youtubed it to see and I couldn't find any that barked like the ones I know, they were all town dogs and yappy or real working dogs and quiet for the camera.

My GP killed three chicks this spring too, FWIW... :lol: He's bombproof with the big chickens but we failed to tell him the chicks were not snacks.

ldaziens
May. 24, 2012, 12:35 PM
I am really begging you to go to the WorkingLGD Yahoo group and ask for advice on this. Here is the link -
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/workingLGDs/

I am sure that you feel like we are all trying to rain on your parade, but please understand that those of us who have LGDs -- and especially those of us who have gone through the puppy phase -- KNOW that, based on everything you have written; this is a setup for failure.

I took the time to look at your fencing pictures, and I can tell you the thing that jumped out immediately to me was that you have a lot of solid surfaces along fencing - example the pallets. A coyote, LGD, or Big Cat will put their front paws on the top of those pallets and jump right over. You mentioned chain link - chain link is the easiest fencing in the world to climb over - for dogs and predators. Hot wire works for SOME LGDs, but many will just take the shock -- and go right out.

You said, "There's a huge market near me for dogs who can live with the animals I have, so it won't be a total lost cause."

I'm sorry, but there are tons of LGDs in rescue all over the country. There really ISN'T a huge market, and based on what you have written, what you are going to have is a big, young LGD with a history of escaping and killing birds -- pretty much a death sentence. People like puppies and smart people like proven adults.

You said, "I know several poultry people who have GPs in 2 acres down to 1/3 acre 24/7 with weaker fencing than I do. So that really isn't going to discourage me." Have you talked to them about what your plans are and your current situation?

One important thing you must understand is that these dogs do NOT train themselves -- IF you have a solid, proven adult; it MAY train up a youngster, but some adults will just sit and watch puppies chase and maim stock, so that isn't 100%.

I beg, beg, beg you to go to the working LGD yahoo group -- please! If you are going to proceed in this, you owe it to that puppy to educate yourself and at least try to set it up for success.

My tip to you is to PLEASE consider getting electric poultry net fencing to go around your critter pen. This would solve most of your problems -- as long is there is not a way for a predator to climb over and drop into your pen. And, it won't protect against birds of prey. But, it will certainly keep out varmints.
Here is a link - Premier 1 and Kencove are the 2 best net fence providers

Net Fence -
http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=30

If you aren't going to move it around a lot, I highly recommend the Premier 1 PermaNet fencing. It is very solid and less likely to sag. But, it is heavier, so it takes two people to move, and it is more expensive. I have the product below, but now they also offer a PermaNet Plus with more posts. If I was starting again, I would probably go for the PermaNet Plus.

http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=20197&criteria=permanet

Net Gate -
http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=17227&criteria=net+gate

Premier 1 has EXCELLENT customer service. If you call them and explain your setup, they will walk you through different options. They will tell you what will and won't work, and they do not try to sell you stuff that you don't need. The people at Premier have actual farms where they use all of their stuff, and they also have LGDs ***A big bonus is that this stuff is totally portable, so you can take it with you when you move.

Lastly, you said, "The issue is there are no other working dogs in my are for a price I can pay. Heck, no working dogs other than this breeder with this mix. And others are all in central USA and I am not having my pup shipped."

There are tons of LGD breeders in your area. You are not getting a working dog; you are getting a puppy. A bargain puppy is seldom a bargain. The price you pay is the least of the expense. These giant dogs are extremely prone to hip dysplasia -- has this breeder had both parents hips evaluated via OFA, or preferably - PennHip? Other health testing recommended for the breeds?

I promise you that there are adult LGDs within driving distance to you -- including rescue dogs. Even if the adult hasn't been around poultry, an adult is much easier to train than an LGD puppy. My two adult house dogs understood very quickly that the birds were not to be played with or bothered, but it took the full 2 years for my LGDs to be 99% safe around my birds. But, I really can't, in good conscience, recommend an adult given your fencing setup. In looking at that 6 string fence, I think they will be right through it; how does your neighbor feel about that?

Whether or not you are on a budget, the electric net fencing is your best option given your setup. Even if you get the LGD, you are going to need that net fencing to keep your birds safe from the LGD. My dogs patrol around the bird area.

Again, please go to the Working LGD Yahoo Group. Please. Especially if you are going to proceed with getting this puppy, you must educate yourself.
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/workingLGDs/

You can also do some reading up here -- The Daemon Sisters is a very accurate account of dealing with LGD puppies --
http://lgd.org/stories/DaemonIntro.htm

Gloria
May. 24, 2012, 02:17 PM
I agree that if your heart is set in a LGD, get an older one, not a young puppy. That is really selfish of you really; you are setting this young life up for failure.

I think the reasons I have such a good experience with my Maremma, despite being a first time LGD owner, are,

1. My Maremma was more than one year old when I got him, and he had guarded along side with his working parents horses, chickens, guineas, and whatnot since he was a young pup.

2. I told the breeder I got him from that this is our very first LGD, and they recommended among three of their dogs for sale this particular one. They told me the others would not be suitable for us - and I am so incredibly glad I listened. He has plenty of instinct and experiences we need, and yet easy enough a temperament for us to handle - and mess with (I love playing wrestling with him.. I know I know I was told by the breeder not to do that but well, I like it.).

2foals
May. 26, 2012, 12:26 AM
I can sympathize with the OP. When I was growing up my chickens and rabbits were routinely massacred by neighbors' dogs or picked off by foxes, hawks and weasels. It was heartbreaking! Each time it happened we'd reinforce or enlarge the fencing, add more electric, etc, but the predators always seemed to be a step ahead. They always found a new way through.

When we moved to our current farm, my DH suggested we get a few chickens; I said "no way," and I explained to him how vulnerable certain critters are. Husbands being husbands, we soon had a flock of laying hens set up, but this time around we had a Great Pry/Anatolian cross pup on the farm. In 10 years of free range chickens we have yet to lose a chicken to a predator. Of course, my DH thinks I just made up a bunch of stories because I didn't want chickens. We now also raise sheep and have had continued success with predator control.

The dogs DO bark a lot, and it can be annoying. Broken record type barking occurs regularly! They also eat a lot and like to sleep in the landscaping, also annoying. They also are not necessarily an instant fix. But I can completely understand how someone whom an LGD was not technically a great fit for would be willing to make a commitment to put up with the annoyances and make property modifications to have the benefit of predator control. (You might have to seriously reinforce your fence to keep an LGD in). I understand how traumatic it is to see your beloved small animals being killed by predators. Still, you don't want to be turning a dog over to a rescue--there are a ton of these dogs in rescues. Check out www.nasrn.org

ThisTooShallPass
May. 26, 2012, 12:50 PM
Yes, they bark! My neighbors have one. In town! Why do you think the time on my posts are so late at night? I cannot sleep through the barking!

secuono
Jun. 9, 2012, 05:58 PM
Small update, no arguing about it. Thanks.

Here's my new pup! Her name is Śnieżka. She has two pools and a tarp that gives her 85% shade all day long as well as a tree, coop and hutch. Doing wonderful w/all introductions so far.

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/525965_424367624263418_907718231_n.jpg


She won't be put into a rescue, how can I guarentee that, you ask?
Please meet; Killer, Nightmare, Devil, Death...Chillie, our Chihuahua mixed w/Schipperke.
She has killed a bare minimum of 45 of my chickens, some very valuable and others set for FC. I threatened to rip her face off many times, but in the end, she's still here.
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/311080_290683534298495_514031462_n.jpg

EqTrainer
Jun. 9, 2012, 07:17 PM
Congrats on your cute puppy. While for the most part I agree with everything said here, I do want to add that I have a Pyr/Dalmation who both guards everything and everyone on the farm AND is a big hairy spotted pet. He does not bark unless he means business. So five out of seven nights he is silent. If he says WOOF I get up and look because he is not joking. He never just barks and barks and barks. Could be the spots, I dunno. He is fantastic.

MelantheLLC
Jun. 9, 2012, 07:46 PM
Small update, no arguing about it. Thanks.

Here's my new pup! Her name is Śnieżka. She has two pools and a tarp that gives her 85% shade all day long as well as a tree, coop and hutch. Doing wonderful w/all introductions so far.

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/525965_424367624263418_907718231_n.jpg




Mwahaha, I can see that pyr look in her eyes already. :lol: Plotting her path to world dominance among the coyotes.

She'll be lovely. Now you know what to expect, you'll forgive her everything, and she'll reward you tenfold.

My pyr boy just left to spend summer at the beach. I miss his bark. And so do the local ravens--there was one here this morning, mimicking him. Finally flew away sadly after no one answered, changing back to some random raven sounds.:sadsmile:

secuono
Jun. 9, 2012, 08:30 PM
Congrats on your cute puppy. While for the most part I agree with everything said here, I do want to add that I have a Pyr/Dalmation who both guards everything and everyone on the farm AND is a big hairy spotted pet. He does not bark unless he means business. So five out of seven nights he is silent. If he says WOOF I get up and look because he is not joking. He never just barks and barks and barks. Could be the spots, I dunno. He is fantastic.

Pic? That must be quite a site!

secuono
Jun. 9, 2012, 08:32 PM
Mwahaha, I can see that pyr look in her eyes already. :lol: Plotting her path to world dominance among the coyotes.

She'll be lovely. Now you know what to expect, you'll forgive her everything, and she'll reward you tenfold.

My pyr boy just left to spend summer at the beach. I miss his bark. And so do the local ravens--there was one here this morning, mimicking him. Finally flew away sadly after no one answered, changing back to some random raven sounds.:sadsmile:


Yea...she has this look at me, looking at my face, slightly head down and can see the whites of her eye just slightly at the edge...like a "pft, I know what I'm doing, do you?"

We have some mocking birds here....they make sounds from the phone ringing, small & large dog barks, horns, all other birds, tree frog and others. It's insane how many sounds they can do!

Polydor
Jun. 22, 2012, 05:32 AM
How's the puppy going ? :D

P.

oldenmare
Jun. 26, 2012, 01:02 PM
Wondering how the puppy is doing, too. We got our GP from someone in same situation as the OP - couldn't handle the all night barking and their neighbors made a racket about it as well. We ended up with a wonderful farm dog who has quite the mind of his own.

Am also curious that the OP made a comment about not being able to find any good herding dogs (Aussies, BCs, etc) in VA - I know several reputable breeders here and have a lovely Aussie bitch from one of them. No need to go to the midwest/central US. Curious.

FatCatFarm
Jun. 26, 2012, 02:03 PM
Congrats on your girl. Hope she is all you need her to be. We love our 3 boys.

hastyreply
Jun. 26, 2012, 03:40 PM
When I had my GPs I looked at their barking as one of their "tools". My border collie has "eye". They aren't barking to alert you they are barking to tell potential predators to "stay away, I'm on duty!". They aren't barking to annoy you or at "nothing" but doing what they are bred to do. My sheep who had only been worked by herding dogs, were a bit skittish on first meeting the GP but since they are so quick to read a dog, they knew that he wasn't going to do anything to them.

I've always had herding dogs and like an obedient dog and that won't work with LGDs. They are VERY intelligent but they work for themselves not for you. They just aren't programed that way. They have to be able to think for themselves not look to a person.


I miss mine, sometimes. In a different situation I'd have them again. Even though I have over 80 acres there is a highway to close and one of them was a "patroler" and thought he should patrol down there. I just couldn't let him do his thing. I would not have one on 5 acres with neighbors near by. You should be able to control predation with fencing and management techniques.

secuono
Dec. 1, 2014, 04:37 PM
Just updating.
She quickly grew up and into a great LGD. She doesn't bark 'pointlessly' like I thought she might and have commented on here years ago. Her barking doesn't stress me like the other dogs do, I know she barks because something is there and she either sees it or smells it near by. House dogs have mostly learned to follow her lead and have limited their chatting at leaves and sticks, lol.
She chewed up a lot of things, dog toys she had/has zero interest in, so I just gathered up and fenced off everything I could. Luckily, this phase passed quickly!

Oh, and Chillie is still here, too.
Here she is with a bottle lamb.
https://scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/q88/s720x720/10252094_745252618841582_4580416917006939914_n.jpg ?oh=79423b8be493700c45bc8a48ac85eca6&oe=55197525

https://scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10635811_832078386825671_1797672391274439628_n.jpg ?oh=d85597026bff5ef1b206b2978451b34d&oe=550C9D6F

https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/q82/s720x720/1920256_737100262990151_276732563_n.jpg?oh=ee05b43 a740cc86ea2960866f3b57793&oe=54D25FE7

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10653306_1482121638741054_8453478156501138656_n.jp g?oh=6dcea9d36ce11cdc4df3b286acd85c64&oe=55062E62&__gda__=1427784712_3427daea8dbd291764aa0562473c6d2 4