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Livestock Guard Dog?

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  • Livestock Guard Dog?

    The coyotes appear to be getting bolder around here lately. Last night, the horses were all riled and one of the them (the oldest one and the smallest) tends to wander off by himself. My poor QH was very upset, kept trying to keep everyone together. We walked the pasture, but couldn't see anything.

    I'm down to two dogs (lost two last year) and was planning on another collie, but I'm thinking, as the horses get older, and because I seem to have lost another cat, that maybe it's time to think about a livestock guard dog.

    I do live in a community, but am surrounded on three sides by cattle farms (100 acres + each), so I need a breed that will be friendly to my dogs and cats and not overly aggressive to neighbors and small children if they happen to wander on my property. I have three and four board fencing and livestock fencing across the back of the property. Also I need a breed that I can train to fences, we have about 2 miles of fence, too much for invisible fence. Winter is really not a problem, cats sleep in the garage on their heated mat, horses are in the barn. It's spring summer and fall when I have the problems at night.

    I'd prefer a rescue, if I can find one that will work out well for us. Any suggestions? Much as I loved my collie, I don't think another is a good solution.

  • #2
    I just adopted a Great Pyr cross from the SPCA -- still a puppy so no report for many months on how she protects
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


    • #3
      What about getting a coyote-killing donkey?
      If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
      DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
      Originally posted by talkofthetown
      As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


      • #4
        Get a Komondor! They are just so amazing looking and great livestock guards.

        I just love this picture of one jumping!



        • #5
          I visited a miniature horse breeding establishment several years ago, as part of a trip to Rolex. When we drove up, two of the most intense looking dogs I had seen approached our car. They were Anatolian Shepherds; large tan dogs whose ancestors protected sheep. The owner told them that we were OK and they went about their business, which we learned was to protect the foals and even the adult minis from predators.

          The farm owner told us that they had had problems in the past, but not since the dogs arrived.

          I don't know if they are difficult to train, but they were amazing animals and certainly large enough to go after a coyote. And win.


          • Original Poster

            I don't want any more equids, so a donkey is out. I'm also out of stalls and with the high winds we get here sometimes, I'm not willing to leave a donkey out 24/7. We've had fences snapped off at the posts (5" oak posts) several times by straight line winds.


            • #7
              As a loving Great Pyrennes owner...board fence and training will not keep them home...sometimes, but not always!!! I'm lucky...ours does not dig or jump, but is never (since chasing a coyote in front of an 18 wheeler and ending up 8 miles away the next day) out of his yard without me in close attendance. And he BARKS!!!! A LOT!!! at night!! I'd go with guardian donkeys. Cute and containable.
              Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


              • #8
                Originally posted by keepthelegend View Post
                Get a Komondor! They are just so amazing looking and great livestock guards.

                I just love this picture of one jumping!

                Ouch..that dog looks like an alien!


                • Original Poster

                  Barking at night not good. Don't want to completely tick off my neighbors! I have a lot of road frontage (private road) which of course, is where the horses hang under the trees. I need a dog I can leave out with them at night. I don't like llamas particularly either (although I'd love a couple of alpacas, but they're coyote bait around here.)


                  • #10
                    Our neighbor has Great Pyr to keep her large goat herd safe, but they roam. Badly. We keep a heeler here at the house. They don't roam, and a couple of times now I have heard her roust coyotes that get too close to the house. I would suggest a pair of dogs however, as a pack of coyotes might challenge a single dog, but not a pair.
                    Originally posted by The Saddle
                    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                    • #11
                      I have a friend of a friend that needs to rehome a Great Pyreneese and a German Shepard pair that are currently guard/farm dogs on a horse farm. I do not know these dogs personally, but trust the judgement of the person that sent me the email about them.

                      They are outside dogs and guard as a team, but they are also wonderful pets and good around children.

                      They are in Ocala, if you would be interested, post here and I will send you a PM with the email address of the owner. The current owners have to relocate to Miami and cannot take the dogs with them.
                      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                      • Original Poster

                        Munchkins Mom, I don't know if I'm up for 2 big dogs. If they are females, I might consider it especially if someone can drive them part of the way, they are up on shots, don't wander and are spayed and heart worm tested. I already have two males (both dumped on my farm, a lab and a hound mix) and an adult male just is not going to work. Oh, and must like cats. Send me a PM if it's a possible fit.


                        • #13
                          I too have experience with Great Pyrs and loved their personalities and how well they got along with my cats and horses, BUT the male especially wandered - even running through my invisible fence. I would come home from work to find him laying at the end of the driveway and take off his collar and back he would go, but he ended up being hit by a car. . . They did bark at night as well - i was a heavy sleeper, so they never bothered me but finally had to put them up at night because of the nearest neighbor complaining, so that would also defeat the purpose of having them. My current border collie/Aussie cross is wonderful, and surprisingly good at killing bunnies and ground squirrels, but I don't know how well she keeps coyotes away ?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                            Munchkins Mom, I don't know if I'm up for 2 big dogs. If they are females, I might consider it especially if someone can drive them part of the way, they are up on shots, don't wander and are spayed and heart worm tested. I already have two males (both dumped on my farm, a lab and a hound mix) and an adult male just is not going to work. Oh, and must like cats. Send me a PM if it's a possible fit.
                            PM sent. I think they are female, not 100% sure, if you email the owner directly, she should be able to provide the information.

                            I'm sure we could work out transportation if needed.
                            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                            • #15
                              Look into the Caucasian Ovcharka [Caucasian Mountain Dog]; they are a rare breed that are wonderful livestock protection dogs and completely devoted to their owners. You do have to be careful which breeder you buy one from [some breeders condone bad temperaments] but if you find the right one, these dogs are worth their weight in gold. Occasionally there will be one in rescue that needs a home, too.
                              The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip.
                              Henny Youngman


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by HydroPHILE View Post
                                What about getting a coyote-killing donkey?
                                This would be my idea. Donks & mules are coyote killing machines!!

                                Ditto for strange dogs as well, so be aware.

                                And there are plenty of burros (a donk by any other name...) to adopt via the BLM's program.

                                PS Just saw your post where you don't want a donk. A donk is going to be more adapt at being outside in bad weather than a dog, and if a dog is IN, it can't chase coyotes...so?

                                BTW, I live in the middle of coyote heaven, and I've never had one bother my horses. Mini's maybe -- new-born foals, maybe...but they are NOT going to take on a full-grown horse, even one by himself, so if you have a herd of full grown animals, you really don't have to worry.


                                • #17
                                  LGDs won't be contained by fences. They are supposed to be bonded to the animals they guard, and that is what is supposed to keep them from wandering. They're not very effective if they're not actually WITH the animals they are guarding 24/7. Of the LGDs the Pyrs are supposed to be the mildest mannered. I would not get an Anatolian or an Ovcharka to guard livestock if there are many people living nearby.

                                  I have never heard of anyone using LGDs to guard horses but have encountered quite a few that guard sheep (I have hobby-herding Border Collies). In general I've been given to understand that horses + dogs = bad idea, but that may be specific to herding dogs that are more likely to harass horses and therefore get kicked in the head. You'd probably have the best luck if you got a pup that was bonded to horses (or that you could raise to be bonded to your horses). A random rescued LGD may or may not actually be guardy, and one that was raised to guard sheep or goats may not transfer his or her loyalties to horses, especially since horses are usually hostile to dogs. In fact, given the coyote problems you'd been having I wonder how much the horses would WANT a dog living with them anyway.

                                  People with sheep are often advised to get a mule or donkey to guard their sheep, since equids tend to be hostile to dogs and aim when they kick. In general I think many dog folks would assume that a herd of horses would be able to protect themselves from coyotes.
                                  MelanieC * Canis soloensis


                                  • #18
                                    Kangals and Anatolian Shepherds are EXCELLENT livestock guarding dogs. They are used extensively by farmers in Namibia for guarding herds of cattle and goats from cheetahs and other predators. List of American Kangal breeders: http://www.kangalclub.com/KDCA_Breeders-List.html


                                    • #19
                                      Our Great Pyr has been great! He has been contained in our 10 acres of Invisible Fence and board fencing, and has never wandered off. He does bark at night but if he is put in a stall he just stays put and sleep. He is great with our kids, horses, cats, dogs, etc. I would get another one in a minute. The bark is the deterrent for coyotes.


                                      • #20
                                        Get another collie

                                        ~loving collie owner.

                                        Actually one of our girls is a doberman x BC cross we adopted and is a FANTASTIC guard dog. I've seen grown men back away from the friendliest & wimpiest dog in the entire world (ask me about the time she hid from the satellite installer...).

                                        Coyotes that are hungry, angry, defensive or brave WILL kill dogs. We've had coyotes around here attack when people are out walking their dogS.

                                        Our local hunt club started paying out a prize for skins, that may be a better solution :S.
                                        "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                                        Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                                        Need You Now Equine