Starting new flock(s) w/ new LGDs

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AdmiralD7S

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For those that don't know me from the PS fiefdom, my wife and I recently purchased 11 acres and are planning to build a house on it this coming spring. In preparation for getting the current house up fixed up and my doctoral research, we decided earlier this year to scale way back in our efforts. The majority of that materialized in the form of 1) leaving the 100'x100' garden untouched (will become regular lawn when I can smooth it out), 2) not raising any "meat" chickens or turkeys this year, and 3) processing our "egg" chickens and ducks.

While it has certainly helped us free up the time to devote to other efforts, we realize that when we start back up again, it will be from scratch, animal-wise. Our plan is to get right back into chickens/turkeys and add some "permanent" sheep (and potentially some "annual" pigs - no sows).

We've already had issues losing small animals to raccoons, weasels, wild dogs, etc. where we're at, and we've heard that it's worse where we're moving to. The wife and I have been talking about getting one or two LGD pups (favoring Great Pyrenees at the moment), but we have some concerns about having brand-new LGDs-in-training with animals that aren't used to having a predator-looking protector among them.

If anyone has any advice, insight, humorous stories, and/or cautionary tales, I'd certainly appreciate anything you're willing to share!
 

phideaux

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My experience with LGD goes back a few years,

We got a Great Pyrenees as a 8 week old pup.
Raised him , and we loved that dog,
He grew up with my grandkids, horses, chickens, ducks, geese, guineas.

Had many breeds before and after.

But for just pure GUARDING , and nothing else, was the best I have ever had or ever seen.

He had that bred into him, and nothing else mattered.
No playing with kids, just tolerated them,
No learning anything else, just guard the farm,
I've seen him run and follow a hawk flying from one end of farm to the other , until that hawk was gone.
He had a routine, same time every day, he made a patrol around the perimeter of the farm, a beat down path.

He became so persistent that he would sit at the end of my driveway, (you have seen it)
and would ward off anything or anyone that tried to come in.

Best guard dogs in the world, don't expect much else though ,
Very independent, and almost untrainable .

Thats my experience and have heard the same from other owners.


Jim
 

robin416

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About the only advice I can give is that if you're getting a pup you will have to train him the chickens are not toys. Think about it, chickens especially chicks, make these delightful squeeze toy sounds. Sounds that are almost impossible for a pup to ignore, even a GP.

I did not have GPs, I had muts and they did quite a bit to keep interlopers at bay. Who were the greater guarders of my flocks were the Guineas. As long as I was paying attention to what they were saying or their body language they alerted me so many times to trouble. Even the dogs learned that the Guineas were alerting and would join them to address whatever it was.
 

Spikedriver

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I got a friend who breeds GP's. His are quite adept at guarding and tend to watch his sheep quite closely. However they love his kids and seem to enjoy kids playing and climbing on them but they always have one eye on the sheep and will go to them without warning if something seems out of place.
 

AdmiralD7S

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Thank you for the advice, folks! Been busy lately, so I'm just now getting caught back up on the ol' e-world.
 

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