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Livestock guardian - Page 2

post #11 of 14
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Originally Posted by Zoomie View Post

Having watched a lot of this throughout my time on Earth, and having read the whole thread, my thoughts are: I believe guarding to be a talent, sort of like singing, or playing the piano. Some people have a passion for it and are amazingly good at it. Some can learn, but are indifferent at best; some just don't "click" with it, and so on. 

I know a family with a donkey and that donkey regularly chases a BEAR out of the pasture. On the other hand I've known of a donkey that just stood by and watched another animal slaughtered by dogs... I've known excellent guardian dogs, and others who turned on their charges one night and killed them. (In more than one case, those were alpacas, so that was an expensive night for those people.) They are all just as individual and different as any human beings you have ever met. Just as we all don't love cooking, or beekeeping, guarding is not the preferred job for all dogs.

It takes a lot of work to train a guardian dog but it can sure be done. I think the people who have the best success either have another dog to help keep the youngster in line, or else work at home and can frequently observe the pup and correct it when the wrong behavior happens. It will be a labor of love. I wish you the best of luck in this. I hope your pup works out well for you.

Thanks! I do work from most of the time and honestly if the dog isn't a good guardian we'll still be happy to have him. We just won't free range the chickens then. He's coming from a working farm where his parents guard a large flock used as the farms main income. So I'm hoping genetics will be on our side. We'd eventually like goats as well so I'm also thinking if he doesn't work out guarding the chickens, maybe by the time we get goats he'll be more mature and ready to protect them. I'm mostly worried about hawks with the chickens and figured having any sort of large dog outside while they are out might be enough to deter the hawks. Our coop and run seems to be predator proof so far so I'm really just looking for some extra protection when I'm home and want to let the chickens free range a bit. We had a big rooster but he was too rough with the girls so now we just have a little silkie cockerel and I have my doubts he'll offer much protection. Maybe he'll at least want the girls to find cover if there's a hawk.
post #12 of 14
Ideally you will be breaking in the LGD as a pup with the livestock present. Otherwise you run the risk of dog making short work / harming your new livestock. That is a problem I will be facing as well and it can be tough with a larger more independently minded dog. Breeding will not be able to circumvent that risk.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #13 of 14

@robyn8 sounds like a good start. As @centrarchid points out man this is a lot of work to watch and try and prevent them from making a completely understandable mistake, and in particular when they are first introduced to their new "friends". Well... we *hope* they are going to be friends.

 

I watched a friend of mine train a Maremma and I could not so much as go to her house for a cup of tea without her leaping to her feet several times and yelling, "Rocky! No! NO!!!" But, due to her diligence and care, Rocky grew up to be a very good guardian. He would even go after other people who tried to harm the goats he was guarding, so you can rest assured nothing ever touched those goats or so much as thought about it. Pretty amazing. But I will never forget how very hard she had to work to make sure that dog grew up to be what he was - and as others have stated this will take generally two years and sometimes longer. 

 

You never know, though - your particular pup may have a very good gift for doing this, and in turn, you may have a very good ability to teach that puppy. 

post #14 of 14
It does not always work out easy on small pieces of ground. We have had multiple dogs (LGD's) that were just dead set on going on walk abouts. The little 8 to 20 acres patches outside my office are simply too tight for investing the whole day. Another was a bit of a butt biter to female humans. I do not understand why gender is important. One of my coworkers has to watch out for a dog that patrols a trout farm we visit looking for his backside as well. Quirks to be sure.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
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