So far I've been really fortunate with mine. My situation is different than you guys because my dogs are confined to the pasture, rather than having access to the whole property. I don't know if the pack rat stage is just GPs, or if mine simply don't have access to stuff to haul home but they haven't gone through that stage. At least not yet. Kilo was 8 months yesterday and Karina is 6 ½ months. I'm doing everything "wrong" according to the experts on the various LGD groups who say not to leave the dogs unattended with stock until they are two. I couldn't wait that long and wouldn't know what to do with the dogs in the interim period - I am not someone who likes to see dogs penned or tethered. If they start to misbehave and need to be confined, I can do it but I figure why do that if it isn't needed? And besides, a dog who is penned doesn't have an outlet for excess energy so is more likely to misbehave when let out of the pen. Mine roughhouse and play together quite a bit which relieves excess energy - so far they haven't felt the need to play with the lambs or kids since they have each other.
We've gone in stages - its not like I put 8-week-old puppies directly into a guardian role. They had a dog run they were confined to at night and the sheep and goats were locked in the barn with them at night as well. When they were 7 & 5 months, I started letting them stay out at night instead of putting them in the dog run but the sheep and goats continued to be locked in. It is only in the last week to week and a half that I've stopped locking the sheep and goats in at night either. The barn door now stays open so they have the option to be out or in.
Keeping the pups in the dog run sandwiched between the sheep and goat stalls seemed to do a lot to help with bonding and I've noticed the dogs largely stay with the sheep now when they go out to graze. They might be playing together - but it is in the general vicinity of the stock. When the sheep come in to rest, the dogs come and lay down with them and snooze as well. Last week when we had a rain day, every time I checked, sheep, goats and dogs were all snuggled down together in the barn, staying out of the rain. (Funny - the dogs LOVE water and swim in the pond every day, but they didn't like the rain and wanted to be in the barn. Silly things!).
We're not through adolescence yet - and I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop - but so far, so good. Karina may actually turn out to be the better LGD. Kilo is huge and has an intimidating bark. His eyesight seems good and he is alert to what is going on in the neighborhood. When the people in back were out working on trees a few days ago, he was very vigilant to their movements and I saw him run the fence line to check on them multiple times. But Karina seems like an old soul. Even at 6 months, she has the look of a much older dog. She is great back-up for Kilo and will run behind him when he detects dangers. But I've noticed she is very vigilant as well and these days, is often the first to bark when she hears or sees something out of the ordinary. She likes to get up on the berm or on the one little hill in the pasture, so as to have a better vantage point, and she will lay there watching over everyone.
What has amazed me is how readily the stock have accepted the dogs' presence. They're not unused to dogs since we have 3 others, but they have accepted Kilo and Karina as one of their own, in a way they've never accepted the other dogs. When the pups are running circles around them chasing one another and roughhousing, the sheep keep grazing with no concern whatsoever. And while the adults don't yet rely on the dogs' to protect them, the lambs and kids who were born here, do seem to look to them for protection. I've seen Kilo start to bark at a perceived threat, and the kids all stopped what they were doing and immediately ran over to stand in front of him. Lambing/Kidding is a time when the experts say to never let a pup be around but they even got through that time with flying colors. At that time the sheep and goats were still locked in their respective areas as I wanted them lambing and kidding in a safe location. So the dogs weren't directly in with them, but seemed to instinctively understand that a new mother will be over-protective and they didn't even try to come close to the babies until some time had passed and the mothers had relaxed.
Trish44, I've never raised geese so I don't know what to suggest about your gander. Can he be penned with another of his kind until he bonds more to him/her than to Jasmine? Is he one of the ones you are trying to sell?