Originally Posted by YellowChicken
Zootopia: what kind of dogs and how did you "boundary" train them? I'd like to let my chickens free-range so I need a good guard dog (that doesn't eat multiple pounds of dog food a day or chickens). We have lots of predators here, as well as dumped dogs and cats.
Boundary training starts with with a well trained dog. Obedience is the foundation of everything we teach. Not like "heel" so much as "Come, stay, leave it, " livestock dogs are not pets, they do not live in the house part of the time. Many people want to keep the pup away from the stock because "it's to small to be out there by it's self, it's to cold out, etc" The dog should live in the area with the stock ans you should spend as much time as possible with them while the pup is learning to not chase, chew on, or harass the stock. the pup should be in a secure pen next to the stock when not supervised, until it can be trusted. Most people don't want to spend the time it requires to really teach a livestock dog the right way. Alternatively you can use a shock collar to train the dog. I do use a collar off and on, as the dog grows and is allowed greater freedom. It is important to use a breed that is bred to do the job you are asking it to do. Yes there are people who have bird dogs who do the job, this is not a common thing.
I recommend the use of the PYR (or Marama for smaller properties) in areas where you have lots of very cold or snow. I recommend the Anatolian Shepard or Akbash for milder or hot locals. These dogs are bred to guard livestock. They are usually good with THEIR family and I have not found them to be unnecessarily vocal. They are reserved with strangers and vocal to what they perceive as a threat. They are independent and if THEY think it is necessary to back up the vocals with real physical aggression, they will. For this reason it is important to spend time socializing the dog as well.
I raise and show the Brazilian Mastiff, Fila Brasileiro. I do not recommend them for the job as they are bred to be Guard dogs of their property and anything on the property, some lines will also have herding instinct. They are VERY intolerant of strangers, and require alot of socialization and obedience to be trusted off leash. Example Mine know the mailman, he drives up, gets out and walks to the front door, they walk with him, about 10 feet away. He does not go anywhere but to the front door, he goes back to his car. The fill in is afraid of dogs, because of this he acts "funny" when he gets out of the car, this makes the Fila suspicious and it will "press" him by getting closer and barking or growling causing the fill in to move faster or get excited, Needless to say, our property is posted and you don't get out of the car with out an invitation. (I simply call the dogs to my side and tell them "that's enough" ) control is not about physical, it's about respect "Alpha". The males mark the perimeter and we don't have any problem with coyotes, or bobcats, skunks, etc We lost 2 birds out of about 60+/- last year
I do alot of "Large Protective Breed Rescue", Anatolian are my Favorite. They need a job, they need positive training. The economy has forced the sale off of alot of small stock holders, rescues are available in most areas. Everyone needs at least Some training and supervision to do their job, even a dog.
Originally Posted by YellowChicken
Thanks TK. Great story you posted. I'm not familiar with the New Foundland. I didn't know they would eat vegetables! It does get pretty hot here also if that would be a factor. I will look into them. I did have a Great Pyr mix that didn't work out - turned on my DW and we had to get rid of him. We need something that won't leave the property to run with other dogs, won't bark all night needlessly and won't attack foals. We've had several dogs but none worked out.