Help with LGD

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ameliadanielle, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. ameliadanielle

    ameliadanielle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Great Pyrenees, Luna, has never made it to the point where she can be trusted around our chickens. She was raised surrounded by chickens. She was over 6 months when we brought her home. She spent 6 months with just her and a pot belly pig sharing the backyard. Then we got chickens. At first she was fine. We had two chickens die with no wounds just a few missing feathers when they were around 2 months old. Still didn't suspect the dog. That is until a month later our daughter caught her holding down chickens and pulling their feathers out. Again 2 chickens were attacked. Two days ago, keep in mind she is on a chain when we are not home, she caught another hen and plucked her back naked, let the hen go unharmed just naked, and seems to have had a field day chewing on feathers.

    We have tried keeping her on a leash and correcting her, staying outside with her 24/7 correcting her. Except she's smart. She checks the windows to see if we are watching her. So when we are not outside, all bets are OFF. She is headed towards being 2 years old now, and she is an absolutely worthless guardian. The only thing she guarded was the pot belly pig we had when we got her. Now that we do not have that pig, and instead have kept one of the piglets, Luna won't protect that pig either.

    We are leaving Wednesday night on vacation, and we will have a house sitter, but now that she has caught and plucked a chicken while ON HER CHAIN, I am not comfortable even having her in the yard. We've done everything short of using a shock collar. I was scared ALL day she would somehow reach and grab another chicken today while on her chain. We thought about rehoming her as a pet only because she is an amazingly sweet dog. To us. Any new person or animal... all bets are off. I could not trust her not to kill a new dog. My cousin brought his dog over who is also a big, friendly, large dog. She was trying to be social with Luna and Luna lunged at her like she was going to eat her. Our poodle that we've had for years and was here when we got Luna? She is just a big old baby around him. She loves him. I seriously think she will never be able to accept anything new.

    What do we do with her? I am nervous about being gone for a week. We spend countless hours outside with her, watching her, checking on her. We've become quite anal about it. I don't trust that the house sitter will have our vigilance when it comes to dealing with Luna.

    Should we give up on ever having her be safe around our chickens and just turn her into an indoor dog? Another thing... I will NOT want to see the state my carpet is in when we return home if Luna stays inside the house the whole time.
     
  2. slingshotandLAR

    slingshotandLAR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shock collar is worth a try....

    I trained my German shorthair to leave chickens alone in basically the first session. She thought the chickens were causing the discomfort, that was it done.

    For a few days I would watch from the house and anytime she looked too interested I gavr her a little buzz, the collar I have can beep buzz or shock and all can be changed on the remote.

    Next thing I did was tell her they are mine, I recommend any dog be taught the mine command. I trained her not to touch my things or the kids toys this way. Once she realized they were mine, her entire view shifted. She started checking on them, she even laid with them in the yard. She now protects them fiercely, she has killed raccoons and even treed bears that have tried to get in the coop.

    Correction needs to be swift and stern, no two ways about it. Sounds like you may be being a bit too gentle with her.

    Most any dog can be trained to do most anything, I assume but your post she is not house broken?? How about basic commands? Can you control her off leash? I ask because if the answer to these questions is no, you need to start over. Like completely over from the ground up puppy training over.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The dog is suffering boredom to an extreme and is in the terrible two's that applies dogs like you are seeing. You are not setup to use a standard sized LGD. Dog quite salvageable but another party may be needed to do it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like a socialization problem, the fact she can't accept new things. That is not your fault, it is the fault of whoever raised her as a puppy.

    I think you could try the shock collar, it seems like one of your last options. See how she reacts to it.

    Also give her some other things to do, like centrarchid said, she might be bored. Muzzle her and take her for walks, try and get her used to other people and animals. Also give her some chew toys so she has something else to chew on instead of chickens.
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The dog is 2 years old. The socialization window has closed. Behavior modification will take an immense amount of time, patience, skill and effort. Taking her on walks to "get used to other people or dogs" will prove disastrous and could very likely end in injury to others or even the owner.

    I also don't think chew toys are going to be enough to occupy this dog at all. This is a breed that was bred to move with and tend a flock. That job uses a lot of mental energy. Tying a dog like this and giving it no outlet for its natural inclinations is going to result in exactly the type of behavior that's been seen. Put her in the hands of someone who can train her effectively to do a job and who can offer her the environment and opportunity to perform that job. All parties will be better for it.
     
  6. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I said muzzle her. Read my whole post.
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did read it. Dogs can bite though muzzled. Muzzles can be swiped off. Dogs can crush other dogs and small animals while wearing a muzzle. Muzzles don't prevent the dog from lunging and leaping on a person knocking them to the ground. Muzzles don't prevent aggressive posturing that may incite a bite from another dog. A large dog with a muzzle can still muzzle punch another dog resulting in blunt force trauma and internal injuries. A muzzle punch to a person's face (a common location) can cause black eyes, broken nose, or concussion. A muzzle doesn't prevent the dog from dragging its owner at the end of the leash down.

    Muzzles are wonderful and invaluable tools, but don't assume they completely eliminate all risk of injury or completely prevent a bite. They don't.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  8. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True but I was assuming the dog would be a leash and that the owner was capable of controlling it.
     
  9. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen some nasty altercations occur between dogs on leash and in the hands of people physically capable of controlling them. Things can go downhill extremely quickly and the average owner usually misses many of the subtle warning signs. In my line of work assumptions get you or others bitten.
     
  10. beginnergirl

    beginnergirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amelia,

    To have a LGD bond with livestock, they need to be raised with the animals they are to guard when the dog is a young puppy. 6 months is too old. This type of dog should not be chained and I agree with the previous poster that a muzzle will not necessarily protect the chickens. If you are able to separate the chickens and Pyr, that is the only way to attempt to retrain her, which might not be possible.
    If she is unreliable around new people or animals, do consult with a behaviorist for advice. Being around your poodle is not the same as socializing a dog. At 2, the dog is still a teenager and needs a strong leader, lots of exercise, daily training. Rehoming a potentially aggressive dog is not a good idea. Do contact an experienced Pyr breeder who can hopefully give you some support and advice. All breed clubs have rescue organizations and a reputable breeder should advise you or take the dog back. Not sure if you know who the original breeder is, but I would attempt to find out.
     

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