LGD - anyone trained one?

mrs1885

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 14, 2013
90
3
41
Van Buren Co, TN
We currently have four foster dogs that should be leaving at various times over the next month. Once they're gone, no more fosters. Well, maybe a small one inside ocassionally, but no more long termers. I've been kicking around the idea of getting a Pyr / Pyr mix puppy and training it to be a LGD. A friend has chickens, goats, horses and her Pyrs in the pasture together and the Pyrs are highly protective of the other animals. They've got coyotes that come to the fence line but won't break the perimeter because of the Pyrs. We have tons of coyotes and at least one mountain lion on our property that we've seen. Now, we also have a concrete block wall that runs along the back of the property so that helps to deter them too, but I know it's not high enough and the chickens will be able to get over it. I'm sure eventually we're going to lose a chicken or two. But I'd like to cut the chances that anything wild will jump the wall (which I really, really doubt anyway) and that a hawk or other type of bird will come into the yard and grab one. We didn't have problems with the hawks or anything last time and there were always dogs out with the chickens.

Eventually we'll be adding some fencing in the back pasture and bringing in some goats to help us clean up some of the land. I'd like to be able to let the chickens range out with them and have a LGD there to keep everyone safe. I'm just wondering how difficult it is to train them? I'd get a puppy if I had to but really would prefer a 6 month to year old dog. Is that possible? Is it better to have male or female, or is there even a difference? Anyone have any insight? Oh, we do plan on keeping them in their room at night too. They just went out last night for the first time over night and are officially outside. I'm going out every night before sundown and taking them to their room hoping we can make it a routine.
 

fogandcopper

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
146
9
71
It is best to start with a puppy. take it out on a leash and introduce it to the birds. If you get any chicks let him meet them and when he is okay with them let him come out with the birds all the time. He will grow attached to them. Can be boy or girl. Doesn't matter.
 

mrs1885

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 14, 2013
90
3
41
Van Buren Co, TN
Ok, thank you for your info! I'll start looking around and see what we find.
smile.png
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,369
17,705
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
My preference is to start with a pup althought full adult pushing two years would be second best option. Six month old would be at most problematic stage. Pup can be molded more in part through imprinting while full adult can be trained with less complications associated with youthful play. All three options will likely give birds some problems at first. Starting with adult will give quickest protective presence.

If mountian lions are genuine consistent problem, then two dogs better otherwise single dog itself a potential target.

I would go with Pyrenees cross to get a smaller more agile dog that retaines the big voice and cold tolerance of Pyr. Threats I deal with for poultry are more effectively handled by speedy dog unless flock and dog are confined together in a tight area, then speed is not an issue.
 

Baymule

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 1, 2010
2,141
478
286
Northeast Texas
I have a Great Pyrenees. She barks all night and protects us from things as obscure as a falling acorn, to raccoons or feral cats. She digs giant holes in the yard and I never can find the dirt to fill them back up again. She was given to us because she killed chickens. For her story, go to BYH. Link:

http://www.backyardherds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=24453

I also have a black Lab/Great Dane mix about a year and a half old. He is very good with the chickens, except for one time. He got corrected with a newspaper and has not made another move towards the chickens again. I leave the hens out in the back yard with both dogs all day and know they are safe. It takes time, patience and more time and more patience. Here is his story on TEG. Link:

http://www.theeasygarden.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=35617


You have to know and understand that large dog breeds don't mature until at least 2 years old or longer. Also know and understand the Great Pyrenees think differently than other breeds of dogs that you might be accustomed to. Read all you can about them, then study some more. That's what I did and I gained valuable information that really helped. BYH has a very good LGD section on the forum and people there are very helpful. I really wish you the best with your dog.
 

judyc

Songster
11 Years
Mar 10, 2009
247
24
156
Lafayette, IN
I have 3 Anatolians. I had Great Pyrs in the past, but that coat is a lot to maintain, plus the all-night barking.

I would get a pup and build a pen close to your chickens so the dog gets accustomed to the activity.

One of my females took out a gosling when she was less than a year old. I tied her near the hen house for almost a year. Now she does great! She ignores the chooks and guards the sheep and cattle. She will be 2 in September.

My other female is still a pup. I had to correct her with the new lambs, but she is fine now.

My big male guards everything. I put a gosling and duckling out with the geese today. The dog was trying to guard the babies, much to the dismay of the geese.
 

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