LGD fear aggression and me

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by eljen, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. eljen

    eljen New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    I have two female Anatolian/Pyr littermates that are 12 weeks old. I am totally new to LGDs, and I am aware I have put myself in a tough situation trying to raise up two female puppies to be good guardians together with no adult role model. Anyway, Things have been going pretty well, except this morning. I was moving the goats before work, the puppies usually follow along perfectly but today they wanted to explore. Of course, when in a hurry, animals never behave, so I went to get them. I called them, they wouldn't come, I went over to them and they just were running away from me. I finally got close and I picked up one of the pups and she just panicked, cried, and fear bit me repeatedly on the hands, neck, etc. (I say fear bit because it was like an automatic response, quick biting movements combined with a cry like she was in pain- it did not appear to be an intentional attack in any way). I slowly put her down as she continued to panic and my husband arrived to help put the pups back with the goats. Once her feet were on the ground she stopped biting but was dying to get away. I couldn't keep my grip on her so I had to let her go. She did not have the same reaction to my husband, he dragged her by the collar back to the goats with her front legs off the ground. He back legs just walked back to the goats with my husband- like nothing had happened. As a side note, I have seen one of the puppies bark fearfully at a doe who head butted the puppy, but I cant remember which pup it was. So, does anyone have any advice on what to do in this situation? I would hate to give up on her because she seems very attentive to the goats and she is only 12 weeks. But then again, biting is totally unacceptable. They have quite a bit of exposure to me and other people, they normally give a warning bark or two when approached but then come wagging. I have seen posts about aggression and strangers but never aggression and the handler. Please help!
     
  2. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    are you sure she has not been hurt in any way? You said you picked her up but your DH didnt. Maybe something hurts when she is picked up. I know a dog will cry and bite if something is hurting. I would have her checked to make sure somehow she didnt get hurt. Maybe she got kicked by one of the goats and has a sore spot that when you picked her up got touched.
     
  3. eljen

    eljen New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Thanks Sheila,

    I thought about that on my way to work, that she may be hurt, because it just doesn't make much sense. We try to flip the pups on their backs and at least one a week I pick them up off the ground and wait until they stop struggling, and they normally don't struggle much. I will check her as soon as I can.
     
  4. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    The problem is that these pups are not bonded to you or the goats...they are bonded to each other. You should seriously condsider either rehoming one of them or putting them in separate areas. Flipping them on their backs once a week is not enough for them to respect you as the leader of their pack. If you are only handling them once a week, they have no reason NOT to fear you....you are a stranger to them! They should never struggle when you pick them up....they should love the attention from you. I am not a professional dog trainer so I won't address the fear biting issues, but here's a couple of good links for you. The first one is about raising sibling dogs together and how to avoid problems http://www.caninedevelopment.com/Sibling.htm And this link is to the Livestock guardian dog library which has some great information. http://www.lgd.org/library.htm Have you discussed these problems with your pup's breeder? Often a breeder can give you some good insite on how to deal with these things. Since you have no experience with LGDs I am sort of surprised the breeder even sold you two pups, since tryin to raise two at the same time is NEVER a good idea, with any breed!
     
  5. bullyforme

    bullyforme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Trololo farm
    Quote:I agree totally with separating the two, and also with more daily interaction. I raised two pups together and the only reason they bonded with me is that I had them in separate sleeping areas (crates) and also took them out separately for daily (sometimes two or three times daily) training sessions, while the other stayed in the crate or with another family member.
     
  6. eljen

    eljen New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    I suppose I should clarify, I see the dogs 2-5 times a day and interact with them each time. I agree, they seem to be more bonded to each other than to the goats. We have had them separated from each other before for about 2 days but we could not keep them separated no matter how many times we fixed the fence. But I don't think that the fact that they prefer the company of one another over the goats would cause them to bite me out of fear.
     
  7. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    They fear you because they are not bonded to you. They are only bonded to each other. without separating them, there is not going to be a way to fix this. And in all honestly, I would never trust pups that young alone with livestock, especially as a pair. Dogs in pair will do things that a dog alone would not do, such as kill the animals they are supposed to be protecting, especially if they are not bonded to them. I really think you need to seriously consider getting rid of one of them now, while there is still a chance for the remaining one to become a decent LGD.

    http://www.doberman.org/articles/puppy.htm stages of mental development in dogs and why things begin to happen at various ages.
    http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/developmentalstages.html Another great chart showing mental development of pups
     
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I have kept back 3 GP puppies from my dogs litter, they are going on 11 weeks. They have their parents on the property as well as a bunch of birds that I have introduced them to since birth. They come when called, behave as well as puppies can at that age and want to be with me, when I'm not their they are out with the animals. I still watch them around the critters, but so far they are doing very very well. i had an Anatolian X GP cross before, I found her too aggressive towards the animals and she had more kill drive. I rehomed her to a family and they loved her. She was very bonded with their young son, which became a problem when they had a daughter. She ended up showing aggression towards the daughter...... That was the only experience i've had with them, she was very smart and learned quickly but I love my GP's better. I have 6 now and wouldn't trade any of them. Do check to see if she was injured or perhaps she got poked somehow when you picked her up....... but be careful the aggression doesn't get started.
     
  9. mekasmom

    mekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At this age, I wouldn't be too overly concerned, but if they are still fearful at 6-8mo, I would consider euthanasia. Fearful LGDs are not good LGDs. If it was just the one that is fearful then that is the one I would watch closely. They should be confident and calm, not fearful. But they are young, so it might just be a stage of maturity or lack thereof. LGDs should not be fearful though, confident, easy going, happy, very calm......not fearful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  10. eljen

    eljen New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Ok, here is my game plan after reading everyone's posts. I checked the pup out and she doesn't seem to have any injuries. I felt like what happened today was out of the blue but maybe it was just a long time coming. I really thought that the pups and I had a good bond. We are going to find a way to seperate the two pups with their own set of goats for the next month or so- far enough away from each other that they can't even hear the other pup. I will keep a close eye on the one that bit me, watching for any other fearful behavior, and I will step up my bonding with the pups. Before, I didn't want them to be too bonded to me for fear that they wouldn't bond to the goats, but I guess I haven't been doing enough. In a month or so I will bring the pups back together and give it another try. Any advice on how to or how often to bond with the pups without getting them too attached to me? Is a month apart long enough?
     

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