LGD Wants Inside the home Constantly

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Rin, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

    680
    1
    129
    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    I have a Maremma who is only about 10 weeks old now. I brought him home at 8 weeks and after a week of keeping him in the barn with the chickens, he is now allowed out during the day but is kept in there during the night. He can still see his flock through the hardware cloth at all times but seems to have no interest in staying with them. As soon as he is let out of his area of the barn he wants in my house. He lays at my back porch staring into my sliding glass doors and then tests the (locked) doggy door as he witnessed the house dog using it once (he will test it all day long, about 15+ times). The only time he leaves the sliding glass door is when he's grabbing his blanket from the barn and dragging it over to the house to make himself a bed anywhere along the exterior of my house. The only time he has been in my house at all was for 5 minutes once when he was receiving a puppy shot.

    What should I do to encourage him to want to stay outside with the flock? What did I do wrong? Even the breeder kept him outside with his mother, siblings, chickens, and goats. Most resources seem to have the exact opposite issue of Maremma wanting to escape and run. I understand he's young and likely just scared right now, but I need to nip any issues in the bud before he becomes too large. He's already starting to scratch and chew at the sliding glass door out of desperation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,387
    916
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    The poor pathetic pooch is only 70 days old and it has only had its eyes open for about 50 days. I dare say that he misses his mama and that he is lonely for some company as well as the warmth and comfort of his litter mates. You are doing something right though, all dedicated LSGD I am familiar with needs to bond with their livestock charges before they become adults, especially if the livestock charges are as un conventional as a chicken.

    I don't think more humanization will matter much. Just enough so he or she will also bond to you and to your family. Then the dog can think of you as the pack leader.
     
  3. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

    680
    1
    129
    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    I understand he is young and scared and that poultry is harder for him to bond to, I do not understand what you mean by more humanization though. What would you suggest I change in this routine to put him more at ease without disrupting the process?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,855
    7,014
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I suggest you take a look at this forum, lots of info, but you'll have to wade thru to find what you need.

    This thread is very detailed and talks about dealing with a young puppy.

    Tough 1-2 year job training an LGD puppy, but well worth the trouble. Training any pup takes lots of patience and calm consistent behavior on your part.

    I think you'll need to confine him to the barn in a nice safe puppy cave/enclosure near his charges and balance that out with human intervention/company and basic obedience training. Probably have to listen to some distress from him until he 'homes' to his 'cave'.

    Good Luck.
     
  5. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    8
    78
    Nov 29, 2013
    GA
    My Coop
    Agree, he sounds lonely.
     
  6. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

    680
    1
    129
    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    I appreciate the posts, but, I know he is lonely. I'm asking what to do about it (if anything) without ruining him? And I already tried to search that forum among others. I don't have months to wait for a decent answer on there which is why I asked here.

    I did however change a few things; I erected a chain-link kennel to force him to be by the chickens instead of the house, so I guess I'll see how that goes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,855
    7,014
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Did you start a thread there and ask? There's some very good and helpful trainers there.
     
  8. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    8
    78
    Nov 29, 2013
    GA
    My Coop
    Rin,
    I am not an expert but I don't think one has to be an expert trainer to answer some basic questions. Why so hard on the pup? I get that he needs to be the guard dog that doesn't eat the chickens but defends them and I have had my share of losses to understand how you feel about that however the Pup needs human interaction and love as well.
    The dog will too (when he's not a pup anymore)
    I have 2 dogs so that's why I am writing.
    I like this article a lot I hope it helps.
    http://www.lgd.org/civilizedpyr2.htm
     
  9. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,250
    145
    191
    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    Most all working LGDs are raised by OTHER older LGDs and that is now they learn the best guarding skills. If you were to seek out a young working dog that had training (generally much more expensive) you will discover their training consists primarily of living and working with older experienced dogs until they are a year or so old.

    If you had an older dog that stayed with the flock he would NOT be lonely as he would have a real friend. The little guy is just a baby, he feels vulnerable and needs some protection too at this age. Most working LGDs do work in teams (especially if the predators include coyotes, bobcats, etc...) so that is the most natural for them.

    I have a 5 year old Anatolian male, he was a working dog guarding livestock (trained by older Anatolians) and I bought him at a year of age and made him a house/companion dog (that was a bit of a challenge...lol). He prefers to sleep on the porch (unless it is too cold or rainy) so with the acquisition of a few chicks this spring I plan to put the coop fairly close to our house so he will guard them along with the house. If the coop was too far away the chickens would be sol, but if they are close they will fall into the "house territory" and will be protected.

    He is very alert to airborne predators, he constantly threatens hawks or vultures that dare fly anywhere near our airspace (even though I tell him that none of us, me or the other dogs are at risk of being carried off) . I think the chickens and him will have a nice copacetic relationship as they will share his concerns regarding threats.

    edited by staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2014
  10. Rin

    Rin Chillin' With My Peeps

    680
    1
    129
    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    Sorry for the delay, I actually moved my older house dog outside to the pen with him. She had become incontinent in her sleep and it was a decision I was struggling with for a while now anyway. I'm not trying to be too hard on him. I am out there every single day tending to his needs as well as my birds needs. He hasn't just been ditched in the middle of a field with bowls of food and water for company. My problem is all the experts and books seem to say an lgd not staying with the stock is an lgd not protecting that stock. Some even implying that if a lgd prefers to be near the house/humans and refuses to stay with their stock to be not suited as a lgd at all but rather a (protective) farm/house dog. This is why I'm at all concerned about the behavior.

    My farm isn't under heavy predation right now. But to give you a better Idea of when it is and what to; I had 20 Australorp chicks and 3 Banty Sultans I got last spring. 1 Australorp and 2 Sultans died of natural causes during brooding. 15 Australorps died to 2 dog attacks(13) and 1 fox attack(2) and the remaining Sultan died to an Owl or Hawk during summer (this one I did not witness). I got 20 more chicks in fall, this time EErs, 18 died or had to be put down after a hawk attack that left them horribly mangled (they were fully-feathered adolescents in rabbit cages and the hawk pulled them through the gaps trying to eat what it could - it looked like a raccoon got them but I had to run the hawk off myself so I know better). It is now nearing a year of this game; I purchased 43 chicks total, 3 died of natural causes, 34 died to predation, and only 6 lived to this point. Hawks and dogs are my biggest problems (and in foxes in previous years). I've seen and dealt with possums, snakes, and raccoons being in and around my coop but none of them managed to do any damage. (the raccoon did bite one of my birds but he only got a mouthful of feathers before the house dog ran him off proper, that hen is still alive today)

    So yes, it's a good and determined variety but he's already at least twice the size now of 90% of my problems. No coys or feline preds (other than passing feral cats), the foxes have gone away months before I got him, and the dogs I've had issues with were all small enough to wiggle through livestock fencing; about 1/4th the size Kobu already is.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by