LGD-where to kennel/sleep?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Megs501, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Megs501

    Megs501 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Flint Hills KS
    My Coop
    We will be getting a Great Pyr/Anatolian mix puppy next weekend and are trying to get things ready; he will be a working dog, bonded ot the animals more than us. I've just read SO much information, and I need to get concise info... (background- we have a GP that is food dominant that we are rehoming. She is not doing well in a farm setting trying to retrain her. She snapped and made contact with my daughter while she was chewing on a stick. We did NOT get her as a puppy, though I love her dearly, she can't stay. We want ot be sure we do this RIGHT this time, since we will be fully responsible for this dog's raising)


    We have 2 calves, and will have cows in the future, but I mainly want my chickens safe-I know this takes several years of training. I mostly get that. But it is a getting started questions I have:

    1) would you house him in the chicken run, in his own pen? Or in a kennel in the barn?
    I am attaching a picture of the coop and run (in our backyard) and the barn (behind a horse fence). The ducks are fed in the barn, the chickens in their coop, the cows in the barn.
    Any help or tips on establishing his "home" for him are welcome-I am just not sure how much eh should be in his pen?
    Can he be on a runner in the yard, in front of the coop unsupervised?
    Or does he really need to be in his pen?
    As a puppy, should he be out when we are home (which is all the time mostly, because we homeschool...) or confined to his pen?


    2) I've been told feed him with an automatic feeder to help prevent food dominance, and also pick up and put down his food (me and the kids with supervision). Does this sound right?

    3) Do I walk him around the perimeter of his boundaries each day as I have read? Or is that too much handling for a working LGD? I thought I would get up each morning and walk him around the boundaries, if that is okay.

    4) I understand no playing and romping with the kids. he needs manners- sit, come (within a GP's ability ha), leave it, and no sleeping on the porch-he needs to be bonded to his flock, right? It is hard because our home is very close to the pasture, pond, barn, and that area. But I need to redirect him to the coop/barn area right?

    5) When will he be ready to sleep outside his pen? a certain age? size?

    6) Other than supervision, and a firm deep NO for discipline if/when he tries to bounce on the chickens, any other training tips?


    Thanks SO much! We really want to do this right.



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  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Quote: You'll get years of opinions on methods of training for your questions and most of them will differ from my own, so I can only tell you what works for me...and my method seems to be quicker and more successful than many others I've read about, so I'll offer it up. Used it just this last year on an Anatolian/Maremma/GP mix pup of 2 mo. of age. I have the benefit of having an older, non-LGD dog, on hand to augment training, so your mileage may vary. I've also used this on non LGD pups with the same results, so it works if you work it.

    If you leave him adjacent to a pen of chickens and don't monitor his actions, he has many hours of the day to establish a routine of getting excited when the chickens run, squawk, flap, etc. That seems to be the preferred method, which usually results in people having to work on a dog for 2 yrs before they can fully trust them around chickens. That first "getting excited" is the one you want to catch, correct and be consistent with. Folks say you can't do that unless you are there with him 24/7, but you can...you can make the first impression last a lifetime.

    Since your chickens stay in a pen situation and he won't be living among them all the time, I wouldn't let him live in the pen with them. I'd place him in the barn at first, while you work on basic obedience, leash training in the chicken pen and around the perimeter.

    On his first day at your place, I'd put a leash on him with a slip feature on the neck so you can give a quick tug if needed to redirect his attention...place that up high, behind his ears. Have a chicken already caught up for close up training...do NOT let him see you chasing a chicken. Anatolians are great mimics and will do it because he saw you do it. I found out that with my own Tolian on other issues...they are incredibly smart, intuitive dogs. Have him sit or lie down and bring the chicken for him to see it...if he shows any level of excitement over it, give him a correction...a quick tug and release on the leash and a hard tone~pick a single word or phrase you can say quick and hard as your correction word...I'd advise it not to be NO...it can even just be a sound. Gotta be quick, as they need to associate that with excitement over the bird, so have that leash in your hand and ready to give the tug.

    Then present the chicken again and let him casually sniff it, even lick it once if he's inclined...anything more than a casual sniff or single lick, give the correction. You can even combine this training with "leave it", which serves two purposes in his training...you'll want to train on "leave it" with these dogs, they chew EVERYTHING. My Tolian will even try to sneak tools out of my tool caddy while my back is turned or the dollbaby out of a toy stroller and sneak off with it to chew on it...gotta watch them like a hawk about that. Leave it is a great command to teach, in other words. [​IMG]

    Truss up your chicken's legs for a bit and let it lie on the ground...it will likely hop about or flap, trying to move against the ties. Watch the pup when this happens, if he's excited by that, give the correction. He's not even allowed to stare at the chicken as it goes through these movements and sounds....in dogs, a stare is as good as a pounce, it's the stepping off place to further excitement, so no allowing anything more than a casual glance at the chicken. Make sure you are getting the proper reaction to your corrections...there should be a ducking of the head a little and an avoidance towards the chicken. I'd advise not mixing the negative correction with too much praise at this point, as it can confuse the pup a little. Praise comes later but this training is all about aversion.

    Take your chicken out in the open, but leave it trussed, and walk away from the chicken....go into an adjacent building, the house, etc. where you can view the pup and chicken but he cannot see you. Watch what he does. If he even glances at the chicken or moves casually towards it while looking in another direction, give a loud and quick correction immediately. He should duck his head and move away from the chicken's area. If you've succeeded in that first training and getting the right actions, it's all down hill from there.

    My boy lived with the chickens free ranging all about him after the first week he was here with no more training than what I've given you in these paragraphs. He was 2 mo. old and had never seen a chicken before then and he's never harmed a chicken in all this time...he's 1 1/2 yrs now. I consider him completely trustworthy and have felt so within a few weeks of his being here.

    Once you've got your desired result, take him with you to return that chicken to the pen...watch his reaction to the whole flock moving about and give a quick correction if he starts to tremble, stare intently or wants to walk towards them. Take him in with you and have him sit or lie down....pull up a chair and sit down, relax awhile. Let him see you sitting calmly and not reacting to sounds, flapping, running of the chickens...you become the older dog at this point. Pet him and give him praise as he sits calmly.

    I'd then take him to the coop with you each morning and even feed him when you feed the chickens...don't let them get his food, don't let him get their food. He needs to know you control both things and all animals answer to you. As you get more confident about his behavior around the chickens, you can start to feed him outside the pen while you are inside feeding the chickens.

    Have him lie down and wait to be fed...until he is calm, do not feed him. Calm means lying calmly, not tense and ready to spring up as soon as the bowl hits the ground...put down the bowl and let him wait with it in front of him, calmly...then let tell him he can have it...try to time his release for when he's looking at you instead of the bowl. This will give him the right idea, to not focus on the food but on you. Put your hand in his bowl while he's eating...if he tries to block you out of the bowl, remove the bowl, wait until he lies calmly and put it back down. Don't let him eat until he waits for a bit, lying down and waiting, then let him resume. He'll soon get the idea and as soon as you put your hand in the bowl he'll back up and lie down...that's the perfect response.

    Then, guarding any chance of contact between him and the kid with your hand, let each of your children practice this same thing. Do it early and often, over and over until he is fully polite and calm about the kids messing with his food, taking it away and bringing it back again. Any toys or bones should be treated the same way, get everyone involved and while he's still little so when he's big enough to do damage it's just his way of life to give up anything you want him to give up, easily, calmly, immediately. Repetition and consistency is key with training on these important things...especially with the food and the kids. Can't ever do that one enough.

    I'd advise to teach the kids that this is just training and to never engage in this type of training without you being present and to only do it with their dog. Practice safety around dogs with the kids for when they are around other dogs and around your own without direct supervision....teach them to not mess with a dog while eating in those instances, stress their involvement in the training as only for training purposes and not to be done when adults are not around and supervising these actions. It could save them a world of hurt to train them on dog safety, especially strange dogs.

    Feeding him at the chicken's pen or in the barn is going to establish his place of being...where a dog eats and drinks is where he lives, generally. I'd not bring him in the house at all, even at first. You'll want him to see the barn as his home and these pups are independent and resilient, so I wouldn't treat him like a baby when you get him. Encourage the kids to only play/interact with him when they get to the barn area...don't pet him or give him praise at the house if you can avoid it. Wait until you get to the coop or barn and wait until he sits down, then everyone can pet him, praise him, etc.

    When walking him on the leash, never let him pull you or try to walk ahead of you...a quick tug to the side and a correction when he does, so he knows who controls the walk. That's important throughout all his days and training, that knowledge that you are in control over his world. It gives them comfort and garners their respect towards you.

    Never let him jump up on the legs or even put a paw up on the leg, even as a little pup. Many LGD owners feel the paw on the leg is their way of showing affection but they have many other ways to do so without putting their great paws and long claws up on a human's skin...discourage it from the first. It's not cute, it's potentially harmful to small children and the elderly. I also wouldn't teach him to "shake" for the same reason. Big paws belong on the ground...this keeps them from accidentally scratching a child's face, arm, leg, etc.

    I'd let him sleep outside his pen when you are confident he's going to ignore the chickens. Watch him throughout the day on his first day and just see if he's able to conduct himself calmly around all the animals on his own. If he's not, go back to training mode and supervision until he is. Calm is the mode you want at all times. Calm will help him around the cows, the chickens, and, more importantly, around your kids and visitors.

    The pup is adorable, BTW! I wish you all success with your training and with your new dog and hope you can post back with your progress and outcome of your chosen method of training him. Please let us know what works for you and what doesn't, as it increases everyone's information about these great breeds.

    ETA: Here's a pic of my dogs in "wait" mode for their daily food. Both of these dogs were obtained and trained as pups in the manner I described above and both have been completely trustworthy around my free range flocks ever since. The brown one is 10 yrs old, a Lab/BC mix, and the white one is 1 1/2 yrs, a Anatolian/Maremma/GP mix. They can wait l like that for a few minutes or for longer...I try to vary it so they don't get used to getting the food right away, but learn to wait until they are given permission to eat. I don't have to tell them to do this...they do it automatically when I put those feed pans down and back away. Sometimes I give them the food right away and I have to tell them it's okay to have it right away so they don't lie down first. Practice makes perfect.

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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  3. Megs501

    Megs501 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Flint Hills KS
    My Coop
    Can I just hug you?! Thank you for not questioning me, or judging the through a computer screen! aaah, thank you!

    That sounds good. I am going to write it down to keep in my coat for interacting with him. So walking him daily-morning and evening- around his boundaries is good?

    And would you say no to an automatic feeder at all then?

    Thank you. I will definitely post back on what we do and how successful it is.
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I didn't see anything to question in your post? All seems perfectly normal to me!

    I think the walk around his boundary will serve many purposes...establish you as his authority, show him where you want him to guard and will also give you some one on one time to interact with him and bond with him. I'd give him good praise for each good response on the walk, for coming each and every time you call, etc. A lot of folks seem to think these breeds should be able to dictate when they will come and when they will not, all depending on what THEY think is more important at the time....I'm not of that kind of thinking. It's important that any dog come whenever it's called. Obviously, you'd not call him away from actively guarding towards a predator, but what about if he's guarding towards a human? It's important that you be able to stop that sort of behavior when you want it to stop.

    Now...not sure what you have in the way of fences, but you probably know that these breeds like to go walk about, so that's an issue if you don't already have something in place?

    The automatic feeder can come later, I think....the food training is more important than the auto feeder, I'm thinking. If I had given my dogs an automatic feeder I'd have some seriously bloated dogs and no feed left. [​IMG] Once you've trained him on food for a long while you might try the autofeeder? I'd give him 6 mo. or a year on bowl feeding so you can ration his amounts and train him on food etiquette.
     
  5. Monstro

    Monstro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2014
    Wayland, MI
    Following. I've been looking into getting a LGD. AS and GP are the only ones I've seen advertised in my area. Leaning towards an Anatolian. Nice tips Beekissed!
     
  6. Megs501

    Megs501 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Flint Hills KS
    My Coop
    I just saw the update with the pics! AWESOME! Good looking dogs!

    We decided on a male and female- from different litters. The female is also AS and GP-1/4 Anatolian Shepherd 3/4 GP. Won't get her for another week or so. The breeder is putting her out with the parents in the chicken and goat yard, for me. So I want her to be there for a little bit before she comes here, I think.
     
  7. Megs501

    Megs501 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Flint Hills KS
    My Coop
    And BeeKissed- since I am going with 2 pups- any advice there?

    I spoke w a consultant and they said definitely get 2 for our predator load to help keep stress levels down, and because Huck would need a companion for his pack and work.

    So, we will get Huck Friday. And Tom (the female) either same weekend, or the following weekend. Which do you think would be better?

    Also, how do I work with 2 dogs at once? Does everything apply, I will just have 2 dogs on leads when walking, watching chickens together, etc?
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I'd work them separate at first....puppies get distracted very easily, especially by another pup. I'd get your basic commands started on each one, do your leash work for each one and do the chicken aversion training for each one before ever trying to train them together...I'd give each pup two weeks of training by themselves and then try them together....if they don't do well together, separate them and do more individual work.

    When I trained Ben on basic obedience, I took him away from Jake's area and worked with him in the front field where he couldn't see or hear Jake and vice versa...too much distraction otherwise. For your pups, you'll want all their training to take place where they will be working, as that's where you will want them to stay. It's easier for me to contain my dogs to the working area as I use a wireless containment system on them so they can't come down to the house at all.

    I'd get one pup first and the next one later like you plan...just makes it easier on you all the way around. The leash work around the boundaries can be done together and that's an important thing to establish...that pack walk, with you in control of it, will drive home to both of them that they can respect you and trust you.

    Two pups, double the work! [​IMG] But, you can do it...just take your time, wait for them to comply....I've found the LGD breeds need a moment or two to think things through before they comply with a command. Later on they are complying before you even ask, it seems. As pups, they are just filtering so much information that they need to be given a little time to process what you want before they can perform it. It's not that they aren't smart...it's almost as if they are TOO smart, so they need time to focus all that brain onto the task at hand. Sort of like ADD people...just need a minute to focus.

    A lot of people don't believe in food as a training tool, but I do....food is a powerful motivator for these breeds, so if you need to use bits of dog food or some such as rewards to drive home a lesson, I'd do it. Make it as easy on yourself as you can. Later on they work for praise alone and are very eager to please, but as pups they are still working very much on instinct and instinct is what you are working with. Food will get them to come each and every time you call...getting them to come when you call is one of the most important things and it's the first thing I teach. You don't have to use it every time but the first few times and sporadically after that for when they come, it drives home the idea that good things happen if they just come when you call....when it comes to praise or food, food is the biggest motivator by far. I combine both and it seems to work well.

    When training them together, the dog that comes the quickest gets the food...the other one will get praise and such but, alas, the tidbit has already been claimed. The dog that sits first, gets the food first and the other doesn't get any until he complies. They quickly catch on and are racing to be the first to get it right. If they both come as quickly as they possibly can and get there about the same time, they both get a treat. This will drive home the point that, when you call, they come now...no dawdling around on your own business.

    All of that may or may not be the right way to train a dog according to the experts out there, but it works for me and produces good results in a short amount of time. I hope this all helps!
     
  9. Megs501

    Megs501 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Flint Hills KS
    My Coop
    ok, and before i study what you gave me this time, let me go back.

    How do I correct when putting the paw up on a leg, or jumping? What is the best way? With a loud "aaant" "leave it" "down"? I know I don't hit ... do I do alpha roll when they jump, paw, etc?

    (Thora always did that and it always drove me crazy because it hurts and she would do it to the little kids when they laid by her outside, as if to claim them. But it hurt them)
     
  10. Megs501

    Megs501 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2012
    Flint Hills KS
    My Coop
    And, as puppies do I feed them together, or separately?
     

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