Sarplaninac's??

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Aj1911, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    thinking about getting a sarp to help protect my chickens and house

    i was wondering how i would go about finding one? are there any breeders in southern oregon/northern california?

    are they good with chickens? will they do ok on 2.5 acres if its fenced in?

    are they hard to train?
     
  2. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
  3. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
  4. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    Yeah, we have one. We got him from some folks in North Central KY, but I'm not sure if they're breeding them anymore.

    Our guy was raised around goats and poultry, and he pretty much has no prey drive at all.. As such, he's fine around pretty much whatever you wanna leave him in with, so long as it doesn't pose him a threat or make him nervous.

    As for training, they're extremely smart but prone to independent thinking. Whereas a lab, shepherd, or almost any other more common, non-LGD breed of dog is so eager for praise or treats or just acceptance that they'll literally roll over for an enthusiastic "Good job!!" and maybe a belly rub...well, the Sarplaninac just isn't that interested in pleasing you. [​IMG] We've done some treat-training with him and he picks it up easily enough, but we'd actually rather him just keep on thinking for himself.. His ability to do that is what makes him such a fine guardian, as he doesn't need anyone out there to give commands at those critical moments.. If were were always gonna be there at those moments, we wouldn't need him anyway.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I know they can be trained, if you understand the dog's tendencies and want to go down that road. They even used them as police and army dogs in the former Yugoslavia, beginning post WWII. In thinking of that, I can't help but picture something akin to Schutzhund training, but with a massive and extremely powerful dog, the combination of which would certainly create a force to be reckoned with.

    A fenced area of 2.5 acres should be plenty.. In my experience, they don't patrol much. Ours knows his area and keeps his eyes and ears open 24/7, and if something bothers him, he goes on alert...but he's not pacing fencelines or anything like that. For example, just yesterday I was out on the front porch and I hear him scramble to get up and then he BOLTED to the fenceline facing the road, then he went absolutely berserk barking. This was his angry bark, too...he was clearly seeing something I wasn't. (These dogs have distinctive barks for different situations...just as we humans have, our goats have also learned his different barks and they respond appropriately.) I looked all up and down the road and tried to figure out what he was looking at and then noticed, waaaaaaaaay up on the ridgeline across the road on the neighbor's property, probably 1/2mi away, were two tiny silhouettes of men walking. It's late muzzleloader season, so I'm assuming they were hunters. I dunno how he came to see those guys up there but he did, and he didn't like it. He barked until they went over the hill out of sight, and then he was happy again. I'd never have seen them, but he sees everything.

    Really, the only problem I have with the Sarplaninac is that they're so few and far between.. If something were to happen to ours, I'd want nothing more than to have another....but getting one is just as much a problem for me as it is for you. We just happened to have gotten EXTREMELY lucky in finding the one we have -- truly a once-in-a-lifetime find.

    If you can't find a Sarpie, you might consider looking for a Caucasian Ovcharka.. There's a breeder in Montana that I know of, and the dogs look almost identical.. In speaking with her (we were looking for a potential mate for our Sarpie) they really seem to have the same temperament.. Might be able to find one of those more easily.. Beyond that, I dunno.
     
  5. tonkatuff

    tonkatuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2008
    Orange County NY
    I have to disagree... I have owned Caucasian Ovcharkas & Sarplaninac.... direct imports from Russia & Macedonia... they are two VERY different breeds. The CO's (correctly bred, not mpst of what is being bred here) are EXTREMELY territorial and will engage anything or anyone they consider a threat. The lines being selected for sentry work can have high prey and be very animal aggressive. The Sarplaninac is a much easier dog to control & live with... very litle prey towards stock but they will often employ a "seek & destroy" attitude towards dogs or any animal that trespasses. For livestock guarding & a good alarm, the Sarplaninac would be my choice. A nice in between from the two would be the Central Asian SHepherds... an excellent dual purpose dog. I can recommend breeders of all 3 if you'd like.
     
  6. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    Quote:Interesting info on CO's.. In speaking with the breeder in Montana, it seemed very much as though we just sorta 'spoke the same language,' as it were. From her description, the two breeds seemed very similar in nature, though she did mention that the COs were extremely good 'varmint' dogs.. Our Sarplaninac isn't. I know this because I've had to trap groundhogs out of the barn in his presence.. They stopped digging holes out in the main part of the barn and have relegated themselves to digging holes in 'protected' areas he can't access...the old cattle chute, for instance. What this tells me...or, at least, makes me suspect, is that he's probably investigated them with barking or growling, making the groundhog uncomfortable and sending it the other way. If something goes the other way, he'll let it. He seems to prefer his confrontations to end non-violently, which is fine by me, as the end result for the livestock is effectively the same -- only minus a bunch of vet bills to stitch him up.

    Although...he did corner a box turtle once and bark at it until he had shoestrings of slobber hanging off his jowls. That, I think, was because he didn't understand what it was, nor what it was capable of doing...and it wouldn't leave! To him, it was standing its ground, so he barked and clawed the ground around it until my wife removed it from the barnyard, at which point he was happy again. [​IMG]

    The OC breeder also mentioned that several of the pups were already becoming "very serious" at just a few weeks of age -- her words. I wasn't quite sure what to make of that.

    I do find it interesting that you mention territoriality as a component of the CO's decision to engage threats.. Our Sarpie isn't very territorial, but he will certainly engage anything or anyone he considers a threat if it hangs around long enough for him to reach it. That's quite literally the only thing he knows to do when he's threatened.. In my experience, it's not territoriality that makes a dog behave this way -- it's fear aggression. When they become afraid, they become aggressive. The scarier the opponent, the more aggressive they become. Instead of tucking tail and going the other way like most dogs would, they go directly toward whatever has them worried, and they try to run it off or kill it.

    And perhaps that's the difference between the two? Whereas the Sarpie will first try to steer things the other way and be happy to end a confrontation without getting physical, perhaps the CO is more prone to kill without so much in the way of providing the offending critter an opportunity to escape?

    Does that sound right, or am I misunderstanding?

    Quote:Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "dual purpose?" Specifically, aside from being a guardian of livestock, what's the other purpose you're referring to?
     
  7. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    Quote:i would love any breeder info you have for sarplaninacs.
     
  8. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    do sarp's tend to have any health problems i should know about?
     
  9. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    We've not had ours long enough to run into any health problems, and I've yet to read anything about specific problems common to the Sarplaninac. My suspicion, however, is that they're probably susceptible to the more common problems that hit other LGD breeds. Cancer, GI bloat/torsion, hip & elbow displaysia, etc....basically, things I'd watch for and try to prevent in a Pyr, I'm doing likewise for our Sarplaninac.

    I can tell you that I know of two male Sarpies to die of bloat and/or torsion, after eating livestock grain. Ours would eat goat grain too, if he could, but we keep it secured and never feed it free-choice to the goats to help prevent bloat in the goats as well as the LGD..
     
  10. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    Quote:ok so i should feed 2 small meals a day instead on 1 big one? and i should give him/her a joint supplement as well?

    i was thinking of feeding a grain-free dog food such as evo or taste of the wild in the mornings and raw in the evening (raw bones and meat) same thing i do with my cat right now.

    and it would be a good idea to keep my chicken feed locked up huh?
     

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