Seeking Dog Advise

NHMountainMan

Crowing
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We presently have a Great Pyrenees / Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix - he's 8. We lost his big brother about 6 months ago at 12.5 years old. Our remaining dog, Titan, has absurd LGD traits that have shown up since he's been the only dog. So far - he's scared off raptors and coyotes. The issue is that he's lame. Both dogs had a run in protecting me from a black bear about 4 years ago, and Titan needed knee surgery after the fight. Now - anytime he runs full speed, he's not able to use that leg for a few days. I'd like to retire him to protect that leg and let him become the couch potato he deserves to be.

So - we are now on the hunt for a pup or two. So - a few questions:

1 - Will a pup learn how to scope out hawks from Titan or is that pure instinct?

2 - I'm looking for an Anatolian Shepard and/or Greater Swiss Mountain dog. I'm confident I can train them to guard and not attack the chickens. That's on me. But my wife REALLY wants a Great Dane. I know that they're short lived, and can be couch potatoes. But the original Dane's were guardians. Does anyone have Dane experience, and how were their prey drives and guarding capability.

My dogs are companion dogs - with me most of the time.They sleep inside, when the chickens are locked up But are outside with me most of the day - sleeping on the porch and whiting the chickens.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
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One issue you would have with a Dane is their short hair coat, and winter weather. Many dogs hate to wear sweaters, and outside temps will be too much all day for a Dane, especially one who comes inside every night.
Health is an issue, and longevity, and of course temperament. Talk to breeders!!!
My vote would be for a dog with a winter coat for the livestock, and then there's making Mrs. happy, so that Dane might be in your future too.
We raised two puppies at once, ONCE!!! It was triple trouble...
Mary
 

Building Bridges

Songster
Premium member
Jan 11, 2020
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We presently have a Great Pyrenees / Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix - he's 8. We lost his big brother about 6 months ago at 12.5 years old. Our remaining dog, Titan, has absurd LGD traits that have shown up since he's been the only dog. So far - he's scared off raptors and coyotes. The issue is that he's lame. Both dogs had a run in protecting me from a black bear about 4 years ago, and Titan needed knee surgery after the fight. Now - anytime he runs full speed, he's not able to use that leg for a few days. I'd like to retire him to protect that leg and let him become the couch potato he deserves to be.

So - we are now on the hunt for a pup or two. So - a few questions:

1 - Will a pup learn how to scope out hawks from Titan or is that pure instinct?

2 - I'm looking for an Anatolian Shepard and/or Greater Swiss Mountain dog. I'm confident I can train them to guard and not attack the chickens. That's on me. But my wife REALLY wants a Great Dane. I know that they're short lived, and can be couch potatoes. But the original Dane's were guardians. Does anyone have Dane experience, and how were their prey drives and guarding capability.

My dogs are companion dogs - with me most of the time.They sleep inside, when the chickens are locked up But are outside with me most of the day - sleeping on the porch and whiting the chickens.

Any help would be appreciated.
Understand I do not have chickens yet or any livestock....and I have no first hand knowledge with anatolian Shepherds. However, in my opinion, unless you seek out a very well established and diligent Dane breeder (and pay $$$$) you may be setting yourself (and your wife) up for heartbreak. Danes have many health issues, some temperament issues and as you stated, are short lived. I've known some nice ones over the years but I wouldn't consider one simply because I am devastated when I lose a dog and an 8 year life span just won't work for me. Breeders have more genetic testing available now than ever before and I try to find ones that are making breeding decisions based upon health and longevity .
People also need to be aware that there is a list of breeds that insurance companies will not cover. Folks think they are covered if their dog bites someone and after it happens, they learn they have a breed that is not covered. Insurance companies are data driven and when there are a large number of bites....they drop the breed. I believe Danes were on the list at one time and I'm not sure if they still are but I'd find out first. I know chows, huskies, doberman, pit bulls, GSD, Akitas, and a few others are on it. I had to make special arrangements with my company to have my GSD covered. Choosing a breed is a personal thing....but protect yourself. Your other question....dogs CAN learn from other dogs if they are intelligent and observant..... Good luck with your puppy search....getting a new dog is always exciting.

Summary of breeds most often "blacklisted" by insurance companies....Danes are on it (check with your insurance provider)
 
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NHMountainMan

Crowing
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Feb 25, 2019
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New Hampshire
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One issue you would have with a Dane is their short hair coat, and winter weather. Many dogs hate to wear sweaters, and outside temps will be too much all day for a Dane, especially one who comes inside every night.
Health is an issue, and longevity, and of course temperament. Talk to breeders!!!
My vote would be for a dog with a winter coat for the livestock, and then there's making Mrs. happy, so that Dane might be in your future too.
We raised two puppies at once, ONCE!!! It was triple trouble...
Mary
Thanks for the advice Mary. I don't think we'd get two at once. I'd want a year gap between the pups.
I hadn't thought about how a Dane would handle the snow, cold and wind we deal with here. That might be a debate I could win. Maybe.....
 

NHMountainMan

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Hawk directive is learned, either from elder dog, you or experience through luck. For you to be trainer, you have to have hawks come in from time to time. Elder dog could be with pup more to train by example.
Thanks for the hawk advice. We have a lot of raptors in the area. I don't think we've gone a full day without one circling overhead.
Our older dog was too old when we added the chicks and really wasn't much of a guardian. The younger guy was submissive and didn't show much guardian behavior but within a week of being a single dog, he wouldn't let a hawk stay anywhere near here.
Glad you think a pup could learn that from him .
Thanks
 

NHMountainMan

Crowing
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Feb 25, 2019
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New Hampshire
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Understand I do not have chickens yet or any livestock....and I have no first hand knowledge with anatolian Shepherds. However, in my opinion, unless you seek out a very well established and diligent Dane breeder (and pay $$$$) you may be setting yourself (and your wife) up for heartbreak. Danes have many health issues, some temperament issues and as you stated, are short lived. I've known some nice ones over the years but I wouldn't consider one simply because I am devastated when I lose a dog and an 8 year life span just won't work for me. Breeders have more genetic testing available now than ever before and I try to find ones that are making breeding decisions based upon health and longevity .
People also need to be aware that there is a list of breeds that insurance companies will not cover. Folks think they are covered if their dog bites someone and after it happens, they learn they have a breed that is not covered. Insurance companies are data driven and when there are a large number of bites....they drop the breed. I believe Danes were on the list at one time and I'm not sure if they still are but I'd find out first. I know chows, huskies, doberman, pit bulls, GSD, Akitas, and a few others are on it. I had to make special arrangements with my company to have my GSD covered. Choosing a breed is a personal thing....but protect yourself. Your other question....dogs CAN learn from other dogs if they are intelligent and observant..... Good luck with your puppy search....getting a new dog is always exciting.

Summary of breeds most often "blacklisted" by insurance companies....Danes are on it (check with your insurance provider)
I've already tried the "Danes don't live long" strategy but but she also thinks that since we're older, neither will we. But thanks for the reminder to be careful with breeders, too. I read that Danes were one of the most expensive to own - but so far that argument hasn't worked.
 

Building Bridges

Songster
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I've already tried the "Danes don't live long" strategy but but she also thinks that since we're older, neither will we. But thanks for the reminder to be careful with breeders, too. I read that Danes were one of the most expensive to own - but so far that argument hasn't worked.
It's a big decision!! Keep us posted....we'd love to see whatever pup you get! :)
 

BirdsBeesTrees

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Our Great Dane, Sawyer, just died around Thanksgiving. We had him for 7 years. Lots of times in the beginning I was in contact with the breeder because of issues with the dog that seemed hard to resolve. He would growl at me and posture sometimes which is scary with a dog that big. He was fixed and he eventually learned his pack order. Keep this in mind they are extremely hard to train, like you feel like you are going insane. He had to be inside in the cold or hot, they have heart problems from oversized hearts apparently, and of course all the other issues of big dogs as well. He was lazy and didn't want to do any job, and would only go after things if our Aussie did. ( who died of old age,13, last year too). We cried when he died but we got an English Mastiff puppy shortly after. We had an English Mastiff when we were first married and he was the perfect dog, he lived 11 years with us. I will never get another Great Dane in my life.
 

NHMountainMan

Crowing
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Feb 25, 2019
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New Hampshire
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Our Great Dane, Sawyer, just died around Thanksgiving. We had him for 7 years. Lots of times in the beginning I was in contact with the breeder because of issues with the dog that seemed hard to resolve. He would growl at me and posture sometimes which is scary with a dog that big. He was fixed and he eventually learned his pack order. Keep this in mind they are extremely hard to train, like you feel like you are going insane. He had to be inside in the cold or hot, they have heart problems from oversized hearts apparently, and of course all the other issues of big dogs as well. He was lazy and didn't want to do any job, and would only go after things if our Aussie did. ( who died of old age,13, last year too). We cried when he died but we got an English Mastiff puppy shortly after. We had an English Mastiff when we were first married and he was the perfect dog, he lived 11 years with us. I will never get another Great Dane in my life.
I'm sorry for your loss. It's always tough.
How is your mastiff around the chicks? My wife's coworker is a breeder, and the pups are so cute. I might be able to sway her opinion!
 
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