What a great job my dogs are doing!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by peteyfoozer, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. peteyfoozer

    peteyfoozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 1 year old Maremma pups have been guarding our lambs, goats, calves and chickens. There are 3 large owls living in the barn next to the house, and several hawks by day. Our 12 CornishX have had free run of the yard day and night and our 5 month and 7 week old layers free range by day. The dogs have run off the owls and hawks, treed a raccoon and discouraged a cougar all in one week. We haven't lost a single chicken all summer, since the dogs accepted them as their charges. Yesterday, the gate to the front was open. The littler chicks started heading out that way. There are cow dogs loose out there who could have slaughtered them. One of my LGD's trotted ahead of the chicks, and laid down in the open gate, blocking their exit. It was awesome. They guard from ground predators as well as those who fly. They follow the chicks around and remain close to them, not just chasing intruders. THIS is what Livestock Guardians do. It's a step beyond protection.

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  2. JayneMae

    JayneMae Out Of The Brooder

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    awesome! [​IMG]
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

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  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Wow. I don't care for having a dog that much but if I could for sure get one like that, I'd snap it up!
     
  5. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never heard of the breed. Looks like a mutant golden retriever. Do they hunt too?
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If I ever got another dog, and the plan is really not to ever own a dog again due to the cost in today's economy of feed, vet visits, etc, it would be a dog with a job that lives outside to guard the chickens and the property. I don't like long haired dogs, generally, but LGD's have long hair for very specific reasons, and being outside, the hair wouldn't be in the house. I like the Maremma of all the LGDs I've seen, even more than the Great Pyrenees.

    How much do they eat? I realize that not all large dogs are big eaters so that's why I'm asking.
     
  7. peteyfoozer

    peteyfoozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, they are a Livestock Guardian Breed, similar to the Great Pyrenees. They are Italian in origin. No hunting, low prey drive, no herding. Just live with the animals and keep predators away. If they have to die doing it, they volunteer. A cougar was stalking our lambs and goats last week, one dog stayed with the flock while the other went after the cougar. They (LGD's) are unique in that they do not take to training well, they are self directed which is a necessary trait to be successful at what they do. It's pretty much all instinct. They don't look to people for either direction or permission. They make lousy obedience dogs! LGD's are a genre of dog, like Herding dogs, or Hunting Dogs. There are specific breeds that were developed for the purpose. A lot of breeds make good farm dogs, but LGD's are very different. They aren't just dogs protecting the flock, they become 'members' of the flock. He does look like a Golden on steroids though! I have a Golden and we were just commenting on that the other day! [​IMG]
     
  8. peteyfoozer

    peteyfoozer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They eat surprisingly little for their size. Both these boys are close to 100 lb (one over, one barely under) and eat less than my 70 lb Golden Retriever. They don't burn off a lot of energy though, they are pretty quiet dogs, hanging out with the stock, except for their patrolling, or when they have to confront something. It's surprising how quickly they respond to a threat and how little actually gets past them when they look like they aren't even paying attention!
     
  9. Barn Maid Ann

    Barn Maid Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is truly awesome! I could have used them when most of my flock was killed by predators last week while I was at work. I am thinking a pack of coyotes, as they took over a dozen birds in one day. Two, a few days before, and two more a few days later. The few chickens left are now locked tight in their little coop until my husband gets home from being out of town.
    I do have a dog who would protect the birds, but she is not left outside when I am not home.
    Your Maremmas are beautiful. Thanks for the info on the breed.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:Thank you for the information. They sound like the perfect type of LGD for me, if I ever go that route.
     

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