A mountain lion attack last week has accelerated our LGD search. The mountain lion took one of our pigs and has already taken multiple goats from down the road.
We can immediately pick up 10 week old pups from working Akbash / Great Pyrenees lineage from the goat dairy 1 mile down the road (talk about lucky).
Since we are dealing with mountain lions, black bears and coyote packs everyone says that we will need to run at least two dogs eventually. While we have pigs, chickens, and rabbits on 75 acres, the dogs' primary charges will be our 4 kids (5-11 years old).
We're torn between getting a male/female pair from the same litter now or just one and then add another LGD later, possibly an adult.
FYI, our 11 year olds are boy-girl twins and are the only kids that I would willingly charge with a long term project because they just get each other. The twin connection is weird, even for non-identical twins. They know what the other is thinking. When they want to work together, they complement each other really well. While they do know how to push each others buttons, they ultimately know when to stop so things don't get out of hand. I'm interested to see how that boy-girl twin relationship would play out with working dogs, but my wife is more reserved about getting two LGD puppies at the same time.
Our prior dogs have both been Labrador house-dogs. Our first one did nothing when I was charged by a bear fishing and I'm pretty sure our current lab doesn't even know there is a mountain lion and black bear on the property currently.
Since you need protection NOW, not in a year or more (typical timeline to a puppy being ready for full time independent duty), I'd highly recommend getting an adult, experience, and high quality LGD right away, and then consider a puppy. For a few reasons. The adult will be able to start guarding your property once it is settled in. Then when you get a pup the adult can help train it. If it starts to show aggression to anything the adult will be a better disciplinarian than you.
Also, litter mates are rarely a great idea for having multiple dogs. Especially if both are female, but even if mixed or both male there will be a greater chance of a variety of problems. Full or half siblings from different litters are probably fine, but I strongly advise against littermates. If you must go with littermates for whatever reason at least get one male, one female.
I think go for it. 10 week old pup from working stock--just about perfect. I would not pass that opportunity up. Young enough to bond with your livestock and your children. I've never got two pups at the same time so I won't offer an opinion on that. We have brought in a pup when an older dog was getting too old to get around good. That worked really good.
It is highly recommended, generally to NOT get siblings as they tend to focus on each other and are less inclined to seek companionship/direction from others.
Historically, when someone has been adament about getting siblngs I recommend taking one at 10-12 weeks and the other closer to 6 months. That allows them to develop independently - grow their own personalities - and come into their own, so to speak. Whereas when taken together they are all about each other, playing and it seems to almost stunt their potential. This does not occur when littermates are left behind as there are adult dog(s) to mentor them, train and raise them.
Is there any chance they are looking to retire one of their breeding bitches or sires? Taking one adult and a puppy would be brilliant. They may even be willing to "place" an adult for little to no money, and retain breeding rights. It is often a challenge to keep intact males and females on the same property, and this is commonly done in the breeding world.
Lorinne Anderson: Specializing in sick, injured, orphaned and problem wildlife for over 20 years.
Thank you for all the input. I was leaning toward getting a male and female, but then the breeder informed me that the last male was spoke for. So we went down to the farm to pick out a single female.
Turns out the person that was going to take the last male backed out. We spent over 3 hours on the farm talking to the breeders, playing with the dogs, and observing their parents. And against just about everyone's advice, I decided to bring home the male and female siblings.
It's only been a week, but I'm glad we took the two together. We'll see how badly this backfires on me.
Say hello to Luke and Leia, our Akbash guardian dogs, ready to bring balance back to the farm.