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Best LGD for our situation

 
Suzy Greenberg
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I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion about the best breed of livestock guardian dog for my future small farm near Marshall, NC. Here are the specs:

Appr 11 acres, with about 1/3 of it in pasture and the rest in hilly woodland
The pasture will be fenced, but probably not the woods.
Livestock may include chickens, pygmy goats, alpacas, and 1-2 horses.
Other animals: 2 or more indoor/outdoor cats and 2 female pet dogs- 1 very mild and the other rather assertive. These 2 dogs will be indoor/outdoor...but mostly indoor.
There will be no close neighbors, but a breed less likely to roam would be ideal...just in case.
Summers will average about 80 degrees. Winters will be relatively mild, but temperatures will sometimes get into the the teens.
Likely predators will primarily include dogs, coyotes, foxes, black bears, racoons, hawks, and owls. Wolves or big cats would be a surprise, and we don't anticipate them.

We would like the breed that is the most LIKELY (understanding that each dog is different), with training, to get along with our pet dogs, and to not automatically regard visitors, and visiting dogs, as a threat. We understand how to take an alpha role with a dog, and are prepared to do that, but would prefer a more laid-back demeanor. To sum it up, we are looking for the most "chill" dog that will still get the job done, will guard multiple kinds of animals, and that will fit well into the physical environment.


I know people just say to research, research, research, but that's what I've been doing and I'm even more confused! All I've managed to do is to rule out some of the more aggressive breeds.

We are in the process of buying this farm, so we won't need a dog right away, and have time to figure all this out.
 
mick mclaughlin
Posts: 200
Location: Augusta,Ks
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What are your pet dogs?

I see no purpose for huge, or overly agressive dogs. I own mountain curs, and while they are not likely to kill coyotes, our biggest predator, they can make it darn uncomfortable for them.

Mountain curs were the original homesteader's dog, and i really like them, but about any dog can pull it's weight.
 
Mavie Bucy
Posts: 10
Location: High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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I like Great Pyrenees, but that's the LGD I'm most familiar with.

I'm interested in what LGD you've found to be aggressive? I've never seen that in Pys. I mean any dog could be, but I've not seen that as a general description of an LGD.

We currently have a 9 year old 1/2 Py, his mother is also ours, she is bird dog-ish, lot of Catahoula in her, and we have 4 other dogs. We've raised three litters of 1/2 Great Pyrenees.

As for LGD, Shane is everything you asked about, except he covers more acreage. As in miles. He's not roaming, he's working, it's his territory, so maybe if he had less to cover, he'd stay closer to home. Fences don't stop him, but he has a certain area he covers.

LGD are sometimes said to be hard to train, in the aspect that they think they know more than the human. Not that they are bad or disobedient, just they know their job and they aren't always sure the human is correct. I don't know how many times Shane was right and I was a stupid human!

We don't take an alpha role with dogs, or anyone for that matter. All the dogs come in and out, we have a doggy door, and gates are open when the suns up. I can only remember one time we had an issue with Shane, he was young, maybe 6 months, and he peed on the piano. He got an ear whipping, which for him is the worst thing in the world.

I guess Shane barks a lot, but he's trying to tell us something. Our nearest neighbor is a mile away, and that's where his father lived. A dog barking out here is a warning to everyone, the predator, and any humans in ear shot. So a dog barking is a good thing.

Last summer at 2 in the morning, Shane was barking. I could tell something was out there by his tone, but I figured it was a porcupine or skunk getting too close to the house. I went out with the shotgun to fire off a "shoo" round. It was a rattler trying to come into the house. Shane held his ground and wouldn't let the rattler in. Once again, the dog was smarter than me.

I can't see that we'd ever have one dog. Our best (worst?) predator is coyotes, and they will lure the dog out while the others steal the chickens. And the coyotes can take a dog out that way too. The one yipping and howling is only the bait, it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

Yes, research, and more research. Maybe post what is confusing you?

When I think about all the dogs we've had, and what your situation will be, I'd want Shane and his mother Roxy. I agree with Mick that most dogs can pull their weight. I think the question is what else do you want the dog to do or not do?
 
mick mclaughlin
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Location: Augusta,Ks
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I was just replying to her statement about aggressive dogs.

I was mainly just throwing out my belief that large dogs are not needed, unless ya have wolf problems, which most of us dont.

Now if ya like a big dog, that is your choice
 
Grant Fulcher
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I breed a old line of black mouth curs. There about 60 lbs and are excellent workers. they naturally protect and will work cattle etc

Its similiar to the mountain cur mentioned above
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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mick mclaughlin wrote:

I was mainly just throwing out my belief that large dogs are not needed, unless ya have wolf problems, which most of us dont.

Now if ya like a big dog, that is your choice


I've got 3 big LGDs and they're big for a reason. Even if it's just the deep loud barking at night! There are plenty of predators to keep away beside wolves. Someone killed a bear on my property before I owned dogs. And a bear tried to get into our chicken coop. It's also comforting when they dogs come over and sit between me and a stranger (to them at least).

The big dogs don't eat any more than our Australian Shepherd because the lay around while the little dogs burns tons of calories running around.

As for aggression, it seems to vary by dog more than than true LGD breeds. At least the ones I have: Pyr, Maremma, Pyr/Kuvatz.
 
mick mclaughlin
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As i said, personal prefrence.

No matter how big a dog is, they will have issues with a bear or a detirmined human. I just prefer a more mobile and compact option, that can serve many purposes!

Dogs are the good guys!
 
Cj Sloane
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I still disagree, particularly with 2 LGDs. There are tons of stories about LGDs fighting off bears (or even feline predators) & sometimes saving a child's life too.

Mostly, the job of the LGD is not to fight off predators, but to convince them there are easier meals elsewhere.

Case in point - normally I wouldn't use a cat video to support any idea but this 10 lb cat makes this bear work a little harder for his trash:


A bear would have to be starving to face 2 125lbs + dogs! The dogs would probably win if the bear was going after one of the livestock but if the bear was after the dog's food? No contest!

mick mclaughlin wrote:As i said, personal prefrence.

No matter how big a dog is, they will have issues with a bear ...

Dogs are the good guys!
 
mick mclaughlin
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Location: Augusta,Ks
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Ok, meant no personal insult to lgd's. They are just not my personal prefrence, and wanted to give an option for a medium sized dog.

I shouldnt have replied on an lgd thread!

Any dog can be good, was my only point.
 
Grant Fulcher
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For what its worth I have some decent experience in this subject. As said above any dog can do it but some are easier to train than others. IMO the size is not what matters but they need to be game enough to kill a coyote or fox etc and smart enough to bay a pig or bear. My bulldogs would catch a hog or bear, you would never hear them bark and they would die of heat stroke etc. A good cur will bay for hours and has the sence to know when to kill vs bay. I like that b/c you can come shoot or catch the predator.





 
mick mclaughlin
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Location: Augusta,Ks
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Hey grant, nice dogs!

I havent been around bmc's a lot, my interest is more in tree dogs, but nice dogs!

Actually after looking closer at the pics, your dogs are not bmc's.

Sorry bout that. Had the other guy's post in my head.

Kemmers?
 
Cj Sloane
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What's a tree dog?
 
mick mclaughlin
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Location: Augusta,Ks
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A dog that has breeding to run game up a tree and stay there. I hunt racoon, squirrels and bobcats with my dogs, in addition to their homesteading duties!

Bmc's are primarily bay dogs, i believe. All dogs have some ability to bay or to tree, but many have had that ability enforced, through selective breeding.

Same with retrieving, herding etc.....

I became interested in mountain curs, through hunting. I kept them, and became enamored with them, because of their versatility.

Honestly, i cant afford a dog now, that doesnt pull it's weight.
 
Grant Fulcher
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mick mclaughlin wrote:A dog that has breeding to run game up a tree and stay there. I hunt racoon, squirrels and bobcats with my dogs, in addition to their homesteading duties!

Bmc's are primarily bay dogs, i believe. All dogs have some ability to bay or to tree, but many have had that ability enforced, through selective breeding.

Same with retrieving, herding etc.....

I became interested in mountain curs, through hunting. I kept them, and became enamored with them, because of their versatility.

Honestly, i cant afford a dog now, that doesnt pull it's weight.


Thats correct. The BMC's are mostly for baying rank cattle or larger game like hogs but there are lines like "ladner" who have bred for treeing. IMO the mountain curs are great dogs, both have their advantages but are very similar. Hunting bobcat sounds fun! Those earlier pics are of BMC's, except for that pit caught on the ear, the yellow dog baying in the back is though, thats just an old one who's black muzzle turned gray lol
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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OK, that's what I thought a tree dog was. They shouldn't be considered for LGD duty though. Totally different instinct.
 
mick mclaughlin
Posts: 200
Location: Augusta,Ks
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Not an lgd, but some make very good homesteading dogs and defend me and mine very suitably.

 
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