• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Beau M. Davidson
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • Timothy Norton
  • Nancy Reading
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Tina Wolf
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • thomas rubino

Livestock Guardian Dogs vs Mutts

 
pollinator
Posts: 471
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
186
cat dog duck forest garden fungi trees food preservation solar
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:

Tristan Vitali wrote:
Oh, and $1k to $2k for an LGD is a bit much. There's definitely been a trend toward being greedy out there, but that's pretty steep. It's hard to find dogs up here where I am, as well, and I've had to resort to trying to purchase from people in other parts of the country as my Penny ages out to pasture. $1k is the upper limit WITH a flight for delivery - generally speaking, for the dog alone $300 is reasonable, $700 is pretty high. Anyone charging beyond that is trying to take caribbean cruise on your dime, and that says more about the quality of the breeder than we sometimes like to admit.



I disagree with broad sweeping generalizations like this.  The breeder I got my dog from imported them from pure, old world working lines in Russia.  She is from an area of Russia that still uses these dogs as they were originally intended, and she wanted to bring those lines with her to the US.  The dogs from that area tend to be more aggressive than those generally found here. Importing dogs from another country is expensive, and her puppy prices reflect that.  I know her quite well and she isn't making enough money to go on cruises, I can assure you.  She works full time and doesn't earn a living from her dogs.  I would be surprised if you could find fault with "the quality of the breeder".  None of that means you can't get a great working LGD for less money.  But there are a lot of really great breeders that spend a lot of money on veterinary care, infrastructure, top quality food, and training.  They also offer health guarantees and replace dogs that have issues like hip dysplasia, which is sadly pretty common among dogs of this size.  Maybe don't be so quick to judge everyone simply by the price they charge.



Granted, I do tend to paint with a broad brush when something upsets me, and things akin to the "organic penalty" upset me in big ways. I'm that guy that sells my eggs for now LESS than the supermarket does because I cannot justify pricing people out of a good thing. I find this leads to me personally being priced out of good things on a very regular basis by others who don't share my views.

Or maybe I'm just an angry old curmudgeon  You'd be surprised how often I've had that discussion!

I figure that we're not big ag here, taking out bank loans to buy seed and fuel for the year, yet the prices being charged for LGD are far too often so outside the range of a real homesteader's budget that a loan would be the only way to actually get the dog. This reliance on money as a means of exchange, when money has such wildly varying accessibility to different people, leads to huge divisions in world views - those that have liquidity often believe everyone does while those who don't often get priced out.
 
Posts: 9
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great Pyrenees are pretty cheap here in Tennessee; maybe $150 for a pup, sometimes free.  See if you can't find some sort of local sales network.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1541
Location: Zone 6b
208
goat forest garden foraging chicken writing wood heat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here in KY, LGD pups (mostly mixed LGD breeds, but pure LGD) run (on Craigslist) from $150-$400, with a few purebred and registered litters going for more.  Mostly the litters I see are in the $150-$250 range.  Nobody is going to get rich on that.  (I plan to ask $200 for my litter, which are half Karakachan, part GP and part Anatolian).  

Some people scorn Craigslist, but it's becoming the main contact point for farm items, at least in this area.  I'm perfectly happy getting puppies from a farm family with some livestock and a couple of working LGD's that they decided to get a litter from.  Or, as in my case, I took advantage of my friend having a male when my female finally had her first heat at three years old!  This will be our only litter, so we can't really be called backyard breeders.  Both parents are quite healthy and actively working, so there's been no testing done.  The puppies will have had their first shots, and been wormed, before they go to their new homes.  And I'll try to make sure they are going to working homes; I don't want someone trying to keep these big working dogs in town, or, worse, in an apartment.
 
Tristan Vitali
pollinator
Posts: 471
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
186
cat dog duck forest garden fungi trees food preservation solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Walter wrote:Great Pyrenees are pretty cheap here in Tennessee; maybe $150 for a pup, sometimes free.  See if you can't find some sort of local sales network.



Too funny - after seeing your post, I contacted a friend down in TN and she got back to me right away with a link. Good LGD puppies everywhere there for very reasonable prices from working farms. When you're right, you're right!  Good LGD mixes, pure breds, etc. Guess it's more important than ever to have contacts in other states where it's normal for people to have working farm animals

If all goes well, perhaps I can get things sorted out with her so we can purchase a pup down there and get it up here to new england without going into debt.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1541
Location: Zone 6b
208
goat forest garden foraging chicken writing wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are livestock transporters who will haul puppies, too, but whether or not it will work depends on whether they are going near both ends of your trip at the appropriate time.  And, people still ship puppies on the airlines (not all airlines will ship animals, I don't think, so you'd have to do some checking).  It used to cost around $300-$400 to ship a puppy from the lower '48 to Alaska, so probably less expensive within the lower '48.  Though, prices are most likely higher now -- it's been a while since I did that.  And your seller and you both have to be able to travel to the airport at the right times to deliver and pick up.  A lot of pups are shipped this way, though.  
 
gardener
Posts: 2942
Location: Western Slope Colorado.
536
4
goat dog food preservation medical herbs solar greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I guess I will be checking Kentucky and Tennessee next time I need a guardian pup!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1541
Location: Zone 6b
208
goat forest garden foraging chicken writing wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thekla McDaniels wrote:I guess I will be checking Kentucky and Tennessee next time I need a guardian pup!



I've thought about it, and I think the reason they are so common here is because there are so many small farms (and hobby farms) with small livestock -- and we have lots of coyotes and other smaller predators.  It seems like just about everyone I talk to about my dog(s) knows what they are, and the job they do, even if they don't live on a farm, and that's not been the case anyplace else we've lived.  

Just remembered -- my sister-in-law (she and my brother live in a house on the same property) said yesterday that she'd talked to our mailperson, and she (the mail person) may be interested in getting one of my puppies!

 
Tristan Vitali
pollinator
Posts: 471
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
186
cat dog duck forest garden fungi trees food preservation solar
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:

Thekla McDaniels wrote:I guess I will be checking Kentucky and Tennessee next time I need a guardian pup!



I've thought about it, and I think the reason they are so common here is because there are so many small farms (and hobby farms) with small livestock -- and we have lots of coyotes and other smaller predators.  It seems like just about everyone I talk to about my dog(s) knows what they are, and the job they do, even if they don't live on a farm, and that's not been the case anyplace else we've lived.  

Just remembered -- my sister-in-law (she and my brother live in a house on the same property) said yesterday that she'd talked to our mailperson, and she (the mail person) may be interested in getting one of my puppies!



It's amazing, but here in rural central Maine, it's well known that an outdoor cat is most likely not going to live more than a couple years due to foxes and coyotes picking them off. Likewise, many in the area will try to have a small backyard flock of chickens, but within months, they've been picked off (or slaughtered by the dozen in a single night). People here don't understand LGDs and their benefits, instead opting for "family dogs" and trying to lock up their birds with fencing, lights and prefab chicken coops. There's a lack of understanding when it comes to working dogs and how they can help even on a small scale protecting livestock, pets and even your backyard gardens. With our girl Penny on the job, we've had very little damage from hares, deer and skunks, haven't seen signs of bear since she joined us on the land.

When I sing her praises to the neighbors and acquaintances in town, it's like a foreign language to them: a "working dog"?



 
pollinator
Posts: 1369
Location: NW California, 1500-1800ft,
409
2
hugelkultur dog forest garden solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tristan Vitali wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:

Thekla McDaniels wrote:I guess I will be checking Kentucky and Tennessee next time I need a guardian pup!



I've thought about it, and I think the reason they are so common here is because there are so many small farms (and hobby farms) with small livestock -- and we have lots of coyotes and other smaller predators.  It seems like just about everyone I talk to about my dog(s) knows what they are, and the job they do, even if they don't live on a farm, and that's not been the case anyplace else we've lived.  

Just remembered -- my sister-in-law (she and my brother live in a house on the same property) said yesterday that she'd talked to our mailperson, and she (the mail person) may be interested in getting one of my puppies!



It's amazing, but here in rural central Maine, it's well known that an outdoor cat is most likely not going to live more than a couple years due to foxes and coyotes picking them off. Likewise, many in the area will try to have a small backyard flock of chickens, but within months, they've been picked off (or slaughtered by the dozen in a single night). People here don't understand LGDs and their benefits, instead opting for "family dogs" and trying to lock up their birds with fencing, lights and prefab chicken coops. There's a lack of understanding when it comes to working dogs and how they can help even on a small scale protecting livestock, pets and even your backyard gardens. With our girl Penny on the job, we've had very little damage from hares, deer and skunks, haven't seen signs of bear since she joined us on the land.

When I sing her praises to the neighbors and acquaintances in town, it's like a foreign language to them: a "working dog"?






The people who have lived only in the cave have only seen the shadows of reality, and will take awhile to understand what they are seeing when led into the light. I think that’s what Plato would say about LGDs…but was Cerberus a DGD (deadstock guardian dog)?….hahaha…ancient philosophy joke;)
 
Posts: 91
Location: Hartville, Wyoming
46
cattle goat dog duck chicken sheep horse homestead
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Getting a guardian dog sounds like a great plan from your predator description. We have Colorado Mountain dogs, but we did a ton of research before we got into them. It's true that mutts can do well, and they can be less expensive, but what your paying for isn't just a dog when you get into LGDs. The purebreds have been selected for specific traits over a long period of time. I know it's a huge expense, and I can say that I was rather horrified when I found out how expensive they were, but they are totally worth every cent of it. Even in just saving the animals you could've lost, they're saving tons of money for you. And if you get into breeding, they will quickly become your most profitable animal. When we moved to Wyoming, everyone expected us to lose animals fairly consistently, and yet we haven't. We have never had a dog to predator fight, because of how effective they are at deterring them. And we have a REALLY high coyote population here, so it isn't just the predators not being around. Feeding them can get pretty expensive, but feeding raw drops the price significantly (ask your local butcher if they have scraps you can take) and keeps them healthier. They are huge, and that's definitely nerve wracking at first, but it's part of what makes them so effective at their job. A predator lives off of the "kill or be killed" belief. Unless they are 100% sure they can come back unscathed, they generally won't even try to attack. If they get hurt at all, they are basically asking to starve to death, so they won't take unnecessary risks, and attacking a giant white dog fits in the high risk category.
You have to understand that, when you're thinking about getting guardian dogs, you're basically getting a whole new species of animal. Dogs thrive off of instinct, and that defines the different purposes of the dog breeds available. Herding dogs are bred to learn commands in order to herd well. Their instinctive drive is to please, and they do great at it. That's what makes sheepdogs sheepdogs. Hunting dogs instinctive drive is to hunt. For guardian dogs, their instinctive drive is to protect. They are incredibly territorial. If anything comes in uninvited, especially if they sense you feeling uncomfortable about it, they won't hesitate to protect against the perceived threat. They also have a very intense pack hierarchy, and they figure it out in brutal, and sometimes very bloody, fights. They are incredibly smart, smart enough to understand the danger posed by predators and uninvited visitors, and it takes that in order to do the job they need to do. So when you get a guardian dog, you're paying for the instinctive drive to protect, the natural sense of territory, the size needed to be effective against a predator, and the brains to do their job. It's true that a mutt can do similar things, but they won't have the generations of selection for those traits. Even if they're a mix that includes guardian genetics, they won't be as tuned into them, and could act more scattered and inefficient. You'll probably have to train into a mutt the same skills that come naturally to the pure guardian dogs. I'll also mention that if you're going to get any, I'd suggest getting at least two. They can do fine on their own, but teams are more efficient, and it's safer. Our mentor said that the only time she ever lost a dog, it was because the dog's partner wasn't there. He'd somehow gotten locked in the shed, and couldn't help when she (the other dog) called for backup. She stopped the entire pack of coyotes, but ended up dying from the wounds.
I'm not a "pure breeds only" type person, so I'm not pushing for this because I'm just out for genetic preservation. I didn't realize how different a guardian dog was from a normal dog until I had experienced both, and it was mind-blowing!
LGDs.JPG
three livestock guardian dogs in the snow
 
pollinator
Posts: 3614
Location: 4b
1299
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Elena Sparks wrote:Getting a guardian dog sounds like a great plan from your predator description. We have Colorado Mountain dogs, but we did a ton of research before we got into them. It's true that mutts can do well, and they can be less expensive, but what your paying for isn't just a dog when you get into LGDs. The purebreds have been selected for specific traits over a long period of time. I know it's a huge expense, and I can say that I was rather horrified when I found out how expensive they were, but they are totally worth every cent of it. Even in just saving the animals you could've lost, they're saving tons of money for you. And if you get into breeding, they will quickly become your most profitable animal. When we moved to Wyoming, everyone expected us to lose animals fairly consistently, and yet we haven't. We have never had a dog to predator fight, because of how effective they are at deterring them. And we have a REALLY high coyote population here, so it isn't just the predators not being around. Feeding them can get pretty expensive, but feeding raw drops the price significantly (ask your local butcher if they have scraps you can take) and keeps them healthier. They are huge, and that's definitely nerve wracking at first, but it's part of what makes them so effective at their job. A predator lives off of the "kill or be killed" belief. Unless they are 100% sure they can come back unscathed, they generally won't even try to attack. If they get hurt at all, they are basically asking to starve to death, so they won't take unnecessary risks, and attacking a giant white dog fits in the high risk category.
You have to understand that, when you're thinking about getting guardian dogs, you're basically getting a whole new species of animal. Dogs thrive off of instinct, and that defines the different purposes of the dog breeds available. Herding dogs are bred to learn commands in order to herd well. Their instinctive drive is to please, and they do great at it. That's what makes sheepdogs sheepdogs. Hunting dogs instinctive drive is to hunt. For guardian dogs, their instinctive drive is to protect. They are incredibly territorial. If anything comes in uninvited, especially if they sense you feeling uncomfortable about it, they won't hesitate to protect against the perceived threat. They also have a very intense pack hierarchy, and they figure it out in brutal, and sometimes very bloody, fights. They are incredibly smart, smart enough to understand the danger posed by predators and uninvited visitors, and it takes that in order to do the job they need to do. So when you get a guardian dog, you're paying for the instinctive drive to protect, the natural sense of territory, the size needed to be effective against a predator, and the brains to do their job. It's true that a mutt can do similar things, but they won't have the generations of selection for those traits. Even if they're a mix that includes guardian genetics, they won't be as tuned into them, and could act more scattered and inefficient. You'll probably have to train into a mutt the same skills that come naturally to the pure guardian dogs. I'll also mention that if you're going to get any, I'd suggest getting at least two. They can do fine on their own, but teams are more efficient, and it's safer. Our mentor said that the only time she ever lost a dog, it was because the dog's partner wasn't there. He'd somehow gotten locked in the shed, and couldn't help when she (the other dog) called for backup. She stopped the entire pack of coyotes, but ended up dying from the wounds.
I'm not a "pure breeds only" type person, so I'm not pushing for this because I'm just out for genetic preservation. I didn't realize how different a guardian dog was from a normal dog until I had experienced both, and it was mind-blowing!



I think your experience shows that having a purebred LGD isn't necessary.  Colorado Mountain dogs are themselves not a purebred, they are a cross breed of other types of LGD, or in some cases, breeds that are not LDGs at all, but have traits that the CMD people are interested in.  The breeds that go into current Colorado Mountain dogs aren't defined and can be any number of different breeds, as long as they have desirable traits.  The people working on the breed are still mixing in LGD as well as other breeds with their dogs and selecting for traits they want to continue, for instance, white coats and less human aggression than many of the purebred LGD have.
 
Elena Sparks
Posts: 91
Location: Hartville, Wyoming
46
cattle goat dog duck chicken sheep horse homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:I think your experience shows that having a purebred LGD isn't necessary.  Colorado Mountain dogs are themselves not a purebred, they are a cross breed of other types of LGD, or in some cases, breeds that are not LDGs at all, but have traits that the CMD people are interested in.  The breeds that go into current Colorado Mountain dogs aren't defined and can be any number of different breeds, as long as they have desirable traits.  The people working on the breed are still mixing in LGD as well as other breeds with their dogs and selecting for traits they want to continue, for instance, white coats and less human aggression than many of the purebred LGD have.



It is true that the Colorado Mountain Dogs are a cross, so I guess this brings up a point that I didn't make in my previous post. What do you mean by "mutt"? There are a lot of breeders out there breeding LGD breeds to dogs from other dog groups (herding dogs, hunting dogs, family dogs, etc.) and then selling them as livestock guardians. The Colorado Mountain Dog is a "mutt" insofar as it is a cross, but it's also been being stabilized for many years and has been being used in guardian situations. So if you want to get a guardian dog who will do it's job well and instinctively you need to get one that has only LGD breeds in its heritage and research the breeds so that you know that the traits they have been bred for match your situation. Then get a dog from a conscientious breeder who actually uses their dogs as working guardians. When you do that, chances are you'll spend more. No matter what you get, if your buying a dog from a conscientious breeder, you're buying the result of intentional breeding choices. That takes a lot of time and effort. If you just get a random "LGD," it may or may not have the necessary protection drive, it might not be as consistent in it's protection behavior, and the desired traits might not be instinctive. So I guess what I'm saying is don't just go get a purebred, pay a lot of attention to who you're getting your dog from, what the breeder is selecting for, and the traits that are manifest in that particular dog. Purebreds are just more straightforward, since they have been selected for specific traits for years and years to the point that it's consistent and defines the breed.
Also remember that raising an LGD puppy well is expensive in terms of time investment and actual cost. Often when you see cheap dogs it's because a breeder is trying to get rid of a litter that they can't house or train well. The reality is that the older a dog is, the more expensive it should be on a real farm because the more experience and training it will have.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2105
Location: Massachusetts, 5a, flat 4 acres; 40" year-round fairly even
269
4
kids purity trees urban writing
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Update—our gampr has killed 2 ducks, one because she was blind and went outside the paddock, the other I don’t know how she got out. H is still a puppy (less than a year old) but I wanted to report my experiences.  

It’s possible an aerial predator was also involved.  Stay tuned for next week’s episode of CSI Homestead.
 
Posts: 34
15
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A breed I have had excellent success with are well-bred Rottweilers.   They are tough, general-purpose farm dogs and are very trainable.   They will guard livestock to the death, but some of the other breeds are probably still better, with their longer hair and specific breeding.

Mutts are a crap shoot.  You might get the best dog ever or you might get a coward or livestock killer.     If you get a pup from someone's good livestock dog, you might get a winner, but no way to know beforehand.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1541
Location: Zone 6b
208
goat forest garden foraging chicken writing wood heat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tony Hillel wrote:A breed I have had excellent success with are well-bred Rottweilers.   They are tough, general-purpose farm dogs and are very trainable.   They will guard livestock to the death, but some of the other breeds are probably still better, with their longer hair and specific breeding.

Mutts are a crap shoot.  You might get the best dog ever or you might get a coward or livestock killer.     If you get a pup from someone's good livestock dog, you might get a winner, but no way to know beforehand.



Rottweilers can be very good general farm dogs -- I've had a couple of them.  But they are not purpose-bred livestock guardian dogs, bred for thousands of years to do that job independently in the field with the livestock.  They do have guarding and protection instinct, but it's not the same kind of instinct that the purpose-bred LGD's have; Rotties also have herding instinct, and I would never, ever leave one out on pasture unattended with stock (nor any other herding breed).  

And you are correct that their coats aren't thick enough to make them as weather-proof as the LGD breeds are; Rotties will need shelter from weather extremes.
 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
Posts: 3614
Location: 4b
1299
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of the best, smartest, well-behaved dogs I have ever had was a Rottweiler.  He was the consummate guard dog.  He would also kill every animal he came across.  He killed cats, he would kill any dog he could get hold of, he would bite any person he could (except me), I think he would have attacked a rhino if he had the chance.  He was brave, fearless, loyal, and would have made a most terrible livestock guard dog.
 
Tony Hillel
Posts: 34
15
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I adopted one like that, too.   He was about 7 years old.   Took about a year to train him the basics, and he eventually became exceptional.   He was completely untrained and neglected before I got him.   He didn't just kill stuff, he would gut and EAT it too.  This was a dog that truly knew hunger.    I'd take him to the park at night and let him run, and 10 minutes later he as pulling possum guts out like they were gourmet.  

He quickly learned to not eat our cats, but any other cats would not survive if he caught them.   One of our cats would pick fights with neighborhood cats, and then come running back into our yard yowling, with the stray hot on his tail, and it was not good.   Same for stray dogs, which is truly horrible, if you love dogs.  

Eventually, I got him socialized with people and other dogs, and he would even tolerate dogs trying to show dominance for a little while.  If he got that look in his eye I would bark a warning, and he would look at me as if to say, "I'm being good, but this dog is really getting on my nerves."  

His name was Max, and he was one of the most challenging dogs I've ever had to train.   After a couple of years, he was truly exceptional.  I used him to teach other dogs at PetSmart.   I cried like a baby when he died.

A well-bred Rottie is a very, very trainable dog if you know how, but they are big, strong, stubborn, and can be dangerous if you don't know how, like any big dog.    But unlike shepherds, Dobies, Pitbulls and some of the other dog breeds, they tend to be even-tempered, NOT nervous (which is the most dangerous dog of all) and confident, which makes them very even tempered and tolerant IF you train them properly.  One of their best traits is that you can usually see what they are thinking.    Very good dogs to work with.

 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
Posts: 3614
Location: 4b
1299
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tony Hillel wrote:I adopted one like that, too.   He was about 7 years old.   Took about a year to train him the basics, and he eventually became exceptional.   He was completely untrained and neglected before I got him.   He didn't just kill stuff, he would gut and EAT it too.  This was a dog that truly knew hunger.    I'd take him to the park at night and let him run, and 10 minutes later he as pulling possum guts out like they were gourmet.  

He quickly learned to not eat our cats, but any other cats would not survive if he caught them.   One of our cats would pick fights with neighborhood cats, and then come running back into our yard yowling, with the stray hot on his tail, and it was not good.   Same for stray dogs, which is truly horrible, if you love dogs.  

Eventually, I got him socialized with people and other dogs, and he would even tolerate dogs trying to show dominance for a little while.  If he got that look in his eye I would bark a warning, and he would look at me as if to say, "I'm being good, but this dog is really getting on my nerves."  

His name was Max, and he was one of the most challenging dogs I've ever had to train.   After a couple of years, he was truly exceptional.  I used him to teach other dogs at PetSmart.   I cried like a baby when he died.

A well-bred Rottie is a very, very trainable dog if you know how, but they are big, strong, stubborn, and can be dangerous if you don't know how, like any big dog.    But unlike shepherds, Dobies, Pitbulls and some of the other dog breeds, they tend to be even-tempered, NOT nervous (which is the most dangerous dog of all) and confident, which makes them very even tempered and tolerant IF you train them properly.  One of their best traits is that you can usually see what they are thinking.    Very good dogs to work with.



Mine was pretty well trained.  He won a number of weight pulling titles, his Utility Dog title, and was personal protection trained.  I had him from 8 weeks old.  I could take him anywhere in public and he was perfectly behaved.  If he was loose on my land, he killed everything.  If someone came onto my land and I wasn't with him, they would be meat.  As you said, he was very, very easy to train, although extremely dominant.  He was a complete baby with me, and hated everything and everyone else.
 
Tony Hillel
Posts: 34
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah...   You had a dog trained for protection work.   That is a different sort of training, and often the bloodlines are different too from ones bred for farm work.

What awesome protection they provide, though!  Yours sounds like a good one.

He was doing what he was bred and trained for.   You have to be careful with trained protection dogs, or as you say, people can become meat.
 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
Posts: 3614
Location: 4b
1299
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tony Hillel wrote:Ah...   You had a dog trained for protection work.   That is a different sort of training, and often the bloodlines are different too from ones bred for farm work.

What awesome protection they provide, though!  Yours sounds like a good one.

He was doing what he was bred and trained for.   You have to be careful with trained protection dogs, or as you say, people can become meat.



Yeah, he was outstanding.  He wasn't a paper tiger either, he had two live bites.  He was exactly the dog I needed him to be, and when I needed him to be.
 
Tony Hillel
Posts: 34
15
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rotties are good at doing what you need them to do.   Very capable dogs.

I used to breed them.  I always kept three of them at the house, very well trained.  I trained mine to speak loudly, but not to bite unless the situation was extreme.    

We lived on the outskirts of a major city.  Our neighborhood was nice, but unsavory types would occasionally target our area.    Once, around 3 AM I woke up to the sound of the dogs going off and a person screaming.   Jumping up and looking out the window, I saw a guy on all fours, up on my work truck, with three very scary black dogs circling like sharks.

"Aaaahhh!!!  Call them off, call them off!!!" he screamed.

I stared at him for a second and asked, "What are you doing on my truck?"  (I already knew he was there to steal tools)

"Nothing!!!   I was just going by on my bike, and they attacked.  AAAHHH!!!"   (One of the dogs had jumped up and snapped his jaws, almost catching the guy's foot)

"You are lying," I said calmly.  "Your bike is parked right there across the street, kickstand down.   You parked it and walked over to my truck.  You were about to steal from me."

"AAAAHHHH!!!"   "Another snap of teeth, this time almost catching his hand on the other side)

"Do you know what is going to happen to you if I close this window?" I asked in the creepily-calm voice.  "Those dogs are going to drag you off that truck and they will rip you to into pieces.   They will pull your hands off, then probably your nose and ears and your face.  Then, when they get your neck, they will probably kill you, IF I close this window.   Do you understand the extreme danger you are in?   Do you realize how stupid you were to come here?!?"

Oh God, oh God!!!   PLEASE, PLEASE!!!    

Right at that moment, Duncan, a big athletic male put his feet up on the hood of my truck and crouched, about to leap up.  This was it.  This guy was about to get hurt.

"DUNCAN!"  I barked.  He stopped and looked at me.

"I'm only going to tell you once, fellow.  Don't EVER come down this street again.   These dogs know you now, and I guarantee if they see or smell you, they WILL come for you.   And I may not be here to save you.  Please listen to me."

"DUNCAN... get off my truck."  He dropped down.   "Get back in the yard."   He looked at the guy and growled menacingly, then obeyed.
"Max, Get back in the yard"  Max stared for a long second and obeyed.
"Roxie, Get back in the yard"  She started to obey, then turned around, and growled at him again.   "Roxie,  Stop!   Get back in the yard."    She went back in the yard.

The guy was sobbing at this point.    

"Now listen to me carefully.   Slowly get off my truck and WALK to your bike and go.   PLEASE don't ever come down this street again.  I really don't want these dogs to catch you.   Do you understand?"

The guy nodded, and visibly shaking, slid down and walked to his bike.  He turned down the hill and FLEW.   I watched him fly around the corner, feet pumping, for the half mile that I could see him.

To be honest, I was absolutely terrified, because what I told that guy was true.  It would have been horrible, and not what I wanted.   I said thank you prayers that night, and am still glad those dogs were so well trained.

Like your dog, my dogs did exactly what they were supposed to do.    They intimidated without biting.    And the word must have gotten out, because we had no crime from then until we moved to VA some years later.   After we left, some of my neighbors called and said how much they missed us, as crime had started back up.  

Those dogs are gone, now.  I have two, a 6 year old and a 6 month old.  Neither are trained to the level of those three, but my big male is pretty good.  The puppy... well, she's a mess, but shows some good potential.




Resized_20221023_224347(1).jpeg
a Rottie mom and pup
20210316_141544.jpg
rottweiler guardian dog
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 2942
Location: Western Slope Colorado.
536
4
goat dog food preservation medical herbs solar greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is quite a story! And those are fine looking dogs.
There have been so many good stories about Rottweilers, maybe we need a thread just for Rottweilers.

For now, can we just say their genetic heritage is not suited to LGD functions, and get the thread back on topic?
 
Tony Hillel
Posts: 34
15
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Actually, that's NOT the point...

My Rotties have all been excellent LGD.  See the pics below- they are not staged.     Also, historically, Rotties have been farm dogs and LGD long before many other breeds even existed.  Nowadays, some are trained differently, and some are bred differently.

Foxes, coons, possums, coyotes, black bear and even hawks-  He keeps them all at bay.  We are backed up to miles of deep woods and a LOT of things will kill livestock here, but we lose none when he is out there.

This is why I posted on this thread.   The story about the thief just demonstrated how much self-restraint they are capable of.   This applies to livestock, too, if they are properly trained.

20180511_181759.jpg
livetock guardian dog lgd rottweiler rottie chickens
20180511_181732.jpg
livetock guardian dog lgd rottweiler rottie chickens
20180511_181737.jpg
livetock guardian dog lgd rottweiler rottie chickens
 
Posts: 44
Location: SW Arkansas Zone 7b
3
forest garden trees bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've never neutered my male LGDs, but met someone in the past year or so that had neutered one of his and was having good results with him.   Thoughts?
 
Tony Hillel
Posts: 34
15
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Neutering might take away some of their "Edge", but I imagine they would work just as hard.

In my area, I am very sure that my male dog's urine around the perimeter of our property  is probably a bigger deterrent than his actual presence.  
On the game cams, we have watched foxes come to the fence, take a sniff and get rigid in fear and run away.     Same with other animals, except the stupid possums.  That's why he kills them the most.

That big male dog urine is a strong repellent.   So I wouldn't neuter for that reason among others.  The testosterone definitely gives them more edge and bite when it comes to combat.  We have packs of coyotes in our area, and a dog has to be a ruthless fighter to deal with those things, not a limp, mellow fellow.   Neutering is great for pets, not so much for guard dogs.  

That being said, spaying never seemed to change my females personality very much, if at all.   Katie would break out of the yard and attack the coyotes if they got close to the yard.  She was awesome!  She looked like a G. Shepherd with soft ears but was half Alaskan Malamute and half black lab.    The Alaskan side of her gave her a very "wild animal" vibe.  She didn't play, she went right for the throat.   But at the same time, she was very gentle and protective over children, and chicks.   An unusual mix that I'll probably never see again.

Again, just my opinions, and I have very limited experience
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 2942
Location: Western Slope Colorado.
536
4
goat dog food preservation medical herbs solar greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What would be the advantages of neutering the male LGD?

There are so many advantages for them from the testosterone….  heavier bones and more muscle among them, in addition to scent noted above.  I am guessing that a dog that is likely to go rogue would still go rogue if neutered.  My (female) Mopsie went rogue …

If there are advantages to neutering, I advise caution in choosing when to neuter.  Whether male or female, neutering VERY young seems a very popular idea among animal shelters, some vets and breeders.  Just know that neutering before bone development is complete and the growth plates ossified predisposes to hip dysplasia and other painful conditions.  In the very large breeds, bone development may not have completed until 3 years old.
 
Andy Youngblood
Posts: 44
Location: SW Arkansas Zone 7b
3
forest garden trees bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My discussion with the man that had neutered his mature LGD came about as we were discussing the animals desire to roam.  He felt that neutering took some of that desire away.  I had opportunity to see this animal and he was a still a great guardian.  
 
The government thinks you are too stupid to make your own lightbulb choices. But this tiny ad thinks you are smart:
Native Bee Guide - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/wiki/140436/Native-Bee-Guide-FREE
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic