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LGD...Best Breeds for Multiple Species

 
Nicole McCulloch
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I am interested in what you might consider to be some of the better breeds to help with predator control. I have recently purchased land. I am wanting 2 dogs for livestock (goats, chickens, sheep, guineas) protection as well as human deterrence. Coyotes are a problem, and I have spotted a bobcat on camera several times. I have spoke with people regarding their opinions and frankly they have little to no experience....needless to say, I take it all with a grain of salt. I have considered the Great Pyrenees because of their temperament as well as the Anatolian Shepherd for their fierceness. Possibly a mix of the two breeds? I look forward to reading your book and reading any information you have a chance to share. Thank you in advance for any help!
 
Cj Sloane
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What's your location and dog experience?
 
Jan Dohner
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Hi Nicole

Questions to ask yourself -

Like Cj mentioned what is your location and dog experience? Both of these things influence breed selection, as well as your predator load.

As a very very general rule - remember all dogs are individuals so they vary - the breeds that come from western Europe tend to be more laid back and less reactive. Reactive means how fast they respond to a threat and at what level. A Pyr (and similar breeds from Spain, Portugal, and Italy) tends to give plenty of warning, progressing to bluffing and threatening, and only attacking when the threat doesn't back away. This tends to make them better for owners with less large dog experience, close neighbors, a fewer large predators (bears, wolves, big cats) or groups of coyotes or wolves.

The far eastern breeds from eastern Europe, Russia, and central Asia are at the other end of the spectrum - very fast to react and very aggressive to predators and threats, including strangers. The Turkish breeds - Akbash, Anatolian, and Kangal - are generally someplace between that, somewhat more reactive, yet still measured, and perhaps more aggressive to predators.

Some breeds also do well on large open range - Akbash, Sarplaninac, Anatolian, Kangal, and others. Other breeds do much better where they have lots of human interaction - Maremma, Pyr, Kuvasz, Karakachan, Central Asian Shepherd, Caucasian Ovcharka, Tibetan Mastiff, and others

I am not a big fan of crossbreeding two different breeds to "get something in between" - breeding dogs is not like mixing paint. Blue and yellow don't make green. A litter between a Pyr and an Anatolian will result in some pups like mom, some pups like dad, and some pups a mixture. Some pups will look like mom and act like dad. You lose predictability when crossbreeding - it's basic genetics.

Many folks like the idea of using two or more different breeds, such as a Maremma who tends to stick with stock and a Kangal who patrols more remotely. The big flock owners in the west are starting to do just that - some close work dogs and some more aggressive dogs. Right now the USDA is conducting a log term study placing some of these breeds with ranchers to gauge their better success with the large predators and packs.
 
Nicole McCulloch
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Jan Dohner wrote:Hi Nicole

Questions to ask yourself -

Like Cj mentioned what is your location and dog experience? Both of these things influence breed selection, as well as your predator load.

As a very very general rule - remember all dogs are individuals so they vary - the breeds that come from western Europe tend to be more laid back and less reactive. Reactive means how fast they respond to a threat and at what level. A Pyr (and similar breeds from Spain, Portugal, and Italy) tends to give plenty of warning, progressing to bluffing and threatening, and only attacking when the threat doesn't back away. This tends to make them better for owners with less large dog experience, close neighbors, a fewer large predators (bears, wolves, big cats) or groups of coyotes or wolves.

The far eastern breeds from eastern Europe, Russia, and central Asia are at the other end of the spectrum - very fast to react and very aggressive to predators and threats, including strangers. The Turkish breeds - Akbash, Anatolian, and Kangal - are generally someplace between that, somewhat more reactive, yet still measured, and perhaps more aggressive to predators.

Some breeds also do well on large open range - Akbash, Sarplaninac, Anatolian, Kangal, and others. Other breeds do much better where they have lots of human interaction - Maremma, Pyr, Kuvasz, Karakachan, Central Asian Shepherd, Caucasian Ovcharka, Tibetan Mastiff, and others

I am not a big fan of crossbreeding two different breeds to "get something in between" - breeding dogs is not like mixing paint. Blue and yellow don't make green. A litter between a Pyr and an Anatolian will result in some pups like mom, some pups like dad, and some pups a mixture. Some pups will look like mom and act like dad. You lose predictability when crossbreeding - it's basic genetics.

Many folks like the idea of using two or more different breeds, such as a Maremma who tends to stick with stock and a Kangal who patrols more remotely. The big flock owners in the west are starting to do just that - some close work dogs and some more aggressive dogs. Right now the USDA is conducting a log term study placing some of these breeds with ranchers to gauge their better success with the large predators and packs.



Thanks for the great information! I live in Northeastern Kansas on 30 acres. I have limited experience with LGD breeds. I have been around several Pyrenees but not as my own. I have had a Border Collies, Boxer, Lab, and mutts. As of the moment I find myself without any dogs.

My property is a mixture of fencing, pasture, and woods. I have my neighbors dogs that like to stroll through which I would like to have stop because they like to chase my livestock. So I would like a breed that prefers to stick to their borders and not wander. I understand this will take some training. Which I plan to do with any dog.

It sounds as though a dog that is more laid back and less reactive, as well as a dog that enjoys human interaction might be the best choice for me.

What is your opinion on raising them as litter mates around the same age or getting them at different ages?

Can't wait to read your book
 
Jan Dohner
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It can be a challenge to raise littermate but they also will play with each other which prevents boredom and acts as a release for puppy energy. Other folks prefer to raise one, then another as the older and more reliable dog can help steady and guide the pup.

Wandering is really an LGD trying to expand his territory and patrol it. These guys all came from open range or pasture or steppe lands so they all tend to roam with good fencing and learning respect it. I just answered a couple of posts about fencing which you might find helpful.

Don't allow your LGD pup or adult to play with neighbor dogs, if you want them to discourage wandering neighborhood dogs in the future. Protecting against strange dogs comes naturally as a pup gets older.

I have heard that from many people that Maremmas tend to wander at bit less because they bond closely to stock but fencing is a must for any LGD in my opinion.
 
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