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LGD - Best Fencing?

 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 196
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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Hi Jan,

Thanks for joining us at Permies this week!

I have been interested in LGDs for a while now but am unlikely to take the plunge for a while. So far we only have ducks, guineas, quails, and small humans on our 32 acres so everyone gets locked up at night in various predator proof homes. Predators in the area include raccoons, fisher cat and other weasel family members, bobcats, bears, aerial predators, and I have heard that coyotes are nearby. In the future we are likely to get pigs, goats, or sheep so we will likely want to get an LGD. For planning purposes what fencing would be best?

The previous owners of our home kept Bernese Mountain Dogs within 6-7 acres with of invisible fence but I suspect that might not work well for LGDs.
 
Jan Dohner
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Posts: 39
Location: Michigan
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The leading causes of death in young or adult LGDs is being hit by a car, wandering away, or being shot as an intruder off property. These dogs were developed to live and work on open pasture or rangeland and they are just trying to do their job by expanding and patrolling their territory.

The best method of containing an LGD is by his learning as a young dog that it is impossible to get out of his fence. Once he learns to escape he will do it again.LGDs can easily jump or 3 or 4 foot fences and slip through widely spaced wire fences. Digging and climbing can be discouraged by electric scare wires placed low and high or using invisible fence as a secondary deterrent to a less than robust visual fence. Invisible or radio fencing can also be secondary fence in areas where snow or drifting can cover physical fence. Gates need to fit tightly and pipe gate should have woven wire placed over them. Dips, ravines, uneven ground, gaps, and waterways are all potential avenues for escape and need to be dealt with. Sheep and livestock panels are also good for more secure enclosures for a young pup.

Invisible fence is not suitable as an only fence in most cases since a LGD who is dealing with a threat will take the hit and blow through the fence. It also won't keep other roaming dogs or predators off your property. It is very useful as a backup to physical fence and I use it myself to help train young dogs to respect fences.

There are several options for good fencing and I do illustrate and describe the more completely in my book. There are also other good sources of fencing information. I'm not sure if this is acceptable but Premier 1 Sheep supplies has a wonderful and informative catalog and website offering lots of options for different stock and LGDs. I have no connection with them all but they are very attuned to the use of LGDs and fencing.
 
Zenais Buck
Posts: 111
Location: PNW
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How far would a dog range off-property? Although we are only on 20 acres, the surrounding area is public forest land. I am not concerned about cars or neighbors, as we really don't have those things. Is the issue with wandering that they might become lost? Or wander into and then try to protect an area that 'belongs' to another animal?

Fencing our entire property border is problematic due to the nature of our landscape (rugged PNW forest land). Though I have been thinking of researching LGDs as possible additions to the family, a need for stringent border control might make that impossible.

Thanks!
 
Jan Dohner
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Posts: 39
Location: Michigan
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A LGD is liable to roam as far as he can see or hear threats - more than 200 acres in some cases. And yes, they can become lost or tangle with something so far away you never find them. I will say folks in open range situation sometimes use GPS trackers on their dogs for just this reason.

Since you are so remote and border on empty land, I have heard folks successfully use a powerful radio invisible fencing system. I believe you can set the circle of control. Research for a good one, not a wimpy pet version for a city lot. This won't keep predators off your land though, which is something else fencing does.
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 632
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Ghislaine de Lessines wrote:Predators in the area include raccoons, fisher cat and other weasel family members, bobcats, bears, aerial predators, and I have heard that coyotes are nearby. In the future we are likely to get pigs, goats, or sheep so we will likely want to get an LGD. For planning purposes what fencing would be best?


Bobcats can jump about 12 feet and raccoons are good diggers, so if price is no object I would go with the standard 18 meter tall, 9 meter thick stone fence/wall.



However, in case you're not a Chinese Emperor, you might want to look into fences with floppy tops and buried bottoms.
 
Zenais Buck
Posts: 111
Location: PNW
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Jan Dohner wrote:A LGD is liable to roam as far as he can see or hear threats - more than 200 acres in some cases. And yes, they can become lost or tangle with something so far away you never find them. I will say folks in open range situation sometimes use GPS trackers on their dogs for just this reason.

Since you are so remote and border on empty land, I have heard folks successfully use a powerful radio invisible fencing system. I believe you can set the circle of control. Research for a good one, not a wimpy pet version for a city lot. This won't keep predators off your land though, which is something else fencing does.


Thanks for your response.
That is some patrol range! I would not like the idea of our dog so far away and possibly in trouble; I think I need to reexamine fencing strategies.
 
Jan Dohner
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Posts: 39
Location: Michigan
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I do recommend people build the best fence they can afford, seriously, but raccoons are not an issue if you have a LGD. They dispatch raccoons and opossums easily and without a fuss. Bobcat range includes much of the U.S. but they are also somewhat secretive and avoid places with light and sound. They tend to prey on rabbits and birds, although they can take down a deer, sheep or goat.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://permies.com/battery
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