Guarding Instinct and Attacking


(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Does the G.P. ever actually attack a threat? We have one and he only barks at the skunks and the one that actually kills them is the border collie cross, and hes not even a guard dog. Just wondering if they do more than just bark at threats, as we will be getting sheep, and it won't be of any use if he just barks and doesn't attack intruders as half the flock will disappear, and we simply cant afford that. Thanks :]

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Jul 02, 2015
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Your Sheep Will Be Safe
by: Great Pyrenees Club

Pyrs do far more than bark. Very smart dogs they are. Why bother killing a skunk when the Border Collie will do it?

If you really want to know about real life stories about livestock protection I recommend that you read the stories on our site by Dennis Loxton.

You will find them on the left hand navigation buttons titled Working Great Pyrs and Working Pyrs Part 2.

Jul 03, 2015
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Guarding does not equal Attacking
by: Bill E.

Guarding means protecting the flock or family from harm. Not mindlessly attacking everything that gets close ... and a single Pyr is less likely to engage until it is absolutely necessary because it can't fight and watch at the same time. These guys and gals work best in teams and hopefully if you are going to have your Pyr on livestock then you have made plans to have it joined by a second LGD.

As recommended read Mr. Loxton's posts and also search for the story of Frank and the bear. Will Pyrs engage? Oh yeah and if you ever see the transition you will never look at your Pyr the same way again. They are just smart enough to know when it is really necessary and have the self control to resist the urge to mindlessly attack every nuisance.

Jul 03, 2015
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threat?
by: Anonymous

So what level of "threat" is a skunk anyway? And who is it that considers this small furry grub eating creature a threat? I'd be very concerned about the intensity and lack of judgment your collie displays and his need to kill a creature that is not a predator. The Pyr is smarter than all of you. He showed you he knows the difference and decided there is no need to expend any energy in that situation. Your sheep will be safer with him than with that collie-cross you seem to value. Go get yourself another pure bred Pyr so they are a team, and keep the collie at home.

Jul 03, 2015
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No Dandy Lion
by: Ed A from NJ

Do not under estimate that dog. He does not see the skunk as a threat so there is no need for a attack. Trust me if he feels his flock is in danger he will respond with the proper amount of force to get the invader out up to and including a fight to the death. My Pyrenees is a city boy not a county boy and he has dispatched a proper whipping on a aggressive Akita and a large red fox. Both times in protection mode for my safety and he took the Akita out so fast it scared me because I thought he killed it. I guess if you will face off with a wolf or bear a dog is no contest. Don't worry when the time comes he will respond correctly.

Jul 03, 2015
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Guarding
by: Donna

Their bark is usually enough to deter but if they need to, they will kill. I've never heard of a Pyr allowing any predators to take their livestock down.

Depending on the size of your flock, you may need more than one Pyr.

Yes, do read the articles starting with:

http://www.great-pyrenees-club-of-southern-ontario.com/livestock-guardian-dogs.html

Jul 05, 2015
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training will be needed
by: Tressie

A good livestock guardian dog DOES NOT kill predators but keeps them away! A dog that attacks a predator is likely to sustain injury, which can involve pretty expensive veterinary care and the loss of your guardian while she recoups from the injuries.

Pyrs do not automatically know how to be livestock guardian dogs, they have to be trained, and trained properly to do their jobs. You can't just throw a Pyr in with some sheep and expect it to know what to do. A young inexperienced dog could very well kill your sheep.

You really need to do some knowledge gathering and connecting with experienced livestock guardian dog owners who have working dogs.

Here's some links for starters:

http://kangal.ca/uncategorized/livestock-guarding-dogs-by-dan-paula-lane/

http://www.bountifulfarm.com/greatpyrs.htm

Dan and Paula Lane have decades of experience and it would be wise to contact them BEFORE you get your sheep.

I strongly suggest you join the Working LGDs online group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/workingLGDs/info


Good luck!

Jul 05, 2015
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Guardian
by: Donna

I'm not sure if you are bringing in a dog who has already worked or a pup who will need training (pups cannot be left alone with sheep until they are 1.5 years to 3 years depending on the dog).

Here is some great information about the guardian livestock dog:

http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library.htm

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