Great Pyrenees chasing goats.

by Tami Bone
(Athens, New York)

We got a "freebie" Great Pyrenees from a family who had to get rid of her. My husband thought she would be a great guard dog for our goat herd. She is about a year and half old, not spayed. She sleeps in the barn right outside of the goat pen and she is chained up. During the day, my husband takes her for a long walk and then puts her and the goats out in the field. They are all enclosed together inside portable electric fencing. When we first got her, she got zapped and has not fought the fence since. She has gotten loose a few times when I accidentally unhooked her chain and she immediately went up to the neighbors and chased their chickens. She does not come when you call her, does not respond to "no". The biggest concern I have is that she has started chasing the goats and nipping at them. She does not chomp down on them but it seems like the goats are really afraid of her. We have several pregnant goats and I don't want them to be stressed out all the time. I am afraid she is going to hurt them but my husband says she is just "playing". What's the deal with her? Will she calm down if we get her fixed? How do we break her of chasing the poor goats?

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Feb 27, 2017
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by: Great Pyrenees Club

Please do your research on this breed. They wander and we never recommend electric fencing.

YES, spay her. You do not want unwanted puppies and nor do you want her to wander to get pregnant which she will do or an intact male will get her in any case.

She is a pup and she is playing with your goats. You cannot just let her loose into a herd and expect her to know what to do.

It's unfortunate you have to chain her up. Pyrs should never be chained up but fenced in. If you chain her up, she cannot defend herself nor her herd.

You must work with her. Keep her leashed as you work around the goats. If she attempts to play, give her an 'ah ah', a tug on the leash, and continue to do what your doing. The result of the training will not happen overnight. Give it a week or so.

Do not allow her alone with the goats until she understands that playing with them is not allowed.

Do not use punishment with her.

Goats can also be idiots and attack her so for safety, until she gets it, keep her in a pen amongst the goats when you are not there. Do not tie her up.

Start your research here:

https://www.great-pyrenees-club-of-southern-ontario.com/Great-Pyrenees.html

Feb 27, 2017
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good advice
by: Anonymous

Just to add a bit to the club's good advice, and all the reading material on this site, you will find that 'no' does not compute with your Pyr. They are not 'obedient' dogs. They think for themselves. You cannot change this. One day you will come to respect her inborn intelligence.
If you can, place her inside a pen within the goat herd for some hours every day, so they can be safe from each other. She can relax as guardian, until the day she is needed to keep predators away. Those head-butts hurt and she will continue to chase the goats away. Potential is good that this will accelerate if you do not take the time with her, now. She is young to be expected to be with the goats full time.
Spay, for sure. Her scent is a powerful invitation to all intact males for miles around. Your goats will be at great risk from all those male visitors if you neglect spaying.
Try and find someone who has experience with working dogs. Specifically Pyrs, if you can find anyone in your location. Ask questions and then follow their advice to the letter. You both have a lot of learning to do, and 'experience' is a great teacher. This may take many months or years, but your 'freebie' will reward you if you stick to the program. Good luck.

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