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Rpowers 04-28-2012 12:15 PM

Need help with puppy behavior toward stock.
Hello all,

We have dairy goats, and a few weeks ago obtained a Pyrenees/Shepherd mix puppy to be a companion/guardian animal with our herd. The pup is about 4 months old now, and has recently begun to single out a particular goat kid and attempt to herd or force it to go where it doens't want to. The result of the sharp puppy teeth and the resisting kid is that there are lots of significant lacerations on the ears and right rear leg of the kid. We are new to these animals, and are unsure how to handle this problem and discourage the dog from being so rough. The pup doesn't seem to be violent toward the goats, and he isn't attacking them, nor does he harm our chickens. It rather seems to be an aggressive herding or posessive behavior directed primarily toward a specific goat kid, which is damaging the animal. Any help is appreciated!


DeeLind7 04-28-2012 12:48 PM

Ryan, welcome to the forum! I wish I could help you. We do some some great trainers on this forum, so keep checking for a reply. What is your pups name? Any pictures?

Kaos 05-09-2012 11:56 PM

Sorry I really don't know much about using dogs as livestock guardians, however, the only info I have read about them came I believe from the Coppingers book. My recollection is that working livestock guardians should be reared from very young (much younger than 4 months) with the sheep / goats - ie they live with them 24/7 as tiny pups in order to form that bond. How long have you had him and does he live with the stock?

The behaviour you describe would worry me in this context, sounds like early exploration of some play / prey drive to me and could potentially escalate as the dog gets older. I presume the dog is left with the stock unsupervised so training suggestions aren't going to work?

Did you purchase the pup from a breeder who specialises in working livestock guardians? If so, I would contact them for advice as a first option.

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