Do female dogs have a different style or aproach to guarding Then male dogs ?
or does this depend more on the individual dog ?
what is youre experience ?
Do female dogs have a different style or aproach to guarding Then male dogs ?
or does this depend more on the individual dog ?
what is youre experience ?
Thanks for asking Frederik .
I think my question fits in too.
What are the differences between a female and a male mountaindog (character).
I cant keep two males so an option is to take a female when Inar is still a life.
I can't say that I have noticed a different guarding style depended on gender. I am unaware of any scientific study on the differences of guarding styles.
I have seen something on different styles based upon breed. But I'm not sure how much stock I put into that. I don't think there was enugh studying to come to a factual conclusion. But that s just my opinion.
In my dogs I have not witness a different guarding style. But I have grown to prefer females for guardians over male. Most people want a male. But when they ask me I will guide them to females as guardians. Sure males are bigger and often can be viewed as more intimidating. But a male might escape your property because a female is in heat nearby. Some males will ignore the stranger and stop guarding because a female is in heat. You don't have these types of issue with female dos. Either gender is more than capable of doing the work.
Desiree, It is said that you can't keep two male presas o two male Akitas too. However, I have witness many that do keep multiple males presas. I know one guy that was sort of my mentor is personal protection training. He had two male Akitas that he kept together. They were off leash in his store. You could see them laying down next to each other every time you come in. I only saw them get up once without being released by a command. I was there training my Rottie for personal protection. He was doing great. They got up and came together to protect their owner. But he called them off and sent them back to their spot. The owner would take them around to demonstrate that you can keep two male Aikitas with the correct guidance(training). Some people at Tom Rose School said it could be done. He brought them there and showed that they could.
I was at a dog show a couple of years ago. There were quite a few Caucasian Ovcharka there. This stood out to me as this wasn't common. These males were being raised together and were fine. There was a small incident. The dogs got stirred up and they fired up quickly. But they were quickly calmed down by their handlers. The only one that didn't calm down right away was one that was not part of that group. I was impressed with those dogs. They were beautiful I loved their temperament. The problem was the fault of some other dog owner. They didn't have their dog under control and got too close as the other dogs responded.
i know a couple who have 2 male OP and they get along just fine.
the youngest one is about 4 years old (they raised him from a pup) and the oldest one is 12 years old.
the old one gave his dominant position up to the young one without much trouble.
but the young one is still very confrontational with other male dogs.
i just think it's a case of making clear leadership for the dogs and let them settle a few things for them selfs, so that between them there is also peace.
I have heard storys about co males almost killed eachother and had to keep separated.
I dont have the space to do that if there is a problem so i dont want to take that risk.
But i like to hear the diffrences between males and females.
Gary or nicol what have you seen over the years with your co's?
We had to keep our males - and sometimes the females separated - they constantly fought each other. Regarding styles - The females are the first ones to alert and go after someting... you may say they are the trouble makers. Females start the action and the males take over. That has been our observation. Seems to be different at nights when the males are more alert than the females.
but then again LGD's were supposed to work in teams, so they had to get along, they had to get a pack order.
co's, cao, sarpla, carpatians, op, they al work in teams with multiple female's and males ?
i get that you have certain individual dogs that can't get along but not all of them ?
Sure. When they are guarding something other than a house and have large property to cover they get along fine as am established pack.
I have noticed a difference in the guarding styles.
Females are the workers, they are constantly on guard, ready to go, first to the fence
Completely agree with this statement. I have observed the same behavior. The female will also come from the fence when called if the male is there also. If she is alone she will not come on call... maddening.
From what I've noticed is that females are more protective inside where as males are more property protectors.
I have a female that's has always slept in my sons room if he's sleeping she won't let you enter the room. People have said that I should correct that but I actually appreciate that. It only happens when we have guests
Thank you for that story. I really enjoyed reading it as I have seen this exact behavior in our dogs all too often. I have one to share when I can keep my eyes open.
Can't wait to hear your story.
Im finding these serious shepherd breeds completely fascinating. They are unlike anything I've ever known and take a great deal of understanding and observation. You have to put them in the context of "livestock and predator" rather than "pet and master"....not terribly sure they would make very good "pets" as such but there it is. However even discovering little things like that they are more or less fully nocturnal is very very helpful. Think like a wolf and you're half way there ha ha.
"""Wolf Hunting Tactics. Wolves are primarily nocturnal animals that avoid the heat of day. They generally commence hunting at dusk. Wolves detect prey by three primary means, sent (most common), tracking, and chance encounters.""""""
My godson and nephew Im happy to report got out of here without mishap yesterday, leaving for Bali then onto the UK. There was another close shave however which did upset me quite a lot. I almost got angry but you can't can you, nephews are otherwise so sweet and loyal.
He went for an early morning three hour hike in the big hills which are so lovely around here, unfortunately I was busy at the time so wasn't around to warn him to phone ahead on his return so I could get him back safely in. So realising what a marvellous invention the mobile/cell phone is I sent him a TEX message instead, telling him rather urgently to phone me when he got back instead of just coming straight in the gate..... Yes you guessed it he came straight in and the male gave him the fright of his life. Yet again! The dog was so loud I heard it from my study. When I got there (100-meter sprint) he was leering over my dear nephews shaking body, three times the size, hair on end gurgling the most horrific growl. Almost at the same time his tail began to wag but it wasn't convincing enough for me as the sound effects were still in full tilt. To be honest I wasn't sure if the dog was wagging it's tail triumphantly at me rather than recognising dear nephew at last. So I very calmly told nephew to slowly roll away, forget his backpack, back up and get to the door while I took hold of rabid doggies collar, this gave him enough time to make the font door and close it. Honestly!!!! And yes he had read my message, but thought the world was at peace as he couldn't hear any barking and and and.
There's no accounting for nephews stupidity none at all, doctorate in theoretical science and all, it certainly doesn't run in the family I can assure you.
Females BTW didn't even get up from the shade, though I noticed while I was hanging on to the dog that one was wagging it's tail from under a low shrub. Again everything was indeed at peace and the dog was quite happy for cuddles not five minutes later. Nephew went and sat next to him and ate his breakfast on the terrace.
Yes Im pleased to say, courage is certainly at least one of our families traits the nephew has definitely inherited
Far as dog aggression goes Im relieved to say we' haves no problems at all. This is a huge plus as dog aggression can be quite problematic to have to always have to manage.
I suggest close inspection at any breeding facility as dog aggression is very easy to pick up. Look for the tell tale signs of scars, get the parents out one by one and watch them run through he kennels, notice the responses of the other dogs and it etc. Also go at feeding time, watch the puppies being fed, if they are happy its a good sign, if they are at each others throats look at another litter. I've seen and indeed unfortunately had litters that behave like Tasmanian devils at a carcass over their dinner, even the bitches teats, avoid! You want nice happy puppy feeding sounds and contented grunts.
Ours are fine with each other, one male and three unrelated females. We also have house dogs, a couple of quite extreme JRTs, no problems, they will voice a deep grumble to protect their chews and bones etc but otherwise are even playful with the JRTs. The JRTs know BTW exactly how to appropriate their chews and bones using stealth. They will wait for some distracting commotion or other, like a passing hiker then when I come out to see what's up they make a dash dragging the quarry straight into the front door before the big guys return. We do take all sensible precautions around feeding times, though.
Strange or wild dogs on the other hand are absolutely not tolerated at all. Seen as predators by both sexes.
Sometimes a pack of wild dogs will run through here at night chasing small deer, this elicits the most serious of responses from the dogs who will bark for hours and hours until they can no longer hear or smell the pack. This can drive us insane if the wild dogs manage to take something down not far from our perimeter fencing. Between the wild dogs and ours the noise is just tremendous and goes on and on and on. Luckily this is also not very often, though once the deer managed to leap the fence straight into the garden and we were up all night trying to get it out to get rid of the wild dogs and the commotion it was causing with ours. It kept running into the fence and everyone was going nuts so we just gave up. Didn't sleep a wink but by next next morning it was gone. Quite often deer of all kinds leap over the fence, early dawn and dusk and graze on the lawns keeping them nicely trim, these are ignored. Primates are not tolerated however at all! either. In fact anything causing a commotion in a tree is suspect this includes squirrels during the day and bush babies at night who are unfortunately noise wise seen as tiny primates, they're half right at least.
These dogs are not for those who can't turn over in their bed and fall asleep again to the melodic sound of mad dog. You learn to recognise pitch and so know when it's appropriate to get up or not.
Im not sure if this is pure coincidence this lack of dog aggression or it's the lines or even this particular male and these females as individuals or even our influence or circumstances, but as I say it has been a huge relief. We didn't choose our present dogs as such so just got lucky perhaps.
anthony where did you get your dogs from if you don't mind me asking?
Polishtatra, no I don't mind at all.
We were gifted the dogs from our neighbour who ownes a shipping company. He got them from the border with Russia somewhere from a happy Russian customer he was doing biusness with, also a gift. They came over on one of his ships. He was as surprised as anyone. They sent a Russian guy with them to look after them during the trip, beutifully cared for, brushed and fed. Big balls of happy fluff. I've never seen such gorgeous puppies. Three came over initialy, from these we got the male, he kept a male and a female. Another shipment had four females from various litters and were given the option on the three we took. That was the last luckily. Our neighbour who is Chinese breeds Chinese Tibetan mastiffs, something of a Chinese invention and not my cup of tea, but fine so he didn't want to keep all the dogs.
We had no idea what breed they were even and initialy refused his kind offer of any of the dogs. We watched them grow and became attached to them and they to us. We discovered what they were and their use and history. Three months later when we were in a position, due to the sad loss of our male we accepted the male and then not much later the females. They don't have any papers and it hasn't been possible to trace who bred them or where they exactly came from.
They are all huge quite solid dogs but extremely athletic, can run like the wind. It's been a learning curve and quite a facinating one.
They are all huge quite solid dogs but extremely athletic, can run like the wind. It's been a learning curve and quite a facinating one.
would you mind sharing some photos of these fascinating dogs with us. It may even be possible to narrow down their origin based on their appearance. Please create an album or upload to your profile so we can enjoy the photos.
Oh yes I have been meaning to, soon as I get my my Mac Pro up and running smoothly which should be tomorrow all things going well. Need to transfer all my files from my mobile drive (storage) which should take at least three hours one way apparently. Finding the time. I lost all my passwords, took quite awhile to get back on here.......
They look like the Russian show Caucasian Ovcharka at a glance, as tall but not nearly so heavy and stocky. If you run your hand along their sides in the thick fur they have a decent tuck up, flat deep rib cage, not as much mass as the show type even the shoulder is lean. Its like a large hound with a mastiff face, but somehow very nicely balanced. Some said they have a head like a hyaena, but I dont think so, it's a very big powerful jaw though. Nice angulation generally, though one female has hind legs tending towards the straight side, it doesn't seem to affect her athleticism at all. They're heavy strong dogs though, heavy bone, one swipe of a paw can knock you sideways, very powerful forearms. The male weighs in at around 65+kg and is about 70-cm tall and the females not as tall though I haven't been able to weigh them properly, this a vet estimate for heart-worm.
One is all red merging to a darker red almost black on its flanks with a white chest and lighter feathering which is incredibly pretty, good pigment, she is also the most feisty when it comes to strange dogs, though they all are she gets particularly stressed, the rest are that typical black, white chested, grey pointed wolf like colour with a dark mask.
They moult once a year in Spring and don't re-grow their lovely thick winter coat again properly until late autumn, in summer they look quite sleek with just neck mane ear tufts and feathering. We do a fair bit of brushing in the spring to help strip the undercoat, this tidies them up a bit or everything comes off in long strips and drabs like a sheep. They appreciate this as Spring very quickly becomes quite balmy. Through summer they seem quite comfortable but happy to lie in this shade like any dog. They are immune to bad weather and will happily lie about even in light rainy conditions or tear around in a thunderstorm or heavy rain, they just don't seem to care about wet, cold or heat. This might be different if we lived in the middle East that kind of heat we don't get but it can get faily humid.
Not lazy or low activity dogs by any means, incredibly swift, could easily take down a wolf in a chase, I reckon at least. Just don't stand in their way you will be flattened. While incredibly agile for such a big dog they don't seem to think too much about what's in their way when they have a mission, tearing through almost anything at high speed. A few of the staff here have been flattened as a result. I don't find it a problem once people are aware this can happen, you have to stand aside, simple. Not terribly good around small children or the elderly for this reason, I would say.
a real CO should NEVER! Have a mastiff type face ...
alot of people won't like to hear what i'm about to say, but they should have a lupoid type skull.
the resemblance with a wolf should be noticable.
that's what bothers me with the modern/show CO type.
they coulnd't be more further from the truth. People have a completly wrong image of what the REAL CO is like.
70-100kg dogs that fight bears and wolfs ... right...
Ask your self this...
do you realy think a shepherd can use a 65kg+ dog to guard the sheep in mountainous/ steppe type terrain.
walking 20-30km a day ...
and still be capable to fight of a predator ?
Polishtatra, I agree 100%.
I think I confused things with the "mastiff face" bit, what I mean is massive, big, robust, big boned they absolutely do not have a mastiff "type" face or skull in fact. There is zero brachycephalic about them. But they don't look like a wolf with a pointed snipped nose either its a much bigger deeper jaw but the general look is indeed very lupoid with same neck and head mane and frills and skull shape though "blown up in proportions". They arrived with docked ears so I have no idea what these might have looked like but not terribly big I imagine, probably small neatly folded at the side more or less.
I would say imagine an outsized wolf, taller, bigger bones, but just as athletic and fast. I cant impress enough how eager and swift these dogs are. No bulked up shoulder or thick set neck etc like you would find on a mastiff. Skin yes under and around the neck is slightly loose. I had boerboels I now absolutely the difference in type. I haven't actually taken out a tape measure but the muzzle is longer or or at least as long as the skull etc. If you feel the skull its not a mastiffs skull there isn't the muscle mass on either side, in a boerboel you can almost span both hands over each side of the skull and feel pure muscle, but these you can easily feel the sagittal crest and the inter-parietal process, its narrower but still large and broad but with normal ammount of face as such.
They are built for speed and strength without a doubt.
I used to keep borzois, wolf hounds and although these CO's are nowhere near as lean they have the same shoulder under that dense coat, you can esaily feel the bone structure which honestly surprised me at first, a lot. You have to get in with your hands and feel all over to understand that underneath there is a very strong hound like dog. Not as tall as an Irish wolf hound but approaching the same robustness. An Irish wolf hound is not a mastiff but it is robust in proportions. Having kept boerboels I kept expecting these dogs to blow up like mastiff with muscle mass but they never did. They kept that big frame with out the bulked muscle mass.
I think in type mine are more or less exactly like Turkish shepherd types, Kangals but three at least except the red one are exactly the same colour as CO'S.
What I figured from info on the net was that they were possibly more the "plains type" rather than the "mountain type" CO's, though Im not familiar with the heavier types at all just from pictures, mostly in grotesque poses of aggression or at shows in Russia and looking very heavy. Im also not sure these two types actually exist as working dogs or weren't made up by show enthusiasts to explain their extremely heavy dogs. However even St Bernards if you look at very old pictures of the original they were not such mastiff types, as extreme as todays show dogs, in fact they were quite moderate in type and didn't have that huge mastiff face or body.
I first saw a CO type in Austria back in the very early 1980's while visiting my sister in a lovely picturesque small town just outside Vienna. This was an exceptional dog and one of the first I think in Western Europe. This was before the Berlin wall came down and there was free exchange, but it was just starting, the communists were in power in Russia etc the country was in ruins. There was absolutely nothing mastiff about this dog but he was huge and loping with a gorgeously plumed tail and feathering. Made a lasting impression on me. The owner a tiny youngish woman didn't speak any English at all. I always thought the show dogs that came after were nothing like the true type at all after that, a Russian invention. However when I saw some of the dogs in Berlin that made it to the West after the Berlin wall came down I was a bit confused. These dogs were kept to guard the wall on the communist side, after the wall came down they had no homes and were adopted by many in Berlin, Western Germany and beyond. These were indeed heavy mastiff CO types.........so definitely yes there has been a fair amount of tinkering by the Russians for what ever purposes and certainly by Stalin whose far and wide influences on land races in the caucuses cannot be underestimated. There are many records of him doing exactly that including introducing GSD to the mix. These East Germany/Berlin dogs were less a livestock guardian and more a police type security dog for the army and border. I shiver to remember, it was at least -20 in Berlin that winter, my 4x4 had a constant layer of thick ice on it. Then there were the Moscow versions of the time......
Closer to home I actually had an an argument with the vet when trying to work out heart worm dosage, he insisted the male for example was at least 70Kgs but I argued the the dog was all bones under the coat with a very lean covering of sinewy muscle on that huge frame. Both him and his assistant never having dealt with this type however where so taken with the fluffed up size they couldn't imagine he was under 70kg. Unfortunately he also wouldn't allow them to feel him all over. They aren't socialised dogs except for the JRTs so the vet never truly got to understand what they were looking at. He was quite happy to be looked at all over and talked to, ear temp taken even teeth looked at very briefly but when they got more intimate he kept getting all stiff with tail up standing, on his toes so I advised for them to er on the side of caution. Certainly after he felt his testicles which made him roar.
I agree shepherd dogs shouldn't be thick set heavy mastiffs at all. But take a big example and they do seem to vary considerably in height, that huge boned dog is heavy no mistake, but it also certainly doesn't translate into body mass. I confidently took off a quarter off the vets recommendations.
There are "multiple types" of CO's. Steppe and mountain type certainly do exist.
steppe type being taller and lankyer and lighter in frame.
mountain type being smaller more rectangular but heavyer and with longercoat
both are big Dogs, just not what people think they are !
Btw you can still have mastiff type features on CO's disregarding the skull or length of muzzle.
The st bernard of old is an entirely different breed... pretty sad ...
i will try to post some pictures.
I do not own these pictures so all credits go to the owners:
agul dahk kennel
Black and white pic are st bernards but i guess u figured that out ;)
Yes, so many breeds have been destroyed in the show ring which are nonetheless still promoted as the real thing, bred to kill lions and bears since Roman times blah blah when they can just barely manage to trot across the ring.
Thanks for the pictures. Mine are definitely "on the leg" those short stumpy legs look well, exactly that, short and stumpy. I don't think that type has much athleticism, not enough to run down a wolf even for a short distance, never mind through snow or over rough undulating terrain. They also needed a fair amount of athleticism to stay out of trouble if it comes to predators like bears for another example. Mine can leap up a ten foot bank no problem at all , one bound in fact. Unlike any other dog I've ever had they take short cuts all the time never ever going the long way around, its quite startling especially when they are excited, you just don't want to be in the way.
I am watching a wild life documentary series at the moment set in the general region and bears are sill found over much of it much to my amazement, even in Turkey.
I noticed those dogs in your colour pictures have short coats, is this because it's summer? Just I noticed snow in the background. Otherwise Im not seeing that as very efficient for the extreme weather found in those parts. Ours shed every year spot on in Spring......it's certainly freezing cold on the steppes and even snows a fair bit too even if dryer than in the mountains. Ours have a full coat in winter, its gorgeous light and billowy but also oily and fully weather proof. Even in driving cold rain the undercoat remains warm and dry, like dense felt. I always have to wash my hands after playing with them because they get covered. The coat doesn't look oily and never shiny, it in fact rather looks like something a well heeled lady in the 50's might've thrown over her shoulders for an evening on the town LOL, just immaculate. Having said that we never wash our dogs ever, we never use soap or any other oil stripping detergent, just brush and if necessary help to strip in Spring. They always smell as sweet as puppies. In summer they quite like to stand in front of the hose pipe or play in the sprinklers to cool down.
I just went outside to have another look at those skulls, and from ear base to ear base is exactly the length of large mans hand, finger tips to wrist, flat, the muscling is there definitely but spaced apart so you can feel the ridge down the middle but its still bulging muscle either side. The muzzle is rectangular rather than square. The head longer than any mastiffs head certainly and with very well developed jaws. Personally I think generally speaking more polar bear shape rather than wolf or mastiff but it's interesting to hear peoples first impressions, these vary between a gi-nourmouse GSD on steroids to wolf cross lion even.....they do have the cutest expressive eyes imaginable, set deep so the eye lids look flattened somehow.
Feet not at all flat but large, fore arm long and big, big boned......Im not so sure there should be absolute standards for these dogs as general diversity is or possibly was the key to their genetic health. Those shepherds are typical fairly nomadic. Im sure very few if any for example actually spend winters up the mountain slopes, too dangerous and the sheep would die for lack of anything to eat or just get stuck in the snow drifts so there must be or perhaps have been in many cases a fair amount of natural outcrossing going on between types and regions. There certainly wouldn't have been that strict focus on a single phenotype found in the show ring.
I think unpicking types is particularily difficult and often is rather centered around nationalism ego and pride than to the true benfit of working dogs. But any authentic documented history and photos of types does of course make fascinating reading and viewing, how I found this site in fact.
Coath length varies ofcourse, but!
it is never as long as the modern type since that kind of coat is usless !
all dogs i have shown have a coat that is functional in snow.
and yes the shepherd do pass mountain passes in the snow with sheep and dogs.
not all of them ofcourse, it depends on the region.
Oooops thought I had some nice pictures for you but they all came out huge and upside down! Will try again.
I wasn't sure if I should start another thread "Wildest middle East", but I have a question for everyone, or anyone. There has been a nature documentary series I've been watching on TV called "Wildest Middle East", set in Turkey, Egypt, Arabia and Jordan. Think it's a few years old, anyway there is footage of two beautiful dogs walking with a man over some dune like scrub. Big boned lovely looking rangy LGDs type dogs which Im very keen to find out more about. Im dying to know what type they are or where they were filmed.
I started watching the series primarily because I saw the dogs but due to quite an erratic and heavy work travel schedule must have missed one or two, certainly the episode that might've actually featured them. Think they appeared in the weekly trailer or that bit before each programme.
Im assuming they were Turkish rather than from the other areas covered but I've been researching and can't find any dogs on the web that look like those dogs in Turkey. They have a longer (though flattish) coat and certainly more tail etc feathering than anything Turkish that I've found anyway. Could be of course they were imported from somewhere else in the region....no idea. Turkey is of course also surrounded by Georgia, Armenia, Iran Iraq, Syria etc.
If anyone knows I would be very interested. Thanks. I have been keeping an eye to buy the series but so far haven't found it for sale. Might have to get it on the net if I can't solve the mystery....
I haven't seen the series. It could be the Kangal
Hi Presa no not Kangals, least not any Kangals I've seen on the web. More like a taller rangy sarplaninac, both were reddish tinged with smokey grey colour, blonde ample tail feathering, manes, chest, body coat medium long. Quite typical colouring of any number of types I suppose.
From what I've seen on the net I'm only now convinced my own dogs are Sarplaninac types........something you might see in Northern Kosovo, Macedonia, the Illyrian shepherd everyone wants to claim as theirs. I can see why quite honestly.
Look up the turkish kars shepherd dog. It might them.
Hi , thanks for that, just possibly. If they are they're exceptional specimens of the type. I will have to get the series or try and contact someone involved with its making. Phantom dogs, driving me crazy.
I generally have several females. The only time I have a male is if I intend to do breeding or someone has turned over a dog that's too much for them. Males can be good dogs but I'll always prefer females. Back in the day I always kept a couple of big imposing males for their size & the display they'd put on when it was time to impress upon someone to back off. They tend to be more territorial & pretty hot over it but the ladies are always on duty. I don't find them to get distracted as easily as the boys. I have tiny Chihuahuas. My dogs must be gentle & capable of working around those little dogs all the while being mindful of where they are. A 3 pounds chi is dead if stepped on by one of these big dogs. There are exceptions to any rule & I've had a couple of those but the females are who I entrust our security & homestead guarding to.
Maybe having just bitches with a strong learnt/guided protective instinct towards more fragile charges like here Peepers chihuahuas works for others too, even single males.... But I don't think livestock guardians are really cut out for such, either sex. Just my own instincts here. Some seem to have a rather active and selective prey drive towards most game fowl or other little flighty things like rabbits for example. I suppose it's all in the selection of the individuals and the specific work they've been prepared for as youngsters. Quite honestly I guess most livestock guardian breeds would try and chase and nip even sheep unless guided and taught otherwise, even pups from pure proven guardian stock. Chihuahuas could be at risk though as they could get trampled just in the course of play. That would worry me to distraction where my own anecdotal evidence doesn't allow me to worry so much with JRTs, my own dogs of course.
I guess livestock guardian types are "made as much as they are born" to excel and neither should ever be taken for granted but bitches used for breeding do have to make good mothers. So there is that.
I've noticed there is also quite marked sexual dimorphism in many purely livestock guardian breed types, the bitches being much smaller and more femine and as such are probably not completely able even as a team to work many predators, wolf for example. Not as much as males are.
I know very masculine Boerboel bitches, the breed is not particularly good nor bred for pure livestock guardian work anyway but these masculine bitches do make terrible mothers and will often only throw a single or couple of pups at most. They make excellent homestead guardians though. Most certainly they do, same as males.
It is interesting this topic because males depending on the type should get on, form a workable pack order (not that it is never unchanging) and live with it to be effective as livestock gaurdians. They're generally worked in teams against certain predators, wolves for example which is what most were used against. Not as individuals. Though some Western selected types that have become breeds outside of the types homeland like "Anatolian Shepherds" are worked as individuals guarding sheep against smaller animals like jackals, cheetah even leopard........horses for courses.
As much as I like bitches not sure many have actually used bitches with or without dogs for work purposes though and this is probably due to the fact that they could present a total distraction due to nothing but pheromones and that is the last thing a shepherd would want with marauding predators to cope with.
Things are very different in the average backyard though. I think bitches would be altoghether more suitable perhaps. Nothing worse than seeing a fenced off single frustrated male barking its head off day and night. This is a danger to everything including the dog.
You know it's funny. When I got my first two Chihuahuas, I had Dobermans, an old German Shepherd, my first Collie. Later we added a Belgian Malinois & our two male Great Pyrenees. The Pyr's were goat guardians, looked after our horses once they convinced them that they were 'good dogs' & would not tolerate the likes of neighbor dogs trying to chase them. They soon learned they didn't want to guard the cattle because our cows had learned to hate dogs due to ill behaved loose running neighbor dogs who would often kill calves if allowed. The Pyr brothers left the cows to their own. They learned very quickly when the Chihuahuas came outside any rough play or bouncing around stopped instantly. We would point away from the porch & they would walk off like two arthritic old men being sent to bed without their dessert. The little Chis would go out & go to the bathroom & we'd call them back into the house & then we'd say, "okay boys" & here they'd come but at a nice walk. They were bit loves with us. They didn't like strangers yet the first time they saw my 80+ year old grandmother, they went to her, got under each of her arms & tried to be her living walkers (assistance dogs). She is the only person I ever saw them take to. They were natural with chickens, goats, the tiny dogs & horses. I've seen Buddy lick the horse's legs to soothe them if something had them nervous. And my horses were dog stompers until Buddy & Boomer taught them to accept them as 'their' dogs. But these dogs were not whimps. They've killed coyote, small predators. I watched with my own eyes as they nearly tore an adult male bobcat apart. They also regularly dispatched loose dogs who bothered our animals. They were good about birds of prey too. Not all livestock guardians are good with watching the sky like that. Ours were. The funniest thing in the world was the morning a big feral cat came up. My oldest Chi was barking & advancing. Next thing she knows the cat screams & runs for its life. THe little dog thought she'd really done something. In truth, 6 inches from her rump was two ferocious Great Pyrs were behind her & they were ready to kill the cat. But as it had since to run for it's life, the tiny dog was left to think she was just soooo scary. She's 10 years old with I think 2 small teeth left & still thinks she can whip a bear. (SIGH... it's why I have gray hair).
My neighbor has a part Pyr/part Anatolian pup. Very sassy pup. Female. She's very good with chickens & has been from day one. She was very loving dog with her chickens & they can correct their pup with pecks or pinching & she never snaps at them. She will take them in her mouth but not roughly & never to injure. It's interesting to watch. This pup plays with the huge cat she has & the cat can correct her quite fiercely with no misbehavior on the pup's part.
What's curious to me is my Pyr boys were from dogs who worked an 800 acre farm however the mother was a show dog, kept in town in a small apartment. I don't know what happened but the girl I bought my pups from got her & found out very quickly this dog was very good at guarding livestock. The sire had worked the ranch for some time & was a notorious coyote killer. That was the parents of my dogs. My Giant is from a famous show kennel. It's safe to say she had no chicken or horse experience prior to coming to me. I've enough experience in dogs to see natural talent. My three dogs I mention here was born with an innate instinct to protect small animals, to protect their herds & flocks. The other part is how they're trained & handled. I had an old mop with the long strings. Not used to strike but I'd bump a dog on the shoulder or the hip if he got too intense & needed corrected. I had to use it the day we brought in new goats & Buddy got too wound up trying to run off the intruders. I used it once when Buddy was trying to lick feathers off a chicken when he was very young. I thumped the ground & said "LEAVE IT" in a harsh voice. Never had to repeat it. Boomer was the more alpha of the boys & he watched my hands. If I pointed, he either went after that animal & brought it to heel or he drove it out, depending on the hand signal. Awesome dogs. Just awesome. Their biggest shortcoming is they were gun shy. They'd tree coons or possums out of the hen house but once I fired the first shot, they would be found in the henhouse. My old Collie was my gun dog. She'd pinch me if I didn't shoot fast enough & she ensured they were all dead before I was allowed to haul anything off. Then she'd go get the boys out of the hen house, lol.
I loved my Pyr boys. I trusted them. When my little Chi females were in heat, they would go lay down & look at us like 'not our circus, not our circus monkeys'. They never bothered the tiny females but if any dog came up with other things in mind they were driven off or paid the price for persisting. We weren't careless as we would go out with the girls for bathroom breaks. Too much could go wrong, as did happen with our Giant & the little Chihuahua. This would NOT have happened if my husband had stayed out with the dogs. He stepped inside for just a minute to check the oven. That was our error & the Giant grieved just as hard as we did for the loss of our tiny girl.
As much as I loved my Pyr boys, the females will always take center stage for me. I like how they work. Always on. Always serious when they need to be. The downfall for many males is they catch 'that' scent & the brain can't compute. The females can be in full blown heat & still get the job done. But the boys put on a good display. I've had my Pyr boys put not-nice people back in their cars & it's an impressive sight to see two dogs that come up under my elbows brace me on either side with a full display of teeth saying back off my Mom. Big dogs & when it came to me, they didn't back up an inch if they thought you were a threat but my boys were backed up by a number of alpha strong females. They never worked alone.
Thats interesting Peepers! Yes dogs need guidance and training. In a pack working to protect sheep they would get this as youngsters from the rest of the pack and the shepherd of course. From what I've read and it makes sense chances of success are greater though with proven working stock but people seem to think all you need to do is throw them in with sheep, chickens or whatever as tiny pups, that they will imprint and all will be fine but this is far from the truth even if some do miraculously turn out OK.
Yes accidents are likely with big dogs and little fragile ones. My own dogs are not clumsy as such but when riled by something there is no question they dont stop to think where they're going to put their feet, a straight line is the quickest route and they will take it. Once and in a flash they've decided on the line of approach that's kind of it everything in their way is flattened. They seem to be part sight hound, part everything and very keen. They do notice birds of prey by the shadows they cast over the ground, and will chase those off if they ever try land nearby.
One of our distant neighbours had an elderly JRT taken by a Martial Eagle, they never saw it again. Once I was taking a short cut through some low hills in a conservation area with nephew when he was about four, we had his Teddy bear in the back window of the car and a Martial dropped out of the sky from no-where trying to get at that poor Teddy. All I saw was a flash of huge wing shoulders and face with crest feathers in disarray in the rear view-mirror, furious killer eyes pinned on Teddy, then it was gone. Back up into the heavens in seconds on a thermal column. So quick no dog could have stopped something like that. I often wonder at the speed of that thing, not a flap of the wing nothing, just straight back up from where it dropped. Those birds can spot prey from 5kilometers up in the sky. Magnificent birds they are too and don't cause much damage to livestock, not like hawks after chickens. They tend to prefer very desolate remote wild areas not agricultural or residential areas.
Think the Pyrenees is probably less reactionary or sharp as some of the more primitive LGB types, possibly softer more adaptable to things like chickens. I definately know mine would eat a chicken without hesitation, they've never seen one, but they took a gunea fowl with out a second thought, it flew into the fence in panic and they pounced. Cute maybe if I had trained them to chickens they could've been more mindful. Not entirely sure.
Chickens - we just got some hatchlings and they are in a box in the garage under a heat lamp getting protected until they have their pin feathers and can brave the wild and whacky Texas weather. I am not sure how the dogs will react to them but they have not been introduced yet. I am building their coop and a fenced in area then will introduce them to the dogs once they are able to move around freely. I hope it goes well.
We do have some eagles and hawks that make our backyard home and I have seen silver fox and red foxes roaming nearby. I tried to talk my wife out of getting chickens but .. no such luck. Will see how this turns out. Hopefully the dogs will accept them.
That's so exciting Gary! I've loved chickens ever since I was a toddler. My first was a lovely bright yellow chick from the pet shop which turned into a magnificent giant white cockerel. Love the smell of baby chicks. Holding thumbs the dogs take to them and keep the predators away. Everything likes chicken it seems. We don't have as a result, it's virtually impossible. Small genets seem the worst offenders, they climb very well spending a great deal of time in trees in fact, drop out of trees, dig deep tunnels, get under rooves, through the smallest hole and are completely nocturnal.
My brother bought some guinea fowl recently and his dogs chased them up a tree, they can fly so the tree they went into was three kilomters away near the neighbours dam. He sometimes hears them in the evening but isn't sure anymore. Shame they weren't the wild kind we get around here but lovely plump birds in shades of powder blue with beutiful white spots. Gunea fowl have no brains unfortunately, completely daft and prefer to sleep outside but the sound they make when roosting is so truly African I love em.
Worse case scenario is to build a chicken tractor so you can lift the handle & move the hen house (on wheels of course) to a new location for the birds to scratch. You get the benefits of free rang & the birds get a new spot of ground to work up (especially in old gardens if you make a garden) but without the horrors of coming home to find your birds slaughtered. In Texas you're going to have everything from snakes after the eggs, to small predators, to hogs, wolf, coyote, stray dogs, birds of prey, etc... Not to mention if your big dogs aren't keen on the birds. It's what we had to do in Arizona. Everything in AZ is looking for a free meal. I've had owls, hawks & falcons stand on fence post & dare me to try to run them off. I love birds of prey so it gave me a chance to watch them. They couldn't get to the chickens but my tiny Chihuahuas are another matter. Had a barn owl try to take our middle pup out of my arms & he discovered I was capable of doing him harm & opted to get out while he was in one piece.
Having these tiny Chihuahuas are almost as bad as having chickens. We do not allow them outside alone. When there is a hawk or eagle about, I take my Collie out with the Chi's. If there's a large predator afoot, I take my Giant Schnauzer. 2 of my 3 Chi's think they can take on things like bear, coyotes, well... basically anything. The 1 is wise enough to beat tracks to the house but, alas, she's just a puppy. I'm afraid she'll outgrow her good sense!
Thank you very much for your input. It is very good advise.
by the way we will be in Arizona - Grand Canyon area end of april to first week in may. Are you close to the South Rim?
We had some chickens inde garden. Inar hate birds, specialy when they are sitting on the fence and making a lot of noice. When he catch a bird he kills and eat it.
BUT he guard the little chickens in the garden. They are mine so he doesnt eat them.
Okay the first time when he got out and stared at them i used the e-collar just one time and it was enough for him.