Livestock Guardian Puppies
Did I promise y’all a story about my Livestock Guardian puppies? Y’all, meet Belle and Shipley.
Their dad is a Great Pyrenees, a working dog in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and their mom is a Pyrenees mix, on the same farm. The Livestock Guardian puppies were raised to twelve weeks with goats, pigs and fowl (I saw and heard turkeys).
What I Wanted
What we wanted was twelve week old puppies raised on a working farm by working parents. We wanted large parents (the dad is about 130 pounds of dog), in order to protect our own livestock eventually. So yes, these are outdoor dogs, content to live and work outside. Their coats and bodies are geared toward being outside, and our weather is still mild, so raising them outdoors right now is fine (Yes, they have a shelter in the yard. No, they don’t use it).
I also wanted a mixed breed of LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog). Great Pyrenees, as much as I LOVE them, are also known as Great Disappearenees, for their wandering habits. We’ll be on ten acres, but they’re known to wander for miles. Not that a mix guarantees they’ll stick close to home, but it helps a little bit. Maybe.
Why I Wanted Livestock Guardian Dogs
Why do we want Livestock Guardian puppies at all? Y’all, I’m an indoor dog person. I just am. But I do believe that there are dogs which belong outside if there’s a good reason, and if they’re suited to it. All dogs, in my opinion, need a job to do (I also believe all people need a job to do). Even if that job is keeping a lap warm (my mother’s Shih Tzu), they need a purpose. LGDs guard flocks.
Predators often attack at night. Dogs can’t protect chickens and goats if they’re asleep in a warm bed in the house. My own Livestock Guardian puppies already exhibit the working personality of LGDs. They’re about as chill as any puppy can be, just laying around the yard.
Where I’ll Be With These Puppies
Why will we need Livestock Guardian Dogs? Oh my. We’ve been on this journey towards a homestead for months. My Hunny might tell you it’s been years, as we’ve raised chickens and ducks for the last six years. We’re counting down to the day – December 15th – that we move to the country! The property we have a contract on is in Beggs, Oklahoma, which is straight south of Tulsa. We’re buying ten acres and a house. I am so in love!!
As soon as we move we’ll have to house our three geese, Jimmy the duck and Mignon the steer (he became a steer this last weekend). Someone or something will need to protect the critters from coyotes and bobcats. While we’ll have a secure enclosure for Jimmy and the geese at night, Mignon will just have an open stable. We’re still fine tuning all of this. But they’re going to love this place!
Training the Livestock Guardian Puppies
Training Livestock Guardian puppies is going to be a challenge for me. We got the two when we did in order to begin training them in simple commands. I’m told that the most important things for them to know are:
- Their names
- The word Treat (they already know and LOVE Jones Natural Chews Big Paws Jerky and Sausage Sticks)
- Leave It
That last command is probably most important. I’ll have the pups in a pen when we move, and every time I go outside (that’ll be frequently), they’ll be out of the pen and by my side. They need to be acquainted with which animals are to be cared for and which to attack. So learning Leave It now is vital, in case they grab a goose or something before they understand what is cherished. It’s going to be work. It’s going to be worth it.
Belle and Shipley are giant breed dogs. Their little bodies (they were 28 and 35 pounds on Monday) are growing like crazy. This means that their joints are subject to aches and pains, I assume. So our current giveaway treats are perfect for them! The Stuffed Windees are chock full of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is great for growing giant breed dogs. To enter to win our giveaway, simply click this sentence, read the new post which will open, then follow the instructions, including tweeting about the contest (it just adds points and increases your chances of winning).
You can look forward to more Belle and Shipley photos in the future, of course. When they’re not sleeping, they’re tough to photograph. Typical puppies, they’re in motion when awake. And typical dog of any kind, they love Jones Natural Chews. They already know that when I step outside, I’ll probably have a couple of jerky pieces in my hand, so they’re pressing noses into my fist. Working on recognizing the word Treat, and making sure they get the best.
Now scoot! Go give your dog Jones Natural Chews. Watch it smile.
Spreading the good chews …