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Livestock Guardian Dogs and Livestock

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One of the first things to consider when getting livestock, be it chickens or goats or a horse is predators.


A predator can be a wild animal, a neighbor’s dog or the person without honorable intentions. While we can put up fences to keep most of the predators out, we can lay fencing down so they can't dig in, we can't stop some predators from climbing over.


A fence is your first line of defense. Like locking your house, keeping the honest.. honest, a fence keeps most out.


A dog is your second line of defense. His barking usually is enough to get a predator to mosey on down the road because a predator counts on the element of surprise to take down his next meal. If the prey is alerted it becomes too much work and too much energy spent, they are hungry already, their element of surprise is foiled and again they move on.


Of course the third line of defense if you.


A Livestock Guardian Dog has been bred to bond with its charges and to protect his charge at all costs. This means it will give his life to protect what ever it has been bonded to.


Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) are also sometimes referred to as Livestock Protection Dog. These dogs have a very low prey drive, they would rather lay around and sleep then get up and chase. During the day these dogs lay around sleeping only getting up to follow their flock or herd as they move to graze greener pasture. At night these dogs come alive, patrolling the fence lines, alert, giving off a bark from time to time letting anything out there know 'hey I am here, don't come here looking for dinner'.


Often times LGD called herding dogs. They are not herding, that if far too much work! why that would mean that they would have to get up and chase... oh no, they are not interested in chasing anything.


These dogs determine what is a threat and what isn't and then decide at what level they need to take their aggressive behavior to. I have chosen my words very carefully... decide and think. Yes these dogs think. You can see the gears turning while they are making decisions based on their life experiences.


If they see a stranger approach your yard... they will bark with a special warning.. 'woo woo woo' the siren sound.. warning.. stay away from here. If the stranger continues toward the yard the dogs escalate their warning to a combination of a barky woo woo woo and a bit of a snarl. If the stranger still does not heed the warning, the dog will charge toward the fence posturing, baring teeth and barking. The dog may at this point move the livestock back away from the fence and if you have children or you are out there, the dog will put himself between you and the predator.


The question comes up.. do I need to fence my LGDs in? the answer is yes. All dogs should be fenced no matter which breed you have.


A herding dog such as a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) or a Rottwiler (Rotty), Boarder Collie (BC), Australian Shepherd Dog (ASD but note also Anatolian Shepherds are also referred to as ASD. You will know which is being referred to because of the nature of the conversation) are just a few examples of herding dogs, work by having high prey drive.


Herding dogs are energetic, chase their charges and to get them to move nip at their heels or back of their legs. These dogs love the chase and are never left alone with livestock. If they are working there is always a human present giving them ques as to which way they need the stock moved. These dogs make great family pets.. that is if you like throwing a ball or Frisbee. These dogs are highly trainable and are very devoted to their owners!


Herding dogs as family pets need a job to do to keep them happy. They want to please their owners and love the discipline (not punishment) of commands and will follow their owner’s commands blindly.


An example of how different a LGD works as opposed to a Herding dog;


A GSD is trained to be a police dog, a LGD has also gone through the same training. Both dogs are set to attack a bad guy. The command is given.. Attack!!!! the bad guy is running away so as not to get caught....


The GSD- runs after bad guy and takes him down, enjoying the chase, tries to rip the guy to shreds and the officer gives the command to release and the dog is happy he has pleased his master.


The LGD- looks at his master.. starts to run and gets about 10 feet.. stops.. watches the bad guy running away, barks once more to make sure he lets the bad guy know "and don't come back", happily returns to his master with a look of 'I did good..he is gone'.


The LGD has made a decision based on genetics and life experiences. The GSD only wants to please his master.


This doesn't mean that a LGD can't be trained to be obedient. I absolutely demand nice obedient dogs, but I also understand there are times when they are not going to come when I call them. I understand that they might think they have something better to do like sleep or bask in the sun! I know that I must bribe them in some cases with treats! I also understand that when I give a command to "SIT" it takes them a minute or two to think about it.. hum.. do I want to sit or not? if I sit I will probably get a treat, or maybe a pet.. or.. do they want to clean my ears or brush my teeth! yuck! humm.... to sit or not to sit?

"SIT!" uh oh this sounds serious I better sit.


These dogs are large and a bit slower to respond. This requires a little patience on my part to remember that they need to think about what they are doing before they do it.


I train my dogs to hand signals. If the dogs are on a hilltop with the wind blowing and the wind carries my voice in the wrong direction.. I need to only get the dogs attention with a shrill whistle and now give a command with my hand. Now if the dogs are out of sight, they know when the bell rings to come running.. there will be handfuls of treats passed out! the delimia is they are watching a herd of goats.. so this means they need to move the herd down because they won't leave them. A slight contradiction in LGDs are not herding dogs. Well they aren't but they will move a herd away from danger. In this case.. when the bell rings.. the goats know they are gonna get treats too so they are more then willing to come down.


to be continued....




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Due to the nature of LGDs aggressive behavior toward what they consider perceived threats, they need obedience training.


Obedience training consists of the standard; sit, lay, come, walk on a leash, wait (puts the dog on hold), leave it, take it and any other command that you need for your particular situation. Other commands would be pick it up, open or close door, drop it, hee and haw or left and right for those looking for a service dog. Due to the size of these dogs, they are being used to help lift someone that has fallen and needs assistance standing.


While it is natural for LGDs to protect their charges (cows, goats, sheep, horses, poultry, other dogs, cats, children, you), they still need to be guided by the alpha. If these puppies were allowed to be raised by their parents, the parents would reprimand the pups with a growl or using their mouth to grab the pup by the scruff of the neck with a growl and a shake. The pup responds by falling on the ground and rolling over on their back as a sign of submission. Most dogs didn't get training from their parents but rather they were put into human hands to continue their training.


There are several schools of thought on how to bond a LGD to what they are going to be responsible for and I will attempt present them here in brief, but there is no right or wrong way. We all have different needs, environments, farm or home setups, and requirements.


Starting with obedience training from the moment you bring your puppy or dog home. If you bought a puppy, your breeder is there to answer any questions you may have or help you figure out how to work out any problems you may be having. If your dog is older and you raised from a puppy, you have a history of the dog and know your dog’s temperament. If you have a rescue, you will need to know every detail the rescue knows about this dog; contact the evaluator so they can work with you regarding the dog’s abilities, what they know and don't know. A rehome gives you contact with the previous owner.


You as the owner need the training, once you have been trained, the puppy will follow. Everyone in the house has to be on the same page! I can't stress this enough, if you want a dog that doesn't beg when you are sitting down to eat.. don't feed them from the table or place. Hold off until everyone is done.. they get fed last! after all you are alpha. To better understand what Alpha is please take a few minutes to read http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/alpha.htm


If you aren't feeding the dog from the table... remember the puppy is so cute but the dog can walk up to the table and put his face in your place and in one quick gomp.. your dinner is gone... but the dog is begging, someone in the family is sharing when you aren't looking.


Everyone needs to be Obedience trained so the dog/puppy can be trained.


I completely agree with crate training! there are times when the dog/puppy needs a safe haven. Again please take a moment to read http://sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/crate.htm

I have a crate for each of my dogs. In an emergency situation I may need to crate each of my dogs to contain them for their safety. I need the dogs to walk in calmly, and know that they get to be safe and secure. I have a cover that creates a den like environment. If you take your dog with you on a trip to someone else's house, they are more likely to accept you and your dog if you have some kind of containment for them. Look at it this way, your dog is safe in his crate and you don't have to worry if their fence will contain your dog.


One of the things you have to remember is that this cute little puppy wuppy is going to be a huge dog! With everything you do keep that in mind, he is going to be over 130 pounds... he is going to stand 30 inches at the shoulder (average height and weight).


Program in your mind....




This means that if your dog gets a treat or a pet, he has to do something for it. It could be something as simple as .. you want a pet.. sit first then I will pet you. This keeps you in the alpha position. Even your 3 year old can command a 130 pound dog if the child makes the dog sit or lay before giving the dog a treat.


I prefer to use small tidbits for treats. I don't like using milk bones because it takes the dog too long to chew it up. I need tiny bite size treats between the size of a dime and quarter. The treat ought to be a tasty morsel the dog loves, takes and swallows waiting for another.


you can use a soft meaty treat sold at most pet stores, some are preformed, some are in a huge sausage roll you break off pieces, or you can use "Pounce" cat food in a foil pouch.. it is the one that is dry but soft and NO gravy. But for me that is so expensive with 5 dogs (right now I have 8 puppies that will be leash trained and and trained to sit before going to their new homes). I make my own treats.


Dehydrated Live treats


Take beef liver purchased in the grocery store, they are already sliced into 1/4" slabs. Spray dehydrator tray with Pam (makes it easier to clean when done). Place a slab of liver on the tray. Dehydrate aprox 12-15 hours (timing will depend on dehydrator). Take off tray and if it is pliable cut to size with scissors and leave out for a couple more days to continue to dry (humid environments dry completely in dehydrator), if you let them dry completely in dehydrator, you can break up into bite size pieces. Put in container. Warning!!! Dehydrate in the garage, outside cause it stinks.


If I have a pocket of liver treats a dog will do anything I ask of them in a matter of a few minutes. Once they figure out what I want and they know they are going to get a liver treat... oh my goodness.. Magic!


Not all dogs like liver.. I have met 1 in 200 dogs that would prefer something else, but that 1 dog was spoiled with beef jerky!


Bring your dog into the house. Get the dog to lay down and rub the dog all over. Pet, love on, pet their faces gently, touch their feet and say foot or paw, each time you touch their paw tell them foot or paw with each foot. Now rub between each tow and pad on their paws... don't tickle.. just rub. Rub behind their ears.. oh my that will put the dog to sleep.. not scratch behind the ears.. just rub. Take a tissue and wrap it around your finger... tell the dog ear and stick your finger in their ear, most likely the dog will cock his head in bliss as you gently twist your finger around. Is the tissue dirty? bad mommy! take another tissue wrapped around your finger and say ear, again clean the other ear. (my dogs will lie down while I can take a Q-Tip and clean their ears.. they love it.. silly dogs)

When you are stroking the dog’s face, say teeth and gently lift their upper lip. In time you will be able to look at the teeth all the way around. And once you can do that then you tell the dog to open and gently open the mouth.. just for a brief second at first and as the dog gets familiar with the word and what happens, in time you can get the dog to open their mouths so you can look inside.


It is good to take your puppy out in public to be socialized. With LGDs I can't stress this enough! socialize, socialize, socialize. This doesn't stop them from being good guardians but rather gets them used to being on a leash, around strangers on a leash and understanding that when you say to the puppy "Fluffy say Hello" it is an introduction and puts the puppy in a relaxed mode. I continue to take my dogs in public and tell people it is ok to touch them.. I always tell my dogs "Hazee say Hello" or "Ece say Hello". This lets the dogs know that they are going to be touched and they love the attention. At home with kids in and out of the house.. we have a different phrase letting the dogs know it is ok.


Had these dogs not had obedience training and socialization this would not be possible.


to be continued.....

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Yep, very well written westie...


Everything she is saying is true because over the months, this is the exact same thing she would teach me over the phone. In turn, I'd do it with the pups and the results are very gratifying.


Thanks for taking the time to teach this.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Tell us about barking. A friend with Pyres says this "One of ours is a barker. She seems to have so many barks that have to come out before she is finished." They are bred to 'announce' and tell all that doesn't belong to get out, and I don't want to discourage that but....

Once I come out to *see*, I'd really like Rosie to agree with my assessment. No, we don't really need to bark at the jogger on the road till she's out of sight. OK mom. Sure thing.


Yeah right!



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Understanding the Anatolian Shepherd Dog: The Protective Behavior of the Working Anatolian


by Ruth Webb


I know that the Anatolian Shepherd Dog will work. I lived in Turkey, where these dogs come from, for five years. I had been raised on a Wyoming farm and knew the havoc created by coyotes or roaming domestic dogs attacking sheep and goats. I was amazed to find that, in Turkey, the dog is a flock's only protection. What few guns the inhabitants of an area might have are not used for predator control. Most of the villagers do not have guns - the dog is it.


Requirements of a livestock protection dog


There are three basic requirements for the behavior of a livestock protection dog:


(1) The dog must be as AGGRESSIVELY PROTECTIVE AS NEEDED to subdue or drive off predators, killing only if necessary to protect their flocks and villagers. If a bark will scare off an intruder, then that is all the dog will do. Anatolians have a graduated display of protective behaviors that does warn off everything that is not a real threat. They also have a controlled bite - only hard enough to subdue - and, once an intruder is submissive and indicates it will run away, the Anatolian steps back and lets it run. It had better leave! (Young dogs do not have this good muscle control and need observation until they are adults to be sure that they don't cause unnecessary injury.)


(2) The dog must be TOLERANT OF NON-THREATENING PASSERS-BY. Anatolians observe an intruder and warn it by barking to keep its distance. (Sometimes they bark; much of the time they just silently watch.) As long as the intruder doesn't become threatening, the dog just watches it.


(3) The dog must be GENTLE AND TOLERANT WITH THE VILLAGE's women and children. He is protective of the villagers and their families, but patient. (Young dogs must be observed to be sure that they do not "littermate play" or attempt to establish littermate dominance over family members. NO dominance games or play with people or children are allowed.)


Methods of protection used by the Anatolian


The Anatolian Shepherd Dog protects by establishing an OUTER PERIMETER that it travels once in the early morning and once in the evening, just to mark its territory. The dog doesn't harm anything in this outer perimeter, it just makes its rounds and comes back to the flock.


The dog also sets up an INNER PERIMETER around the flock as its PROTECTIVE ZONE. He stays between the flock and the buffer zone established between the two perimeters and is usually quiet, lying around near the flock unless something appears in the area that needs to be watched. He will get up about every one to one and a half hours and circle the inner area, checking everything, and then lie back down in a new place. The dog quickly knows the usual activity and people moving in and out of its area. As long as nothing unusual occurs or appears, he will lie around doing nothing.


The adult Anatolian knows instinctively that it must be calm, quiet and move lightly through and around the flock. If it were to rip through a flock, it would scatter the animals and then could not protect them. The Anatolians go to great lengths not to disturb anything unless something is seen as a threat. Even in the first barking, the dog reassures the flock that there is "no danger," while the next barking says that the intruder is still present, so "be alert." The stock continues grazing but will have an ear tuned to the dog. When the dog decides that a threat is imminent, his barking changes pitch. He starts moving back and forth in an arc, signaling the flock to start moving together, and indicates which direction he wants them to move so that he can have an advantage over the intruder. Through his movements, the dog can back up closer into the flock without giving the predator the false impression that he is retreating.


Anatolians have a body that is slightly longer than their height. This gives them a free-flowing stride that they can use to cover ground very rapidly without appearing to do so. They can move from one side of the flock to the other to check something without ever disturbing it. This length also gives them great agility. They can turn square in mid-stride. They can leap into the air, turn and come down in front of, or on the shoulders of, the animal behind them - whichever they want to do. Since they must accompany and protect sheep and goats in high mountain country, the dogs must have the same agility the flocks have. As their speed increases, they have a single-track gait, ideal for narrow paths. With their agility, they do not need excessive weight to fight off predators.


This dog will not "herd" your flock. The flock can go wherever it chooses; the dog's only purpose is to protect against predators. If a flock member behaves in an "unusual" manner, the dog will stay with it and bark for the shepherd's attention (e.g., an animal caught in barbed wire or stuck in a hole). A flock member that has fallen on its back and is lying perfectly still but cannot get up will cause the dog to remain with it, but not bark. As long as the animal is lying quiet and calm, the dog does not know that something is wrong with it.


Anatolian barking


(1) Anatolians have a rapid, staccato bark that tells you something has appeared in the outer perimeter or buffer zone of the territory. They consider the intruder non-threatening where it is, but will keep it under observation.


(2) A definite bark, increasing in rapidity and volume, warns that something is approaching or is happening in the field that may be threatening and calls for attention. At this stage, the flock will pay attention to the dog and bunch behind him for movement to a safer area designated by the dog.


(3) A definite snarling-growl bark says that something very threatening is about to be stopped. Contrasting methods for training a livestock guardian dog There are two very different schools of thought for raising these dogs as livestock guardians:


* Put the very young (6-8 week old) pup out with the flock and withdraw human attention, making the pup bond with the flock as his only companions.

* Socialize the young puppy well so that it will be acceptable around gentle and non-threatening adults and children. Start it with the flock, but continue some human contact, petting and "boss approval."


Most literature doesn't say so, but these are two extremes for dogs in different working areas. The first is for dogs that will be in remote pastures, with no human contact except for feeding. Many of these places have automatic feeders, so the dogs only see humans once a week or so. My question has been, even in this situation: what do you do with the dog when the flock is brought in for winter and during shearing?


Obviously, I go with the socialized pup. It will stay with the flock if it is kept in the pasture as a puppy (although protected), fed, loved and played with in the pasture. The dog also will be acceptable around people.


The individual behavior of a dog is an important factor. Every dog in a litter is not suited to being a remote pasture dog. The extreme isolation suggested in the first plan is an attempt to make every pup born a field guardian dog.


Training and the development of adult protection dog behavior


The Anatolian is not a "short training period equals a perfect protector or attack-on-command" dog. Protection is instinctive, and the dogs will threaten or attack only when they think their charges are in danger.


These are not playful, hyperactive dogs. They do enjoy a short play period in the morning and again in late afternoon. The rest of the time they will be someplace where they can keep track of everything but not have to get involved with the "usual" activities of the place and people.


You must consistently observe and correct puppy behavior that you would not like in an adult dog. A two month old 20 pound puppy is easy to correct. An independent 80 pound six month old is much more difficult. These dogs are about 2/3 of their adult size at nine months old but still behave like very young twelve or thirteen year old humans. They may be sweet one minute and belligerent the next.


These dogs take about two years to fully develop into adults, but most of them become capable protectors long before that. They are individuals and, like people, they develop at individual rates. They even go through the same behavioral stages that young humans do. As long as you teach the puppy that YOU ARE THE BOSS when it is young, and you are consistent in the correction of this puppy behavior, you will have no difficulty controlling the adult dog. They are very sensitive to voice and behavior changes of owners and intruders.


With a minimum of care, the Anatolian will live 14-16 years. We've had two or three older. At those ages, the dogs might not "win" a fight, but they rarely ever fight - they don't have to. They scare everything off.


Ruth Webb is our ASDW Registrar and our most knowledgeable source of information about Anatolian Shepherd Dogs. She has owned Anatolians for thirty years, since she lived and worked in Turkey. Ruth holds degrees in both nursing and anthropology. She and her four Anatolians live in Loon Lake, Washington.


This article is reprinted from Choban Chatter, vol. 6, no. 2 (winter 1996) © 1996 by Anatolian Shepherds' Dogs Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher. Published by Anatolian Shepherds' Dogs Worldwide, Inc., PO Box 5815, Grand Island, NE 68801 USA.



to be continued.....

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Westie is right on target with this information. My pyrenees is just over a year old, over 100 pounds and he is really protective over his "family". For example: we get some really nasty thunder storms here. When it starts to rain, lightning, etc. my dog runs around the pen and makes the goats get under cover. He then lays out in the rain to make sure they don't come out until it is over. He patrols the fenceline all night. He will get in between any of us or his goats and anyone he does not know until he hears me tell him it is okay. I have to say that we had a real problem with predators when I first started all of this. We put an electric fence up, but they still sometimes got in. Since I got my LGD, I have not lost even one animal to a predator! When they are little and even now, Westie is right... you can look in their eyes and actually see the thought process! Really amazing. If I had to leave for a hurricane and could only choose one animal to take, it would be my dog...he is, as far as I am concerned, my most valuable asset for livestock. Good job Westie!!!!

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I have a question, but I think I already know the answer.


Suppose I have an LGD here at home, whose purpose is partly to keep the poultry safe and mostly to alert on two-legged predators. Then suppose, we buy our property out in the country. When we go visit, can we take the dog with us? (The poultry will be okay) Would that confuse her?


What about if we bug out to the country? We'd take her then, but would she adapt fairly quickly?



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Yes HSmom, because the dog is also bonded to you and where you go the dogs goes. Think of this much in the same way you would think of goats on a 1000 acres. They roam freely with the dogs to watch over them. Where they go the dogs follow, the dogs job is the goats.


In most cases people don't have but small plots of land and these dogs are bonded to mainly the family, living outside to patrol the fenced yard and everything inside the yard.


These dogs protect against smaller predators, coyotes, neighborhood dogs, raccoons and of course 2 legged predators, but if needed to they would also protect against wolves, mountain lions and bears.


I take a dog (or two) with me when I travel. When I arrive at your home, I introduce the dog to you and your family, walk the dog around the property line or fence line and the dog is happy because he has a job to do. If you have livestock I also introduce it to the livestock.


This does not confuse the dog because I am the constant.


Obedience training and socialization also plays an important part the dogs behavior. Taking the pup/dog *to* a class where is it on a leash, learning to get along with other dogs, letting strange people pet it, hearing loud booms and bangs, kids running around (thinking pets mart or pet co or even a park) will help in the socialization of the pup.


more later......

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  • 1 month later...
They roam freely with the dogs to watch over them. Where they go the dogs follow, the dogs job is the goats.

We just got a Great Pyrenees puppy and I have a few
questions about them guarding goats.

At what age do I introduce him to the goats? We intoduced
him and the goats butted him and that time didn't go well.

He is 7 weeks old. When we go out to take care of the
goats he goes where we go. It's hard right now to work
with him wanting to stand in between our legs. He's not
good at staying just yet!

I want him to both guard the goats and our family, is this
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shoot the breeder for selling a 7 week old puppy!!! he is far too young to be away from his mommy.. who should be teaching him all he needs to know.


so now you are the mommy!!! he is a baby.. just 7 weeks old! think about a human child about 9 months old.


do not put him in with the goats. put him in a pen next to the goats. He can see them, smell them, maybe touch noses with them.... and at the same time the goats can get used to him.


the problem is your goats are not dog familiar.. so they will butt him.


here read this and at the bottom is a link to the entire age developement...


Socialization Period (7 - 12 Weeks) It is at this age that rapid learning occurs. At seven weeks, puppies can learn and what they learn will have a lasting impact. Everything he comes in contact with will make a lasting impression upon him as it never will again. Not only will he learn, but, he will learn whether he is taught or not.


Though he has a short attention span, what things he learns are learned permanently and resistant to change. Therefore, owners need to be careful about what their puppies are learning at this time. Your puppy is very anxious to learn how you want him to behave and react, and he needs to be shown what is expected of him in his new role as your pet.


There are rules you will expect your puppy to obey. Establish those rules NOW while behaviors are easy to establish. For instance, how your pet interacts with you is determined during puppyhood. What he does now is what he will likely do later. So, don't allow your puppy to do things which will be unacceptable when he becomes a dog.


During this time, you and your puppy will also begin to know and understand each other. You will get to know about your puppy's particular temperament and personality - whether he is strong-willed or eager to please, gentle or rambunctious, shy or outgoing, and just what else makes him the endearing individual that he is. For the puppy, this is both an exciting and somewhat confusing time.


There is a whole new world of things to learn about and all sorts of new experiences to digest. Remember that the environments you put your puppy in are more complex than those he would encounter naturally. Puppies must now learn a new set of rules. He needs to know learn how to interact with humans and other animals who live with them.


Puppies must adapt to the patterns and tenor of their new homes. All of these experiences and the behaviors which accompany them, must be learned. Because you will impose such important demands on your puppy, you must help him to make the transition into the human environment.


You need to lay a groundwork for a trusting, happy mutually satisfying relationship. Keep in mind that puppies are less likely to broaden their experiences if they are insecure. In natural environments, puppies approach new things cautiously.


By giving your puppy brief, repeated experiences in new situations, you give him a chance to become familiar. If you don't expose your puppy to a variety of situations and new environments, inappropriate ways to adapt may be learned. During the Socialization period, there is a fear imprint period from 8 - 11 weeks.


During this time, any traumatic, painful or frightening experiences will have a more lasting impact on your pup than they would if they occurred at any other time.


An unpleasant trip to the veterinarian, for instance, at this time could forever make your dog apprehensive about vets. To avoid this, take some treats and a toy with you. While you wait, play with your puppy and offer him treats. Have your vet give your puppy treats along with lots of praise and petting before and after the examination.


Avoid elective surgeries, such as ear-cropping and hernia repair during this time. In general, avoid stressful situations. Remember, dogs are social animals. To become acceptable companions, they need to interact with you, your family, and other people and dogs during the Socialization Period.


Dogs that are denied socialization during this critical period often become unpredictable because they are fearful or aggressive. It is during this time, that your dog needs to have positive experiences with people and dogs.


Therefore, you need to socialize and teach your puppy how to interact with people and other dogs in a positive, non-punitive manner. You should gradually introduce your puppy to new things, environments, and people. But, care must be taken in socializing your puppy with other dogs or in areas where many "unknown" dogs frequent, prior to the time that your dog has had three of its booster vaccinations against contagious diseases.


Shopping centers, parks, and playgrounds are good places to expose him. Begin by taking your puppy when there are few distracters. Give him time to get used to new places. Make sure he is secure. If you have children that visit only occasionally, have your puppy meet children as often as you can. If you live alone, make an effort to have friends visit you, especially members of the opposite sex so that your dog will become accustomed to them.


If you plan on taking your dog to dog shows or using your dog in a breeding program, get him around other dogs. If you plan to travel with your dog, get him accustomed to riding in the car. Take him for brief rides, at first. Go someplace fun. Remember, if new experiences are overwhelming or negative, the results could be traumatic.




there are other sites with the same information, this was the first one I clicked on.

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now back to your question... if you want him to be family friendly, socialize him not only with your family but outside the home. take the pup to the park and Pet Smart or any place you can take your puppy, encourage people to touch and pet him. BUT only after he has had his PARVO shots. you don't want to risk loosing him to any puppy/dog diseases.


this socialization must continue for ever as they continue to grow and develope, mature.


more later....

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  • 3 months later...

Max is a baby!!!! He may be big but he is still a baby! 4 months old equates to about a 1-year-old human baby… maybe.


Expect this growing up process to take 3 years!!!


Not knowing what Max is mixed with poses some problems in deciphering his behavior. We know how a GP is going to behave but without knowing what he is crossed with it is hard to predict which genes are being dominate.


Let's say he is a GP x Lab.. we then can say he will have some Lab and some GP that shows up in him. A big friendly dog that is laid back with guardy behaviors that may mouth a lot. But lets say he is a GP x Border Collie... the poor dog won't know if he should protect (low prey drive.. would rather sleep and lay around then get up) or attack! (herding is accomplished by attacking.. high prey drive).


SO back your question...Hiding or Protecting/Guarding.


Since he is still a baby... you need to decide how life is going to be for Max. Visualize how you want a 7 year old Max to behave!!!!


To do this.. think about your life.. do your children’s friends come in the house without knocking? Max must learn to recognize friends vs. foes!!! I can't stress this enough! (more on socialization in taking Max to school further down the page)


You need to establish the rules of the house now! If one of the children opens the door where is Max? is he sitting down next to the child? Is he laying down over in the corner? Is Max ready to go into attack mode when he is 100#’s and it is only another child at the door, will your child know what to do?


Children are children.. Even at age 12-16 they are not thinking! YOU must be in control of Max at all times for the rest of his life!


Max is keying off of his pack.. and Pack leaders.. you and your husband. Max may have run to you for a cue as what he is supposed to do… not getting any signal from you the next time he ran to the other leader of the pack looking for a response on what to do! I suspect this may be what was going on since he is so young.. but without more information then mentioned above it is hard to guess.


This is why I have mentioned what are the rules? And these rules apply to the two-legged pups too!


Max may have gone into natural guarding and protecting with you and ran and hid looking to get away from what frightened him.. Remember he is a baby!! He is looking for guidance.


No matter what happened, you need to, from hear on out have a clear and decisive idea on what you are going to do to accomplish the end result desired from Max. Everything you may think is cute with Max now as a baby may not be cute at 100#’s!


The work and effort you put into Max now, will pay off when you bring in a new puppy, no matter what the breed! Follow the pack leader.. and to a puppy Max will be a step up in the pack order.


Since I have so many dogs and strangers over all of the time, I have to introduce them to the dogs. Once I introduce them the people are accepted as part of the flock.. ‘oh look, Mommy brought in new livestock! Let’s go sniff and see’. Once the formal introduction is done the dogs go lay down, but maintain visual contact.. incase they are needed.


I have to bring the people through my house and not through the gate. The only way anyone can come through the gate is if the dogs are locked up. My rules!!! I do not want anyone opening the gate and walking off with the goats or letting the dogs out. I won’t want anyone able to get their hands near the gate to be able to open it.


When the kids were young, we had a code word the kids would use as they walked in the house. They used this when they heard the dogs barking in the house. The kid would open the door and there will be 4 dogs all crowding around to sniff and see if this person is ok to be here. The child of course isn’t afraid of the dogs, gives his code word, lets the dogs sniff as he is now commanding the dogs to go lay down. The dogs obey, well as quickly as their little pea brains will let them! The new visitor may, after all, have a treat!


I can’t stress enough that you need to decide how you want Max to behave when he is a grown up dog and start now.


The first thing I would do with Max is take him to PetsMart or PetCo and sign him up for an obedience class. Yes I know it is $80 but I can’t tell you how cheap this to have a nice, well behaved dog that relinquishes his desire to be alpha to you and your children!. But this 8-week class is only the beginning! All the children must be able to command Max and his training will be life long! Once you learn a new command, you have a week to practice with max, teach your children so they can constantly work with Max. But it is more then just obedience training, it is being around other dogs on leashes, walking up and down isles with other dogs and people. It is teaching Max to walk on a leash and stay by your side. It is letting other people pet him and encouraging others to pet him. I walk down an isle and ask people, would you mind petting my dog? I want him/her to get used to people touching them. It teaches the pup that people are ok, that people’s quick sharp movements are not to be scared of and therefore we don’t need to bite if we get startled.


I prefer to use PetsMart of PetCo (or similar stores) because I can take the pup there come rain or shine. There are other dogs in the store and lots of people. People are moving carts around, loud noises, and children running around. Most of the people there with their dogs have a higher level mindset about their dogs then the yo-yo teenagers walking their dogs on the streets. No one in the store is trying to show off ‘my dog can kick your dogs butt!’ mentality. Usually the dogs at the store are smaller and non-aggressive types. This helps when we have a larger then life dog that may display aggressive behavior cause “that dog looked at me!!!”


Gee and all you wanted was a simple answer!

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Can I ask another question?


Well, I can ask, but I'm politely asking to answer anoher one.


Describe for me the ideal day for an ASD pup that has just joined our family. When is he inside, outside, actively training, actively playing w/human, or in his crate? Also if we crate a pup, do we continue crating into adulthood?


Here is our schedule that he would fit into.

530 - Dad gets up and leaves

700 - Mom and kids get up

900 - Mom and kids outside to take care of poultry, hang out laundry, and garden for an hour in season (April - October)

12 - lunch

3 pm - Dad comes hom

5 pm - dinner

7 pm - kids to bed

8 or 9 pm - Dad to bed

10 or 11 pm - Mom to bed



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  • 1 month later...
Originally Posted By: HSmom

Describe for me the ideal day for an ASD pup that has just joined our family.

we don't have ASD's, we have pyrs, but my house pyr told me to pass on to you that her ideal day consists of piling up all the pillows on the bed and sleeping there. Every once in a while she'll yawn, stretch, gaze out the window to make sure everything is fine in the critter pens, and go back to sleep rofl
the 'little guy' (95 pounds at 10 months) spends his days patroling the woods for coyotes and digging massive elaborate tunnels in what used to be our backyard when he's not being the dragon to Alec's knight.
the matriarch spends her days babysitting the goatlings and rolling her eyeballs at the other two.

this is a great thread, Westie- thanks so much- it's been a treat catching up on it thanks
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right now I have four 3 month old pups out running around in the yard! I can hear the boys barking at them!


I best go put them back in thier pen next to the rabbits and chickens.


little ones found a way out! grrrrrrrr. I hate it when a dog is smarter them me.

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  • 1 month later...

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