"What Does My Farm Need?"


This page we try to cover the basics in what to look for when looking for an LGD, whether you get one from B6DR or not, questions we have answered over the years, issues we've seen. This is information on which  for you to ponder in your search; we want ALL to be successful with their LGDs. Our view (not saying we know everything, but we share what we know and how we feel from what we have seen and discussed with prospective pup buyers, so “IOO”)
All Pictures will enlarge if you'd like to see them in a better resolution. 

Predators: You may not see them, you may say “they say we have "__" (Ie bears, wolves, coyotes, coy dogs, cougar) but I don’t see them. I doubt they will come….” When you get stock. They will eventually come so best to prepare. As you prepare remember, Predators divide and conquer, it only takes one time for a pack of coyotes and/or dogs to come in, and then you have an issue. Then you cannot raise a pup.

Terrain: Wooded, open, broken into different pastures, separated pastures…etc…. What allows for cover for the predator? They are predators and are killing to survive so they are sneaky.   

Breed: Find one you like, look to breeders that will be honest, or look to the TRUE history of the breed. Were they bred to keep away human predators? In that case, even if people say if you ask, “they were"..Then "but mine aren’t” odds are you can end up with human aggressive dogs – so not telling you not to get that breed, but be prepared. Not saying it’s as a negative, at one point we considered one of the more human aggressive breeds of LGD, but we understood and accepted that as part of the breed as what we would have to deal with IF we chose to get it. So make an educated, truly educated choice. 

IOO, If someone has to point or try to point to a negative in another breed to build up their breed, walk away from that breeder. Anything we say about any other breed will be what we have educated ourselves about or had first hand experience with, what we read about them in history or if we don't know enough we will tell you to find and talk to a trustworthy breeder. That is the point. Trust worthy, as we have seen the ones that get the overly aggressive breed that are told it's a great breed with no issues, only to have an intense dog that they can’t handle, we've sadly Seen it more than once and it never ends good.

Breeder: Find a breeder that offers after support, that you TRUST. That is HONEST about their breed of choice positive and negative. These LGD type forums can be great, but you can get comments all over the board. You need a breeder that knows their dogs and how they work. Can help you through quirks, as they all can have them. Any breeder that says they don’t have any that their dogs are perfect, well….IOO; walk away. As we all know with children, no child is perfect and the ones that say they are, usually have the worst behaved. We know our dogs and what quirks can come up and what will work to tweak them. We call it molding not training as it should be instinct with tweaks as need, you shouldn't have to train them to an instinct. (Adapting a post about “LGD Molding” we wrote back in 2011/2012 and revamped in 2014 to post soon to a page). Personally we tell people with our pups/dogs to come to us, not the Internet or forums. We KNOW our dogs.


What do you need them for? IE, What do you need them to Guard... Do you Farm Guardian (FGD) or Livestock Guardian (LGD) We have pissed more than one person off when we have asked over the last 30plus years ago, it’s becoming more accepted now but still can cause a hackle to rise, it is like we were degrading their dogs. Which it is NOT. There is just as much need for an FGD as an LGD. MAIN difference in what we call it, is how it’s raised and what is asked of it.

The Farm Guardian Dog (FGD) is bonded to the property and area and you……guards what you put it with. Bonded more to area than stock, a little more human interaction.

The Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) is so in love with it's charges, you can “dump" the dogs and herd out in the middle of nowhere and it will stay with the herd and not look for human interaction. It will not “beat you home” it will be happy without you and with the stock…. You it views as working partner, and It respects your relationship, and enjoys it, when you are there, but doesn't leave it's charges to look for you and will leave you for it’s charges.

Pup or Adult: If you have active kills already on your property or with your animals esp with large predators, you will need adults, be prepared to pay for the time and effort someone has put into raising them. It COSTS to raise them; Plus time to put the effort into molding. (See Molding page *in process not completed) If you have not had a kill, you can start with pups, AND>>>>>>It is NOT as difficult to raise a pup as people say it is. With the advent of the Internet; it has become cool to raise and breed the LGD (not looking at how the dog works, just cause it’s a Grey Pyrenees or Maremma or Kuvas etc doesn’t MAKE it an LGD, that is a classification, just like every border collie or blue heeler doesn’t herd). So with this there have been poorly breed dogs that don’t work and misbehave, and people justify the misbehavior saying it’s "slow maturing wait until it’s 2”.In your research for a breeder find the ones that back their pups as being with he stock from the get go. A lot of what you read about waiting can come from arm chair experts that in some cases may not even have a farm just want to sound important, or have a farm, but only have had poorly bred “LGDs".
How Many... More than one?: We will always, no matter the size of lot, say emphatically, start with 2 and go up from there. Predators, Terrain and even your stock play a roll in this. Do they flock together or break in splinter groups? Your breeder of choice can help you decide what is best for you. To me, it’s always better to have more, than not enough. They are after all, soldier, we cover it more here on the page about the Single Soldier, A Single LGD.

Great Pyrs are utilized here, raised for decades, below we cover a few basic rumors of the breed.  A lot depends on terrain, predator activity and type of stock. We have run anywhere from 12-20; We do not loose anything to predation. We also look at age groups. I have “Youngers" (up to 2 years) “Primes" (2-7 or 8ish) and "Olders" (semi or retirees)- these are terms we use. The "olders" who mainly stick with the herd and back up but can also come in to the house, lay by the fire if they choose. They decide when they do this. We always strive to have a rotation of ages with my prime ages the strongest core group.

That core we look for to be strong of at least 6-7 or more so the coverage is there.  

Setting rumors to rest…IOO with our experiences
Good true Pyrs, let's see if we can remember all the things people love to diss the Great Pyrenees about in regards to working.

1. Ours Tend to Shed Naturally (ie, they don’t get groomed 24x7) we have lost them at anywhere from 11-15, with the average 13-15, and during that time we rarely groomed them. True Pyrs should just naturally blow their coat ever spring. The Birds love them for nesting material! 

2. They don’t bark willy nilly if they have coverage. Any LGD can nuisance bark; we will be putting up a post about The Single Soldier, as a reference for you to understand why a single LGD is more likely to “nuisance bark". Our pyrs will bark at a threat as needed and LGDs should bark at a threat, but shouldn’t bark willy nilly. (See the Single Soldier, A Single LGD. Page)

3. Roaming…. Properly bonded Pyrs (LGDs) roam. They will push, perimeter, sometimes extending a perimeter, depending on the predator, but don’t roam.

4. Lazy, don’t engage…. Can’t handle large predators. I can site example after example of them (the ones I have) taking on large predators. The Great Pyrenees were raised to take on wolves and bears.

5. Wont be trusted til they are 2. ("Rumor" in LGD circles of all breeds not only speaking to the pyr here) Ours are raised and born with the stock. Simply, look at the pictures and you decide how the B6DR Great Pyrenees is trusted!

We know there are more, but this page is long enough – hope this helps! Thank you and have a blessed day! 

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