LGD's and Large Predators

Discussion of the training, use, and management of guard dogs, guard llamas, guard donkeys, guard goldfish, etc.
MonsterMalak
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LGD's and Large Predators

Postby MonsterMalak » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:29 pm

Hello,
I am a LGD breeder in East Texas, and breed Kangals and Urfa Mountain Guregh. Being from an area only with coyotes (crossed with red wolf), and very infrequent lion, I am trying to get a survey or information on use of Kangals against Large Predators. Information as to how the other breeds fair would also be appretiated.
It is my belief, and that of others that the Kangal LGD is one of the better breeds for wolves and mountain lion. But information is limited, as Kangals are somewhat limited in availability.
The Urfa Mountain Guregh will surely be one considered the most capable Guardians. At 33-41 inches, 160-260 pounds, and a true gladiator, they are nearly invincible in the testing arena. But as a new breed to the USA, I am looking for a large predator or high pressure area to test them with. I would gladly work with anyone that has the right place to test either the Kangal or Guregh.


Any information on breeds, practices, methods, with regards to controling large predators would be appretiated.

Thank You!
Last edited by MonsterMalak on Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Janet McNally
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby Janet McNally » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:36 pm


lovetree
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby lovetree » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:40 pm

Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin

Kathy Lewis
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby Kathy Lewis » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:33 am

Janet and Mary,
I hope you get answers to your questions.

I may be out of line but I'm getting a little nervous about a trend I see here. How can you breed livestock guardian dogs without having livestock. And......no, chickens, ducks, children (and IMO goats) are not livestock.

Also promoting a "Livestock Guardian Dog" as effective against wolves could have some consequences. What's the difference between buying an AK-47 to kill wolves or a buying a dog for the same purpose? Even though we hate and fear them, it seems like either solution would be a "taking" under the ESA. I worry about the future of our use of all LGDs as an essential tool for sheep producers.
Kathy Lewis
White Dorpers with Lambplan EBVs
www.whitedorper.com

MonsterMalak
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby MonsterMalak » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:29 pm

I truely did not intend to stir up controversy.

First, I raise miniature cattle, Goats, Fowl, etc. I do not have a large ranch with distant herds. This would be my interest in finding a place such as this for testing them. They have been 100% effective in my setting, but realize the challenges are greater in other settings.
The term testing arena is refering to the cultural practice of the Turkish people fighting their dogs to better select the ones most capable to be able to challenge the larger predators. It is a tool for them, that was elemental to their survival. When they are fought in Turkey, it is just to the point of submission. Injuries are avoided if possible. I do not condone fighting dogs, but understand the need for such testing in those situations.
When I say that the dogs are able to kill wolves, it is in reference to the Grey Wolves killing and eating the LGD's. Most wolves will flee if they feel that risk of injury is high. I believe that the LGD is a system that works with nature, and within the normal system. That the LGD gives ranches an alternative to killing the wolves. This is the reason that the Cheetah Foundation imports Kangals to Africa. To save the Cheetah, Not kill them. But in the case of wolves killing and eating LGD dogs in our NW, this breed will be able to keep that from happening.

Janet McNally
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:44 pm

I have used at least six LGD breeds here, and I would say they all have been effective against wolves if used properly. Most are 90 to 100 lbs, not particularly large dogs. There is a tendency for those not experienced with LGDs to think we need vicious 'junk yard dogs'. Some of my most effective dogs (as in 0 losses) were the dogs that used their brains, not their brawn to keep the stock safe. I would say the most important attribute is that the dog stay with the stock. If the dog is not present when the wolf shows up then what good is it? From there the producer needs to pick the breeds that best fits their management style and circumstances.

For those who did not get to see the wolf photo we captured on our property this winter, check out the "why we have LGDs" thread in the shepherd's hut viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3719. We never even knew that wolf passed through except that we caught him on camera, and he demonstrated our typical wolf/LGD encounter, which is....he would have passed close to the sheep pasture just prior to the first frame of that shot, noted the area was heavily saturated with the scent of our male and female LGD pack which made him hurry past, not even giving the dogs time to detect him. He paused for the camera before moving on, never to return. That's about it! Had he lingered near the sheep, or even hung out in the woods for a day or two, there would have been several dogs on his tail to assure that he left.

I share Kathy's concern about the damage more aggressive dogs can do to the industry. A while back there was a thread about proposed BMP's viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2600 brought about when a rancher lost his right to use LGDs because two of his dogs mauled a bicyclist using the trails on public land. This followed several other incidents which seem to be increasing in frequency. The sheep industry in turn was pressured to make sure this does not happen again. LGDs mauling recreationists did not used to be a problem until non sheep producer dog breeders started promoting a 'bigger, tougher' dog to the sheep industry, most notable was the Caucasian mountain dog. One of the notable differences, is that these were breeds that were selected for aggression just as Monstermalak described...'in the testing arena'. Dog fighting is a part of the culture where some of these dogs come from, and as I understand it, there are different lines of dogs, those more docile dogs used with stock, and dogs kept just for fighting (and yes, they really do fight those dogs, not just 'test' them).

Lastly I will maintain, that after having purchased quite a number of dogs of various breeds from many different circumstances, that important elements of working ability seem to be lost in just a few short generations when the dogs are not selected for their ability to stay with and guard stock. Breeding dogs for show, pets, and property guards is contrary to the traits we need in the working livestock guard dogs. It behooves anyone selling dogs to livestock producers to have livestock run under the same kind of conditions that your customers will be using the dogs, so that you know how your dogs behave.

There have been some excellent dogs that have come out of Turkey, so I really don't want to be saying good or bad about Kangals. But I think those selling pups need to be running stock under commcercial conditions, so they know what they have before they release them into the sheep world.

Janet

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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby pastora » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:05 pm


Darroll Grant
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby Darroll Grant » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:03 pm

There are a few folks both in the US and OZ who in the mid 90s saw a place for Dorpers in both countries. We were laughed at for a time, but the significant increase in Dorper numbers in both countries during a time span when sheep numbers are dropping in both countries has changed the laughs to purchases. Whether or not any new LGD breeds will work well and be accepted in the US will be determined in time. Why the pile on? If they don't work under US conditions its only one person's significant investment of money and time down the drain. Wait and watch to determine the outcome.
Last edited by Darroll Grant on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Darroll Grant
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Janet McNally
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:37 pm

Darroll, Kangals are not new. It is my understanding there has been some concerted breed improvement and concentration of a particular type (at one time the shepherd's dog of turkey produces a variety of 'types', and these are being called Kangal. We have had a number of very successful turkish dogs in use on farms here in the US (my Jack is part 'anatolian'). The Kangal may indeed be useful dogs, but I am putting out the caution of where the use of fighting dogs has landed the sheep industry only just recently and pointing out that the dogs used for fighting may not necessarily be the same lines used by shepherds in some parts of the world.

Janet

MonsterMalak
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby MonsterMalak » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:05 pm

I would have to say that I can see the concern, and some merit for it. But please let me say that these dogs are a very old bloodline of dog used to guard the flocks on their 200-600 mile treck for grass in the Urfa Mountains. In the winter, they guarded the sheep in paddocks, and also lived with the villagers. So guarding a stationary place holding livestock is also a part of their historic function. In the Urfa mountains, the predators were bigger and more abundant. Hence the need for larger guardians. So if you want to deem them Fighting Dogs, so would any breed from that region, Akbash, Kars, Kangal, Youruk, and the American version the Anatolian.
If these dogs were dangerous, would they be allowed to run in the village all winter, live in their homes. And I tell you, that if for a second I thought my 4 children were at risk, the dogs that I spent $18,000 getting over here would be locked out away from the house. Not sleeping with my Kids. And no, I do not have them running with livestock, as my investment in them is to valuable to risk this.
I truely do not understand the need for such expression of negative opinions. It is not productive, serves no purpose. I just want to learn from others, find some places to test the dogs in other situations,,,,,,,so I can identify future breeding stock!!!!! The dogs provide me with great protection, I was just hoping they might be able to help others.... Thats all!

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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:28 pm

Monstarmalak, please go to this link http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/27 ... -2009nov27 to understand why there would be concern about dogs bred for fighting, and this discussion viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2600 to understand the dilemma it caused the entire sheep industry. Again, this is no comment directly about your dogs, or dogs from Turkey, but understand, that some of these problems emerged when producers turned to more aggressive dogs, some of which have a history of breeding for fighting. I applaud you for wanting to get some dogs out onto farms to prove them, and would encourage you to create your own testing ground as it will teach you much that you would want to know about your dogs.

Janet

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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:14 pm


lovetree
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby lovetree » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:34 pm

Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead

home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese

NW Wisconsin

lovetree
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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby lovetree » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:01 pm

Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead

home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese

NW Wisconsin

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Re: LGD's and Large Predators

Postby mamodei » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:11 am

Maria Amodei
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