Introducing new LGD to current LGD

Discussion of the training, use, and management of guard dogs, guard llamas, guard donkeys, guard goldfish, etc.
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Introducing new LGD to current LGD

Postby MissTwist » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:49 pm

Hi everyone,
It's been quite a while since I've posted, but now I need some advice!

I've just been given a 2-y.o. experienced LGD (has been through two lambings; but her attitude toward poultry is unknown). I have a maremma currently; she came to me as a semi-feral rescue and is now at least 7. She has worked in groups before, but has worked alone since I've had her, about three years. So now I have this young dog, who needed to be placed where she couldn't bother neighborhood children riding bikes.

The new dog is not well socialized--she's friendly enough, but doesn't know how to walk on a leash and has to be lured with food to be caught. Right now I've got her in a 10 x 10 kennel in the pasture where the sheep and Maia (the maremma) are. Both Tasha and Maia are spayed.

What steps do I need to take to integrate them and make sure that they can work together successfully? And not have any fights? The have met through the kennel fencing, and Maia seemed friendly enough about the whole thing, but Tasha had an expression that wasn't nearly as friendly.


Julie Poudrier
Oxford, NC
Tunis and mule sheep

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Re: Introducing new LGD to current LGD

Postby McMurry » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:06 pm

Hi Julie,
I am not a LGD expert so take this with a gain of salt.
My experiences as well as the consensus I have gotten from more experienced LGD folks, on the subject of multiple female LGD's, is that they tend to be prone to fighting :( .
On a brighter note; when I added a male LGD (intact) things between the females cooled off considerably :D .
I hope others with more knowledge on the subject will contribute to your inquiry.
Best of luck!
Cheers, Andy
Andy McMurry

Endeavoring to develop luxury wool producing dual purpose sheep suited to Midwest grazing based commercial production.

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Re: Introducing new LGD to current LGD

Postby lovetree » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:31 am

Adult LGDs are extremely territorial, spayed or not spayed, THERE WILL BE FIGHTING.
The new dog needs AT LEAST two weeks of safe and confined acclimation time in order to understand that your property is her new home and for your established dog to know that she is not a threat. Either way, THERE WILL BE FIGHTING.
Does your established dog jump fences? Does the new dog jump fences?
Once you have kenneled the new dog for AT LEAST two weeks, it would greatly help to have her in a seperate pasture with her own flock of sheep, eventualy the two will get to know each other but there are so many issues at play,such as ... what type of temperament each dog has, is one obviously more reclusive and submissive, is one an obvious alpha bitch? Does one have a history of being a "team " player? etc. There are many "social dynamics" that are involved when introducing adult LGDs to each other which will help in determining whether or not they will be successful.
In example, if your new dog has a strong and confident personality and guarded solo at her previous home, there is a very good chance that she will beat the living tar out of the 7 year old if she does not respect the seniority status of the senior. I have three intact bitches, and four intact males. My senior bitch is 12 years old and I believe that she has lived this long because she never attempted to achieve alpha bitch status and always hangs in the background, she just does her own thing and she is an amazing guardian. However, my other two bitches exist well enough together on the same property as long as they have enough space to keep them occupied. I feed them seperate and I NEVER give them bones within eyesight of each other and I always try to have them with their own flock. When I do feed bones I make sure there are approx 3 or 4 bones per dog. Some "alpha' LGDs have a quiet confidence and are willing to mentor others as long as they arent overtly challenged, and some "alphas" can be bullies and will go cruising for trouble.
So in a nut shell, ( and to quote an old Forum sage).."it depends". :wink:
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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