Moses was an old Pyrenees. As a pup he freely roamed the fields around his farm, warding off coon, coyote and hawks from his beloved sheep and poultry. As he grew older so did his neighborhood. A housing development sprang up, covering much of the area where he used to roam. He was okay with this, but the new neighbors were not okay with his visits.
Moses had become “socially unacceptable.”
I first heard of him when I had supper with a group of people from church. His owner asked me if I would like another Great Pyrenees. I told him “No, not at this time.” To which he responded, “Well, I can’t keep him, not even another day. I’m going to have to put him down. He’s taking things from the neighbors’ yards. Just the other day I caught him with a pie he had lifted from someone’s windowsill.” Suddenly I thought of my friend Pete, who lived down by the river and had poultry. I did know someone who needed a LGD for poultry (LGD=livestock guardian dog). I called Pete.
Just weeks ago, my friend Pete had been bemoaning the fact that he’d lost over 50 birds, to predators, that year. He lived near the Illinois River, where a lot of wildlife roamed,
Moses desperately needed a new home!
Pete was happy to take Moses. I brought Moses to my place and Pete picked him up from there. Pete knew little about livestock guardian dogs, but Moses knew a lot about poultry and predators. Several weeks went by and one afternoon Pete dropped in on me. He was beaming. I asked, “How’s Moses working out for you?” Pete replied in his country twang, “Well, I wish I had me one of these dogs a long time ago. In two weeks he killed 25 raccoon and three bobcat! The last bobcat weighed 40 lb. When Moses came out of the brush, after that fight, he had blood all over him, and it wasn’t his own!” Pete had discovered the joys of a LGD for poultry!
Having a LGD for Poultry Usually Takes Training and Commitment.
Most livestock guardian dogs won’t actually bond with the birds. They come to see them as property to protect. Also, since poultry is generally more fragile than other kinds of livestock, it should not be a surprise that a puppy accidentally kills a few birds. In our course we will detail how to train a LGD puppy so that it will guard poultry, or almost anything one would like.
I’ve noticed that most LGDs treat raccoon, skunk and small predators differently than coyote and larger predators. A lot of times they’ll kill a raccoon rather than chase it away. With other canines and large predators they usually seem content to chase them away.