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This is a discussion on Farm Dog Breed/Training within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; My understanding is that multiple flock guardians are only really needed in areas with serious predators...wolves, brown bears, puma, etc, not so much coyotes. While ...

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Old 07-11-2015, 05:17 AM
  #11
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My understanding is that multiple flock guardians are only really needed in areas with serious predators...wolves, brown bears, puma, etc, not so much coyotes. While coyotes have taken on eaten lone large dogs, they haven't been successful against lone working flock guardians.

A flock guardian and a more herder type dog or pair of herder type dog may be your best mix. In fact a pair of herder types may be all that is needed. Note that many of the herder breeds were also expected to be protectors.

I think the Border Collie is the best dog...for herding certain breeds of sheep for flocks of a certain size over certain terrain types. They are great dogs but even working lines are not the end-all-be-all of farm dogs. As far as farm work they are very specialized and may not be your best choice.

I think some of the more generalist breeds like the Australian Shepherd or English Shepherd may be better choices. Even better are the generalist 'old time farm shepherds' aka 'old fashioned scotch collies' who were the landrace that the Aussies and Englishes came from.

These dogs are herders and guardians, but above all else they are mind-readers. By that I mean they are often spooky-smart and in the same way that identical twins will finish each-others sentences and thoughts, so too will the Scotch Collie, knowing what you want done and doing it before the thought fully materializes enough to be given as a command. Scotch Collies have been known to simply pick up so many words that owners actually spell things out on occasion to keep the dog from hearing the word and reacting. They can figure out what their human is going to be doing by what shoes they start putting on. They have been known to figure out 'laundry day' and while the owner pulls off dirty sheets and tosses them on the floor, the dog will drag the sheet bundle to the laundry room...untrained, just through observation of the work routine of the home.

I suggest you read these two testimonials from pups sold from one of the few Old Time Collie breeders

https://glencraigean.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/247/

https://glencraigean.wordpress.com/2...l-about-cyrus/

Here are some breeders

Heritage Kennel, Old-Time Scotch Collies, Tucson, Arizona

https://glencraigean.wordpress.com/

https://4jacres.wordpress.com/puppies-2/

Even if you don't go for the Old Scotch, and decide to go with a Border, Aussie, or English, I strongly encourage you to go from farm working lines. Here's a great site for that

Farmcollie Breeders | American Working Farmcollie Association
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:40 AM
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My female LGD's seem better at patroling than my boys. Some areas of Missouri can have serious predators. Besides that there are several reasons why I do not like the idea of only running LGD. It is very stressful on them and they never get a chance to take a night off and let the other dog patrol. I would try looking at some of the rescues and being patient. Often they will have older working pairs needing a new flock to guard through no fault of thier own.
Yes there are plenty of smaller dogs that will display guarding behavior but often when it gets down to it they are watch dogs not guard dogs. (Watch dog says "Hey watch, look, something is happening." Guard dog says "Hold on, I'm going to go take care of this problem.") Even though they may have the desire and the courage to face a problem they might not have the ability to physically back it up.
Remeber in a protection situation it is always better to be over dogged than under dogged and get your dogs seriously injured or worse cause you asked them to take on too much.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:46 AM
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Also be very careful about Akbash, not that there is anything wrong with them by any means. My main concern is that they are breeding them to be all white which is cutting off the genetic availabilty. Basically an Akbash is a white Anatolian. (Akbash means white head, Karabash means black head.) Breeder selection in Turkey is not based on color but working ability.
There are many other LGD's that don't have quite the edge and desire to roam that the Turkish dogs have.
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