LGDs / Livestock Guardian Dogs/Breeds: problematic behaviors & temp - Page 3

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LGDs / Livestock Guardian Dogs/Breeds: problematic behaviors & temp

This is a discussion on LGDs / Livestock Guardian Dogs/Breeds: problematic behaviors & temp within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Also not all Neos are bred with the absurdly wrinkly face you see in some of the pics. Neighbor has one that has a face ...

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Old 08-28-2017, 10:23 PM
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Also not all Neos are bred with the absurdly wrinkly face you see in some of the pics. Neighbor has one that has a face w/ normal mastiff levels of droopiness.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:57 AM
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Arrow Guarding breeds contrasted with LGDs

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...

As for your friend's experience, that's pretty terrible.
1 month is not that long to develop trust with a breed like a Fila (and why a lot of them are shown by their owners).
We got a new housekeeper when Leia was 9 months old. It took her 9 more months of seeing her 7 hrs a day, 5 days a week, to accept her.
sorry, the dog hadn't just met her a month B4 -
she had shown him for over a year; that particular show, he'd *lived in her home* for the month prior to the show.
Over the course of their acquaintance, she'd bathed him many times, brushed him, petted him, played with him, took him for hundreds of walks, jogged him with her bike & a K9 Springer, yadda-yadda. He knew her well, she knew him well; she thought they were buddies, & presumed on that relationship by not asking pretty-please B4 touching his leg.
He corrected her opinion on that presumed friendship - she'd exceeded his tolerance in a public setting.

I understand what U mean about guarding breeds & their devotion to their owners outweighing their attachment to home-turf, while for LGDs, home is more than just the familiar place they sleep each night - it's precious to them in a very different way.
Guarding breeds will protect their homes from someone they perceive as a threat, but if someone they love is going out the door & they have the option to go along, it's no contest; a loved person trumps mere turf.

For LGDs, home is where the heart is, & even after intensive habituation & plenty of happy field-trips, don't be surprised if a 9 to 12-MO stock-guardian votes to stay home when U are leaving. Like anyone else, LGDs become more opinionated post-puberty.
U could say they become less malleable, more narrow-minded, & quite a bit more pigheaded, LOL - but that's why early, extensive, & intensive habituation & extended socialization are so important for guarding breeds, whether they are LGDs or guarding breeds.

It's no fun whatsoever owning an LGD who won't let the vet touch her or him, unless s/he is literally unconscious - & that can be life-threatening in a medical emergency. U need to consider these things B4 they happen.


my Akita was socialized as if she was still a pre-pubertal pup for the 1st two years of her life, meeting 10 to 30 strangers every week, week-in & week-out, & then she had frequent, happy exposures to strangers & novel settings for the rest of her life, to maintain her tolerance.
Guarding breeds are like snails, self-contained, slow to trust, & ready to slip back into their shell & stew there at any opportunity.
I knew i wanted to do therapy work with her, & i couldn't let her limit her sense of trust to "just family" - she had to extend the boundaries of her social circle.

If U faithfully spend the 1st 2-years of a guarding breed's life socializing her or him as U would a 10-WO pup, & then move to a home with few visitors coming in & don't get that dog OUT to see non-family regularly, they'll slip back into their shell & close the door.
They need a maintenance schedule to keep their boundaries porous. Even a bi-weekly trip from the homestead to the post-office & a quick trip into the hardware store will help keep them from stiffening up again.
Take any opportunity to meet a friendly stranger, & keep them in practice.

- terry

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Old 08-29-2017, 08:23 AM
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Talking wrinkles, drool, beards, & funky stinks

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Also not all Neos are bred with the absurdly wrinkly face you see in some of the pics.
Neighbor has one that has a face w/ normal mastiff levels of droopiness.
I don't know if U've met any Leonbergers, but they're a mastiff breed i love.

Minimal wrinkle, maybe a dewlap or 2 throat-folds on a male - tight flews, dry mouths, moderate frames. They run about 30-inches at the shoulder & 125# for bitches, 150# for Ms.

Leos generally adore children & are very tolerant of their well-known tendency to provoke, startle, push limits, & pull hair. [That's not to suggest anyone LET kids do these things! - not at all. Only to say that any Leo is unlikely to go off half-cocked.]

I'm not keen on drooly dogs of any size; a French Bulldog with a sloppy mouth & lots of pockets in their flews is no more attractive to me than a 200# mastiff with droopy flews & drool to their chest. They're just messy; the idea of a slime-rag hanging from my belt-loop to "neaten up my dog" B4 the judge touches them in the ring is yuck.
I've dog-sat drooly dogs, & replacing the slimy water in the drinking bowl is an almost-hourly task; i DEFINITELY recommend a big reservoir bowl with a gallon or bigger tank, for any drooly dog over 50# weight.
U need to disassemble the reservoir bowl, wash the bowl well, & put it back together at least twice weekly, preferably 3X / week or more.

Washing the faces & drying *inside* the facial wrinkles of dogs with excess skin will help keep them from stinking - their own saliva will accumulate in the folds, bacteria feast on it, & the resulting smell can be atrocious in just a day or 2.
Beards on breeds with furnishings do the same thing: catch saliva & bits of food, & get funky very fast.

The most-recent bearded dog who stayed with me had his beard washed twice a day, LOL - he didn't enjoy it, but he put up with it, & i paid him well for being co-operative.

- terry

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Old 08-29-2017, 02:52 PM
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My dog has pretty severe separation anxiety and is on medication from a behaviorist. The research and studies I've read say that labs and German shepherds are statistically the most common breeds to get it because they've been bred for so long to be loyal and social and bond with their owners. Also dogs who have been abandoned by their early homes. My dog is supposedly a lab German Shepherd mix who o hot at 16 months old after over a month in the shelter who was given up by two earlier homes. Fits perfectly.
He does the territory patrolling if we're in the dog park after dark, any noise or person or object he races to the fence barking and growling at. It can only be a person with a dog that's allowed allowed his park. No one gets near the car or apartment or me at night. But he only barks never bites. If I take him somewhere public like a restaurant or even a loud crowded bar, he's very friendly and wants to meet everyone and make friends. But it took me a year of socializing him to be that way. He used to growl and lunge and bark at strangers, especially men and anyone with hats. And he's still protective of me and territory but just barks never tries to bite. So maybe some traits but different because he's bonded to me and not necessarily livestock. He does love his park and apartment but didn't care when we moved a year ago he wants to be with me. Not a velcro dog though, he'll follow me to the shower but sometomes I wake up and he's asleep in his crate or the couch on the opposite side of the place and not always sleep with me. Takes off to chase rabbits or meet new dogs and won't come right back so could care less about me then.

My akita pit bull mix used to naturally help me "herd" my horses. If one got loose or misbehave he'd run barking and snapping until it went back to me or stopped doing the bad behavior. I know not advanced true herding but he instinctively always wanted to help me and his job was the horses.
My friends gsd who's friends with my current dog "herded" him when we had them out loose one day. His recalls improving but not perfect and whenever o called him and he ignored me and went the opposite way to check out a smekk, the gsd harassed him and chased him until he ran back to me to escape her. Same behavior my last dog did with the horses and no one trained either of them. Instincts can be there I think.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:13 PM
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My been bred for so long to be loyal and social and bond with their owners.
That's all of em. You know what you call a dog that isn't loyal and doesn't bond with their owner?


A cat.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:19 PM
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Lol but I've had many cats over the years and had a close bond with almost all of them. And when my mom died of cancer her cats were absolutely devastated. One of her cats actually found her cancer long before any doctors did and gave me more time with her. Cats can bond and be just as close go their owners as dogs. All of my cats recall is much better than my current dog's lol.
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:52 PM
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Lightbulb don't shortchange cats.

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... know what you call a dog that isn't loyal and doesn't bond with their owner?


A cat.

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Lol -
but I've had many cats over the years, & had a close bond with almost all of them - when my mom died of cancer, her cats were absolutely devastated. One of her cats actually found her cancer, long before any doctors did, & gave me more time with her.

Cats can bond and be just as close to their owners as dogs.
All my cats recall much-better than my current dog.
i know, i know... this is a dog forum.


Still, as a trainer of many species, i think it's a doggone shame that cat-owners have such low expectations of their pets.
Really, they're happy if their cat uses the litter-box, eats what they offer, & allows petting, now & then.
That's pretty pathetic - cats CAN be trained, they're not stoopid, & they do get very attached.

of course, a cat is not going to save Timmy from the well - they can't drag a 50-ft rope over, they can't haul that suicidal kid out, & they can't run home & bark to let his mom know he's fallen in... again.
But cats are even-more territorial than dogs, & they HAVE defended their humans from burglars, assault, warned them of fires, protected children from their parent's abuse, & even dialed 911 for emergency help [after training].

They're only 7 to 15# on average; there's a limit to what a cat can do, physically.
But cats can run agility, sit / down / fetch / roll-over on cue, etc.

Many cats are comforters for elderly ppl in terminal care - they go to the most-needy person; several have become somewhat notorious, for staying with the resident who is soon to die.
Cats demand less care - they don't need walks to toilet, they can even use human toilets & be trained to flush them, or use plumbed litter-boxes which flush & rinse the gravel used as litter. // But it's unfair to claim that cats don't bond to their people; the more we give to the cat, in time, attention, communication, & yes, training, the more they respond.




Cats, like dogs, have been successfully trained to auto-dial 911 when their human is unresponsive. Good kitty.

- terry

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Old 08-29-2017, 08:05 PM
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Gahh... We you can't make cat jokes on dog forum dot com
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I don't know if U've met any Leonbergers, but they're a mastiff breed i love.
Loved the 2 leos I've known. I spent months walking one when I volunteered at a shelter. Big fur balls.

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I've dog-sat drooly dogs, & replacing the slimy water in the drinking bowl is an almost-hourly task;
You can just let them drink the slimy water you know, it came out of their mouth in the first place.

I have to say Leia drools on long walks, or short walks in the summer, and after eating/drinking. The rest of the time her mouth is dry. I've never once had the head shaking drool flying on ceiling/walls experience that you've mentioned, but maybe that's just because she's not a head shaker.

I've also never had the problem of food accumulating in the fold or her mouth getting stinky.

And she has a reasonable amount of flew wouldn't you say?



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Last edited by Esand; 08-29-2017 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:03 PM
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I feel like these dogs (filas) get a bad rap and for all those reading the thread, let me explain why I think these dogs make great pets.

But first the negatives:

- They drool a little in summer (it's not bad).
- The eat and poop like the very large dogs they are.
- They're very very hard to train
- They don't like strangers, they can't be trusted alone with them ever, period.


Now contrary to what you might be imagining that last one doesn't mean you can't ever have people over or take your dogs out for walks. Just put them in a different area than your guests (preferably behind doors your guests can't open). They can't open doors and if well socialized to strangers being in your house, don't try or even bark.

Which gets me to why they're great pets:

- Although they are hard to train, they need very little training. These are instinctual very independent dogs. I never was able to teach recall because 1) they don't wander much and 2) coming when called has never not just worked. You know the way a puppy just follows you around? Filas never grow out of that.

- They're very low drive dogs, they're not particularly interested in treats and will never chase a tenis ball. But that means they don't get anxious and destroy things, they don't get bored easily. Leashed is right about the patrols, they'll get up at midnight and scope the perimeter and go back to sleep. They don't lick your face or beg to play. They just want to curl up next to you (or onto of you and go to sleep).

- Although they're not ones to play nice with strangers they'll never hurt your kid or you. They're incredibly gentle. Leia never 'mouthed' as a puppy, not even once. If you offer them a treat they'll come up and sniff it before very gingerly picking it up between 2 teeth without leaving a scratch. Mine at least is content to be fondled grabbed, used as a pillow and cuddled without protest.

This relaxed attitude towards manipulation actually makes them pretty easy at the vets (provided they know the vet, substitute vet = bring a muzzle). As long as I'm in the room to hold her head, she'll let the vet stick a thermometer up her butt or a needle in her thigh without even flinching which is more than I can say for my lab who gets very anxious on the table.

-When well socialized they're actually easy to deal with on the street. They're not aggressive dogs. They're just brutal in their defensiveness. What that means is they're not going to try and attack people on the street. They don't pull at other dogs. If they're unleashed in a park with lots of dogs, they don't play and will chase them off but won't go after them to fight either. I walk Leia on crowded sidewalks all the time, and she just ignores the other people.


So in summary: They're the greatest dogs because even more than any other breed I've owned, you are the center of their world. A 5lb rare T-bone steak could fall out of the sky and land next to them and they wouldn't hesitate to leave it to follow you. They are obedient without training. They're guard dogs as good as all but the most highly trained pointy ears without needing training and without the constant activity needs. They're never happier than to just hang out with you.

Despite all these words, I feel like I'm not doing them justice. When we asked a friend of ours who had 2 filas and 2 boerboels on her farm for a recommendation I remember she told me, " Get a fila, they're just the greatest dogs" and I did, and they are.



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Last edited by Esand; 08-29-2017 at 09:11 PM.
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