Livestock Guardian Dogs
Livestock Guardian Dogs, known as LGD's, are a very special dogs.
These majestic gentle giants will truly steal your heart.
Our LGD's are our most beloved animals here at Wingin' it Farms and Straw Hat Kikos. All our guardians have good sound temperaments and are well adapted to a variety of environments. We spend a great deal of time with our dogs. These amazing animals are not only excellent guardians over our livestock but are gentle giants with great intelligence and perception with remarkable instincts. These dogs are highly sensitive and intuitive. Our LGD's have never lacked human attention and thoroughly enjoy greeting us with a "standing" hug or a roll on their back for the much loved "belly rub".
Our LGD's are integrated into every aspect of our lives. As puppies they spend time with us in our home as well as the fields. They are well socialized, house-trained, groomed, and taught basic manners such as sit and come. Pups with parent stock are raised from birth with livestock. Ours pups are introduced to our livestock at 8 weeks of age if parent stock is unavailable. From 8-12 weeks they are with the livestock in a supervised setting. After 3 months the dogs are with the livestock throughout the day with periods of separation. Those separation periods are for "house" time with their human family, and playtime outside of the livestock areas.
When our dogs are 4 months we begin basic obedience skills. Walking on lead, heal, sit/stay, and a short "down" with the "come" command. Our LGD's are not "over trained" but taught simple basic commands. The Great Pyrenees as well as the Anatolian do very well with the down command as they think it means it's belly rub time. The command "come" is often more of a suggestion to the LGD, leaning always toward what they deem to be in their best interest. We will often refresh our dogs on these skills. From 16-20 weeks pups are in with livestock fulltime with their training and playtime outside of the livestock area daily.
Allowing daily playtime outside of the livestock areas prevents bored puppies from developing undesirable behaviors with the livestock, such as chasing, or rough playing. It promotes the desire to please their human masters while building confidence, good social skills, and the development of their guarding skills.
We work with our dogs natural temperament and their strengths. Identifying those traits is very important for the LGD owner to understand. This avoids confusion for the dogs as well as frustration to both human handler and the LGD. Not every LGD will be the same, our LGD's are all very different and work well paired with a partner.
"Arkados" aka Tiggs (pup)