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Which LGD would you choose?


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While I don't have my sheep (yet), I am considering having an LGD even though my flock would be small. If you have one, why did you choose that breed? If you don't have one, which breed would you consider? Does climate, terrain, etc. have an influence on which LGD to choose?

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I have a Pyr and a Pyr/Akbash cross. I needed LGD's right away so the only thing I was choosie about was that they came from working homes.


I love both of them and wouldn't trade one for the other but if I could choose anything it would be a LGD with less hair than the Pyr. Grooming keeps him comfortable but it's a very big dog and makes for very long grooming times. He loves it so no problems but it does get tiring.


I can't imagine haveing anymore issues with predators than we do but I guess we haven't seen a moutain lion and I haven't heard any bears in the area but I have heard from the neighbors that both are in the neighborhood so I'm assuming they're doing their job.


I've noticed talking with friends that they seem to have issues with lamb chasing when the LGD's are young. I really didn't have many issues with that. I think it's because I have 2 so they have each other to play with. They're between 1.5 and 2 yrs of age. This is their second lambing and it's going much better than the first. The issue we did have with them was trying to steal new born lambs from the ewes but they seem to have grown out of that. I'm sure it helped to have some nasty old momma's remind them who the babies belonged to. The only one they stole that I had problems with was from a new momma herself. She kept one twin but let the dogs keep the other. Hasn't happened this season.


I also have a llama but really think of him more as a pet and a helper to the LGD's. He couldn't handle the number of coyotes that are here. He keeps his sheep together and the boy's keep the predators at bay.


I love our LGD's as much as I love the border collies. They are gentle giants that I couldn't have sheep without.


Good luck


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I have an akbash and a Great Pyr/Maremma cross. I have had a Maremma cross as well. I will say that I like the Maremma the best, it is gentler with people but still cautious around them. My akbash (and she is only one...so she might not represent the breed) is nasty with people and new dogs...but that is her job and I live with it. She was bad with people from 5 weeks when she was dropped off at our place (claiming she was 8 weeks) so it could be genetic. My Pyr is overly exuberant with people...loves everyone...strolls down the road with neighbours. Charlie is good with non threatening neighbourhood dogs. We have not had a coyote kill in 3 years since we added more electric and got the dogs. Our llama is well is more of a pet...her name is Blanche....and she is pretty!


The Pyrs seem to want to wander more. They choose their own territory if you don't stop them with electric fencing....5 foot fencing and gates, 8" holes are nothing to these guys. The best advice I can give you is get one that is living with sheep, with working parents that stay with the sheep. You want it born in a barn, and to spend the first weeks in the barn with mom and sheep. These are not pets meant to live in a house. Mine are happy in the middle of winter laying amoungst the sheep!


Good luck in your research

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