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Lilly is my only LGD now. I had to sell Sam because they would get to visiting the neighbors (all of them)and most of the neighbors didn't understand LGD behavior so weren't pleased to see the 2 of them.

I knew Lilly would stay home if she didn't have her brother in tow.

So now Lilly stays on our property 98% of the time. When she leaves it's off to my direct neighbor (who I take care of her dogs often and lily goes down there with me to feed and play with those dogs).

Last weekend we had strange weather and a neighbor way down the way (back of my property) was out in his yard and for some reason his voice was carrying all the way up to our place. Sounded like he was almost right outside the door. So Lilly must have went to investigate. I walked down and called her home.

That's the only places I've seen Lilly go.

In late afternoon she tends to lay out on our dead-end gravel road to wait for my DH or the neighbor who owns the dogs she plays with to come home from work.

I was leaving for school in a hurry, there she was sitting in the road. She doesn't follow cars so it wasn't a big deal. By the time I got the car out of the snowy driveway Lilly was standing in the road alert that someone was coming. I thought it was DH or friendly neighbor.

 

Nope, it's a distant neighbor (the one that used to call us and tell us the 2 LGD's were on their property and remind us that they shoot loose dogs around here).

She was headed down our dead end street with her dog off lead. The dog is very nice, trained to not run off, just a sweetheart of a dog. Lilly saw them about half way down the road and started to race up to say HI. I was able to call Lilly back to me a couple times but her sweet nature got the best of her so she ran up to greet the walking dog.

As I drove past I had the window down and tried to explain Lilly was sweet (you could tell cause she was already there doing the meet and greet with the other dog) and wouldn't hurt them but that the neighbor would have to tell Lilly to "go home" in a stern manner or Lilly would follow them home just to play.

Before I could get that out my mouth the lady told me that Lilly would follow them home. I smiled and said yes I know and explained how to send her home.

I had to leave (late for school) but I worried all evening that Lilly wouldn't listen to the lady. I called DS after about an hour and he said he found lily back in her pen with her sheep so it must have worked.

Here's the dilemma....

I know I don't own my street even though it dead ends at my driveway and there's only 2 houses on the road. The other neighbor who lives past me has to use my right of way part of the road to get to her house. We have a gate across the road at the start of her driveway. If you came down my street you'd have to turn around in my drive or be stuck. If you walk you'd have to turn around or go through the gate and travel on private property to get anywhere else (which we certainly don't mind)

This neighbor with the dog doesn't live on my road or even that close but still a neighbor cause we all live on pretty big plots. I understand she is just walking her dog and has every right but....if you knew you were going to run into a guard dog (even a friendly one) wouldn't you figure she either A) doesn't mind or :rolleyes: maybe choose to walk a different way if you didn't like meeting Lilly.

 

I feel this is going to end up being a problem. She was quite snappy when she told me Lilly would follow her home.

Plus if she keeps coming down here Lilly will eventually figure out where they live and probably start "visiting" them to play with their dog even without them coming down the road to "invite" her to come with them.

Again I know legally it's my problem but I just don't know what to do.

If she called I could pen Lilly up when they were going to walk down our road. I could pen lily up all the time (not what I want to do) or turn a blind eye and worry that these neighbors will shoot Lilly if she decides to go visiting.

I feel that the neighbor should be a bit reasonable and realize that she is causing this issue by choosing to walk where she knows she's going to run into Lilly. There are other areas she could choose to walk but with the snow, my road is one of the easiest.

As a side note, I've never walked my dogs back her way because I don't want my dogs ever to think it's ok to wander in that direction. Trying to stay neighborly.

 

This is also the neighbor that told us how bad the coyotes are but haven't seen any since we've lived here. I kindly explained what LGD's do and that they shouldn't have coyotes bothering their dog anymore. I'm not sure but I think they own 2 llamas and 2 donkeys(they might be a different neighbor who lives even farther away). I don't see Lilly in with them but have seen them as puppies outside the fence trying to get the llamas and donkeys to like them. Once I had to go collect them (when we still had Sam and they were about 6 months old) from this neighbors house and I found them in the field with the llama's and donkeys. I called them to me and the llamas didn't even get up (they were laying in the field) so I knew the dogs weren't bothering them. But I do feel if you don't want my dogs in your field you have every right to tell me so and it's my business to keep them out. Which I have done till now, if she keeps coming down I know Lilly will end up going back that way.

 

Just to clarify, we are pretty rural with some yuppie homes thrown in. This is cattle and horse country, and most that live within Lilly distance own quite big plots of land. Not a neighborhood per say, but mostly farm land. If your cow comes on my property it's my problem to fence my house in not yours to keep your cows off my prop. Weird CO laws.

Hope all that makes a bit of since.

What would you do??

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I don't know anything about neighborly customs in rural areas, but the one thing that I might suggest would be to try talking to your neighbor at a time when Lily isn't or hasn't just followed her. Call her up some time and invite her over for coffee or something and just explain your dilemma and your concerns in just the way you've done here. It's always hard to know for sure with people, but I find that when people understand that you are sincere in your desire to fix the problem, they tend to be more amenable to various solutions. Of course, this depends entirely on your neighbor being a reasonable person, too.

 

I also don't know enough about the duties of an LGD, but is it at all possible to train Lily to stay on your property, even when tempted by a friendly dog? That would obviously be the most ideal solution, but I don't know enough about LGDs to know if it's possible.

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I would try to make my fences and gates impassable to Lily. A hot wire top and bottom perhaps. She shouldn't be leaving her sheep to go play with neighbor dogs, etc., so I think I would try to enforce her staying in the pasture with the sheep. It's the easiest solution, and it's what's best for her anyway. It's really not safe for her to be wandering the countryside in search of playmates, etc.

 

When Maia first got here, she got out a few times, but I've since blocked any holes. If she's really provoked she'll go through the opening at the top of a gate, but I've taken wire and covered that opening on all gates that lead somewhere other than to other parts of the farm (e.g., the gates that lead to the paddocks behind the barn are not covered that way because I don't particularly care if she goes to where the rams are, etc.). I have hot wire strung along the top of the field fence, but it's not on. If Maia persisted in trying to get out, I would have charged it so that she learned to stay in.

 

J.

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Maybe I shouldn't reply because I don't live in the country and don't have livestock. So forgive my ignorance, but isn't a LGD supposed to stick around the animals they're guarding? I thought they were primarily bonded to the herd, or maybe that's just one way they are utilized. I'd be concerned about her wandering more and more. We all know that can be very reinforcing to dogs and can lead to all kinds of bad ends. Is there a way to make her stay with the sheep?

 

The lady walking down your road is, as you note, her right since it is a public road. Even if she had an equally nice route she could take instead or could deal appropriately with an unwanted dog, there may well be more scenarios where Lilly's fondness of visiting and wandering will cause issues. She sounds like such a sweetheart. Is she still real young and likely to become more aloof as she matures?

 

I take it Lilly is an outdoor dog, or does she spend time inside as well? Speaking from a suburban dog owner's viewpoint, I guess I wouldn't want her outside and unconfined & unsupervised if she is prone to leaving the property at those times. But we are living in different worlds, so I know that probably isn't practical.

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What would you do??

 

I would make sure Lily stayed home as "times they are a changing" in your area. We had a big influx of out of towners years ago buying up all of the large farm plots and it does change all of the local customs. They want streetlights, garbage service, and no strange dogs on their property, especially big ones, so the sooner Lily learns to stay home the better, for her own good. If she's wandering, she's not doing her job, so perhaps a refresher on her duties might be in order, and as Julie suggests, making sure she stays with her flock. If you are going to be away from home, its a pretty good bet she's going to wander, so confining her would be safest for Lily until she relearns the rules.

 

Liz

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Hi Kristen,

 

As others have mentioned, your guardian dog should be staying on your property....period! You sold Sam because he and Lily were leaving your property together, and now Lily is leaving your property even without Sam's influence. In my opinion (as someone who owns four guardian dogs), you have a problem! Livestock Guardian Dogs need to stay with their flock/herd, otherwise they can not effectively do their jobs. You didn't mention Lily's breed, and some guardian breeds are more inclined to roam than others, but no matter what her breed, she needs to stay on your property.

 

When I read your post, the first thing that raised a red flag for me was that your dogs accompany you when you go your neighbor's house to take care of their dogs. This is something that surely will encourage an LGD to leave their own property, as you basically have taught them that it is ok to leave. Unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done to undo that now.

 

As Julie mentioned, secure fencing is essential to keep a guardian dog where it belongs. I realize that fencing is very costly, so perhaps you can reinforce the fencing in one or two areas (paddocks, pastures, etc.) to keep Lily securely contained.

 

The problem of Lily leaving home will not resolve itself, and it will probably continue to get worse. If she were mine, I would do everything and anything necessary to keep my wonderful guardian dog on my property where she belongs. Best wishes for success!

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I agree that the neighbor has full right to the road, and unless you're paying her she is not responsible for training your dog.

 

You've got to reinforce fences, use electricity as needed (e-collar and/or electric fences) and put a stop to it now.

 

 

Hi Kristen,

 

As others have mentioned, your guardian dog should be staying on your property....period! You sold Sam because he and Lily were leaving your property together, and now Lily is leaving your property even without Sam's influence. In my opinion (as someone who owns four guardian dogs), you have a problem! Livestock Guardian Dogs need to stay with their flock/herd, otherwise they can not effectively do their jobs. You didn't mention Lily's breed, and some guardian breeds are more inclined to roam than others, but no matter what her breed, she needs to stay on your property.

 

When I read your post, the first thing that raised a red flag for me was that your dogs accompany you when you go your neighbor's house to take care of their dogs. This is something that surely will encourage an LGD to leave their own property, as you basically have taught them that it is ok to leave. Unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done to undo that now.

 

As Julie mentioned, secure fencing is essential to keep a guardian dog where it belongs. I realize that fencing is very costly, so perhaps you can reinforce the fencing in one or two areas (paddocks, pastures, etc.) to keep Lily securely contained.

 

The problem of Lily leaving home will not resolve itself, and it will probably continue to get worse. If she were mine, I would do everything and anything necessary to keep my wonderful guardian dog on my property where she belongs. Best wishes for success!

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