Beekissed

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The unsung hero of every farm and homestead, the multipurpose, courageous and loyal farm dog! Whether they be LGDs or just family dogs that work for a living, they spend each day keeping the land safe from intruders and predators, while also providing good and sweet companionship.

I couldn't keep chickens where I live without them, be they free ranged or not, due to the thousands of acres of woodland surrounding our land. Those woods have the usual suspects in abundance, ranging from coon, fox, coyote and bobcat clear on up to black bear. Then there is the stray dog, a recurring problem out here in the country, where people think it's great to drive out here and dump off dogs they don't want.

I have two, one is just a Lab/Border Collie mutt that I've had for 10 yrs and he is one great dog. He has worked with partners or alone and either way he stands up to coyotes, bear and bobcat and keeps his flock safe. He grows quite attached to his chickens and worries himself sick when one dies...if I don't remove the carcass, he will spend days trying to get that chick or chicken back in the coop, sleeping with it, carrying it and pacing back and forth. It's really sad to watch, so now I take them far away from his boundary so he can't stress over them.

The other will be 2 yrs old in July, a mix of Anatolian/Maremma/Great Pyr and has the potential to be a great dog as well....since he has come, we no longer have deer and squirrels stealing our peaches. Now it's just him stealing them! :D Ben will have written a great story by the time he's gotten Jake's age, as he has a very quirky and cute personality.

Took pics of them lounging yesterday....

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This is a thread to tell farm dog stories....how they work, what quirks they have, how you train them to do the job, and just to tell their story.
 

Beekissed

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Ben, for some strange reason, has recently developed a fear of loud noises like thunder. It all started one day when my boys were setting off tannerite on the back of the property...it was LOUD. Like dynamite going off.

That was the first incident of Ben getting anxious...he crossed his wireless boundary for the first time since he was first training on it, Jake the loyal companion crossed with him, and they took off. A kindly person called us and those dogs were 11 miles away!

Then he crossed and went walk about in the next thunderstorm. Now Ben has to be tied to a run line each night and on days when we aren't home...and now during thunderstorms. He can no longer be trusted to stay in his boundary. Around these parts, a dog off his own land can be shot, even if wearing a collar...God has blessed us so far with nice people who found them and called us.

This is a great sadness to me...I hate to tie a dog up, even on a run line and they had such a great life here of freedom to run over almost an acre of ground in their boundary.

I've ordered him a thunder shirt and will try that the next time it storms and will pray that it works for him. This last thunderstorm was pretty severe and he stayed out in the lightning, thunder and downpour, barking his fool head off~he's not usually a barker, nor is Jake. I felt sorry for him but couldn't really help him except give him an antianxiety med, which did nothing for him.

A farm dog can't do his job if he leaves his post or if he grows anxious over weather, so this is a hard pill to swallow. I'm praying the thunder shirt works for Ben.
 

frustratedearthmother

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Oh no... I've followed Ben's story since you got him as a pup and I'm so sad this has turned into an issue. I really hope the Thunder Shirt will help him.
 

lcertuche

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Once dogs become what we call 'gun shy' I don't believe there is a cure for it. Our dogs have always been put up on the 4th of July because of this. I would love to have a LGD but we don't have the fences.
 

NH Homesteader

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One of my dogs is scared of guns and fireworks but not thunder. The other one is scared of thunder but not guns.... Weird dogs.

My parents use a thundershirt with their dog. It helps but he's still nervous, just not panicky. My husband had a dog as a kid that would go to the cabinet his anxiety meds were stored in and bark... About 20 minutes later, without fail, a thunderstorm would roll in.
 

Chic Rustler

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One of my dogs hates storms. The other is pretty chill about it. I have a LGD and hes still a pup, a big pup. He is immune to the wireless fence so we let him roam. All of the neighbors seem to like him so its not an issue yet. The other dog is a pitbull so she doesn't leave. People will shoot her on sight. Shes a good dog tho. Not aggressive toward people at all.

I often worry my great pyrenees will be alone somewhere and run into the pack of coyotes we have running around. Im thinking of getting him a girlfriend ao he wont be alone.
 

Beekissed

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Received Ben's thundershirt today in the mail and sure hope this works for him. Middle son came out to sight in two rifles on the back of the land and, of course, Ben got anxious and barked each time he shot...had to tie him out on his line. Then, later I find his thundershirt was sitting in the house in a box all that time and I could have been trying it out.

What's funny about Ben is that when he starts to get upset about the noise, he comes down to the edge of his boundary and barks at the house if I'm inside. Guess he thinks I'm the one who can fix the speakers in his environment. :D
 

baymule

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@Chic Rustler if you have two, they will still roam. Put up a good fence and keep your dogs at home. It will also keep other dogs out. Then hope they don't dig under or jump over!
 

samssimonsays

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Our great pyr was TERRIFIED of thunder, guns and fireworks! It was so hard. But he found comfort in heading to his crate and laying in there until whatever it was ended.
 
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