short haired great pyrenees?

vancleaveterryDecember 30, 2007

I've seen many postings here, praising the Great Pyrenees breed of dogs for guarding the farm flock. But the pictures I have seen of the breed show them to be long haired. I live in the deep south.

Any suggestions for short haired breed of dog that is good with poultry? I prefer a medium sized dog.

Thanks, Terry

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Had a schnauzer once that would babysit anything you put it with. I'm sure that plenty of folks will disagree, but the training you provide is probably more important than the breed. Getting a rabbit hound isn't as simple as buying a beagle. You're in a good place to find a good dog. I'd just ride around or ask around at feed stores for someone that has a good stock dog or dogs and talk them out of a puppy.

Good Luck.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 2:06PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Also, try googling for Farm Collie or English Shepherd. It's/they're some of the old style collies - sort of like what Lassie was supposed to be. I think some of them, like some of the Border Collies - are smooth coated, or have shorter coats. And just as a suggestion, try NOT to fall in love with a black dog - from what I can see, they do suffer a bit more in the heat than lighter colored ones.

A Catahoula may be a bit too sharp/agressive for poultry, as I think they were bred for large livestock work, including pigs, but dogs come in "softer" as well as "harder" versions..., so you might get lucky on one that won't do for cattle. And I may be misremembering, and the breed may not be suitable at all.

Dave is right, asking around may well get the perfect stock dog, and you can train it as you want. Ask at sales barns as well as at feed stores, wherever ranchers might gather - the local coffee shop, for instance.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 4:12PM
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Australian Sheperds would be an idea also. Not much, if any difference between them and the English Sheperd if you look at the way and reasons they were bred. No matter what you get, try to get it from a farmer that has the dogs laying around the place. They usually train themselves. It's hard to beat a Rottweiler if you find one from family raised parents. We've got Australian Sheperds and had 2 Rottweilers until one had to be put down and we found a family that had one that needed company on a big place. All were constantly busy watching something 24/7.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 5:37PM
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You might look at a Maremma. They are supposed to be the Italian offshoot of the Great Pyrenees. I have only seen one and it definitely had shorter hair than a Pyrenees and slightly longer legs with a lighter body build. The one I know is a marvelous dog, but I don't know if that is typical of the breed, or just a great individual. The one my friend has herds poultry and goats now, but originally worked with cattle and sheep.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 3:49AM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

I agree w/the farm collie suggestion, my friend raises them and they make terrific farm dogs. We have a rough collie who is terrific w/our poultry, they do come in a smooth coat as well, they are very easy to train and great w/kids.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 8:32AM
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A good "stock" dog is trained, and isn't specific to any breed. Around here herding and guard dogs are raised with whatever stock they will be working with. Please don't let anyone tell you that clipping a Great Pyrenees is a good idea--they develop skin problems and it doesn't help with their tolerance to heat. Who in the world would take a mountain dog, bred to tolerate snow and high altitudes, and put it in a hot, humid area? Good luck with your puppy. It will have a long, happy and useful life with just a little advance care and training from you.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Some excerpts from the USDA web site: "Livesock Guarding Dogs Protecting Sheep from Predators"

"It is important to understand the distinction between herding dogs and guarding dogs. Herding dogs (border collies, Australian shepherds, and others) move sheep from one area to another by biting, chasing, or barking at the sheep. Herding dogs work according to signals (verbal and hand) from a handler, and they are generally not left alone with the sheep. Guarding dogs usually do not herd sheep, are discouraged from biting, chasing, and barking at sheep, and act independently of people.

In 1986, the University of Idaho conducted a survey of approximately 400 people who used livestock guarding dogs. These individuals reported on 763 dogs, 95 percent of which were recognized guarding breeds. Great Pyrenees (57 percent) and Komondor (18 percent) were the most common, followed by Akbash (8 percent), Anatolians (7 percent), Maremmas (3 percent), and others (7 percent). The rate of success among the breeds was not different, but behavioral differences were noted. More Komondors bit people than did Great Pyrenees, Akbash, or Anatolians, and fewer Great Pyrenees injured livestock than did Komondors, Akbash, or Anatolians.

In a recent evaluation of yearling livestock guarding dogs, Great Pyrenees were rated significantly higher than Anatolian shepherds (83 percent of 59 Pyrenees versus 38 percent of 26 Anatolians rated as good). Anatolian shepherds were rated lower primarily because of their higher tendency to injure or kill sheep.

Most dogs in the 1986 Idaho survey were aggressive to predators and other dogs, although Great Pyrenees seem to be somewhat less aggressive to dogs than other guarding breeds. We observed a difference in the rate of behavioral maturation in Great Pyrenees and Komondors at the USSES. Great Pyrenees (26 dogs from 11 different breedings) exhibited behavioral maturity at a younger age and displayed puppy behaviors (playfulness and exuberance) less frequently than USSES Komondors (26 dogs from 10 different breedings). In our recent work with several breeds, Anatolians exhibited a delay in behavioral maturity similar to that of Komondors."

The Great Pyrenees comes from France and Spain, and the Akbash comes from Turkey. So maybe the Akbash has shorter hair?

Gardenweb rejected the link

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 8:54PM
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A little further reading shows that the Akbash dog is available in both a short and long haired variety.

The link below has photographs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Akbash

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 10:15AM
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pamcleod(z4 NH Lakes)

Terry is right, read those breed characteristics carefully ... if you have spent time with a pure livestock guardian dog from working lines, you'll see quickly that those traits are pure instinct. Our female Great Pyr was just 10 weeks old when she starting showing her guardian instincts. Our male Pyr was raised in an apartment in the city until the age of 1 1/2, yet adapted to farm life within days ... pure instinct. Both are excellent LGD. We've had other fine farm dogs but they were definitely not livestock guardians. Herding dogs are bred to chase animals, not protect them.

Pyr coats are are said to insulate from the heat as well as from the cold; however, my dogs really really love the snow and the cold. My dogs "blow coat" each May and have quite short coats in the summer (long hair, but little of the undercoat). It's true that you are not supposed to shave them. When I lived in the South, I also questioned the suitability of having a Pyr in that climate ... but there sure are a lot of them down there!

Of the breeds listed, I think Anatolian Shepherds have very short hair. I often see Pyr/Anatolian crosses on the various LGD lists.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:31PM
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Here's a little from an article on the Maremma:

"The Maremma has a solid, muscular build, thick white coat, large head, black nose, and typically weighing between 65 to 110 pounds....

Recently in Warrnambool, Australia, the world's first trial utilized a Maremma to guard the dwindling penguin population of Middle Island. While using Maremma to guard an endangered species is rare, Maremma along with other breeds of livestock guarding dogs are appreciated by environmentalists because they make it possible for livestock to coexist with endangered predators such as wolves and coyotes reducing their predation by 70% to 80% or more. National park authorities in Italy, the United States and Canada have promoted use of the Maremma Sheepdog, as well as other types of LGDs, to minimize conflict between endangered predator species and ranchers."

I just need to find a short hair Anatolian, Akbash or Maremma.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maremma

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:59PM
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