As increasing numbers of failed hobby farm endeavors sell off livestock, move back to town and bail out on country life and agriculture, a recurring, ugly theme is their callously dumping and abandoning "old timer" LGDs. After a lifetime of loyal service, aging LGDs deserve respect, a rest, and a safe, comfortable home - not fickle uncaring owners and rejection in their Golden Years.
Above, my re-homed aged Spanish Mastiffs Pia and Zaca living out their Golden Years in their semi-retirement home. I proudly gave these girls to Chuck Avila who had been a huge Pia fan since she was a baby pup. These girls still keep wolves and coyotes at bay from his small herd of goats but are given plenty of "in house" time, plenty of rest, good food, loving care and attention. They are never pressed to do more than they can do. The perfect home for retirees!
These sad ads running on an agriculture "for sale page" below, share a common theme:
"Motivated" owners' epic fail as hobby farmers/ranchers toss in the towel, and dump older LGDs as if they were dirty paper plates or yesterday's news:
ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD LGD Annie is a 7 year old purebred Anatolian Shepherd female. She was raised with sheep and chickens and is currently guarding sheep and chickens. (We are selling our livestock) $250... Tel: | 55398 | MN | 04/22/2017 | More Information
GREAT PYRENEES LGD Bo is a 7 year old purebred Great Pyrenees male. He was raised with sheep, cattle and chickens since birth. Bo is currently a guardian for sheep and chickens. He is very family friendly. $250... Tel: | 55398 | MN | 04/22/2017 | More Information
5 YEAR OLD MALE GREAT PYRENEESFor sale due to financial reasons. Intact male 6 year old great pyrenees, not registered. Been with goats, horses, and deer. Great guardian dog. Let him loose and he'll get the job done. $400 obo Moti... Tel: | 49419 | MI | 11/30/-0001
In nearly 9 years of raising and training Livestock Guardian Dogs I have placed a handful of select older females who's breeding days for me were done or, they were never bred, and thus were spayed and carefully placed with responsible, caring, working ranch/farm homes in semi-retirement status where they could still fulfill their duties, get much needed mental and physical stimulation, but on a much less stressful scale that did not tax them beyond their aged capabilities. With the exception of one home, all of them were and/or are still able to feel a sense of purpose and mission, in a loving, compassionate and responsible environment where they are well-cared for and appreciated. No outrageous expectations, no cheap filler dog food and freezing joints and aches and pains because the owner expects them to "tough it" in extreme elements, and do the job of a younger dog.
Just like humans, dogs get old. With old age comes lessening mental acuity and aches and pains from an active, often pressing and tough life spent keeping predators at bay from cherished livestock. It's important for LGD owners to respect the limits that old age imposes on their hard working dogs, accept reality, and provide their old timers with the care their sunset years require later in life. Thoughtlessly dumping them off as they are no longer needed is never the right answer, unless as I have done, they are placed in carefully screened homes with the acute understanding that the older dog is not to be pressed and used as if it were a rambunctious and vigorous 2 year old. If that is not possible, it is always the more humane alternative to have the dog professionally put down by the owner's vet so he can go peacefully into the night, and escape pain or neglectful circumstances.
This is also why it is so important LGD owners have up and coming youngsters in their line up to take the place of aging dogs - and stop expecting the impossible from their old timers. Because most well bred LGDs have such a strong, ingrained work ethic, it's often hard to make them slow down even when they old, and are in pain or suffering, but responsible owners will bite the bullet and do just that. They don't mercilessly overwork dogs until they are 12 or 15, nor do they breed females after 5 years of age. This is not the sign of a compassionate owner. They set things up so oldsters can slow down, retire, and have less of a work load. Let the youngsters pick up the work load, learn from their mentors, and keep the ball rolling while the old timers can watch from the couch or porch and know "it's all covered" and they don't have to shoulder the whole shebang alone! Common sense…..
One could write a book on the care, feeding and responsible ownership of older dogs - this brief post will touch on some of the highlights. I recommend readers turn to Amazon.com and search term senior dogs or older dogs books to see what is available to read; I also strongly recommend checking out the Dogs Naturally Magazine website as it is a great resource for holistic remedies and feeding options for all dogs, no matter their age. On my Resources Page on my website is also a great website for difficult end of life decisions for older canines. Another helpful aging dog link is here. Let your fingers do the walking - there are many many books and websites out there with good advice. Go find them.
8 1/2 year old Pak and Pala still call the shots around here but are also allowed to sleep undisturbed at night in my comfortable kennel house facility so the youngsters can guard at night. They still are strong and pack a punch. They still get in scraps - Pak is nursing a bruise under his eye right now - but they also know they don't have to push themselves beyond what's needed - they've paid their dues!!!
ACHES AND PAINS
Anyone over 55 knows what comes with age: your joints, muscles and bones begin to 'speak' to you of more rowdy, rambunctious, tougher days of yore, and in short: you start paying for playing in your youth. Dogs are the same. Thankfully there are tons of remedies for aches and pains for dogs. Older dogs will slow down and suffer pain just like humans do. When you see them struggling to get up or whining or showing discomfort over something, check it out. Don't rely on armchair Facebook psuedo-experts - do it right or don't do it at all. Take your dog into your vet for an assessment. Once you have a diagnosis, either follow your vet's advice or, if you need to, obtain a second opinion, and/or seek alternative, holistic remedies to pharma-type solutions.
The one pain medication I always keep on hand from my trusted vet is affordable Meloxicam. It is non-steroidal and an anti-inflammatory for dogs (and humans). A bottle of 100 tabs runs me less than $10. Ask your vet about it's proper use and if it can work for your dog, too.
Glucosamine is another favorite addition to older dog's diets. I also sprinkle Dr. Harvey's Golden Years - available through Chewy.com - on my older dog's food for a supplement. Dr. Harvey produces many great supplements. Check them all out - Chewy seems to have all other sources beat on pricing, too, and free 2 day shipping on orders over $49 is hard to beat.
FEEDING AND FOOD INTAKE
Oldster LGDs may change eating habits. Some eat more. Some eat less. As they age, their teeth deteriorate. The time comes when they may have trouble eating hard kibble; it can be moistened to facilitate easier consumption and digestion. Then there's the topic of what is best for them to eat. Some will prefer raw food, other owners will put their old timer on a senior variety of quality dog kibble. There are many out there. Chewy.com is my trusted source for shipping-free dog kibble that arrives here at my ranch gate via Fed Ex every other week or so. They offer one of the largest selections of quality dog food including many grain free choices - which are always the best - ranging in price. Because I'm on a budget, I can't buy $75 bags of dog food (I know very few commercial and working ranchers who can, frankly). But I've had tremendous luck with the Sportmix brand which comes in a highly appreciated 40 pound bag - is grain free, of excellent quality, NO recalls - and can be nabbed via Chewy for as low as under $27.00 a bag! Finding quality, grain free, filler free dog food in a 40 pound bag for that price is almost unheard of anymore. That's a deal I and my dogs greatly appreciate.
My original "fearless five": Pak and brother Pala (Anatolian x Maremma)
and three Great Pyrenees siblings Petra, Peso and Pinta. Born in 2009, the year I moved here and started my LGD program. Still here, still active, but decidedly slowing down - sleeping in front of my wood stove on cold nights, on senior supplements when needed for aches and pains, and cut a lot of slack and patience when as in Petra's situation, senior dementia starts showing up. Compassion, insight and sensitivity on part of owner is crucial when dealing with aging dogs.
Senior dementia in dogs can take on many forms. With my own experience one of the biggest 'starter' flags of it has been excessive barking over things that usually didn't bother the dog, and another one is food possession. Old timer Petra is often barking at nothing these days - Sally who's a couple of years younger, is also barking more too. Petra hyper-responds to certain vehicles who pass by that set her off. A gentle reminder to her that all is okay, and reassurance that she's needed and doing a good job, is what she gets from me. She also has shown increasing turf and food control and guarding. I assure her no one is after her food, and "her space" in the dining room by my kitchen is always safe and her's alone. Older dogs will often pick a spot to rest where they feel less threatened and safe. Let them do this! Don't push them out or scold for protecting their food and space. Redirect other younger dogs to respect it in a gentle way. Likewise, as he ages, my 7 year old EPI survivor Patron becomes more food possessive although this is also a trait that can come along with the fatal EPI disease. EPI and Patron's gallant story of his surviving EPI are discussed on a page on my website here.
It's still vital that your old timer gets exercise to combat obesity that can typically set in with older dogs. My Pyrenean Mastiff Sally who's coming up on 6 years of age, is a pudgy gal who I have to really make sure gets her leg stretching and calorie burning. She's still sharp as a tack mentally but just becoming "pleasingly plump" as she ages. This brings on stiffness. Because in my case I free choice feed my dogs, it's pretty difficult- with 12 dogs - to only feed her certain dog food that is low calorie. But I'm going to have to attempt it so she does not fall away to a ton! She still charges the back fence line alerting to threats. There are many senior variety of dog food brands out there which have less calories for less active dogs. Again, Chewy is a great resource for these.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR DEVOTION AND COMPASSION
Dogs have feelings too. They respond to your care and love with devotion and loyalty. How you treat your old timers is so important. Do not disrespect them or dismiss their importance. Do not support or buy from bad, irresponsible LGD breeders who treat their old timers with disrespect, or work or continue to breed them far too long in their senior years.
My older dogs get the red carpet treatment here and are always placed above younger dogs in little ways that show them they are "still a part of the picture" so they don't feel abandoned emotionally. Whether backing them up in a scrap, or letting a younger dog know it's out of line pushing an oldster out of their 'favorite spot' or away from food, I am there for them. It is the little things like this that count. My females are typically retired after 3 or 4 litters. They are not puppy machines bred into their senior years. Far too many gutter-dwelling backyard LGD breeders are doing that. Don't support it.
This post is by no means meant to cover all topics with older dogs, but hopefully it will prompt those with older and aging LGDs to 'do the right thing' and care for their senior dogs as they should be - and to enlighten you about some great links and resources as I've posted for you to check out. Take the time to do it. Knowledge - not ignorance - is power.
Truly, times come when older livestock guardian dogs must die of old age, or be put down. If the latter, do it compassionately and with respect and care. Don't force an older LGD to suffer needlessly. Until that time comes, please show compassion and appreciation for your canine partners, and make their sunset years as comfortable as you can - after all, they have given you their lives in service. It's the least you can do for them.
Buying Quality, REAL Legitimate LGDs from Reputation, Honest Breeders & Asking The Right Questions From caring, integral, experienced, transparent, ethical and excellent - to plagiarizing copycats, fad cash cow breeders, cheapskate ignorant breeders, fraudsters, puppy mills and unproven high risk backyard breeders, my first of a few posts on the state of the state of LGD breeders in the USA - with an upcoming well deserved slap at the current state of many lazy, uninformed LGD customers as well. What the first time or neophyte LGD buyer needs to look for to buy great and buy smart - and avoid a train wreck. IT'S ABOUT HAVING EXPECTATIONS - AND MAKING SMART CHOICES The first in a series of posts….more to come!
I knew it was bad out there, but this group of bad choices on steroids topped all my expectations. Good God! It's worse than I even imagined.
She wanted me to see a post by someone in there who had bred a dog she bought, that was bred by a customer of mine who did a 6 breed cross - a Heinz 57 grab bag of 5 breeds - being bred to yet another breed - oh boy, I saw it alright, and about choked. But what I also saw in addition to that one disgusting puppies for sale post was enough to turn my stomach and make me just about puke…. Post after post of out of control rampant breeding by people who frankly, have no business breeding LGDs - with crosses of 4, 5 and 6 breeds….bogus crossbreds being passed off as "rare black Pyrenees"(kind of a dead giveaway they are crossbreeding when they raise border collies and Dalmations besides their "speckled black Pyrenees"!), poor looking stock, price cutting, dubious descriptions, someone with a bitch in standing heat frantically looking for a stud dog…and on and on and on! It was appalling! My breeder friend private messaged me: "It will make you crazy~!"
No shit! I'm glad I'm not alone!
LGD breeders - if you can even call some of them that - are springing up like flies on a dead cow all over America now. As I've whined before, whereas in 2008 you had to actually really hunt down a breeder for LGDs, now, they flood Facebook groups, sale groups, agriculture forums, pet sales websites, Craigslist, newspapers and every country store bulletin board has LGD ads plastered on it.
All because, LGDs have become a fad, and every hobby farmer with a male and female dog out there, thinks it is their destiny to breed them, when it is not. It's sad, and the dogs and future genetics of great breeds and bloodlines, are being ruined because of rampant indiscriminate puppy mills and backyard binge breeders. And there's a ton of stupid out there!
For experienced and reputation breeders, these clowns are easy to spot. Non-transparency is usually their calling card, inexperience is their M.O.; vague websites or Facebook pages that don't even attempt to describe the why, the who or the what. They are coming up like weeds, claiming to be "breeders" when their young pups aren't even old enough to breed yet. Dream on…you've got a ton of dues to pay first, assuming your pups make it to breeding age!
Pumping out LGD litters has suddenly become a cavalier game of status for many, who spend a lot of money on imports to impress and drop names and try to win more friends. Literally, that is the type of person you have now getting into breeding LGDs. Multiple tattoos and body piercing usually goes with this type; I hate to profile here but they are typically millennial or Gen X era kids; toss in green or pink dyed hair, exotic, hard to find and expensive boutique livestock animals, and you get the picture. None of them could last 12 hours horseback on the desert in Nevada under the command of a cursing, grizzled tough cow boss, rounding up wild cattle or surviving a minus 30 below blizzard while calving out heifers or lambing out ewes on a huge commercial sheep outfit, but hey, don't tell them that because ya know? They already know everything.
The worst nouveau LGD breeders/wannabe breeders bad mouth the source of their breeding stock and dogs, and are a sick exercise in hypocrisy as run around and copycat and try to duplicate their mentor breeder's exact bloodlines, down to a "T". I got those idiots cropping up like baby bunnies at Easter time.
Coffee, tea or milk? Cigars or cigarettes or Tiparillos? Kune Kune pigs or Karakachans? Beagles or Spanish Mastiffs? Don't ask them WHY they are breeding the LGD breed, because their website won't tell you - hey, it's a FAD, don't you know? Everyone's doing it….may as well make some quick bucks off it and try to gain more social respectability. Some of these people never had it to begin with….and are using the breeding of dogs to try to attain it.
There is no stopping the binge breeding of LGDs because it is too easy to do. Just get a Pyrenees, an Anatolian, and cross them! $200 on Craigslist - easy as pie, right?
And too many uninformed and frankly ignorant LGD customers keep these bad breeders afloat.
Yes that's right: YOU, the gullible uninformed customer, only add to the problem…because you buy from these clowns!
Ah yes - the current LGD crisis in America (and overseas now, too) is to be blamed on this very thing I'm stuffing down your throats: the blame game stops here. Right here. Own up to it, or get out of my way…. In this New World it's suddenly become passé to have expectations, as if that is some sort of disease. Got news for you: it is the glaring lack of expectations on the part of LGD customers and breeders alike, has contributed to the current crisis of LGD issues today.
Today's overnight, nouveau, city bred, born and raised hobby farmer - often is big on attitude, has next to no humility or conscience; is cavalier to the point of being warped, uber-spoiled, politically correct to the point of nausea; flaunting lemming-like mentalities laced with their inability to think let alone act on their own.
Crowd seekers and followers. People who you've never heard of, now flaunting imports; defrauders, fakers, status seekers. They run in gaggles on big Internet forums that typically have names like "Backyard This" or "Backyard That" or "Paleo Mama" or "Gluten Free Farming". Fluff. Surface value. No depth.
Typically it goes a lot like this:
They are so ashamed of being ignorant that they can't or won't confess that they need help; they are afraid to or refuse to learn from good sources - so they congregate with like souls in cesspools of ignorance and bad info that keeps reproducing because they enable it. Suck up Admins in mega-LGD and agriculture forums online like the "LGD Project" only fan the flames of stupidity. And this, folks, is a lot why today's agriculture scene is in partial meltdown mode, why old time, generational ranchers and farmers toss hands in air and shake heads and are filled with loathing and disgust.
What the hell has happened to the human gene pool lately?
Or as another good and respected fellow LGD breeder friend of mine quips: "You can't fix stupid and there is a lot of stupid out there...". And boy, is she right...
The sole purpose of this blog post is to try to smarten the typical dumb, ignorant, arrogant LGD customer up in their choice of LGD breeders. Are you game for it? Or too full of yourself to admit you don't know squat? The choice is yours, and yours alone.
Reputable, Ethical, Transparent Dog Breeders all have certain hallmarks that sets them above the rest. Train your eye and your mind to discern the difference between quality and pure junk. There are questions you as the potential customer, need to be asking, and you need to not be afraid, or ashamed, to ask them.
But first, let's make sure you know what an LGD is - and is not!
1. CHOOSE ONLY REAL, LEGITIMATE LGD BREEDS
A sign of the ignorant times we are in when I have to even begin this post with this topic. But I must.
I'm starting off with the simplest of all the facts: you need to buy REAL LGD breeds, or intelligent crosses of only LGD breeds - and stop fantasizing about Pit Bull/Great Pyrenees/Labradors turning out to be the same caliber and quality of a bonafide, real LGD - because they won't be. Non-LGD breeds are a crap shoot. Period!
Just look at all the Internet forums with people boasting about everything from their Shetland Sheepdog and French Poodle to Pit Bulls, Collies, Boston Terriers (!) and worse, supposedly "protecting their flocks/herds from predators".
Forums with goofy names like "Backyard This" or "That" seem to attract the biggest number of arrogant clueless know it alls who refuse to listen to any sensible or experienced input from people who know. So the stupidity proliferates on those forums and because those type of people tend to cling to each other and run in herds, if you will, it's typically a huge study in ignorance on steroids. My few forays into those forums to try to spread some intelligent material have inevitably been met with hostile reactions and I never last long - it becomes fruitless to try to educate them. I get the occasional private message from some lone intelligent life form thanking me for my valuable input - but that's about it!
Hardly worth my time after awhile; you can't save the world in a world filled with idiots…
Hopefully, you are smarter, and you do not buy into the pap being spewed by ignorant people. You take advice from trusted, proven sources who can back up their talk with the walk and you only buy REAL LGD breeds or crosses of such from reputable breeders.
Now, to toss a wrench into this mess, be advised, over the past decades some LGD breeds have lost their guarding instinct with livestock because they are too heavily being used and promoted for police and military work. I've blogged about this in the past. There are other posts on this blog about this topic - exercise your mind and fingers and go find them and read them. Those are the breeds you must be particularly cautious with, and that includes those breeds heavily fought in dog fighting sports in their native countries such as those in the Middle East. BUYER BEWARE.
Again, this is YOUR job to do the work: to research the breed and the breeder you are looking at.
Below is a partial list of REAL Livestock Guardian Breeds. They are classified as such because in their native countries that is what they do, and/or have done, in many cases for 1000's of years; it is instinct for these breeds - not trained, not hoped for - it's there - period…or it ain't (see above paragraph). The well bred ones have the genetic blueprint to nurture and protect livestock - not herd it, not chase it, not eat it, not kill it! EMPHASIS ON WELL BRED!
Partial List of RECOGNIZED LIVESTOCK GUARDIAN DOG BREEDS
Great Pyrenees (Pyrenean Mountain Dog)
Spanish Mastiff (Mastin Espanol)
Tibetan Mastiff (Do-Khyi)
Pyrenean Mastiff (Mastin de los Pirineos)
Turkish Kangal (Kangal Copegi)
Maremma (Il Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese)
Polish Tatra Sheepdog (Polski Owczarek Podhalanski)
Central Asian Ovcharka
Caucasian Asian Ovcharka (CAO)
Karakachan (Bulgarian Shepherd Dog)
Sarplaninac (Illyrian Sheepdog)
Tornjak (Hrvatski Ovcar)
South Russian Ovcharka
Cao de Gado Transmontano
Estrela Mountain Dog
Central Asian Shepherd
Slovak Cuvac (Slovensky Cuvac)
Rafeiro do Alentejo (Portuguese Watch Dog)
Karst Shepherd (Kraski Ovcar)
Cao de Castro Laboreiro (Portuguese Cattle Dog)
Partial List of RECOGNIZED HERDING DOG BREEDS
Just so you know…because too many ignorant people think these breeds guard, too. They don't.
Australian Kelpie (Kelpie or Barb)
Pembroke Welsh Corgi (Pembroke, Corgi)
Australian Queensland Heeler (Red/Blue Queensland Heeler,
Australian Cattle Dog)
Catahoula Leopard Dog (Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Hog Dog)
Black Mouthed Cur
Old English Sheepdog
Australian Shepherd (Aussie)
Belgian Tehurven (Chien de Berger Belge)
Courtesy of Loss Prevention Manuals for Working Dog Liability Insurance program from the American Sheep Industry's Bear Lake Insurance Company, copyright BLIC and Brenda M. Negri
Just a few examples of STUPID crosses by hick, hobby farmer junk breeders, below:
NEED TO REHOME:
1 year old Great Pyranees/Samoyed mix, about 40-45
pounds Wanting a loving family (probably no kids under
10). His name is Hero and he would love to live on a farm.Needs basic obedience training. I adopted him
with the understanding that he had previous training but he needs work. Needs a
family with at least 1 other medium/large dog who likes to play. He does jump
fences. No apartments or small yards.Comes
with collar, harness, some food, bowl, bed, and kennel. Hero needs a home by
Posted by: LIZZIE POTTER State:
OH Zip: 45701 Phone: 740-505-
Newfoundland puppies are now 4 weeks old, and they
are getting cuter every day!
We love this cross breed (3/4 Newfoundland, 1/4
Great Pyrenees). All the Newfoundland nice, with just the right amount of guard
dog. These dogs don't run. Their parents are never confined on the farm, making
great companions by day, and livestock guard dogs by night.
We have a huge Great Pyrenees/ Saint Bernard X male
puppy available to a loving home. He is going to be big like his father. His father
is a massive Great Pyrenees and mom is a huge Saint Bernard. He has been
exposed to a variety of different livestock and poultry. He is vet checked,
shots, wormed and comes with a written health guarantee. 9 wks old and ready to
go! $695 cash firm. Must be able to pick up in Pine City.
Posted by: GREAT PYRENEES/SAINT BERNARD X PUPS State:
MN Zip: 55051 –
Great Pyrenees/lab mix puppies. They are 4 monthes
old and super friendly. My kids love them and play with them everyday! $200
Posted by: CHRISTINA FIREZAR State:
MN Zip: 56588 Phone: 218-
2. QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK LGD BREEDERS
These are the key (by all means not all) questions you need to ask LGD breeders.
WHY is the breeder breeding dogs? The biggie. If this is missing from their website, or they can't give you a good reason, keep going….keep shopping. Like the wannabe who's got two baby-aged Spanish Mastiffs in Bakersfield calling themselves a breeder - uh, wait, hello? You a breeder? Yeah, right - you ain't bred nothing yet, darling…. The other day some chip on his shoulder Brangus breeding Texan hit me up for a male Spanish Mastiff so he could breed him to his Anne Latimer Goetz bred female. Choke - cough…his reason for doing this? Blatant - so he could cash cow and sell puppies. I sent his ass packing… If he's now hitting you up for a dog, be warned and send him on his way.
WHO are they? Background? History? Credentials? Experience? Considerable or none? Posing fakes or the real deal? If they say they've been "in this" for years, can you find proof of that or nothing? Is there some info on their supposed LGD success they keep pontificating about, or absolutely no info about them at all? RED FLAG! If they claim to be a dog trainer, can they prove it? Many can't - it's too easy to crop up on a forum and claim to be someone you never have been, or could be. I love one of the Backyard forums where theres a poster - under a fake name, of course - who portends to have been breeding and training LGDs for 30 plus years. Oh, really dear? Is that why absolutely zero - nothing - comes up when I research your supposed "success" online? I've never heard of her - and guess what? I'm not the only one. But by holding court in a forum, she can puff herself up to be more than she is. Don't fall for that ruse. Is the person amorphous, vague? Don't settle for a untruthful person in a dog breeder. They either is or they ain't, a reputation breeder! And be warned: if they can't even spell the breed they are selling - steer clear!!!!
WHO and WHERE did they buy their breeding stock dogs from? Names? Location? Is it true or made up? Nothing on their website? Or fabricated lies about imports or where they got them from? Then don't settle for it - if they'll lie about this they will lie about other things and they'll lie to you eventually, too. Are they bad mouthing the breeder who gave them their start and who they bought all their dogs from? I have this happening to me with a customer who has taken backstabbing to a new level - more on her and her ilk in future posts. This is obviously stupid on their part, but you'd be surprised how many do this. Big red flag. "The man who honors his teacher, honors himself". Reflect on that…..
WHAT are they breeding? Legitimate LGD breeds and/or crosses of such? Or are they pumping out bad choices like Border Collies crossed with Great Pyrenees? Queensland Heelers x Akbash? Yikes! Or just cash cowing the Pyenees x Anatolian cross which is quickly overtaking this country it seems, to where I worry there will be no purebred LGD Pyrenees or Anatolians in another decade…. Hear this, imbeciles: Herding breeds should NEVER be crossed on guardian breeds. EVER. It's a crap shoot what you'll come out with. Do you have time and money to squander on something that high risk? Refer to LGD list above... Likewise, steer clear of the many, many made up, fake, boutique, bogus breeds like "Spanish Ranch Mastiffs" and "Colorado Mountain Dogs"; "Boz Shepherds" and many others. Please people, use your brains on this…..assuming you have some.
APPLICATION PROCESS - DO THEY EVEN HAVE ONE? Do they basically sell to anyone coming along with the money, ala Lois Jordan and Anne Latimer Goetz - who usually want it all up front no less - or do they have a rigorous, detailed screening process (I'll be sharing my application process in my upcoming LGD Customers post)? Any LGD breeder selling without an application obviously could care less about the dogs and where they go, or a legacy for the breed. They are in it for the money, pure and simple, and should be avoided like the plague. Why are you buying from them? Do you have something to hide and can't bear scrutiny? Like the near miss sale I almost had of two SM pups to a guy who had ties to dog fighting, which I figured out at the last minute. Close call! I turn down 85%+ of my applicants these days for a reason. Many of them are not fit to own let alone be around one of my dogs. And no one without the gumption to proudly show me photos of their place, fencing, dogs etc., provide vet and personal references, and answer detailed questions, is going to cut it. They are hamburger. Don't waste my time. Most window shopping tire kickers take one look at my application and pee their pants. Good. I don't need owners like that for my dogs!
WEBSITE - a study in puppy pimping/milling, and vague smoke and mirrors? Or more than just "puppies for sale" and "I got another litter to sell!"? My website, in conjunction with this blog, is light on selling pups, and heavy on education and teaching people the right from wrong with LGDs. I have a resources page I am continually adding to, and an educational page on the disease EPI. I have an entire page devoted to telling people WHO I am and WHAT I have done and/or accomplished - which includes besides having worked for law enforcement (which scares off the lowlife applicants, I'm sure), being hired as an expert witness on a high profile Oregon trial involving LGDs, and being a consultant who helps people with their LGD issues and questions, and who was contracted by the American Sheep Industry companies to create and implement their Working Dog Liability Insurance Program. No, they didn't hire Internet blowhards like Anna Abney, Lewis Ratliff and others, nor did they hire the self anointed "LGD experts" like Jan Dohner and Cat Urbigkit. They hired ME. Gosh….wonder why….. (wink)? It's possibly because I am the "Dirty Harry / Clint Eastwood of LGDs" - take no prisoners, brutally honest and up front and a piranha about owning and running LGDs in an ethical and responsible manner? Might be. I'm not in it just to cash cow dogs and produce endless litters of puppies to float my backyard Nigerian Dwarf goat hobby. I care about the dogs - frankly, more than I care for most people. My dogs eat before I do and get better health care than me….in other words, they are my passion. Not just a vehicle for someone trying to gain social acceptance and buy their way overnight into fame and "fortune". It's why I make so many people nervous and put them on edge. Their lies and endless obfuscation stop at my front door and they don't like that.
HOW do they raise pups? Hands off or socialized from birth? Kept in a tiny cage or pen, or allowed to free range and socialize with other dogs (always the preferred method)? Do they toss them in stock and walk away? Yikes. Is there compassion and caring evident or just a "gonna make a quick buck off these pups and dump them at 6 weeks of age" mentality? Open your eyes and take the rose colored glasses off - and again, use common sense and brains… DO THEY PROMOTE: LETHAL OR NON LETHAL PREDATOR CONTROL - This is a huge one for me. I have long advocated the use of non-lethal means to co-exist with predators and strongly disagree with the "SSS" crowd. And studies are showing: non-lethal means work. In spades - they can work. Especially when LGDs who are well bred and raised right, are used right by intelligent owners - emphasis on INTELLIGENT. That means: running the right kinds of LGDs and running them in the right numbers, and the owner using the right mindset - the mindset I coyly refer to (with a nod to Mr. Miyagi and the world of Zen philosophy), as "No Mind". I don't advocate buying from a "kill them all" mentality LGD breeder. LGDs are not meant to be killers of predators. They are bred to protect, nurture and prevent losses from predators, not kill.
WHAT do they offer with pups? All vaccinations or just one shot? You want to deal with a parvo-infected pup and lose it the first week it's home? One shot only? Keep going. No or vague or barely adequate deworming schedule? Don't even waste your time…. Written health / replacement guarantees? If none, don't bother. Will they take the dog/pup back if it does not work out? Any references, and I don't mean hastily written Facebook accolades - I mean real proof from owners who will vouch for them on the phone or in a private message - anyone can bribe or cajole some ass kissing friends into writing reviews on a Facebook page (precisely why…I don't do it on my own kennel page). I let my dog's track records and good customers words in 'real life', serve as proof. What you are looking for is a track record that can be proven of dogs working in livestock - not just air filled words on a blog or website. If no one has heard of that breeder, then guess what? There's a reason for that! Are they making false and bogus claims about being "the only Spanish Mastiff breeder x-raying their dogs and offering written health guarantees (again, another one of my biggest gaffe, bad choice on my part customers currently pulling this stunt and more)? You really want to trust someone like that?
WHERE do they raise the litter of pups? In the house all the time (a Spanish Mastiff breeder in Wisconsin wrote the book on this one while claiming her pups are raised in livestock - uh, don't think so)? Note how Lois Jordan falsely claims her dogs are in livestock "24/7" yet I challenge you to find photos of her pups and dogs in livestock on her website. Good luck. There practically are none - and there is a reason for that. Likewise, I have so many 1000's of photos of my dogs over the years in goats, cattle and sheep, that I have the luxury of switching out photos on my website slide show all the time. No fake photo ops. No set ups. My pups walk the walk.
WHEN do they wean their pups? Read my prior post on this important subject.
PHOTOS - both parents of the litter on site or no? Do they claim to raise litters with livestock yet every photo shows lots of cute puppies but no livestock? Keep shopping - this is one of the biggest ruses out there and too many customers fall for it…. Do you ever see photos of them with livestock or are they always cropped photos on the lawn, inside the house or in a caged pen, with no sheep, goats, cattle, etc.? This is a biggie and a quick way to sort out the real from the fake. Dead since 2014 mind you, my Patron's litter mate sister Zoe had her death attributed to "bloat" (many suspect it was EPI related not bloat) on April 25, 2017 - most likely because Lois Jordan read this blog post, and soiled her pants and is frantically doing damage control…well, keep trying dear, you have a long way to go. Up until now she's been passing Zoe off as being alive - for three years since dead. More coverup from the woman who wrote the book on it. Also, note how her dogs are never together. That's because she wouldn't know a familial, healthy LGD pack if it stared her in the face. People who have gone to her farm confirm this to me. Me? Again, I have literally 1000's of photos of my dogs in livestock because that is what they do and how they live.
HEALTH - are pups and parents healthy? Or are they stunted, sickly, glassy eyed, pot bellied, poor coats, surly, shy, sad, underweight, overly aggressive, sad, etc. Anyone buying a pup like this deserves to be duped and ripped off. Are they living in dirt and grime like the pups being raised by one puppy milling Spanish Mastiff breeder in North Carolina who's almost been shut down by authorities for her kennel conditions - yet she keeps selling sickly pups because stupid lazy customers patronize her because she's cheap? You don't settle for this. You have better and higher expectations….
OLDER DOGS - How does the breeder treat them if they have any? Are they ignored like yesterday's news, neglected and worn out and tired and ill-kept? Do they refuse to take care of them in their sunset years? Or does the breeder respect their elder dogs and recognize they their age means they require more rest, care and attention and special considerations? My 5 old timers here (all coming on 9) worked hard and long as youngsters - now, they get to sleep inside at night, are never pushed or expected to work full tilt - even though they still try to - and are given special supplements on their kibble for aged dogs. Their comfort and mental well being is top of my list. I let them rest and take it easy, while the youngsters in my pack pick up the slack and work load. In other words, compassion - not cruelty.
REPUTATION - is it all made up? Or did they earn it and can they prove it? Reps are not made in just one or two litters in just two years, folks…it takes many years to build up a credible reputation producing great dogs - I have labored almost 9 years to get where I am at - yet too many Johnny Come Lately hobby breeders think they can dupe people into thinking they are someone they are not, and never were (and in many cases never will be….). Don't be so gullible to take things at face value - do your homework, buyers. There's a lot of lying, deceiving wannabe LGD breeders out there these days who don't rate a second look, or your respect - let alone your business!
TRANSPARENCY - are they a case study in fakery, smoke and mirrors, cover ups, lies, half-truths, fabricated BS, gross omissions and denial? Or are they an open book? Do they tell you when they have losses or diseases and are they honest about tragedies? Or do they pretend they never have any? Do they have a "memorial" page on their website that plainly and clearly shows you their deceased dogs (like I have), or do they sprinkle dead dog photos throughout their website in order to make it look like they are still alive, kicking and working, without any reference to them being dead, or a memorial page? I have news for you kids: no one, absolutely NO ONE who breeds dogs on a serious scale for years goes without any losses, tragedies, sicknesses, etc. It is how they handle them that counts. If someone is inferring they never lose any puppies or dogs; if they make fun of someone for losing dogs like they never would or do - then keep shopping: they are liars. Period…
In these sad days of political correctness and creating "safe spaces" - it's so "incorrect" to remind people that there is a right and a wrong way to do things. There is a right and a wrong with LGDs too!
Below: Big Hat, No Cattle. Case studies in Ego, Smoke and Mirrors. A Rogues' Gallery of Bad, Ugly and Just Plain Stupid LGD Breeders and Self-labeled "Experts"
Lois Jordan - she of the dead dog filled, never updated website and archaic, outdated and mishmash filled blog, currently on the run from several disgruntled customers: her pups have come up with Leptovirus, blindness, chock full of worms, underweight, feverish and such; she is infamous for back to back breeding her young bitches with no rest or breaks between litters. My first totally overpriced ($2500) SM came from this woman and chased my goats, was surly, too small and not interested in guarding anything; ended up dying from a genetic liver ailment. Jordan has been booted off of at least two farms and has moved three times in only four years. Her reputation in the show goat world which she no longer participates in (in spite of what her website would tell you), is about as bad: her goats have come up with Johnes' Disease. She's backed by and runs with the Lewis Ratliff mafia - that pretty much tells you all you need to know…
More stuff about and/or from Lois Jordan of "Fall Creek Farm" (where she has not lived in years):
was born 6/19/15 -2 pups, both sold. (Whoa? Hosco AND Bruno? On purpose? Yikes, part II)
POS Award goes hands down to Lizzie Potter.
Let's all text this clown into a mental breakdown. A Pyrenees x Samoyed cross - this has to take the cake in terms of all time stupidity, and here's this lowlife posting this on the 29th of April and saying the dog "has to go" by the 30th - and you wonder why I blog about this crap????:
NEED TO REHOME:
1 year old Great Pyranees/Samoyed mix, about 40-45 pounds
Wanting a loving family (probably no kids under 10). His name is Hero and he would love to live on a farm.
Needs basic obedience training. I adopted him with the understanding that he had previous training but he needs work.
Needs a family with at least 1 other medium/large dog who likes to play. He does jump fences. No apartments or small yards.
Comes with collar, harness, some food, bowl, bed, and kennel. Hero needs a home by 4/30
PLEASE TEXT. No calls or emails please. Posted by: LIZZIE POTTER State: OH Zip: 45701 Phone: 740-505-4698 - See more at: http://www.bestfarmbuys.com/classifieds/detail.php?classified_id=209222&state=&category=dogs#sthash.TAHuxhOS.dpuf
What idiotic clown decided that was a cross that would work?
And what idiot would buy it?
Above, more Goetz garbage
The Hills Have Eyes: These perpetually back slapping women run in a cluster group gaggle continuously stroking each other's egos and pimping each other's "work". Above, Anna "Attack Dog" Abney - passing herself off as an LGD "trainer".
Dear readers: Do you see any livestock in that photo? Where's the chickens, Anna? Does this look like a pastoral shepherd in her flock on a mountain with a stable, nurturing LGD protecting his charges? Abney is another "teacher's pet" groupie of author Jan Dohner's who posts Abney's words on a blog she contributes to now and then, as if that's going to give her any credibility…uh…gonna take way more than that, dear.
Below: Typical drivel from "paid dog professional" Tam Mrose. Another one of Jan Dohner's "sources" for her last book (along with Lois Jordan…no wonder the Spanish Mastiff chapter was a disaster). Do you see where I'm going with this? Do you see a pattern here? Call them the "LGD Mafia" or maybe the label Stepford Wives of the LGD world would be more appropriate... Mrose, a self-described hunting dog trainer and "behaviorist" ala 'sled dog' disaster making Ray Coppinger, is frequently found out of her league posting every day in "Learning About LGDs" - Anna Abney's self perpetuating Facebook fortress - telling people how to train their LGDs. Read Tam's not so delightful pronged collar exchange below. Does this sound like someone who knows dick about LGDs? And what the hell does she consider "humane", the rack? Boiling oil? Pronged collars? Shock collars?:
Tam Mrose I only read your reply: I am a trainer, I teach people about dogs. I will use any piece of equipment correct for the situation that I am paid to remedy. My methods are humane and based on science. I have used and will continue to use prong collars when it is appropriate. Blanket statements do not account for all eventualities.
Jean Johnson No . If you need one you have other problems (***UNDERSTATEMENT!*****)
Tam Mrose Are you people thinking that a prong collar is a correction device? That is not how they are intended to be used. They do not 'teach' a dog anything. But seriously! ? ! NEVER? other problems? I reiterate, as a paid professional, if I think it is the best equipment for the job I'm gonna use one.
Turkish dog fighter's American pet, Brian Peckinpaugh
keeping dog fighters in America serviced and happy….
Above: Shame on you Louise…I dunno about these Canadians.
Aftermath of a wreck Louise L. caused by poor management of her dogs...
Not So Wonderful Boz breed and it's problems
Stunted SMs from Goetz - and no livestock
Granddaddy of bad LGD advice: Lewis Ratliff and his
Facebook troll filled LGD groups. So arrogant, paranoid and so desperate he contacted
the American Sheep Industry trying to get me 'fired' from my consulting job -
all it did was give them a huge laugh and ruin his own reputation with the sheep industry.
ASI's infamous response: "We don't get in pissing contests with a snake". Take that, Lewis.
Skinny, sickly, caged up: more Goetz dogs;
pity these poor undernourished creatures…and these are the caliber
her customers are breeding…there goes the SM in America.
Goetz again. God forbid….concrete floors - just inexcusable.
Uh, a little on the thin side, below, don't you think? But of course, we're not
into anorexic dogs like Anna Abney is….
but then she could pass for a Nevada meth tweaker on an Imlay street corner.
Typical stupidity, below. Bad breeder placed pup with bad home,
no breeder support - the poor dog needs guidance, not this kind of hell:
Whoa Nellie, you've got two young sub-yearling puppies and you're already calling
yourself a breeder? Kiss my ass. Do you know what it means to pay dues, or are you all flash, cash and dash? Another questionable customer of one of my very worst customers, below:
X rays? Spindler has no OFA certified SM. I still hold the American record for OFA certification of SM. Hot air, big ego - but to be expected from someone
who was living in their car until they gold dug themselves a meal ticket
and started breeding dogs and copycatting and stabbing their mentor in the back to gain social acceptability….I know, harsh words, but relax; they are not nearly as bad as the crap she's busy spewing out there about me. Literally mimicking my import bloodlines to the "T" - or trying to - while bad mouthing my dogs while she breeds them. Hypocrite. I lack the space here to print the BS letter she hired an attorney to write me threatening to sue me for defamation of character over a year ago. Oh, make my day. Meanwhile as the above screenshot shows, she practices BS defamation of me. LGD breeders beware: her favorite ruse is stealing other breeders' SM customers and turning them against you. I've caught her sucking up to Lois Jordan and Anne Goetz puppy owners on Facebook in order to try to finesse her own puppy sales; she went from mass producing 5 and 6 breed LGD cash crop crossbred litters to now trying to pan herself off as a purebred "SM Breeder" after only producing one and only one, purebred SM litter this spring. Her other dubious 'claim to fame': the "high percentage cross" 3/4 SM. Talk about prostituting the breed. Bottom feeder, a user and back stabber, and one of my worst mistakes in placing pups and trying to mentor. I obviously failed in teaching her any ethics.