We have had one now for about 4 years on our farm/ranch. Great dog. Don't get much activity out of her during the day, but stations herself at the edge of our entry at night. We have a lot of coyotes that don't come near with her around. Very protective, but gentle giant. Love to drive in and see this massive white animal at her "post". Thrives on affection. You'll be glad you have her/him.
Those are really good dogs, I know of several people that have them. Great guardians. As far as training them, for sheep Im pretty sure you introduce them to the sheep as pup, and eventually they will stay with the sheep all the time. Are going to use them on cattle?
I’ll second what Jules and Cope said. We have one that’s about 9 months old now, slightly larger than a Shetland pony. He’s funny, being so big and strong but so copasetic at the same time. We’re not trying to run him in the pasture. He just hangs around the house, which is what we wanted because our other dogs are getting old. He’s super laid back around the family but aggressive with varmints and predators, and doesn’t cotton to strangers much. I would hate to walk up to our house or drive up and get out of the car if we weren’t there. It only took a couple of swats when he was a pup and now he leaves the chickens alone. I think he’s going to make a great dog.
When my neighbor moved here he brought sheep and Pyrenees dogs with him. The dogs "imprinted" with whatever they were raised with. He kept a dog feeder in the pasture for the dogs and they hardly came to the house at all. It was kinda spooky to drive by his sheep pasture. If you slowed down or stopped, this big white dog stood up from amongst the sheep and wandered over toward the car. He'd then lay down in the ditch between the car and the sheep. I never made any effort to see what he'd do if I tried to go into the pasture. They still have one or two Pyrenees, but they've been raised as yard dogs since they don't have the sheep anymore. When we go to their house, the dogs don't seem to be especially agressive. Of course, they know me.
Colorado State has a pretty simple set of instructions on how to train a puppy, early imprinting, etc. on their extension website. I don't know if A & M does, but I would imagine they probably have some sort of written guidance as well. If you type in "livestock guardian dogs" on Google it will bring up a lot of sites that may be of interest. A while back there was a pretty lengthy discussion of GP's, Komondors, etc. over on the Farm Life forum (part of GardenWeb) but it would probably be hard to find now. Since the livestock guardian dogs are so popular in Texas sheep and goat country you probably could find a commercial trainer if you were so inclined --- seems like they would imprint on and "learn" to guard calves just as well as sheep & goats. You might also want to chat with some county extension agents in the hill country counties, where a lot of sheep and goats are raised, for some pointers or trainer referrals. Alejandro delaGarza raises a lot of goats --- I wonder if he uses any guard dogs --- perhaps if he notices this thread he could shed some light or give a referral. Arnold Ziffle
I have a Komondor.He was 7 months old when I got him(bought him at the same time as a few goats). He was used to the goats,but "adopted" my cattle.He stays with them 24-7. I keep a feeder in the barn for him.He is great,very affectionate, and protective over the goats and cows.(Ithink he likes the cows more than the goats because they smell better). :cboy: