We have 3 large, some would say giant dogs, so why get another one?
We recently had to have Gus, one of our livestock guardian dogs (LGD), put down because he had developed an aggressive bone cancer in one of his front legs. He was in excruciating pain, even with the 2 different pain meds the vet put him on. We felt we needed to put him down because of that pain. Sophie, our remaining livestock guardian dog is getting up there in age. She’s 11 and so at the top of the life expectancy of Great Pyrenees.
Even though we have Ozzie the great dane, who learned very well from Sophie to watch out for predators, he’s in the house more than he’s outside with the herd. If he sees a predator like the big coyote in the yard, he takes his guarding job seriously. We also have Meme, but she’s 9 or 10 years old, so very old for a great dane. We don’t expect that we will have her around for very many more years and she really hates going outside. Knowing that 2 of our dogs are really at the end of life stage, this is what prompted us to get a 4th dog.
We got our new puppy Dax, an Anatolian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix on June 3, 2021. He’s about 17 weeks old right now. He’s made introductions to all of the other dogs and it’s gone very well. Sophie is still a bit uncertain about him when he goes into “her” barn, so we’ve done supervised visits just to make sure she doesn’t attack him. So far she’s been very good and only done a little growling, but she also stops that when we scold her. He slept in the laundry room the first 2 nights, and we have transitioned Dax out to the barn for sleeping. We are training him to have inside dog manners, but also to do the farm chore round with us and he will slowly spend more time with Sophie learning the guarding. We are enjoying having a new puppy on the farm. It’s always exciting to get new animals.