Gender, Guardians & Sex
are, by far, the most common questions about gender and sex in
gender makes the best guardian?
pairs of the same gender or pairs with one of each work better?
about Spay and Neuter?
a) Is same gender aggression really a problem?
b) Do intact and altered dogs work equally well?
c) Why do you charge more for pets and intact dogs?
strongly believe that the gender of a guardian makes no difference at all in the
performance of their duties. We also acknowledge that people sometimes
have very strong personal preferences; we respect the right of those people to
have them and will not try to dissuade them from their choices.
question of pairing is tied to the issues of spaying and neutering. Since
those will be addressed below, this question will deal only with altered
dogs. With Great Pyrenees, any combination will work well although in any
grouping of two or more dogs, one of them will be the leader. In same
gender pairings, sometimes the alpha discussions are slightly louder and recur
about every six months to a year. They are not terribly serious and don't
seem to interfere with the performance of the dogs' guardian duties.
are reading this and have a breed of LGD other than Great Pyrenees, the answer
is somewhat different. Unless the same gender pair has been raised
together, or both are new pups and will be raised together, we recommend one
male and one female. Many breeds of LGDs have an identical degree of same
gender aggression when they are altered as when they are intact.
Introducing (especially when done casually) two adults of the same gender of
these breeds can possibly result in a lethal fight.
are using an LGD pack, usually 3-5 dogs, which is a virtual necessity in areas
with a high density of major predators at least one of those dogs should be
female; it may and probably even should be spayed. An LGD pack when
pressed in a fight may work a little harder to protect their
Spaying and Neutering can be an emotional subject. We do believe there is
a great value to the breed in preventing casual, careless, and unwanted matings
and therefore we do spay and neuter our dogs not specifically planned as
breeders. We do NOT and never will agree with mandatory Spay/Neuter laws
as we feel personal responsibility on the part of the breeder and the
buyer is the answer to a growing rescue population, mongrelization of any breed,
and the placement of poor performing dogs as guardians.
a) Yes! Emphatically yes! With Great Pyrenees, intact dogs of the same
gender may well kill each other when meeting for the first time as adults, if
both are strong alphas, they're equally matched physically, and they're on the
farm. At the very least, the confrontation will be bloody. Non
Great Pyrenees LGDs may very well behave just like this whether intact or
altered so this is an item that should always be considered. Intact dogs
meeting in public, off the farm, on a lead, should be civil to each other but
don't always count on it.
b) Intact dogs usually work well as guardians, especially if they're
female. Females have a periodic heat cycle and during that time may become
distracted, even to the point of leaving in search of a male. They also
attract males to them and may be the cause of the increased presence of strange dogs
around the farm. What happens if these dogs enter the farm to mate is the
subject of many different anecdotes with a mixture of good and bad
endings. Females also stop guarding entirely when they whelp their
litter. For up to two weeks they will be preoccupied with their pups and
keep both other dogs, including their mate, and stock animals from getting
close. They do return to work quickly and the best ones train their pups
in the process.
dogs, on the other hand, remind us of nothing less than the average pubescent
human male. Sex is usually on their mind and the wafting odors of a bitch
in heat will usually turn their attention away from their duties. This is
not to say they will ignore intruders or predators, the problem can become one
of them being in the right place at the right time.
call testosterone poisoning can also become an issue. When the bitch(es)
is(are) in heat; the does are in heat; and the bucks are rutty, the pressure can
just become overwhelming for an intact male dog. Lest you think this is apocryphal,
we have a great dog who was a stud for four years with absolutely no incident
marring his record. In the Spring of 2005, when everyone in the pasture
and barnyard was either in heat or in rut, he apparently couldn't handle the
pressure and savaged one of our bucks. After trying several different
remedies to no avail we had him castrated and are holding him for a year so he
will go through the same environment of sexual pervasiveness before we can offer
him for sale as a guardian and guarantee him.
you opt for intact dogs as guardians you're rolling the dice. It only
takes one moment of inattention to let a predator kill your animals or one
moment of being overwhelmed by raging hormones for the dog itself to wreck
We charge more for pets and breeders because we sell Livestock Guardian dogs.
demand additional socialization and we feel it is our responsibility to provide
it. This means a month of living in the house and, although they are cute
and loving, it's also additional work. We don't sell too many pets but
those who buy one of our pups as a companion animal are very pleased with them.
dogs carry with them, we feel, a great responsibility on the part of the breeder
to insure careful, planned matings. Since we guarantee our guardians and
we just explained above what some of the pitfalls are to owning an intact dog,
we want to insure that the buyer is seriously interested in, as well as educated
about, owning an intact guardian. The additional money is to help insure
seriousness in the buyer and to discourage casual owners from getting an intact
dog. We do sell on contract and try to screen all of our buyers but we
have decided on the price differential as an effective part of our
Dan & Paula Lane
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