Having brave Livestock Guardian Dogs Molly and Apollo guarding our alpacas and chickens helps us to sleep at night. Somewhat nocturnal, these two beautiful Great Pyrenees patrol our six-foot high fenced in pastures at night barking a baritone warning to coyotes, bears and other would-be predators to stay away. Great Pyrenees dogs have been guarding sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains – the border between France and Spain - for thousands of years and have been described as big dogs with big hearts. Wonderfully calm, devoted and friendly they are very protective of their charges including family members. To do their jobs properly they have to be independent thinkers which means they can sometimes be challenging to train.
We started off with a 1-year old male and 3-year old female. The ages are staggered so the older dog can train the younger and both sexes have different roles. Typically Molly will stay behind to guard the herd as Apollo charges off to challenge intruders. They make a perfect team. But Molly is now getting up in years and it’s time to train a new recruit so we have added young Iris to the team. Being an LGD is a serious job which will take a good deal of training (mostly from Molly and Apollo) over the next year before she is up to the task.
Iris is currently 3 months old and in true Pyr fashion will likely get in all kinds of trouble for the next 9 months or so. But at the end of the day that’s ok with us. We can breathe a sigh of relief knowing our herd is in good hands.