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 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 6 month old Great Pyrnees
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cjensen

131 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2008 :  9:01:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We just got our two pregnant alpacas yesterday and picked up a 6 month old Pyr. We'd like to get another soon to give her company. She has been with sheep. Her parents guarded the sheep. So, we expect she learned a little from them. She seems a little afraid of the alpacas. When they walk toward her she walks away like she doesn't want anything to do with them. Will she eventually like being around them? This is her first time with alpacas so we are hoping she won't mind getting close to them eventually.

Also, on of our pet dogs, a rat terrier mix, barked at her from the other side of the fence and the Pyr looked scared. Is she just still young to have her guard instinct kick in?

She seems to want to be on the other side of the fence with us. We don't let her of course.

Mike and Carolyn Jensen
Lincoln, Kansas

llamapelli

1401 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2008 :  9:46:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit llamapelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A baby taken from her parents, now with strange people , a strange dog barking at her and all these strange animals around her (she doesn't know they are livestock, she just knows they aren't sheep). She will grow comfortable with the alpacas, and will ultimately bond to them, but it isn't instantaneous. She'll also get used to your dog. It is ok to go into the pasture and play with her, just don't go into "comfort mode"--cooing and loving her up while she is acting scared. You don't want to give positive reinforcement to scared behavior. She'll become more comfortable, and will be easy to handle and train if she has routine human contact. Just don't feel sorry for her and let her in the house. You might end up with a 100 plus pound lapdog (like mine, only he's 140 lbs--he was bought as a personal guardian, though)

Melanie McMurry
Anasazi Alpacas & Kokopelli Llamas
Gladesville, WV
304-864-5210
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cjensen

131 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2008 :  09:02:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This morning I was proud of her. Some barn cats came over to the alpaca fence and she jumped toward the cats and barked at them and they ran off. So, this is the first time seeing her do that. Yesterday, she didn't even care that the cats went to the fence. Looks like this morning she doesn't seem to be too much afraid of the alacas anymore. So, maybe she's going to be fine.

Thanks!

Mike and Carolyn Jensen
Lincoln, Kansas
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llamapelli

1401 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2008 :  12:50:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit llamapelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yea, puppy! Barking at the cats is a start. She'll probably go through a phase of barking at everything, but she'll get more descriminating in her barking.

I'm chuckling a bit reading this, because my Pyr is laying on the leather couch napping. It's raining outside, and he doesn't like to be damp. He's only a little spoiled.

Melanie McMurry
Anasazi Alpacas & Kokopelli Llamas
Gladesville, WV
304-864-5210
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cjensen

131 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2008 :  3:16:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Someone told me that if I have a spayed female Pyr, to get her a neutered male because two females, even spayed, will not always get along. Is that true?

I need to find her a friend soon. She tries to push her way under the fence sometimes. We found that we do need to secure the bottom of the fence better to keep her or predetors from pushing under the fence. What is the best way to secure the bottom fence?

She does like the alpacas now and will follow them around.

Mike and Carolyn Jensen
Lincoln, Kansas
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naturlvr

232 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2008 :  10:42:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit naturlvr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I was also strongly encouraged to get a male/female pair of guardian dogs. I know of many farms with Great Pyrenees that have either brother and sister pairs or male/female pairs. Initially, I wanted two males but was told that they would always vie for the "beta" dog spot (I'm alpha!) We now have a male and a female, 6 months apart in age and they do very well. They still have squabbles because they are establishing their pecking order, but they are both just over a year old so are still puppies in the maturity department.

Keep in mind also, that while Guardian Dogs are an investment, they are not an effective protection system until they hit maturity. They may be 125lbs of barking fury (my male at a year & 6 mos) but sometimes those young pups do run away when danger presents itself. Good luck!

Jennifer Caldwell-Jeans & Matt Jeans
Puckerbrush Alpacas, LLC
Milton, Maine
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rachshees

478 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2008 :  11:05:46 AM  Show Profile  Send rachshees an AOL message  Reply with Quote
We have two spayed females and the only thing they do not get along with is food. We have to make sure they have two feed buckets. Raina our two year old was a year old when we got Gypsy. They are half sisters but they have done great together and during the day one will sleep with the girls and one will sleep with the boys so that they are still guarding both pastures even during the daytime.

Rachel Wingert
Rainbow Mountain Alpacss
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Kaye

154 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2008 :  08:16:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations - doesn't it feel great to have the pacas home!
We have two brother Maremma puppies who we just love, but they were also very scared when they first got to our farm. They were born and raised w/ alpacas (we got them at 3mos) but they settled in very quickly. I had to introduce them to everything new - first the barn cat, then our family dog. Soon I'll have to introduce them to the 25 new baby chicks we just received....that might be more of a challenge...
Anybody have their guard dogs trained on a lead? I was wondering if I should do this - just to get them to the vets easier.
Melanie, I've often wondered how good a guard dog would be as a house dog. Even tho ours were bought to stay w/ the pacas, we really got them to protect me while I'm out and about on the farm. And they are so loving...I just wondered if they would be good inside. Mine never even think about leaving the alpaca fields. One day I took them to the back yard and all they did was try to figure out how to get back into the pasture! If I'm out working but not in the fields, they will keep checking on me, or lay beside the fence watching me but never do they act like they'd like to come outside the fence. So I was just wondering how your's does in the house.
Cheers, Kaye
Kaye Sanderson
Diamond Rose Ranch
3950 N US Hwy 68
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
kaye.diamondrosealpacas@yahoo.com
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llamapelli

1401 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2008 :  1:54:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit llamapelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kaye

Congratulations - doesn't it feel great to have the pacas home!
We have two brother Maremma puppies who we just love, but they were also very scared when they first got to our farm. They were born and raised w/ alpacas (we got them at 3mos) but they settled in very quickly. I had to introduce them to everything new - first the barn cat, then our family dog. Soon I'll have to introduce them to the 25 new baby chicks we just received....that might be more of a challenge...
Anybody have their guard dogs trained on a lead? I was wondering if I should do this - just to get them to the vets easier.
Melanie, I've often wondered how good a guard dog would be as a house dog. Even tho ours were bought to stay w/ the pacas, we really got them to protect me while I'm out and about on the farm. And they are so loving...I just wondered if they would be good inside. Mine never even think about leaving the alpaca fields. One day I took them to the back yard and all they did was try to figure out how to get back into the pasture! If I'm out working but not in the fields, they will keep checking on me, or lay beside the fence watching me but never do they act like they'd like to come outside the fence. So I was just wondering how your's does in the house.
Cheers, Kaye
Kaye Sanderson
Diamond Rose Ranch
3950 N US Hwy 68
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
kaye.diamondrosealpacas@yahoo.com



Well, except for taking up the entire couch, mine is fine in the house. He likes to stay outside unless it is rainly or really windy, although sometimes he comes in for the heck of it. He stays wherever I am. If I'm in the family room, he is, too. When I go to bed he positions himself at the foot or side of the bed. My previous Pyr was so bonded to me that he developed hot spots when I kept him outside. He wanted to be with me always (the look on his face would always break my heart when I left him at the groomer--I would start crying). I have sworn I will always have a Pyr as a pet. I haven't used them as livestock guardians yet, but if I did I would still require a pet one. Also, my first Pyr was really good with the chickens. He would just lay among them. My current one is not as good with them, so I have to watch him closely if he is where the chickens are. Mine are leash trained, although not particularly well. At least I can get them in the car without too much manhandling.

Melanie McMurry
Anasazi Alpacas & Kokopelli Llamas
Gladesville, WV
304-864-5210
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Silver Thunder

126 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2008 :  3:46:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Silver Thunder's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have two 2 year old prys and they stay in the barn area with the alpacas during the day in front of the fans. We also get them completely shaved, they look like gigantic labs. They sleep most of the day and patrol at night when it is cooler. We also make sure they have plenty of water and electrolytes the same with the alpacas.

Nancy

Chuck and Nancy LaBresh
Silver Thunder Alpacas
Greeneville, Tennessee
http://silverthunder.com
silverthunder@adelphia.net
(423) 620-0422 / (423) 620-0421

Edited by - Silver Thunder on 06/08/2008 3:47:05 PM
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Christiane

2793 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2008 :  4:33:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Barefoot,

Hot Spots are skin irritations that dogs tend to get when it is hot and humid. The spots get wet and really itch, so the dogs scratch and make them really worse. Some breeds are more prone to them than others. My Goldens used to get them frequently and my German Shepherds get them every once in a while, usually right before they are supposed to go into the show ring. Most of the time when that happens. I take them to the vet and they get that spot shaved and the vet gives them a shot. Some people think that if you put Listerine on the spot, it will dry up. Haven't tried that because it just sounds like that would really hurt the dog. So far, my
Anatolian has not had any skin problems, but she has a short coat, and that may help. Hot spots tend to appear in dogs with long or shaggy coats. If they are not treated, they can cause a real sore for the dog and get infected.

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-3739
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llamapelli

1401 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2008 :  10:37:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit llamapelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you see a hot spot, you will immediately know something is wrong. Red, raw, ugly looking. I never sheared my Pyrs in NM because we lived at a high altitude (about 7000 feet), and sunburn was the major problem. Now that we are in the humid east, I take the coat off pretty much completely. Your pups will still have their baby coats, so not much of a problem. 7 week old Pyrs do sleep and aweful lot (it's hard work being that cute), so if they are just laying around on their backs sleeping they are very, very happy. I probably wouldn't shave them off this year, just make sure the puppy coat and undercoat is brushed out regularly--you don't want winter to hit with insufficient coat. If you aren't comfortable clipping your own, now is the time to start taking them to the groomer for regular work, too.

Melanie McMurry
Anasazi Alpacas & Kokopelli Llamas
Gladesville, WV
304-864-5210
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llamapelli

1401 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2008 :  10:39:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit llamapelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh yeah, send me some pics! I want to see these babies!!

Melanie McMurry
Anasazi Alpacas & Kokopelli Llamas
Gladesville, WV
304-864-5210
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Christiane

2793 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2008 :  08:45:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another note:

If you want your babies to be people friendly, make sure that you take them a lot of places to get them used to being made over by other people. I took my Anatolian everywhere as a pup, and she is very good with people because of that. Of course, their genetic make-up has something to do with that as well, but socialization is extremely important at a young age. When I get my male, in the next year or so, I will do the same.

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-3739
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rackapaca

663 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2008 :  2:47:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We adpoted a Pyr/Anatolian mix. He is a wonderful dog and I thank his prior owners everyday because he is leash trained, very handy for lots of reasons and helpful for me as he weighs 150 pounds. He is 4 years old and we are still getting him used to our routine, the alpacas (he was rasied with goats and 2 boys) and loves people. I don't know exactly what his reactions are supposed to be as this is our first LGD but not our first Pyr. He barks ALOT but on occasion "plays" at chasing the pacas. He has not gone further than a lunge and then laughs but it scares them, so we are still keeping him separate when we are not in the pen with everyone. Maybe in a few more months when I am 100% confident they can all live together. Read the advice, they are BIG dogs, stubborn individuals and won't be puppies for very long. Leash training, socialization and good manners are all necessary.
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