All puppies have sold! Thank you to everyone who bought one.
NFTI has 9 LGD (livestock guardian dog) puppies for sale this winter. The parents of these puppies are working dogs at our farm with excellent bloodlines who have proven themselves countless times in the real world. Without these dogs, our farm would have either had to invest in extremely expensive fencing, which the livestock production would never be able to pay off, or we would have lost all of our livestock to predators long ago. We believe these dogs are essential to raising animals in the North.
The puppies were born on November 11th, 2017, and will be available for pickup starting January 15th, 2018. Keep reading for more information…
Price: $700 each, OR $500 each for farmers and food producers*
*These are WORKING DOGS, and if possible we would like to see them go to homes where they have a job to do, which is why we are giving a $200 discount to people who have some sort of livestock that need protecting (chickens, rabbits, quail, horses, etc.). Also, if you produce vegetables or some other type of food for people we will give you the $200 discount. If you are planning to have livestock in the future, but don’t have them yet, please tell us, we may be able to give you the discount even though you don’t yet have your livestock…
These puppies, as you will see below, benefit from a double dose of hybrid vigor. This means that they are likely to grow faster, larger, and have longer, healthier lives than their parents or purebred dogs.
Father – “Loup”
Loup is pure Estrela Mountain Dog. He comes from a line of working dogs. We bought him from a farm in northern BC. Loup is an extremely friendly, intelligent, and gentle dog, but aggressive and fearless when needed. Loup is constantly interacting with young children, and many baby animals, on our farm, and has never, ever shown anything but friendliness towards them. On the other hand, he is excellent at his job. We have observed him fearlessly chase after bears and wolves, getting within just a few feet of them before we lost sight of him in the forest. Loup barks at people and vehicles he does not know. His bark can scare people, but he would never actually harm a human.
Mother – “Ursula”
Ursula is a cross between Kangal and Kuchi (Afghan Tiger) bought from a farm in northern Alberta. She is a very calm, intelligent, and gentle dog, but is ferocious when it comes to predators. Like Loup, we have observed her chasing wolves and bears several times. One of our staff actually saw her grab a wolf by the tail when she was just 6 months old!
Unlike Loup, she does not bark at any humans or vehicles, she only barks at predators… so we can guarantee that these puppies will bark at, and attack if necessary, predators like bears and wolves, but we don’t know whether they will bark at strange humans or strange vehicles since their mother does not.
Both parents live with, and protect, the animals on our farm which have included horses, cattle, yak, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. The parents are friendly towards all of these animals (except rabbits, which we keep in cages and have not tried to train our dogs to be friendly towards, although it might be possible).
No dog is perfect, and in the interest of full transparency here are the only two problems we have had with the parents of these puppies….
The mother, Ursula, killed chickens when she was a puppy. We corrected the behavior, and since then she lives in the midst of several hundred chickens without issue. She has never shown any aggression towards any other livestock. The father never had this phase, so we are not sure if the puppies will need training when it comes to poultry, or not. We have included a guide for new owners at the bottom of this page that covers this possibility.
We have also had an issue with the father roaming beyond our property. This behavior began only when the father’s “master” (the human who had raised him and trained him) left the farm. It is likely that the puppies will not do this, as long as they either stay with their original owner, or are more heavily bonded to the livestock at a young age (which we were not able to due with the father). Regardless, if roaming does become a problem (it is fairly common among LGDs, because most of them NEED to roam large areas in order to do their jobs effectively) you can solve it with an electric fence collar.
There are 6 female puppies and 3 male puppies. They were born on November 11, 2017. You can purchase your puppies now, but they will not be available for pickup until January 15, 2018 at the earliest. You might even want to wait until February, when the puppies will probably be better behaved (not biting your hand, etc.) since they will have had an extra month of instruction from their mother and siblings.
The puppies are growing up in our barn with our livestock. We will socialize them with the livestock and humans as much as possible before they are sold, but you will have to continue doing this (see the owner’s guide below) for them to become safe, effective working dogs.
The puppies will not be vaccinated or spayed/neutered; those things will be your responsibility, if you chose to do them.
These are the 9 puppies, these pictures were taken when the puppies were 1 month old:
Contact Jackie, or Klaudia if you are interested in these puppies:
Phone: (area code eight six seven) 875 – 0059 or 875 – 7485
Guide For New Owners:
What to expect:
The number one thing to be prepared for is barking, lots of barking, especially at night time. This means the dog is doing its job! If you aren’t prepared to let your livestock guarding dog bark all night long then you aren’t prepared to have a livestock guardian dog! Barking is the main way that LGDs keep predators away, although they will also physically attack the predator if they feel the odds are in their favour (if the predator is small or outnumbered).
These dogs, in order to do their jobs, and in order to be happy, need to be outside at all times. Both of the parents (even Ursula who has relatively short hair) live outside 24/7 all year on our farm with no heat, and little shelter (although they will sometimes find a sheltered spot, such as a pile of hay, to sleep in when it gets really cold). The predators don’t take breaks when its cold or hot, and neither should your LGD. You should think of your LGD like a wolf, not like a human. A human might suffer terribly when its -40, but a wolf will be just fine.
These dogs are not like pet dogs, their sole purpose in life is not to cuddle with you. In fact, the more you pet your LGD and bond with it, the less it will care about protecting your livestock. So being somewhat cold towards your LGD can actually help them do their job better. If your LGD seems somewhat uninterested in cuddling with you, this is a good thing.
Some people say you shouldn’t use “alpha rolls” on your dog…If you are a skilled dog trainer who puts in lots of time every day working one-on-one with your dog, you might not need to use “alpha rolls” with your dog. But, unless you fit that description, we highly recommend that you “alpha roll” your LGD for your own safety! These are large dogs and they can cause serious harm to you if you don’t follow this advice…
An “alpha roll” is when you push your dog onto its side, so its feet are not on the ground, and then sit on it or kneel on it until it calms down and lies completely still and quiet. The goal is not to hurt the dog, but to make them respect you. The idea, as the name suggests, is that you are teaching the dog that you are the “alpha” of the pack. Your dog, especially if you haven’t done the alpha roll often, will probably whine and struggle when you are on top of it. In order for the “alpha roll” to work you MUST NOT let the dog up until it has become completely still and quiet.
You should “alpha roll” your puppy often while it is young, because when it gets larger it will obviously become harder to put the dog on its side against its will. The best time to do an “alpha roll” is anytime your dog shows any disrespect to you. This will primarily happen when there is food. Your dog should wait patiently at a distance while you prepare and serve its food, and if you approach the food, take the food away, or put your hand in the food while the dog is eating the dog should let you do this without any reaction. If it does not act in the way described above you should immediately alpha roll the dog, and then try again.
Bonding with livestock
LGDs have a natural instinct which makes them friendly and non-aggressive towards almost all livestock animals. However, in order for your LGD to effectively guard your livestock you must bond them, so that the dog thinks the livestock are a part of its family almost. The way to do this is to keep your LGD with your livestock as much as possible (especially when the dog is young) and at the same time try to prevent your LGD from bonding too much with other animals or humans. Put your LGD in the fence, or cage with your livestock, or tie your dog up where your livestock are, and keep them there as much as possible.
When your puppy is young you should watch it carefully when you have it with your livestock. Large livestock can attack and hurt your young puppy. Also, you should be watching your puppy and make sure it does not show any aggression towards the livestock. A little bit of playing is normal, especially when the dog is young or when the dog is meeting livestock for the first time, but the dog shouldn’t actually touch the livestock while it is playing.
As mentioned above, the mother of these puppies had a phase while she was a puppy where she killed chickens. As far as we can tell she learned this behavior by watching our herding dog. Regardless of how this behavior develops, its important that you punish the dog as soon as possible (the best is to catch the dog in the act) and punish them severely enough that they don’t do it again (although it may take several lessons, before the dog catches on). There are many resources online, by people far more qualified than us, to teach you how to make your dog stop doing something you don’t like.
Dealing with roaming
As mentioned above, the father of these puppies likes to roam long distances, if allowed to. If roaming becomes a problem for you, (ie. if the dog is running on the highway or bothering neighbors) then the most effective way we have found to stop is with an radio boundary fence and electric collar. This is the one we use. You can tie your dog up, but while tied up your dog is not going to be able to keep away predators. You could also use a physical fence, but it will have to be well-built to keep the dog from jumping over or crawling under it.