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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses everyone. Seems like everyone likes the LGD's for the same reason,,,,,loyalty, love, BIG dog.
When I commented on a German Shepherd being big, it was more when I was young. Still wouldnt want to be bitten by one.
My Kangals stay at home 99% of the time in the day. Always in the Yard. But at night they run the coyotes off. Have been seen 2-3 miles away, coming home in the morning. Then sleep all day...haha.
The Big Malakli is 38inches tall, 220 pounds (Lean). Man is 5 foot 9 inches, or so he says. Dog pulls 10,500# tractor for exercise, runs 2-6 miles a day. He still lives in Turkey ;(.. But I just picked up his son and neice yesterday. His son is 5 1/2 months old, 28 inches tall, 90 pounds. Growls so deep it sounds like a LION roar.
To the person that says they have a Coyote problem, a LGD serves many functions. Run off or kill all the coyotes, protect your home and family, and gives all the love in the world. All for some food and love.
cant beat that kind of deal,,,,haha.
I have never had or been around a co, cao, or tibettin Mastiff. I think I would love them all. I think the Tibettin Mastiff has been used as a LGD, but also as a guard dog also.

With the Kangal and Malakli. We have talked about the strengths. Bad points. They are not always ready to please you. They do things they feel are needed. Luckily, they are also easy going dogs. if you want a dog to fetch,,,, get another breed. If you want a dog to follow you anywhere you go (if away from home) they are great. With livestock and especially poultry, getting them over their puppy stage and out of the (that looks fun) age. Then if you are going to use them as a house dog, they are BIG. Big on couch, bed, on in your way on the floor. But I still love them!!!! Thanks everyone!!
 

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I would rather protect them naturally than try to trap, kill, poison, etc...
Just wanted to say I totally respect you for this. I completely understand people needing to protect their livestock/animals, but there's FAAAR to many, sick, twisted people out there that get off on torturing coyotes and feral dogs.
 

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Are Tibetian Mastiffs true LGDs? Cause they're a breed I really love.
A CO is high on my "most coveted list". I am in complete awe of the breed as a whole. Only met one IRL, and she wasn't overly fond of me (I worked in the kennel she was boarded at). This particular dog once bit through a car tire...
I'm looking into pyrs. I've met a lot of them, and have yet to meet one I did not like.
I met a CO female once, and she was extremely friendly. I was pretty surprised, though I met her outside of her house, which I'm told makes a big difference. CO's don't feel the need to protect areas that aren't "theirs". I've never met a Tibetan Mastiff, but they are awesome dogs. If I was ever going to get one of the really challenging dogs to own, it would have to be a CO, I think. Not sure why - they're just fascinating.
 

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Those are some amazing looking dogs! Though the 'see how big my dog is' having the dog stand with its paws on the shoulders does get old fast. You see a lot of those macho pictures on the web.

I love LGDs, particularly the Cão da Serra da Estrela, Sarplaninac and Mastin de los Pirineos. I also really like Tornjaks, but feel like I don't know enough about them yet. Also, since I saw one particular beautiful Central Asian Shepherd a couple weeks ago... the breed has gotten my interest.

hp centraal aziaat.jpg
 

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The historical use of the Tibetan Mastiff, to my knowledge was a guard dog of the Tibetan monasteries. The smaller tibetan breeds, not sure which one atm would alert the larger TM of intruders and the TM would ward them off. Whether or not the TM was ever used as a LGD I am not sure about that. All I ever heard of was a guard dog, which they are still used today as.
 

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That is one HUGE dog!!! But he looks sweet.

Guardian dogs are definitely dedicated to their job and they're courageous. I think, besides some of them are cute, that's what I like about them. They aren't afraid to go after coyotes, foxes, etc. The guard dogs I like are: Maremma Sheepdog, Polish Tatra Sheepdog, Slovak Cuvac, and the Tornjak.
 

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LGD's are my favorite type of dogs. I personally love CO, Tibetan Mastiff, Sharplaninac and the Tatra.
Right now I have a 7 month old male Caucasian Ovcharka.
They're the most amazing dogs, but only for experienced dog owners. Definitely not suited for people who don't have any prior experience with LGD's..
Courageous, independent, intelligent, aloof with familiar guests and aggressive towards strangers and therefor not for people who can't handle them.
My sister has a 4 year old Akbash right now. We don't have livestock, he's just a companion dog. I adore him to pieces, but he is very protective, and not very dog friendly with strange dogs or people friendly, for that matter. To my family, he's as harmless as a kitten. She wants to get a Tatra next, and in my opinion, they are so similar, it's hard to tell the difference, so I'm excited for that. But it would be nice to try a CO. I met one at a dog expo a year or so ago and, though I wouldn't say he was friendly, he wasn't aggressive. Moreso just aloof. He let me fawn all over him though :) Gorgeous breed. Overall, I adore all LGB!

This is my sister's Akbash, Ailchu.




He's trying to bite the water here LOL!




And Ailchu with his mom and Zoe, my dog.
 

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Black Mouth Cur, one of the original American livestock herding / protection dogs, without which the west could not have been settled. As a herder, they practice an in-your-face intimidation style of herding. As a protection dog, they are fearless and will not back down from any size predator. They also happen to be top-notch scent hounds who will go after any size game including bear. I have no cows, but I know these dogs to be very gentle with the family and welcome guests, but quite intimidating to a stranger at the door.

Dusty (now deceased):
dustysit.JPG dustywallpaper.jpg

And my latest, Tucker (50% ridgeback):
tdog 1029.jpg
 

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Extremely friendly?
Either it wasn't a real CO, or the dog was from that one U.S. CO breeder (I won't name any names of course) that is trying to make CO's more mellow. Which is very wrong IMO.
Because if you as a breeder don't like CO's basic temperament, then that's not the right breed for you.
So although CO's shouldn't show any aggressiveness when they are outside their homes, they are still in general very aloof with strangers.
And they remain very protective of their owners.
On another note, I've noticed that a lot of people tend to confuse Leonbergers and the Estrela Mountain Dog with CO's.
No, she was definitely a CO, and not from a 'mellow' source. She was outside of her house, which makes quite a bit of difference. The owner walked her out on a chain leash with a prong collar, just in case. The owner told me he regularly takes her with him to all sorts of places, keeping her at a high level of socialization. Also, some are simply less distrustful of strangers than others. I feel certain that if I'd done something bad to her owner, something very bad would have happened to me. She was also fairly young, less than two years. From what I've read in the books and on the Thunderhawk Caucasians site, CO's can take upwards of 3+ years to be fully ready for guard duty, though many exhibit guardian tendencies very young.

There is, IMO, absolutely no way at all to mistake a Leonberger for a CO. The Estrela Mountain Dog certainly looks more like a CO than a Leo, but still very different. I've seen accounts of very large, Georgian type CO's being friendly with strangers, but aware of any changes in their owner's demeanor that might signal a threat. Not all of them are like this, of course - most are just as you said. But some have a lower innate active defense response than others, and so are better in mixed company.
 

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He's absolutely stunning! Just gorgeous
Personally I think that most LGD's really enjoy just being a companion & a guard dog, as long as they have a big backyard, which I'm sure your sister has :)
Judging by the description he has a real LGD/Akbash temperament, which is a great thing of course. Because too many breeders nowadays are more interested in winning a dog show or using rare breeds as therapy dogs (don't ask me why, but it really does happens), than using the dogs for what they were originally bread for.
Tatra's are amazing dogs too, beautiful, beautiful dogs.
If your sister wants to try a CO, she should go for it. She definitely sounds like someone who has experience with LGD's...
And although CO's are in general more people aggressive than an Akbash, they do have a lot of similarities. But I'm sure your sister knows all that already.
I hope she can find a great Tatra or a CO breeder :)
My sister thanks you :D He certainly does have a nice, big yard to run around in. He actually came from working lines. The breeder owns a farm with livestock, so the parents were actually doing what they were bred for. Ailchu has exhibited that guardian instinct with our other pets as well as us. It's very interesting to see. I know my sis could handle a CO. She's just got that strong leader personality. And actually, there is a Tatra breeder 2.5hrs from us so that's not too bad. I'm not sure if there re any CO breeders unfortunately. It's too bad. The one I met at the dog expo, his owner told me he had to have his imported from Europe. He was 11months old and definitely showed some guarding instinct. And you are right, to some people, especially to the untrained eye, a CO can be confused with a Leo or an Estrela. I am obessed with Leos and want one someday. And when I saw that CO, I asked if it was a Leonberger. The guy was a bit snotty about it :/ But whatever. Beautiful dog.

I think it's safe to say it's not that uncommon to confuse this with a Leo or Estrela :p

 

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Lol, you have never had a CO before yet you will tell me what a real CO is supposed to act like.
What an ego you got there.
As I said before, I actually have a Caucasian Ovcharka, I'm originally from Eastern Europe and I have plenty of experience with this breed. So please don't bother to tell me how a real Caucasian Ovcharka should behave.
For your information meeting a (show-line) CO and actually owning one that's not bred by U.S. breeders is something completely different.
Also, who cares what the crazy lady from Thunderhawk Caucasians kennel says? After the embarrassing video she made with NatGeo, she shouldn't even be allowed to be a breeder anymore.
Just because CO's mature slowly, it doesn't means that they can't guard a property if they are younger than 3-4 years.

I'm against chain leashes with a prong collar....only people who can't control their dogs properly use them. Besides, it's cruel and totally unnecessary.
And yet a true CO isn't supposed to be extremely friendly to a stranger, whether the dog is a year and a half or 3 years for that matter.
If you have actually owned and raised CO's, you'd know that they start being aloof towards strangers when they turn about 6 months and with 7-8 months they start to show their guard instincts.

It's like telling a long time Fila Brasileiro owner that a true Fila can be very friendly to strangers lol
These dogs when socialized don't become happy-go lucky dogs, no they just don't try to bite somebody's face off and that's it. And in fact some Fila's and some CO's may never accept a stranger getting to close.
A real CO will not lick a stranger and enjoy attention from a stranger, I don't care how many books you read. Reading a book doesn't make you an expert on a breed. That's just hilarious.

So please stick your Newfoundlander's and don't try to tell a long time CO owner how a CO should behave if you've never had one in your life.

Oh and P.S. yes many people confuse Leo's, Estrela, Sharplaninac, Carpathian Shepherd Dog etc with a CO...It happens, get over it.
I also don't like prong collars, but this wasn't my dog. Yes, the video that Thunderhawk supported was vile, but that doesn't preclude them as a source of information. I've also met Leos, and there isn't a snowball's change in Hell that someone would mistake one for a CO. They look completely dissimilar. The fact that you own CO's doesn't mean someone else doesn't know anything about them. Look, I don't know what your problem is, talking about excessive ego and such, but I'm done with this. You're extremely rude. Lively debate is a healthy part of any forum, but you're crossing over into belligerence without any cause.

I should expand by saying that if you think I'm incorrect, then say so in a civil manner and give references or some backup (besides saying you're an owner and so your knowledge trumps all else). Also, leaving out bits like your generously applied "lol", not adding things I've never said like 'happy go luck" and "lick a stranger", not adding offensive bits "stick your Newfoundlander's" (I'm assuming that was a mistype and not a more serious insult) or references to my supposed ego issue - these things will assist in not creating animosity in the people you're posting to.
 

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I've also met Leos, and there isn't a snowball's change in Hell that someone would mistake one for a CO. They look completely dissimilar.
I don't mean to come off as rude here. Believe me, I'm not, I hate conflict. But your comment here offends me. Because I, in fact, did mistake that CO for a Leo. You cannot say "there isn't a snowballs chance in hell" because people DO mistake them. I've done it. My sister has done it, my mother. Especially people who are not experienced with any of those breeds. Google all 3 at once in separate browsers and compare. Tell me they don't look somewhat similar. They certainly are not "completely dissimilar". A chihuahua and an CO are completely dissimilar. A Leo, Estrela and CO are not completely dissimilar.
Just saying :)
 

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I don't mean to come off as rude here. Believe me, I'm not, I hate conflict. But your comment here offends me. Because I, in fact, did mistake that CO for a Leo. You cannot say "there isn't a snowballs chance in hell" because people DO mistake them. I've done it. My sister has done it, my mother. Especially people who are not experienced with any of those breeds. Google all 3 at once in separate browsers and compare. Tell me they don't look somewhat similar. They certainly are not "completely dissimilar". A chihuahua and an CO are completely dissimilar. A Leo, Estrela and CO are not completely dissimilar.
Just saying :)
I apologize for that statement, then. Fact is, the response from LittleBear was so offensive, I overstated my response. I find the Leo and CO completely dissimilar, but if other people think they are close in appearance, this is not for me to judge.
 

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I apologize for that statement, then. Fact is, the response from LittleBear was so offensive, I overstated my response. I find the Leo and CO completely dissimilar, but if other people think they are close in appearance, this is not for me to judge.
It's ok. I can be a bit of a hypocrite. I get really weirded out when someone confuses a certain thing for something that, in my opinion, is so completely different. So I understand. That CO I met was the only one I've ever met in person. And he looked so much like a Leo to me plus that breed is so rare. Leos are much more common where I'm from. Heck, there's a breeder only 20min from me and I know many people who own one so I just assumed he was a Leo as well. You can imagine my shock when I found out he was a CO :D Pleasantly shocked of course!
 

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It's ok. I can be a bit of a hypocrite. I get really weirded out when someone confuses a certain thing for something that, in my opinion, is so completely different. So I understand. That CO I met was the only one I've ever met in person. And he looked so much like a Leo to me plus that breed is so rare. Leos are much more common where I'm from. Heck, there's a breeder only 20min from me and I know many people who own one so I just assumed he was a Leo as well. You can imagine my shock when I found out he was a CO :D Pleasantly shocked of course!
To meet a CO, I had to contact a breeder in a nearby state, and have him refer me to a person who had purchased one from him who also lived within my city limits. I got lucky in that. I was planning to drive to Las Vegas to see the breeder's CO stock. I have no idea if he is a good breeder or not - I never really got that far. I started researching giant dog breeds over a year ago, and CO's really fascinated me. I ordered books on them, because you just can't find any stocked locally here, and finally got to meet the female I mentioned. As I said in my OP in this thread, I was surprised at her demeanor. Even off her property, I expected her to be, at best, highly suspicious, and at worst hostile. The owner seemed a bit surprised as well, so maybe I just smelled good to this one. I was thinking of purchasing a CO, but wanted to know enough to make a good decision. After the many warnings of the extreme responsibility involved in raising one, I knew I should meet a few prior to making a decision. I was luckier with the Leo - I contacted a local breeder, who put me in touch with an owner that used to breed, and who lives just 5 minutes from my house. I was very impressed with the Leo. I also met with the breeders themselves, and met a male/female pair of theirs, who were just as impressive. I had to drive a bit to meet a Newfoundland, but it was worth it. The breeder's ranch had 9 full-grown Newfies, and I was sold that this would be a great family dog. Newfies and Leos are, as I've read the standards, about the same size as the CO, but are very friendly and not so much work to maintain. I have other dogs, and to be honest, before taking on the CO, I think I'll wait until they've all passed, so I can dedicate my time to him/her. I never was able to meet a Tibetan Mastiff or a Kangal, but they're also fascinating. I read everything I could on all of these breeds, and watched videos to see their interaction with people and other animals, but there's only so much you can get from secondary sources, and I'd need to meet a few prior to getting one. Before arranging to bring a CO into my home, for instance, I would make certain to meet both males and females from multiple breeders prior to making a decision. I've read every book I could find on them, but nothing beats empirical evidence. Right now I'm happy with my Newfie pup. He'll be huge and strong, but also very calm and friendly, and easy to socialize. I don't have to worry about my Newfie mistaking the UPS man for a dangerous intruder, which is a good thing right now. Maybe when a CO is my only dog, or one of two.

Quick edit - I also met a few Great Pyrenees, and while a little suspicious, these turned out to be very large and friendly dogs, after they decided I was OK. They didn't bark often, but when they did, it was enough to rattle your bones. I've heard that many of the giant breeds are like that, but the Great Pyrenees are the only ones I've experienced so far. I've met a St Bernard, and I had a St Bernard mix growing up, and these are wonderful dogs as well. Tremendously strong, but very friendly. I think that sums up my giant breed meet and greets.
 

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To meet a CO, I had to contact a breeder in a nearby state, and have him refer me to a person who had purchased one from him who also lived within my city limits. I got lucky in that. I was planning to drive to Las Vegas to see the breeder's CO stock. I have no idea if he is a good breeder or not - I never really got that far. I started researching giant dog breeds over a year ago, and CO's really fascinated me. I ordered books on them, because you just can't find any stocked locally here, and finally got to meet the female I mentioned. As I said in my OP in this thread, I was surprised at her demeanor. Even off her property, I expected her to be, at best, highly suspicious, and at worst hostile. The owner seemed a bit surprised as well, so maybe I just smelled good to this one. I was thinking of purchasing a CO, but wanted to know enough to make a good decision. After the many warnings of the extreme responsibility involved in raising one, I knew I should meet a few prior to making a decision. I was luckier with the Leo - I contacted a local breeder, who put me in touch with an owner that used to breed, and who lives just 5 minutes from my house. I was very impressed with the Leo. I also met with the breeders themselves, and met a male/female pair of theirs, who were just as impressive. I had to drive a bit to meet a Newfoundland, but it was worth it. The breeder's ranch had 9 full-grown Newfies, and I was sold that this would be a great family dog. Newfies and Leos are, as I've read the standards, about the same size as the CO, but are very friendly and not so much work to maintain. I have other dogs, and to be honest, before taking on the CO, I think I'll wait until they've all passed, so I can dedicate my time to him/her. I never was able to meet a Tibetan Mastiff or a Kangal, but they're also fascinating. I read everything I could on all of these breeds, and watched videos to see their interaction with people and other animals, but there's only so much you can get from secondary sources, and I'd need to meet a few prior to getting one. Before arranging to bring a CO into my home, for instance, I would make certain to meet both males and females from multiple breeders prior to making a decision. I've read every book I could find on them, but nothing beats empirical evidence. Right now I'm happy with my Newfie pup. He'll be huge and strong, but also very calm and friendly, and easy to socialize. I don't have to worry about my Newfie mistaking the UPS man for a dangerous intruder, which is a good thing right now. Maybe when a CO is my only dog, or one of two.
Yes, see, when we get a knock on the door from the UPS man or say a solicitor of some sort, my sister's Akbash is right at the door, trying to break through to the "threat". I don't even have enough time to get to the door and the "threat" is off running. Literally :p
I'm jealous you have a newf pup. How old? I adore them. Well, I adore most of those giant teddy-bear like dogs. But there are only a select few I'd be able to own. Newfs and Leos are def a couple of them. I've met both on numerous occassions. But like you, I'd need much more interaction than that. I watch videos and read and read but it's just not enough when making such a decision. Right now I'm researching Norwegian Buhunds and Icelandic Sheepdogs. They are rare so it's difficult to get what I need to make a decision, but I plan to do what you did and meet some owners and breeders and their dogs and order some books, etc.
 

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My little guy is just 8 weeks and 2 days old. Already he's 20 lbs. I posted a couple pics of him in my "Dogzilla" post. He's really a handsome little/big guy. And very sweet, too. The Newfie tail is so thick it reminds me of a T-Rex's tail. When my little guy's dad came running up to greet us (my wife and I went to the ranch several times), he ran by the car and there was a loud 'thump' as his tail bumped our car. They can get REALLY big. One of the black girls at the ranch is only around 110 lbs, but the average is probably the same as the breed average, 130-150 lbs. I'm taking the mean average there. I've seen average weights posted that go much higher than 150 on average. My puppy's dad weighs at least 180, I would say. He's a very big boy. Sweet as can be, though. They're all very good-natured dogs.
 

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Yes I'm sure your sister could handle a CO. After all only an experienced dog owner can handle an Akbash from a working line.
IMO for working breeds there shouldn't be any difference between working and show lines, but sadly I see it more and more often.
Luckily there are still plenty good Akbash and Tatra breeders around in U.S./Canada because they're actually actively using them as livestock guardians, like the one your sister got her dog from.
I get asked if my dog is a Leonberger all the time lol and sometimes people even ask me if he's a St. Bernard cross
A Saint Bernard cross? WTH? Lmao people crack me up! I can understand confusing a CO for a Leo but a Saint Bernard mix? My sister was actually asked if her Akbash was a golden retriever once haha Seriously? And most of the time when she corrects them, they've never heard of an Akbash. You should see the looks she gets. But it pleases us whenever she gets the occasional "Is that an Akbash?" or even "Kuvazs/Maremma".
Exactly, an Akbash from working lines is pretty serious so CO wouldn't be much more trouble. You know, around here, no one shows Akbash dogs. They aren't recognized by the CKC and the only breeder I know of in Ontario is the farm owner. All the Akbashs I know of are farm dogs. So that makes me happy that at least here, they are bred for what they were meant for. I just hope that Tatra breeder is the same.
 

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Imagine if I were arguing with you about Newfoundlands and their behavior without ever owning one and telling you what you claim isn't true simply because at one point in my life I've met someone else's Newfoundland.
How would that make you feel?
That's kind of a nonissue, isn't it? The only thing Newfoundland is doing is defending his ability to correctly identify a CO and defending the dog he met as not "from that one U.S. CO breeder that is trying to make CO's more mellow." He offered several possible explanations for why the dog was exhibiting such uncharacteristic behavior, like away from home territory, young/puppy tendencies, and heavy socialization by her owner. I don't understand why this is so offensive and disrespectful to you.

lol.
 

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You are a very disrespectful person and by that I mean that you don't respect someone's experience with that breed, simply because you don't agree with them (me in this case).
How is NewfoundlandOwner "disrespecting" you? Or even disagreeing with you? I've read every post on this thread and I haven't seen a single person claiming that COs in general are big friendly goofballs. NewfoundlandOwner has researched COs and met with one breeder (and plans to meet with more breeders before ever buying one) and was surprised when that one specific CO they met was friendly -- surprised, because they know that's not the norm. You're the one being rude, coming in here, putting words in peoples' mouths and berating them because you don't think they know as much as you do. We have a couple of other CO owners on this board and they have done a lot to educate people here without being rude about it, which we definitely appreciate.

http://www.dogforums.com/dog-pictures-forum/67821-my-dogs.html (The whole thread is great; Brad describes the COs' temperament well. Also, gorgeous pictures!)

http://www.dogforums.com/general-dog-forum/65278-caucasian-ovtcharka-2.html (Mostly Brad's posts, but some others as well.)
 
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