Tag Archives: livestock guard dog

The Queengdom Is At Stake

Queen Claire, our Pyrenees, is the ruler of our land.  I nominated her and voted for her at election time as she is more wise than I. She is more calm and patient than I.  She is prettier and more fairer over all the land than I.  She is gentle, soft and frosty.



I can’t begin to compete with the gloriousness of her tongue.   Most of all, the most content being  I have met.  I aspire to be Claire.

Claire was  met with our other Pyrenees, Francis, when we moved our goats and  Francis over to Claire’s palace. Claire kindly welcomed her and has been putting up with Francis’ immaturity ever since.  Although Francis is beginning to get that she is a Pyr now and that work is first and foremost.

Serious guarding goin' on.

Serious guarding goin’ on.

Great Pyrenees have an impressive history as Livestock Guard Dogs.  Roaming the slopes of  the Pyrenees  mountains of France and Spain,  they can maintain in the most frigid of temperatures.  Which is fortunate for us this week.

It is  unfortunate that the rescue scene for this breed has grown quite large because at first site they are fluffy, cute, white puppies.  What is not known about them is they are not domesticated dogs.  Their instinct to work is still bred strong.  As a result, their behavior can be off-putting by humans.  The main complaint is that they start barking at dusk  and wind down at dawn patrolling their pasture perimeter in order to protect their flock.


They are aloof.  And an invisible fence can not keep them from the distance and effort they risk to keep their flock safe.  We knew all that going in.  To watch them ward off hawks and other predators is nothing short of spectacular.   I was feeding Francis a few weeks back.  She was all hunkered down at her bowl ready to devour her hard-earned kiblits and out of the corner of her eye she saw a flash of shadow on the ground.   She knew immediately that danger was present.   She went tearing off to shelter and protect.  I looked up and there was a Red-Tailed Hawk swooping back and forth over the pasture.  Good job, Francis.

The territory is at risk of a take over while I digress.

When you order day old chicks from a hatchery,  they come via the good ol’ USPS.  They call you when they arrive at the post office and you run your little buns  over to pick them up fast, fast, fast,  before the little critters fail.  They are sexed at birth and I always order hens. That makes the most sense since I’m in the market for eggs.  Every once in a while a mistake is made and a rooster is thrown in there.  It is not to be revealed until they are 3 months of age when you begin to hear a strange throaty sound coming out of one of them.   We have one that has just been revealed.  When he realizes that he is a he…..well…. watch out world cause there will be an overthrow attempt.  Every time I visit  the pasture he lets me know that he is NOW in charge of all with his puffed up chest.


Now some of these chickens have not been in the same room with a gentleman rooster for over three years.  These last couple of weeks have been traumatic to say the least for the lowly hens.  It has been survival of the fittest to be sure.

Some hens stand frozen with their beaks to the wall hoping if they stand still long enough  and they can’t see HIM,  just maybe he can’t see THEM and will leave them alone.  And might I add that….well… some would simply rather die than to be subjected to the goings on that he brings into our Chickondo.   Three to be exact.  My farmer friend who spends time here once a week, Mr. Shady, said he would take him off my hands.  He is good at doing that.  Thank you, Mr. Shady. I may take you up on that.


In the meantime, maybe Mr. Rooster will freeze his little…………….never mind..

Have a super weekend.



Leave a comment

Filed under Farm

Queen Of The Farm

Uh…no,  it is not I.

It is Claire.  Claire is very popular as you might imagine by looking at her photo.

Her tongue sticks out like that all the time.  Poor thing’ s tongue is too long for her mouth.  You should watch as she tries to eat her food.  The stuff is flying all over the place.

Claire has a palace that includes two homes.  She has the Chick-Condo and she has her Summer Cottage.
It is hard to understand how we can have a dog as beautiful and wonderful as this and we don’t let her out of her pasture.     She is a Great Pyrenees.  They are livestock guard dogs who take their jobs extremely serious.  Many people get them because they are so beautiful but find they are difficult to handle and keep in place.  As a result there is a huge rescue community for all the Pyrs that have been given up because they didn’t “behave”.  Ours is lovely because she is doing exactly what she was bred to do.  Work.

Let’s take a peek.

Her pasture.

She has never been out of this pasture.  It is about twice the size that you see here.  She owns this pasture and guards it well.

The front of her domain as we walk to her house.

The Chick-Condo

She guards the chickens. And a goat or two.    The chickens have half the condo and she has the other half.  She cannot access their quarters because she will eat the eggs,  but they can sneak into hers.

She has about 24 chickens that she guards. It works.  We have guinea hens that roam around our property and we are losing them to predators.  We have never lost a chicken under the watchful eye of Claire.   As soon as we go in at night and the sun goes down, she begins walking the perimeter of the pasture  and barks a lot.  Pyrs do that.  We knew that going in and we accept that.  It is part of their job.  She rallies all night  until dawn.   Claire never makes a peep during the daylight hours unless there is a visible threat.  She rests.   She is very happy doing her job.

The infirmary

The little coop you see in the photo is the infirmary.  That is where hens go when Claire has licked them to near death.  She has never killed a chicken and is very gentle with them but she likes to toss them about and lick them.  Sometimes I will go out there and there will be a chicken lying on its back with its legs straight up in the air playing dead while she licks her tummy.

The Summer Cottage

This is Claire’s getaway cottage.  We found her there a lot this summer as it gets lots of shade.  Sometimes she just needs to get away from her stressful life and vacation for a while.  The flock goes crazy when she is away.  Party time.

But she doesn’t stay gone for too long.  Other wise, someone may come along and take the eggs.

And we wouldn’t want that to happen now, would we?

Please, do not worry that Claire gets lonely at her palace. Her home is in the middle of everything that ever goes on around here.  She misses nothing.   She gets visitors all the time.  We walk with her 3 times a day in her pasture and she is constantly battling all the other critters who want to be part of her posse.  Because she is queen of the land.

She is the happiest, most content dog we have ever had.  We attribute that to letting her do her job.   She has taught us so much about living with and training dogs.   Any dog that is raised on this property going forward  will be trained for  a job.  Thanks, Claire, for teaching us that really important lesson.

Thanks for stopping by.

God bless,



Filed under Farm