How Do You Train a Maremma LGD?!
Well, I’d be happy to tell you how I train Maremma LGDs! Here’s a little back story though.
The traditional lore of how to train an LGD is vastly different than what I believe is fair, effective, and appropriate. I am a training and science geek. I really care about this stuff! I remember how frustrated I felt in my early LGD days as I tried to educate myself about the needs of an LGD and how they differ from the many companion dogs I have lived with and trained over the years. It seemed like every resource contradicted the one before or just made no sense at all. Much of what I read seemed so punitive to the dogs to me that I knew I would never be willing to use such methods, to the extent that I decided that if that is what was needed for LGDs I would find a different way to deal with the predator pressure we were encountering on my ranch. Pushed by the livestock losses we were having I just jumped in, hoping my extensive training history with animals would help me find my way. Ultimately that is what happened.
That was several years ago, but buyers of LGDs today are still faced with a confusing mess of information. I learned early on that reading Facebook posts about LGDs was a very bad idea for me because I came away from those experiences saddened, confused, and worried about the dogs I read about. As I added Maremmas to the ranch I kept reaching for a better education about how to train these incredible dogs while I learned directly from them as well.
This journey has taken me so much farther than I ever dreamed it would.
The training methodology we use here is based on current behavior science principles. It is humane, it makes sense to the dogs, and it is easy. Training dogs this way makes the trainer happy because the dogs enjoy it and it works. What I have to offer you here, in terms of my “curriculum”, is meticulously based in science and based on my vast experience in training Maremma livestock guardian dogs. I live with 20-40 working Maremmas here on the ranch every day. You can find out more about why I feel I am qualified to speak to this subject by going to my bio page on this web site, as well as visiting many other places on the site, such as the blogs library and videos.
Training the way we do is what I believe in. It doesn’t have to be what you believe in. Training is a very personal choice.
The LGD Curriculum is a project currently in development. I have not decided how I will share this information. I may create it as a blogs category, or generate it in book form such as I have done with the training manual. If you are reading this page now, I suspect you’d appreciate having this information now! My apologies for not being quite there yet. However, please do take advantage of the extensive blogs library. If you have a puppy to train, or puppies to train, please use the Follow Blush’s Litter blogs. To better understand how to use the blogs library, please see the Tips for Using Our Blogs page.
I will post updates here as this project develops. And as always, I stick by my Puppy Placement Policies page criteria as a recipe for success with LGDs. I welcome training questions so please feel free to reach out. Have fun!