Steve Niedrauer wrote:
> By using the term "cooped up", I meant no offense.

Absolutely none taken.

  If we had a yard fence, it would defeat one
> purpose of having the dogs, which is guarding livestock.  How do you deal with
> this issue with your Pyrenees?

The Pyrs are confined in the same pastures as the livestock and live in
the barn.  They follow the stock out to graze and generally patrol the
perimeter of the fields (smallest is 25 acres) several times a day. They
rid the fields of anything that doesn't "belong"
there including racoons, groundhogs,etc. and of course this includes
larger predators like fox and coyotes.  And definitely stray dogs - but
as I said in my earlier post we don't really have that problem any
more.  These two dogs are treated much like our BCs and one is even
shown in the AKC breed ring.

In answer to your question regarding herding dogs being less likely to
kill stock - IMHO
the most efficient livestock killing machine I can think of would be a
well trained Border Collie working stock on it's own. The instinct that
makes them such efficient herding dogs is the very same instinct that
makes them efficient stalkers and hunters of prey. The only difference
between the two activities is training and the presence of a handler to
direct the dog and thus control the stalking moves before they reach
their final (instinctive) conclusion of actually killing the prey. For
what it's worth.