About Livestock Guardian Dogs
Check out our ebook
"Raising and Training the Working
Livestock Guardian Dog"
Author: Vicki Hughes
A Possum Hollow Enterprises CD and E-Book publication.
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What is a Livestock Guardian Dog...Exactly?
Many people confuse the terms "guard" and "guardian" thinking that a guardian dog is an attack dog of some sort. We define "Guard" dogs as dogs that are trained to protect a specified area or object. Guard dogs are typically trained in this type of protection or are aggressive dogs by nature that have been placed in a situation encouraging their aggressiveness most often for the purposes of protecting property. These kinds of dogs include police dogs and military dogs on the one hand and personal or business property guard dogs on the other. "Guardian" dogs are best defined as dogs whose primary purpose is to protect and care for a specified group of animals, usually livestock. Like a "guardian angel" the purpose of a guardian dog is to do whatever is necessary to ensure the health and happiness of its charges. Guardian dogs are not trained to respond to any protection oriented commands and are expected to make sensible and intelligent decisions regarding the safety of those in their charge without the assistance (or interference) of humans. Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) are dogs bred specifically for the purpose of protecting and caring for livestock. That livestock can include any animal to which the dog has bonded.
What Does a Good LGD Do?
Good LGDs live in the pasture with the livestock all the time. They are never removed from the livestock except for veterinary visits and some require vets to visit them in the pasture as they don't want to leave their livestock behind. They remain with the livestock under all conditions, regardless of storms, heat, cold, or anything else that might tempt them to leave the stock. They watch over the stock and protect them from predators of all types from snakes and predatory birds to coyotes, cougars, bear and humans. Whatever the predators may be, the good LGD should be willing to give its life to protect the livestock. Good LGDs also care for the livestock. They will clean up wet newborns (assuming the mother allows it and surprisingly many do), eat the afterbirth to prevent it from luring predators to the newborns, lie with the babies when it is cold, or do virtually anything required to keep the livestock healthy regardless of what that may be.