• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

What is a livestock guardian dog?

 
author
Posts: 39
Location: Michigan
4
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Many folks are confused about which breeds are considered livestock guardians and why these breeds are different from other dog breeds. Here is an article I wrote explaining this and listed the breeds that are considered livestock guardians.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/is-this-breed-a-livestock-guard-dog-zbcz1408.aspx
 
Posts: 125
Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for that link Jan, it answered a lot of the questions I had in regard to LGD, and you even quoted specifically the dog my wife and I want to get when we move to acreage - the border collie.
I guess we'll just have to have the border collie as a pet, and maybe to round up stock rather than protect stock.

Mat
 
Posts: 59
Location: The Hague; Morocco asap
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the post and article, Jan.
I plan to set up shop in Morocco. I looked into many of the dogs on your list before, then i ran into the Rhodesian Ridgeback and instantly fell in love with what i read. The more i read, the more impressed i became.
So i'd like your opinion on the Rhodesian Ridgeback. It's big enough, it's origins are African, and it's historically been used as guardian dog in Africa. Is it not on your list because it's hard to come by in the States?
 
Posts: 30
Location: Spain (Europe)
chicken solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Socrates, not sure if you're still looking for an answer, but I know a few people with Rhodesian Ridgebacks. None of them are kept as 100% livestock guardians, but I've heard they do a good job keeping predators away.

Jan, I love the article. When we decide to move off the grid and started looking for a guard dog (not only guarding the livestock, but the whole homestead), my first choice was a Rottweiler - they were originally bred as LGD's. Unfortunately, local laws make it quite expensive to own one (or more), as they're on a blacklist and require extra registration and insurances (also, maybe not the best breed to attract customers if you want a bed & breakfast).
My second choice was a Labrador; I used to have one, I found them very easy to train and mine barked when there were intruders, and that's what a guard dog should do, right?
We ended up getting a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and this really changed the way I looked at dogs. He has an extraordinary instinct for all things guarding; even as a puppy, he could make the difference between people's dogs visiting our place (he would play with them) or stray dogs / passing hunting dogs - he would chase them away, usually by just barking and looking terrifying. A few weeks ago, he chased away a massive wild boar that found its way to our land (not a predator, but can still do devastating things to our vegetable garden).
Our only regret is that we didn't raise him right; he grew up in the city (we thought it would be good to get him used to things like trains, busses, black people, veiled people, busy places,... - however, none of those can be found on our piece of farmland. And now he goes nuts when he sees a goat (wants to play! They're all jumpy and fun!) because he's never seen one before... Yes, that part we would do differently!
 
garden master
Posts: 3170
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
1113
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think this a pretty good explaination of what a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) is:



And this is a little about just the Great Pyrenees:



This is Brenda Negri on livestock guardian dogs, and an article she wrote:



These are some of the breeds of livestock guardian dogs out there:





 
Posts: 1629
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
83
bee chicken duck forest garden greening the desert homestead kids pig
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't see the Akbash on any of those pictures. Perhaps because both akbash we have SUCK at guarding anything. lol

Fantastic kid dogs though. lol
51730815_10156988558668633_4832634486346743808_o.jpg
[Thumbnail for 51730815_10156988558668633_4832634486346743808_o.jpg]
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1629
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
83
bee chicken duck forest garden greening the desert homestead kids pig
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
LGD tea party?

Haha. I mean I love them but only one of them is capable of guarding and he's the Pyr. The other two are just people dogs. The electrician once sent me a picture of him hugging our akbash over the fence. I was like......what a killa.
37284635_10156509227963633_669995721147023360_o.jpg
[Thumbnail for 37284635_10156509227963633_669995721147023360_o.jpg]
37828454_10156537310353633_4591305226081796096_o.jpg
[Thumbnail for 37828454_10156537310353633_4591305226081796096_o.jpg]
 
Posts: 16
3
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
From what I've read, an Anatolian Sheppard is the biggest toughest livestock guardian dog there is. In its traditional farm uses, it would stand up to bears and cheetahs. It stands 2 1/2 feet tall and weighs well over 100 lbs, yet is still nimble and quick. It won't just stand by and guard a herd, it will roam and hunt down the predators before they attack the herd. In North America it would stand up to a cougar. This breed is fearless and most any predator would rather just avoid a fight with a dog this big, even if it's a fight the predator would win. Thing is, for a wild animal an injury is often fatal, it doesn't matter if the cougar would win the fight and then die from an infection a week later it still doesn't want that fight it would rather just go hunt deer instead. Just be aware that an Anatolian Sheppard is an independent minded dog and requires an owner and trainer who does their due diligence in training it properly... They may even be afraid of humans if not properly raised. Its not like raising a black lab to try to own one of these dogs.

 
pioneer
Posts: 112
34
homestead hugelkultur medical herbs
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thing about guardian dogs...at least with my experience with them...and i went through 4 lifetimes of great pyrenees males...is that they are just what they are supposed to be...no exception to my knowledge :)

i dont know if there is a better method of obtaining a companion, guard, and protector in all the pkg...other than buying a pyrenees...for me...it was an amazing ride...and i will miss them...

see, we sold our big farm and we moved...and the place we moved to wasn't big enough...and we had to leave noah.

noah came after moses, elijah, and eli (ALL pyrenees...our years on that farm were many...where i raised my boys...the pyrenees kept safe, so that i could rest a little easier--3 BOYS)...they were all wonderful and they all did their job...all were able to live out our life on the farm...from 8 weeks to the end of their lives...except noah, he was the last...God saved the best to last... and although he lived out our life on the farm...he has yet to live out his. he was the light of the farm...taking care of our goats, chickens, pigs, us and believe it or not my mother...who became his number one when she walked out of the front door...mom came to my home when she was diagnosed with alzheimers in 2009...we bought noah in 2013 , and during the time we were on that farm, as her condition deteriorated...noah proved himself in a way i had never heard...he became her service dog...all on his on...no training...no urging...really, mother never did anything to or for him that i know...it was just....well...it was just that it seemed that he knew...and he stayed by her side...if she wandered...he would jump up...walk RIGHT BESIDE HER...and head her back when she got to the light pole...no crap...100% of the time...would just move right to the front of her and gently turn...around her...and bring her right back to the front door...it was the most INCREDIBLE INCREDIBLE thing i have ever witnessed...1 year gone and momma still asks about him!!!

i don't figure he would have done well any where off of the farm...he was a big huge boy known for pulling up coyotes hides from the back 40 pretty much every few days to the front yard...where he would commence to making his perch in our front yard under the big shade trees...looking straight towards the front door for all to see and just chew on it...deer, and a few other things too...dont know what they did and when he would go hunting God only knows...i only ever saw him laying around and would almost tell you he never left his spot...but i know he did...cause of all of my blessed years living on that land...we never lost not one chicken to a predator during noahs juvenile or adult life...our chickens were free ranging and had no barriers whatsoever...they just went wherever they wanted...noah raised them!  as they grew, they chose to roost just a few feet from...you guessed it...noah!!! :) they would all sleep together...was so cute...figured out that i would never get any eggs that way though...cause noah was an egg sucking dog...and my guess is that is why he so loved and protected his chickens...so, i cooped my younger hens, and gave him his very own older hens to watch over...they would now and again drop him an egg...and he would get it...and carry it to his spot...ever so gently...and crack it and eat the whole damn thing...NO JOKE!!! LOL...the vet would tend to him by coming out to the farm...as noah would NOT get in a moving vehicle and he would NOT leave that farm!!! other neighboring dogs would come to see him...he would walk the place with them...ended up with quite a harem...but, he never let them near his flocks...and he never let them near his kills...would just lay there...king of his own little palace...

any way we never lost a goat or any other thing with four legs on our farm due to wild creatures...never knew him to kill a raccoon...but never saw one of those little masked bandits on my place either...and i know they had to be there...

such as it is...when we sold the farm, although noah had our hearts...all of our hearts...we would in the end, be asked to make one of the most difficult choices i have ever had to make...see, that was noahs farm...that was HIS farm...and the people who were buying it...fell in love with him too...so, instead of us keeping noah and uprooting him...we made the choice to leave him there...it was the right thing to do for noah...for all of his love and commitment to us...we knew it was the farm that held his heart...now, he has him a girlfriend pyrenees who stays by his side...and every now and again i get an update...

point of all of this rambling is that, for me, that is what a guardian dog is...noah...and i miss him...and i know he is doing just what he has always done...on his own terrain...in his own way...calling his own shots...with his girlfriends by his side, and being loved by another family...yet, i think of him in a selfish way and wish he were here...with us...and i also know that it was one of my saddest days...leaving him there...as i drove away...that i can never see him again...i was never his job...mom was not his job...his job was to make sure that farm was watched over and protected..and that he still does well!!!
IMAG4106.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG4106.jpg]
IMAG4111.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG4111.jpg]
IMAG4352.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG4352.jpg]
IMAG4353.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG4353.jpg]
IMAG1574.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG1574.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 3008
594
books cat chicken duck rabbit transportation trees woodworking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would have to agree; I am not sure there could be a better dog for a farm then a Great Pyrenees.

My dog not only guards, but herds the sheep, loves the kids, plays well with us, never asks for anything but food and water. Yet with (2) Fox, and (2) coyote kills to her name, what more could I ask for?


DSCN0090.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN0090.JPG]
 
teri morgan
pioneer
Posts: 112
34
homestead hugelkultur medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote:I would have to agree; I am not sure there could be a better dog for a farm then a Great Pyrenees.

My dog not only guards, but herds the sheep, loves the kids, plays well with us, never asks for anything but food and water. Yet with (2) Fox, and (2) coyote kills to her name, what more could I ask for?




awwww travis...she is BEAUTIFUL!!! HOW I MISS MY NOAH!!!:(
 
Posts: 122
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
18
bee books cat dog fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur solar ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My neighbors have four dogs, a great Pyrenees, a huge I don't know what and two Bassett hounds. They bark for hours on end. to the point that we've contacted the animal control officer and the sheriff The sheriff had to explain to them that after 1/2 hour they are breaking the law. They claim that they are guardian livestock dogs so the law does not apply. They have chickens, 3 fainting goats, and a horse. I say that if the dogs do not live with the flock then they don't qualify as LGD. They sleep in the house, not the barn. The one deputy agrees with me. What say you?
 
Won't you be my neighbor? - Fred Rogers. tiny ad:
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!