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What is a livestock guardian dog?

 
Jan Dohner
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Posts: 39
Location: Michigan
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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
 
Mat Smith
Posts: 125
Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
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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
 
Socrates Raramuri
Posts: 59
Location: The Hague; Morocco asap
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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?
 
Sandrine Coosemans
Posts: 25
Location: Matarranya, Teruel, Spain
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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!
 
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