Livestock Guardian Dogs

Our LGDs hanging out with some of the young chickens.

Our LGDs hanging out with some of the young chickens.

We’ve had our livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) for about 8 months.  These dogs are amazing!  We got them around 12 weeks of age and they took on their role of protecting livestock within a couple of months.  It is their instinct. They consider the livestock as part of their herd and they ward off predators.  Our two, Max and Lucy, are a great pair.  If they hear or see something, they start running and barking fiercely until the threat goes away.  They scare off predators but are very friendly with us and our children.  They also welcome people that enter the barnyard with one of us in tow.

The girls hugging on Max.

The girls hugging on Max.

Max providing cover for a young turkey.

Max providing cover for a young turkey.

Here are some neat facts about our LGDs.

  1.  They are Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepard with a touch of border collie.
  2.  They don’t just protect the chickens, they let the chickens sit next to them or even on top of them.  They just aren’t bothered by the birds.  They do not have the instinct to chase them.
  3. They eat a lot of dog food.  And grain that falls on the ground.  And the occasional rabbit.
  4. We pet the dogs, we rub their bellies…but we don’t love all over them all the time.  Experts say if you treat your LGDs like you would a house pet, they will try to be a part of your herd and not the livestock herd.
  5. They are more active in the night hours, which is good for fending off coyotes and other nighttime predators.
Can you spot the LGD?

Can you spot the LGD?

These were the first dogs we ever paid money for and they were worth it.  We haven’t lost any livestock (except a poor chicken who got stuck in the electric wire) since we’ve had them.  They even seem to deter the hawks that occasionally fly overhead.  We highly recommend LGDs for anyone who is considering raising livestock.

Max is alert.  He must have heard something.

Max is alert. He must have heard something.