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  • Writer's pictureThe Painted Egg

Livestock Guardian Dogs: Are They Really Necessary?

The answer to this question is: no they aren’t necessary. The need for this breed can be useful, if you have livestock that are left alone for a long period of time, and are in secluded area(s). In a situation like this it is very important to have a protector for your livestock but I don't recommend donkeys.

Many people might say they bought this breed for their chickens but I wouldn’t use them for poultry. At a very young age LGD tend to be quite energetic and play rough with their charge(s), and this might result in death to the animal that you hired the LGD to care for. A lot of people on social media believe this is a reason to give the dog away. Early on, you need to watch the dog carefully and train him/her. Since it’s the humans responsibility to teach the dog boundaries.

Batu Ari, our 2 year old Anatolian (Turkish) Shepherd comes from strong working lines. His grandfather was imported from Turkey. Ari has been invaluable on our farm. He has warned us of impending trouble, (predators), to letting us know when one of our sheep/lambs are injured, or in trouble. He also has let us know when the sheep are ready to lamb- this always impresses me. He will lay outside of the barn close enough to the pregnant ewe that is getting ready to deliver. Another reason he does this during lambing season is to protect the ewe’s and the lamb from the vultures, which fly around the lambing shed a few days prior to lambing. We have prepared this safe space for the new mum’s and their lambs.

Ari’s Personality Traits: Strong willed, loyal to his humans and then to stock, obedient but can become stubborn if he doesn’t feel you have confidence, in a nutshell-he won’t respect you; Ari, might jump or lunge himself against your body. I had to go about training him differently than any other breed of dog I had trained in the past. In order to garner his respect,

My preferred training method: No strong words. At times, I waited for him to tell me when he was ready for a walk. I would sit in a chair in the pasture or barn for an hour at times.

**I don’t recommend this specific breed for the inexperienced dog trainer/handler. You need to be very experienced in reading canine body language**

🐾Thank you, Ari for keeping us all safe!

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