Here in the remote reaches of North-Central Idaho raising livestock, like chickens, pigs, sheep or even cattle can be quite the ordeal! It is part of our moral responsibility to give our animals the best possible life until it comes time to harvest. Each species requires different elements for them to express their unique God given pigness or cowness or chickness… or whatever, but one thing they all have in common is not being eaten or harassed by predators before their designated departure from this earth to our freezer or someone else’s! This is where the livestock guardian comes into play. There are many schools of thought on the subject, but here at the TCH (Traditional Catholic Homestead) we decided a livestock guardian dog would be the ticket!
Last year we bought Odin, a Great Pyrenees/Anatolian cross. When searching for
your LGD (livestock guardian dog) try to get one that is pure guardian dog like pyrenees, anatolian, maremma, etc. or any combination of them. These animals have been breed hundreds of years to do their jobs well and reliably, once you start mixing the results could be unreliable at best! They do work best in groups, so one day we may add another to the pack, but that won’t be for a while. Most breeds need plenty of space to roam so keep that in mind before purchasing one. As a side note LGD’s don’t just guard your livestock. Our garden losses to deer have been drastically reduced since Odie’s arrival and many unannounced visitors (solicitors, religious pontificators, etc.) have failed to exit their vehicles and just leave…. LGD’s are big, intimidating animals that instinctively perform their duties. They do learn the nuances of their job from older animals though, so in the case of LGD’s more is actually more. They don’t really eat anymore food than a smaller dog so that’s not really a problem.
I found this cool video to share with you guys that has some pretty good basic info on LGD’s and why you should think about getting one if you have livestock or a garden or or your family that you want to protect from predators (this is my first post with Vimeo media so hopefully it works out OK):
If the imbedded video doesn’t work right here’s the link: https://vimeo.com/6035427