We are familiar with sheepdogsbut have you ever heard of cattle guard dogs?
This cute video posted on Twitter shows a stray young pup with a flock of sheep, bonding with them as he prepares to become their cattle herder.
Sheepdogs versus herdsmen
According to American Kennel Clubcattle guard dogs are capable”be reliable around livestock like sheep, pigs, goats and even chickens; have the ability to distinguish between family and potential threats; and have the ability to deter real threats to livestock.
While the AKC classifies livestock guarding dogs as part of the working group, their role is separate from that of herding dogs. What sets cattle guard dogs apart is their relationship to the herd or herd. While herding dogs work with livestock to confine them to a specific area, livestock guardians view the herd as part of their territory. However, these dogs protect their herds and the humans who care for them from outside threats.
Livestock Guardian Breeds
The video mentioned earlier shows a young Anatolian Shepherd puppy. It is one of the most commonly chosen working breeds for guarding livestock. Other breeds include the Great Pyrenees and Komondor. These dogs are renowned for their loyalty, companionship, and intuition.
The breeds chosen for this line of work are usually larger dogs with thick, white coats that help them blend in with their herds. In addition, their thick fur also serves as protection against the cold and against potential predators.
Owning a Livestock Guard Dog
Choosing a Working Breed as a companion dog can be a great decision for both rural and urban dog parents. However, it is essential to keep in mind what these breeds need to stay happy and healthy.
Due to their inherently protective nature, socialize your puppy is a priority. Although you want your dog to guard your property and your family, it is important that he is able to distinguish between a stranger and a real threat.
In addition to this, another aspect to keep in mind is the physical demands of owning a working dog. These dogs have generations of breeding meant to keep them moving and active. Like all dogs, it’s important to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Unlike smaller, more docile breeds, working dogs need a lot physical and mental stimulation to stay satisfied. For this reason, these breeds are generally not recommended for new dog owners.
Other than that, finding a livestock guard dog to bring into your family can be a great choice. They are intelligent and engaging dogs that are fiercely loyal and protective. And if you happen to have livestock, we’re sure they’ll thank you too.