Livestock Guardian Dogs: Working on Common Ground
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Livestock Guardian Dogs: Working on Common Ground

October 22, 2019

My name is Cody Lockhart And I ranch in north-central, Saskatchewan. When we first moved up to this northern parkland, we found the coyotes were packing up in the winter and we were losing about one 80- to 90-pound wether every morning. It was almost like clockwork. Economically, it simply wasn’t viable to lose 1% of our flock every morning. It just it’s overwhelming. You can’t exist under that stress. And if you managed to successfully eradicate the local population, a new pack or a new group, or a breeding pair will come in. It’s like taking buckets out of a stream. So we started seriously looking into livestock guardian dogs. Having been a former cattle rancher myself, I totally understand and empathize with the loss they’re going through. My name is Brenda Negri. I raise livestock guardian dogs full-time, and my goal has been to produce dogs that will effectively work in non-Lethal predator control. The breeds that I brought over here were used in Europe for centuries, who have gone through much modification through the decades and centuries. The Livestock guardian dog breeds aren’t about moving or herding stock. They’re about protecting stock. The guarding instinct is ingrained in them. It goes back centuries. It’s what they are. We started with one dog, one Great pyrenees. They’re a very good dog for staying with the sheep and the flock, and primarily bark or even round the sheep up a little bit to stay with them. And so we’re really happy with that. However, they aren’t really much of a match for a pack of coyotes or a wolf coming in, so we added two Anatolian Shepherds to that mix which were more aggressive dog. And they were more athletic and muscular, had more bone to them than the Pyrenees and the Marama. And they’ll be, you know, 100 or 115 pounds We ended up increasing both the number of dogs we were running, and the type of dogs that we had. So we have quite a variation and the other thing we did was we put spiked collars on them. It really helps mitigate the pack interactions, so we felt we also needed to protect the younger dogs, sspecially as they grow up in the pack situation, and so things didn’t get carried on too far. I put collars on my dogs at home. It can serve a lot of purposes – for protection and as almost a weapon. They may even get cocky about it, but wearing the collar will definitely add confidence because they know they can’t be hurt. Our ranch is located 15 miles southwest of Prince Albert National Park, where there is a resident protected wolf population. The Saskatchewan government ended up tracking two wolves within a half mile of our sheep. A few of our dogs started to come home pretty beat up and chewed on and we realized we needed a stronger bigger more athletic dog. And so we introduced the Kangal dogs who stay out a little further from the sheep on their perimeter checks. But they’re also more equipped to engage in a coyote or wolf pack fight, if need be. When you get a Kangal, they are the alpha in your pack. They’re like an Anatolian on steroids. They’re very comfortable existing with the sheep throughout the day, but if they’re, you know, on the heels of a predator, they keep chasing it until the chase ends. A lot of people with working Kangals, they would be hesitant to get a dog with that level of aggression and prey drive, but we’ve never had cause for concern and even the Kangals are just big Teddy Bears around the girls. They just are completely submissive to them. And that’s fantastic because we view ranching as a family activity. So we’re happy that we can take our one-year-old and our two-year-old out there. But if you interact with these dogs, you’ll see right away that they’re only aggressive with predators. You know the idea is not to create this kind of super dog or this impressively sized dog that can kill wolves. All we have to do is make our pack of dogs formidable enough that when a resident pack of wolves or a group of coyotes encounters our sheep, or our cattle, they make a decision to find an easier meal. We really enjoy having a mixed pack of dogs because each breed of dog seems to have its own job that it does very well, and if we had all Kangals, so I think we’d have a pack of Kangals running around chasing coyotes and wolves all day long, and there would be no one left to guard the sheep. And if we had all white dogs, I think they’d be run ragged around inside the fence. As our numbers grew we kind of felt that we needed about one dog per hundred sheep. We’ll probably add a dog every year year and a half so that we always have a dog younger being trained by older dogs in the pack. And don’t wait to bring on a new pup. It gives your older dogs a chance to train the younger dogs, and they come up better. And I think when they’re healthier and happier, they’re going to work better for you. It’s hard to watch them go when they’re little. They have a life ahead of them that’s going to include confrontation with predators, save livestock and make people’s lives a little easier. That my main goal is to be able to help ranchers coexist with predators out there in a positive way where everybody wins. It’s a win-win for the rancher, for the livestock, and the predators. People call me up and tell me they can finally get a full night’s sleep. When I get feedback like that, it makes me happy because I know I’m doing something right here. We manage this entire ranch to be sustainable. So we’re not here to eradicate wolves, or foxes, or bears, or cougars, or coyotes. You know we can coexist with them. And that’s what’s beautiful about livestock guardian dogs – they’re the linchpin in an overall risk management strategy. And they take the job seriously. They’re part of your team. And that’s that’s very encouraging to know that you have such a great partner out there.

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  1. My two LGDs keeps my goats alive and well
    Before them I lost more than half of our kids
    Both dogs have big wide spike collars
    Texas is over run with coyotes and wild hogs
    Both kill and eat goats

  2. We had a chow chow that kept all predators at bay. He was amazing in 8 years we never lost a bird and we have 30 or so that have never been penned up. We live in the woods and people get bobcat and bear right out in the acres behind our home. Things just never went beyond his markings. We're training a new guy right now. He's only 4 months so he's more of a pet for now.

  3. Fanstastic stuff. What about Alpacas or donkeys for guarding? They can easily take on wolves and coyotes.

    How do you keep the dogs from bonding with each other over the sheep?

  4. Very informative, which breeds would be better with goats? Are they instinctively protective of other animals or must they be trained in the beginning?

  5. Ohh I love livestock guardian dogs. So powerful and protective yet so loyal and loving to their family. Truly amazing dogs!

  6. NON LETHAL is stupid cityidiots idea of whats good. Here in Alaska cityidiots introduced coyotes now they are all over the fucking place killing all the moose. I would like to drop a city fuck in the woods and let them get hunted like ive been. non lethal bs bunny huggers kill more deere with there cars. Now put in coyotes + wolves +hunters+ bears = no fucking deere or moose dumb fucks. shoot every killer u see before they get u and yours. This year moose hunting all i see is bones from coyotes killing every thing and they are not even suppose to be here THANKS DUMASS CITY FUCKS and your bs paper wildlife management fly over an area see 1 moose and say ya there is 100 moose here dum fux fish and game has been so full of shit on salmon counts so gill netters can rape Alaska of fish so all the U fat fux in Newyork can throw there salmon in the trash or feed there shit stinking cats my fukin salmon just in my short life the fish have gone down to 10% or less and BS fish and game keeps fuckin pumping bs reports and fagass Netflix pumping ads we need gill netters to keep there jobs BULLSHIT in the past 10 years we had 10 gill netters now we have 10000 new rapist netters coming up here rape and leave piles of trash and leave so all the fat sheep can eat sushi fuking cityidoits

  7. I actually love the kangals there brave dogs i never seen one before but i will love to see one one day

  8. If you want these dogs to be a type of protection, never and I mean never introduce your children to go jump on them. The most unstable dog is a confused dog. That's why dogs get a bad name, when you confuse them, then they are deadly!!!!!!

  9. Wtf is with those collars.. you really dont need that! Many of my family members has livestock and they dont have those… I have beagles that i hunt with.. yes they do have padding protection but not spike things…

  10. They have adapted a good balance of dogs. GPs are great within the heard wheres anatoly shepherds and Kangals are aggressive parameter patrollers-same with ovcharkas.

  11. I'm Turkish and my uncle has a kangal/wolfdog mix. It's longer than 2 meters on its back legs. He's protecting their house, he was shot when he's doing its job and even he was shot he didn't let thief go. (Bit the thiefs leg until my uncle comes.) My uncle didn't buy it, came their home by himself and started guarding. He is so aggressive to others/harmful people and animals but he's a teddy bear for us. I can touch his mouth, teeth, walk him with leash and my little cousin can ride on him (not for long time, just a few seconds). He is so gentle, when i offer him a treat he will hit my hand gently to drop it on the floor. He knows he can hurt me. I love our gentle giant.

  12. at 1m35 she feeds her dogs entire raw chicken, in my youth there was this myth to not feed your dog whole chicken or chicken bones as they might get stuck in their throath.. Myth busted right?

  13. while hiking in Nevada, we came across Great Pyrenees guarding goats, they stood their distance and barked at us.

    I was freaking out cause they are one of my fav breeds doing what they were bred for. When they realized we were of no concern, they vanished into the herd. I was so happy!

  14. Wait. So the government tracked two wolves half a mile from the farm and didn’t relocate them? I find that so irresponsible.

  15. When they spoke about bringing in the Anatolian shepherd I was thinking good call because that’s like the smaller equivalent to a Kangal and lo and behold they brought in a Kangal

  16. Such a beautiful look at Ranch life with such conscious and consistent commitment to having their dogs and family share and respect each other in a common goal. City Folk could learn a lot from this model!

  17. Them girls need some teaching in respecting dogs.. or animals in general. You do not try to ride a dog or climb on them..

  18. I’ve said this before BUILD A FUCKING WALL cos you too fucking cheap to sort out an actual pen that’s why the coyotes are in there smh farmers are a joke man

  19. This is a such a great video the only thing i’m concerned about is how matted the Great Pyrenees looks. i have one and & i know how much matted hair becomes a problem especially excessive hair. Grooming them daily wouldn’t hurt. They look happy though but i know a good groom wouldn’t hurt lol

  20. i disliked until i watched from 4:34 Though id whish they encounter some thieves that shoot their dogs and rob their cattle and cross the border 🙂

  21. I have a combination of the Great Pyrenees, Caucasian Ovcharka and the Tibetan Mastiffs on my farm in Puerto Rico. We don't have Wolves or Bears. But we do have rustlers who have actually killed farmers for their cattle and livestock.

  22. Good doggies. Much bigger than coyotes too, so its safer for them. Also with that thick fur coat they can be out there in the cold weather

  23. Marema and the Spanish great pirrinea is to good shepherd dog ! The best dog for protecting your animal is Caucasian dog , kangal, Greek Shepherd,sapralinac Shepherd and alabai- Central Asian Shepherd! This breeds is the best of the best for sheep’s and cows

  24. Its comen in my country to use wolfs (breed for guarding)
    Mainly deu tk domenance stamina and strength

    Dont know about youre Country but shuld defnitly try

  25. a few farmhands with ARs and thermal optics could get right and rid of those fucking coyotes…
    but you can't have guns up there in cuckland can you?

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