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.