Here in the UP, we’ve got a lot of predators that could threaten the lives and safety of our livestock. From cayotes to wolves, birds of prey to bears, and everything else in between – there is no shortage of potential attacks. With 80 acres of land to protect, includig livestock, bees and even a garden, I see LGDs (Livestock Guardian Dogs) as a fantastic investment. Through another farmer, we found out a bout some LGDs that were for sale by a really impressive farm, Beaver Creek Full Curl Ranch. We lucked out and finally got a male dog who just happened to be pick of the litter at a deal that we couldn’t refuse. He’s a puppy now, but will eventually get to mate with our other dogs (we have three other LGDs on our farm, all females). And if I do say so myself (which, I do!), he’s the very definition of the word adorable.
This was my very first view of the new pup. It was all I could do to resist grabbing the pup instead of my camera. Since he’s an LGD, we won’t be spoiling him with attention the way we might spoil a family dog. But I just had to get it out of my system; I think we all did. So I sat down for my fix.
Believe me, he’s even softer and cuddlier in person than he is in the photo. But what should we name him? We started to toss ideas around… Bear, Aeries, Zeuss… What name do you think would fit him best? My boys love to name the dogs after Greek Gods and Goddesses. Now that we’ve all had our “fix,” it was time to bring the new pup to the barn for a little meet and greet.
The goats aren’t sure about him yet, and neither is Athena. They did their little butt sniffs while the goats looked on from a short distance. Goats are so funny about the silliest things. Or maybe they just think he’s a really strange looking goat. The second they thought that no one was paying attention, the goats were after the pup. They wanted to challenge and headbutt him.
We walked him around the rest of the barn, giving him a chance to get to know the rabbits, chickens, pigs, and sheep too. In the end, we placed him in his own, confined area to get used to his new home and all the new noises that come with it. And it wasn’t easy walking away and leaving him in the barn for the first night either. I mean, just look at that face!
If you’re considering purchasing a livestock guardian dog and you’re not sure where to start, be sure to read our Quick Chat About Livestock Guardian Dogs. I can help you with things you should consider like what to look for in a dog, what qualifies a dog as an LGD and other helpful tidbits.
Do you have livestock guardian dogs or other guardian animals? Do you train them yourself?