The Indispensable Ally: Benefits of Using an LGD on Your Homestead
Time to read 4 min
Time to read 4 min
Homesteading is a rewarding yet challenging endeavor that requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure the well-being of both animals and property. One invaluable ally in this pursuit is the Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD). These specially bred and trained canines play a crucial role in protecting livestock, crops, and property, offering a range of benefits that contribute to a thriving homestead.
LGDs have a natural instinct to protect. Bred for centuries to guard livestock against predators, these dogs possess an innate sense of responsibility towards the animals they are tasked to protect. Their presence alone acts as a deterrent, discouraging potential threats from approaching the homestead.
One of the primary roles of LGDs is to safeguard livestock from predators such as wolves, coyotes, and even large birds of prey. Their vigilant nature and territorial instincts make them formidable protectors, reducing the risk of predation on valuable animals. This not only preserves the economic value of the livestock but also ensures the emotional well-being of the homesteader who forms a bond with their animals.
With an LGD on duty, homesteaders can experience significantly reduced losses due to predation. This translates to economic savings and a more sustainable homestead. Additionally, the reduced stress on livestock, caused by the constant threat of predators, can positively impact the health and productivity of the animals.
Beyond protecting livestock, LGDs are versatile in safeguarding the entire homestead. They serve as a first line of defense against intruders, whether human or animal. Their alertness and protective nature make them effective in deterring burglars, trespassers, or potential threats to the homestead's security.
LGDs are known for their independent and low-maintenance nature. Unlike some other forms of security, they don't require constant supervision. Once properly trained, they can work autonomously, patrolling the homestead and intervening only when necessary. This makes them a practical and sustainable choice for homesteaders looking for effective yet manageable security solutions.
While LGDs are fierce protectors, they also offer companionship to the homesteader. Their loyalty and affectionate nature create a unique bond that goes beyond the traditional roles of a working dog. Many homesteaders find comfort in having a loyal companion that not only provides security but also becomes an integral part of the family.
In the realm of homesteading, where the delicate balance between nature and cultivation must be maintained, Livestock Guardian Dogs emerge as indispensable allies. Their natural protective instincts, versatility, low maintenance requirements, and the emotional bonds they forge make them an invaluable asset to any homestead. As guardians of livestock and property, LGDs contribute to the sustainability, security, and overall success of the homesteading lifestyle.
Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) come in various breeds, each with its unique characteristics, temperament, and origin. These breeds have been selectively bred for their protective instincts, making them well-suited for guarding livestock against predators. Here are some of the main breeds of Livestock Guardian Dogs along with a brief description of each:
Anatolian Shepherd Dog:
Polish Tatra Sheepdog (Tatra Mountain Sheepdog):
These LGD breeds share common traits such as loyalty, courage, and protective instincts, but each has unique characteristics that make them suitable for different environments and types of livestock. The selection of an LGD breed depends on factors such as the specific needs of the homestead, climate, and the type of livestock being raised.
We personally have both a Akbash and a Great Pyrenees on hour homestead as LGDs. We also have a 1/2 Catahoula 1/2 Maremma mix who works more as a herder than a guardian most of the time.
The Akbash, (Baby Thor) spends his time out with the goat on our homestead. Our Great Pyrenees,
Loki, our Great Pyrenees (we call him "Our Polar Bear") is unfortunately 100% deaf, but does live in our backyard. He can feel rumbles and alerts us to cars and unwanted traffic. And boys does his sniffer work still as an LGD!
The Catahoula/Maremma mix, Luna, spends her days out in the field with the animals, but does come inside at night as a watch dog inside. She doesn't look like the typical LGD, but rather is a brindle Catahoula. We did meet her mom when we picked her out.
We love how friendly our LGDs are to the family, but they also will let us know if there is anything on our property that shouldn't be, including people.
Baby Thor managed to trap and corner, while alerting us to the nasty skunk that we trying to eat our chickens. His bark changed and we knew What a Good Boy and he is still in training.
As long as we have farm animals, We will also always have LGDs on our property. I can't imagine a life without their help and their love.