LIVESTOCK GUARDIAN DOGS
What's so great about LGD's?
Livestock Guardian Dogs or LGD's are fantastic animals. That's not saying anything against those who like to use llamas or donkeys, over time dogs have become the preferred guardian animal at GSR.
At one time a llama resided on the ranch. He was a funny animal, never a pet and always wary of any human getting close to him, but he was never an animal that could be called "guardian" in any sense of the word. If something spooked him, rather than staying to protect the goats, he would run back to the barn. The goats would follow him just to find out what the big deal was all about. Sometimes he was scared by something as simple as a low flying airplane or a helicopter and at other times only the llama knew.
Donkeys were considered for a brief time. A local goat producer bought a donkey for their goats at about the same time as the llama was acquired at GSR. Donkeys bond to the charges they protect. This donkey had the simple task to guard less than 20 goats. The goat producer also owned a few exotic animals, one of which was a buffalo. Yes, you guessed it, the donkey bonded to a young male buffalo, the last animal on their ranch that needed a donkey to protect it.
The next guardian animal experiment at GSR was Livestock Guardian Dogs. Visions of dogs chasing, harassing or mauling the goats came to mind at just the thought of placing canines in with a herd of goats.
The wild life that was capable of threatening goats that existed on or surrounding the ranch consisted of skunk, possum, raccoon, bobcat, coyote, fox, hawk, owl, eagle and occasionally a pair of mountain lions. Goats that were owned by others in the neighboring area were disappearing at a rate of nearly one per month, so something had to be done quickly before the GSR herd met the same fate.
The songs of the coyotes came nightly and lasted until the early morning hours. Owls swooped through the starlit night, knocking adult guinea fowl from their roosts high in the trees, turning them into midnight snacks. The sound of rabbits as they were being caught by wildlife cut through the brisk night air and the nervous voices coming from the goats sounded an alarm that time was quickly running out on G Squared Ranch.
The first dogs that were employed at GSR during the spring of 2008 were two young 3/4 Pyrenees and 1/4 Anatolian named, appropriately, Bonnie and Clyde. Later that fall a group of Anatolians called GSR their home, too. During the spring kidding of 2009 these dogs proved their value and their natural skills at being guardians.
When the goats started kidding, that spring, the coyote songs became louder, closer to the barn area and sounded much more daring to those listening. The LGD's went into high gear, at night fall, their barking would start up and wouldn't cease until morning. Then, came the smell of skunk. The dogs reeked as if they had came in contact with a family of skunks rather than just one. The barn and surrounding area was so strong with the pungent aroma of skunk it took the pleasure right out of the daily hunt for new additions to the GSR herd.
Then the LGD's started bringing the coyotes to the barn area for dinner or that is, the LGD's had dinner. If the coyotes were too slow to run off, the dogs dispatched them. Between the reek of the skunk and the left over's of the coyotes, the barn yard wasn't quite the same for the next month or two.
The final deed the LGD's committed that spring was when the kids were about a month or two old and a very large bird decided that some of them looked as if they might make the bird a nice meal. The guardians spotted the bird threatening to snatch one of the kids in the herd. From that day forward these dogs not only protect the goats from what's running on the ground, they also keep a watch for those things that soar in the sky. Nothing gets past the watchful eyes, loud barks and fast feet of these dogs.
Since getting the LGD's coyote songs are no longer being heard on the ranch, the mountain lions have moved to a different location and no goats of G Squared Ranch have been lost to a predator.
From time to time, Livestock Guardian Dog's are for sale at G Squared Ranch, but the LGD's are not pets. These dogs have been humanized enough to make it easier to handle them, if needed, but they do not qualify as family pets in any sense of the word and will never be sold as such. These dogs are raised with goats, they are guardians, it's their job, they do it well and it's all they know.
No Livestock Guardian Dogs Available at this time.
We want to thank everyone who purchased a Livestock Guardian Dog from G Squared Ranch. Our dogs are now guarding goats in Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
There's a new sheriff in town at G Squared Ranch
G Squared Ranch would like to introduce Matt Dillon and his friend Miss Kitty, two Great Pyrenees born in 2013 and already keeping a watchful eye on their goats and serious about the duties of a LGD.
Below, some LGD's sold by G Squared Ranch