Cathy Isom tells us about the livestock guard dog — a primary tool you should not do without when raising livestock. That’s coming up on “This Land of Ours.”
The loss of livestock to predators is, unfortunately, a major problem. The USDA recently reported about 170,000 sheep are lost to predators each year in the United States — nearly 2 percent of adult sheep and 4 percent of lambs.
Aside from sturdy fencing, the primary tool farmers and ranchers need when raising livestock — a livestock guard dog. And not just any dog.
Livestock guard dogs, or L-G-Ds, are typically over 100 pounds and good with their owners. But not so friendly with other dogs or sneaking predators. They absolutely know what their job is, and they take it seriously. So they’re not likely to double as the family pet.
Livestock guard dogs are so unique in their ability to live outdoors year-round: a willingness to not harass, or kill, livestock, even when hungry; they have a highly developed sensitivity to livestock behaviors; and a skilled approach to detecting and deterring predators.
On the next “This Land,” I’ll tell you about the best breeds for livestock guard dogs and where to find them.
I’m Cathy Isom…