Livestock Guardian Dogs are an essential component of a farm when you have livestock to protect. There are many different breeds that are out there, and you can read all about them if your interested by following the link on our Farm Resources page.
We have had 2 sisters that are Maremma / Great Pyrenees cross since the day we brought goats home. As a matter of fact, they were born with some of the goats we purchased. Even though they were still pups, they had already begun training from their mom before we got them. We wondered how they would do once we took them away from mom, and they had to adult to mentor them, but they have grown into fine guardians.
In early April, 2013, we had to part with Daisy. Not long after we got Mikey in early 2012, Daisy decided she did not want to be with the bucks any longer, so over the fence she went, and headed to the barn and waited for us to let her in with the girls and her sister. We decided to put Mikey in with the boys, and put Daisy back up there with him, so she would have a friend. That last a little bit, but then she jumped again and headed to the barn. This time we left her in for a few days, and I proceeded to put a hot wire around the entire buck pasture, in hopes she would recognize that from the other pasture, and not jump any longer. We put her back in again, and over she went, back to the barn. Ok, now we just let it be and she and Bessie were now reunited. Soon thereafter, we were reminded that they both wanted to be the Alpha dog, and they would get into spats with each other, especially around dinner time. Well, this April, Daisy ripped the skin below Bessie's eyelid, and we ended up having to take her in for stitches. We new we could not put them back together any longer, and Daisy would not stay with the bucks, so we offered to sell her to a gentleman that was just getting started with goats, and he agreed to try her out, and so far she is doing fine, and doing a fine job. We do miss her, however, 2 alpha dogs together just does not work.
Another LGD that we had for a couple of years was Sasha, an Anatolian Shepherd. We originally intended to have her as our "outside the fence" LGD, but when she discovered free-range chicken, that dream ended. We then kept her in the doe pasture with Bessie (Daisy was with the boys at the time). Bottom line is we had too many dogs, and we were able to find her a home in New Hampshire where she could have a herd of her own.
We hear coyotes fairly often in the area, but thankfully, these dogs have used their barking skills to keep predators away. A good LGD is worth it's weight (and more) in gold and it is so interesting to watch them work.