A variety of dog breeds can work for predator control. The Great Pyrenees is the most widely used; but the Komondor, Akbash, Anatolian and Maremma are also used as guard dogs.
What animal will protect goats? Llamas, donkeys, dogs, and alpacas are all good options for guardian animals for your goats. Just remember, it's best to add the guardian animal to the herd at a young age, so they have time to bond with your goats.
Best Guard Dog Breeds
- Great Pyrenees. These noble, independent, highly intelligent dogs are perhaps the most widely used LGD in America. ...
- Anatolian Shepherd. This breed is muscular, imposing, and reserved in temperament. ...
- Akbash. ...
- Maremma Sheepdog.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a breed that can trace its origins back several thousand years to Asia Minor. The breed first served as a hunting dog, then as a livestock guardian for sheep and other animals.
Only dogs with very strong herding aptitude are able to herd goats, usually Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are used, although some other herding breeds may be successful if they have the right abilities.
Pitties Are Typically Too Rough For Livestock Work
While pit bulls are very intelligent and could be trained with some success, they'll still probably be too rough with the animals. This aggression towards the animals is rooted in their catching skill.
While the German Shepherd breed may seem like the jack of all trades, this dog is not the best breed for guarding goats and other farm animals. This is because the German Shepherd has a high prey drive which can lead them to act aggressively towards the goats they're supposed to be guarding.
What is the size range of livestock guardian dog breeds? Most livestock guardian dogs range from 27-30” tall and 100-130 pounds. The largest breed is the Spanish Mastiff at 30.5”+ tall and a weight of 185-220 pounds. The smallest breed is the Sarplaninac at 24” inches tall (on average) and and a weight of 77-99 pounds.
A jenny (female donkey) with a foal (offspring less than 1 year old) is the best guardian. She's extremely wary of potential threats. A foal raised with a flock usually becomes a good protector because it's so bonded to and comfortable with its pasture companions. Not all donkeys make good livestock guardian animals.
Look for a pup that is interested in you but not overly aggressive, fearful, shy, or clingy. The pup that runs up to you first or insists on being “in your face” is not the best choice for a working dog. Full-time guardians should be more independent-minded problem solvers who are not dependent on human companionship.
Certain breeds of livestock guarding dogs can help protect your property and animals from coyotes. Based on Fox's experience working with ranchers through programs at Project Coyote, she says that Great Pyrenees, Akbash and Anatolian Shepherds have proven to be especially effective in protecting livestock.
As prey animals, goats have a tendency to be afraid of dogs, especially if a dog were to bark or run after them. However, when introduced correctly, often at a young age, both goats and dogs can get along well. Trained dogs can also act as livestock guardians to protect your goats from predators.
Rottweilers were herding dogs long before they become synonymous with protection or guard work. While you'll still need to help them hone in on their natural skills, many Rottweilers will naturally herd goats, cattle, sheep, and other livestock on instinct alone.
While the major predators for small ruminants like sheep and goats are dogs and coyotes; other predators such as birds of prey, bobcats and foxes can be a problem in some areas. The primary predator that most people are concerned about are coyotes and dogs.
With the right training, German Shepherds can make good livestock guardians, and with their incredible versatility, they can make amazing farm dogs too. There are a few caveats, however, as these dogs have powerful prey drives and can be a bit hard on livestock.
Yes, livestock guardian dog breeds make great pets for the right families. These dogs love human companionship, and many are particularly good with children. LGD breed dogs need extensive training, plenty of exercise, and lots of mental stimulation.
Sheep ranchers obtain livestock guardian dogs from a number of sources — fellow ranchers or specialized dog-breeders. Some of the most common breeds used in Idaho include Great Pyrenees, Akbash and Anatolian Shepherds.
The German shepherd is known for being a versatile and intelligent working dog. Smart, hardworking, highly trainable, loyal, and protective, they make good multipurpose farm dogs. They have strong natural guarding and herding skills.
German Shepherds are truly the perfect guard dogs. They possess all the necessary traits and make the most amazing companion dogs. They are naturally protective and affectionate, and with the right training, they can make excellent guard dogs!
A good working German Shepherd can act as sort of a combination herding dog and livestock guardian. He has a unique instinct to “furrow,” which means to patrol an unfenced pasture. As he makes his rounds, he both keeps his herd or flock in the pasture and drives predators out.
Huskies will hunt and kill livestock like chicken, sheep and goats as well as any other small animals that live in your household (cats, parrots, hamsters etc). Therefore we do not recommend re-homing a husky with any of the above.