Development Of The Livestock Guardian Dog

Akbash/Anatolian Shepherd, Akbash dog, white Anatolian
Guerrero the Anatolian Shepherd as a puppy.
Guerrero the Anatolian Shepherd as a puppy.

Development Of The Livestock Guardian Dog

Hey all,

Something that I am very passionate about as a homesteader, are the livestock guardian dogs that we have on our homestead. Our homestead would lose a lot more livestock if we didn’t have them and our Anatolians are really such dear boys. A lot of people who meet them and have a farm want to get dogs like them.

In today’s blog post, I’d like to address something that I keep seeing cause livestock guardian dogs to be given up to new homes. Training. There is a school of thought among some people that keep LGD’s as the term is abbreviated, that a good livestock guardian dog will never need training. That a good one can be turned out with the animals unattended as a puppy and never put a foot wrong. If the dog does, it will never be a good livestock guardian dog and needs to either be rehomed or killed.

I’d like to talk a bit about this myth. Dog breeds are created to have certain instincts genetically. Even so, sometimes, a dog will make mistakes as a puppy. A puppy may be playing with a bird and accidentally kill it. The instinct of the livestock guardian dog tells that puppy to then clean up the body of the bird to keep predators from coming to the area hunting for food.

The pup is not a bad LGD. It’s just needed further training. It needs supervision until it is x years old so that it understands that playing with the livestock is not permitted. Livestock guardian dogs don’t really mature until they are four years old. So, keep that in mind when you are working with your dogs. They can and will occasionally have puppy brain going on, and just need a little extra guidance until they are mature. Our absolute best livestock guardian dogs accidentally killed chickens as pups, but with a little extra guidance, they still turned into fantastic guard dogs.

Guerrero all grown up and doing his job.
Guerrero all grown up and doing his job.

Until next time,

Homestead in health ya’ll!



If you are interested in reading what the father of the livestock guardian dogs in the United States had to say about training them, there is an article that you should read


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