On our homestead Guerrero’s “claim to fame” is simply that he is a faithful livestock guardian dog. His father was our Bravo. Bravo had fire. He was strikingly beautiful. Bravo was alpha. Guerrero’s mother was a 3/4 Anatolian 1/4 Pyrenees owned by good friends not far from us. She was a very shy dog. She loved her owners, but preferred to hang out with her goats. His mother would almost never come up to greet visitors. She was a faithful livestock guardian dog. Just as people vary in personality, so do livestock guardian dogs.
Guerrero is shy like his mother.
Whereas Bravo loved to photo bomb, Guerrero almost never gets into pictures. He’s not fond of that kind of attention. Yet, from the start, Guerrero, like his parents, has been a faithful protector of our livestock. He was unusually easy to train. Except for chewing up the wiring harness on our stock trailer, I can’t remember having any trouble from him. (Most of our LGDs have chewed up the wiring on the trailer, during their puppyhood.) By six or eight months of age he was running at night with Bravo and doing great.
One night Jerreth and Emily heard a mountain lion scream behind our pasture.
Bravo streaked off in pursuit. Guerrero the pup, followed right along. When they returned no one noticed that Guerrero was hurt, but the next day he stayed to himself more than usual. After two days I checked and found that he had a large scratch/cut down his back. It was long but superficial. We treated it and still, he wasn’t himself. After another day or two I noticed that he had some swelling on one of his front legs. I thought he’d been snake bit, bet after a couple more days when I realized that it wasn’t getting any better, I took him to the vet, who determined that he had a fracture.
Guerrero had a fractured leg.
Our vet told me that the fracture was on a growth plate and very difficult to treat. There was an expensive operation which might help, but he’d never seen it work on a livestock guardian dog. His first recommendation was to pen him up in a small kennel for at least 8 weeks. Instead we tried his second recommendation, to splint his leg, which required daily changes. After a five weeks we concluded that splinting was not the way to go. Wrestling with a giant dog, while we changed the splint was probably causing more harm than good. We penned him. He healed up, but with a crooked leg.
The gimpy leg has slowed him down, yet, Guerrero is still a faithful livestock guardian dog.
He’s not flashy. Guerrero tends to be shy. Yet, he’s always there, always faithfully protecting our animals. He doesn’t even seek recognition. He just does his job … ALWAYS. He’s a faithful livestock guardian dog.
Guerrero’s “claim to fame” is simply that he is a faithful livestock guardian dog.
Some years ago I became very much aware of this fact. We had a sick kid and spent days trying to save it. Finally, one rainy cold night I realized that the little kid was suffering greatly and not going to improve. In the dark and pouring rain I took it out and put it out of its misery. I agonized over this, but realize it was the only humane thing to do. I was exhausted from trying around the clock to save it. Leaving the dead kid where it was I went to bed. It rained hard, all night. When I went out in the morning, this is what I found.
Just as with certain people, we’ve learned to appreciate our shy dog. He’s not an “in your pocket” kind of a dog, yet undoubtedly Guerrero’s faithfulness has saved many of our animals.