I’ve recently read the book Way Of The Pack by Brenda M. Negri. It’s an excellent read and a necessity for anyone who keeps livestock guardian dogs. If you don’t have this book in your possession and are wanting a LGD, get it! She makes many valid points in her book. The philosophy to training the dogs is distinctly different from most of the philosophies I’ve run into in Oklahoma about those dogs.
She has more of a philosophy of a partnership with your dog. She gives quite a bit of information about how she trains her dogs. It fascinated me because I’ve always been interested in animal training and how I can improve on my working with my dogs.. She also names a dog trainer from whom she learned her training methods whom I believe would be another excellent resource to look up and study.
One can never go wrong with always keeping a lifestyle of learning and attempting to improve the way you work with your animals. I don’t necessarily agree with everything in her book but she does make many valid points. I like that her book does tell you how far apart in age to space your pack and when it becomes imperative to get your next puppy. She covers so many bases of behavior and behavior correction in the book including introducing a livestock guardian dog to chickens. According to her, they weren’t really bred originally to guard poultry but if you choose carefully and follow the training methods in her book, they can still work beautifully as guardians of the poultry flock.
Another point that I like about the book is that she does touch on the topic of if, when and how to introduce a herding breed to your homestead and livestock guardian dogs. She does a pretty thorough explanation of how to know if you really need one and how to introduce it to your livestock guardian dogs if you get one, as well as handling the training of the herding dog so you don’t upset the livestock guardian dogs or cause contention between the distinctly different types of breeds.
When she discusses predators in this book, she gives excellent advice on how to make sure that your dogs aren’t over powered by the types of predators that are in your area and how to certain that your dogs will be successful at dealing with those predators. She also covers what to keep for medical emergencies with the dogs and what to expect in the way of possible injuries due to supervising the safety of the herd. Another thing that she discusses that was very helpful is how to handle when one of your livestock guardian dogs is aged to the point of needing extra care and how to know when the old boy or girl is beyond the years of service and needs to be able to retire. All in all, this is a book that despite having had contact with these dogs and worked with them for a few years, I found a very useful resource in regards to dealing with our dogs. When I finished reading this book, and set it down, it felt like saying goodbye to an old friend. I had the urge to pick it up and start back at the beginning again. If you don’t have a copy, get one! You’ll be so glad you did! You can get your copy here:
Until next time,
Homestead In Health Ya’ll!