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... just my own ideas ...
 
 
    LGD-Index
 
The way we see it , FWIW  &  remember YMMV

We are using LGD's because we have a fairly high predator problem.  They range from mountain-lion to large feral dog packs. We have a den of about 14 Coyotes just a quarter-mile away. It isn't wise to try and remove the coyote, for example, because they serve a purpose in keeping rodent populations in check; stray cats and stray dogs to a minimum. What the seasoned LGD does is remind the coyote pack that this ranch belongs to an organized LGD pack. There is very little, if any, actual combat between the parties. The LGD pays incredible attention to what is out there, where they are, and what they are doing. Then, if the "item" does not belong, the LGD's start by reminding the intruder that this area is off-limits. Nearly all intruding predators understand and leave before any form of combat could begin. It's a built-in factor in nature: preservation.  dog who fights before thinking is useless to livestock operations, for Vet bills are major detractors. However, if fighting becomes necessary, then there was a good chance we would have lost livestock. By running more than one LGD, they serve to back one another up in confrontations. The shear "power display" nearly always dissuades anything from tempting to interfere with the LGD protection routine.

We don't breed to get our LGD's. Instead, we get them from highly competent and well known breeders with working LGD's. We also use Rescue's who come from (again) Very well known and Very competent Rescue operations with good track records. There are a couple breeders out there who boast dozens of variations/Lines in a respective breed of LGD. ..."Dozens" ... hmmmm ...puppy-mill comes to mind ...do get your working LGD, of whatever breed, from someone with livestock experience ... and then, do check with others with working LGD's, who can vouch for whomever you are favouring. It will do you no good to pay for an LGD, raise him properly, fall totally in love with the excellent worker, only to have him die of some crippling problem due to poor breeding. It will also do no good to find that the LGD actually despises being with the livestock and prefers humans full-time. In a single litter, it can be that many are just not excited about working and are excited about being groomed and played with daily. This is cool for the city people, but won't do for the rest of us who rely on keeping our livestock from being eaten or stolen.

You may think it wise to put Llama's or Donkey's out to protect your livestock. In fact, you may have had some good fortune to have it work. I can tell you though that, in the face of a serious incursion, the only protection is from an organized pack of LGD's.

LGD's have been around a few thousand years. Their selection has always been for strong maternal, protective traits. Yet they are also bred for gentleness around the family, the kids, and the livestock.

It is not in the LGD's nature to run out and attack or bite a threat. This would, or could, cause damage to the LGD and is not desirable and never has been. It is preferred that the LGD make many sorts of gestures and warnings to the predator. Nearly all the predators will realize the consequences and happily retreat from the territory guarded by the LGD's. it's a win-win situation for both.

Note though, that the good LGD is not going to allow anything to overlook the warning. Period. They will escalate to whatever is needed to stop the incursion.

LGD's are order nerds. They totally notice all changes in the environment. As such, they alert with a lot of barking. There are city people who buy these breeds then are very upset at the barking and actually will medically de-bark the poor LGD. Makes ya wonder doesn't it?

An LGD needs a viable job! An LGD needs a lot of space in which to exercise and patrol ... measured in acres, not in back-yard dimensions. And they don't take too kindly being hounded by socially-rude pets on, or off, the owner's leashes.

We have, in the past,  had intra-pack rivalries . Bandit and Leroy come to mind. They were two very good and very Alpha-Mid ed Males. Placing them where they could get at one another just would lead to large Vet bills. So we had to keep them well apart. And then, Abbey, though she didn't take them on, would leave a paddock where there was another Female LGD. And we all know that Abbey was "The" best Alpha "Female" for period over ten years. Placing Bagari near Atia leads to immense fighting. It is useless to try and get them to like one another as each sees herself as "The" Alpha of the world. While it may be so, it presents a heck of a dilemma in where you can put this, or that, LGD. Atia rebuffs Lilly whenever she's allowed to be in Lilly's paddock. So, there seems, over time, to be more problems than any of us like when we "must" place two females in a paddock. And there are less when we put one female and a few neutered males with her, though I haven't had more than three males to one female yet. This mixture isn't set in stone; others may report simply "Great" success with other ratios. So keep in mind what doesn't work here may quite possibly work for you. But if it isn't working for you, at least you can seek solace in knowing others are in the same situation as you are.

As a final note, there are a handful of LGD breeders in the USA who have taken it upon themselves to "shape" the original breed characteristics of the ancient LGD. These folks are striving for an LGD who is smaller and a LOT more quiet and docile ... Yet they are still being allowed to register them in their respective Breed-Clubs /Stud-Books. Be forewarned now that when you alter one trait, you alter other more subtle traits. It took 4 to 6 thousand years of selection for us to have today's highly intelligent and careful LGD's ....They were meant for a task to protect the Flock, themselves, and the family ... and to decide when they are not supposed to do anything in certain situations .... be very, very careful if you purchase an LGD from anyone who is not adhering to the ancient traditions .... if you need a Poodle or Irish Setter, for gosh-sakes, buy a Poodle or Irish Setter and get on with your life.  I am thinking that when you wish to carry a ton of hay in a vehicle, that you buy a 1-Ton, Heavy-Duty, 4-wheel Drive, Pickup Truck ... and that you do not ask a friend to modify a VW to "possibly" handle the job ... right?