I Just Brought Home a Livestock Guardian Dog. Now What?

| 8/18/2016 10:15:00 AM

Tags: livestock guardian dogs, predator control, dogs, dog breeds, farm dogs, Jan Dohner, Michigan,


I read this question almost every day on the various online livestock guardian dog forums. First, congratulations! Second, I hope you’ve done some basic groundwork and preparation. If not, you need to get busy.

Hopefully you located a healthy pup from a good breeder who chooses her breeding dogs carefully for their working behaviors, temperament, and soundness. Most importantly, if you want a good working LGD, you need to buy a pup from a recognized LGD breed or crossbred of recognized LGD breeds – and nothing else. Two previous posts can help folks still looking for a LGD pup: Before You Buy a Livestock Guardian Dog or Puppy and Selecting a Working LGD Puppy.

What Comes Next?

People are happy to give you advice; unfortunately, much of it is contradictory. Myths and misconceptions abound. If you bought your pup from a breeder with good working dogs, their advice will be enormously helpful.

Much of what you do is determined by the role you have in mind for your dog. LGD breeds can function in their traditional role as a full time, outdoor living livestock guardian; as a farm and family guardian who may live in areas right around the house and occasionally visit inside; or as a family companion dog who lives indoors.

For a more complete description of these roles and how to raise a pup for these different jobs see: What is the Difference Between a Livestock Guardian, Farm and Family Guardian, or Family Companion. For our purposes here, I’m going to assume your new pup will be living and working outside full-time with stock.

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