Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock guardian dogs, or LGD for short, are dog breeds whose purpose is to protect and guard livestock from predators. The livestock is typically small farm animals, mostly sheep. Livestock guardian dogs are not the same as herding dogs which monitor and guide the direction and motion of livestock.

LGD specialize in protection. They become a full-time member of the herd or flock. They will have been raised with the herd from an early age, around 4 to 5 weeks of age, and the animals will see the dog as part of the group. The puppies “imprint” on the livestock.

Livestock guardian dogs will stay with the herd at all times, but are particularly helpful while they are in a remote grazing area. They protect the herd from intruders and keep them safe while away from the protection of fences and humans. Their protection methods include vocal intimidation like barking and showing aggressive behavior.

While they are bred to be working dogs, livestock guardian dogs are breeds that make good family dogs. Their caring nature make them good with children and good companions for humans. They do need the right family however. These dogs require a great deal of training, lots of exercise and mental stimulation.

Livestock Guardian Dogs That Make Good Pets

Great Pyrenees – These white thick coated dogs are as powerful and quick as they are mellow and graceful. They are good with children when raised with them from an early age and are affectionate family dogs. They only require moderate exercise such as daily walks and a weekly brushing is all the grooming required. Find out more about the Great Pyrenees .

The Great Pyrenees is a livestock guardian dog known to deter sheep stealing wolves.
Great Pyrenees

Kuvasz – The Kuvasz is an affectionate family dog only moderately good with children. Bred in Hungary as a working dog they require adequate daily activity and a fenced yard to get enough exercise. Grooming consists of weekly brushing and an occasional bath. Training is a must for the Kuvasz puppy and this independent breed may be a challenge for a first time dog owner. Find out more about the Kuvasz .

The Kuvasz originally guarded livestock in Hungary

Bernese Mountain Dog – The Bernese Mountain Dog is loving toward its family and excellent with children. They require only moderate daily exercise like a half hour walk. Regular weekly brushing, increased to daily brushing during shedding season, is adequate for grooming. They are eager to please and generally easy to train. Find out more about the Bernese Mountain Dog .

The Bernese Mountain Dog is eager to please and gentle with children.
Bernese Mountain Dog

Each of the livestock guardian dogs listed above stands over two feet tall at the shoulder and can weigh over 100 pounds. They are powerful and sturdy animals with daily exercise needs and should have access to a fenced yard. For the best situation for pets and pet owners alike, PlexiDor Dog Doors suggests an extra-large dog door for these breeds.