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Interview With a Livestock Guardian Dog

| 4/10/2012 5:40:54 PM

Marie James head shotTwo valuable members of our family are our Maremma livestock guardian dogs, Augie and Callie. They watch over our chickens and the people who live and visit within their assigned territory. Though coyotes, bears, and an occasional cougar traverse our property, none of those intruders are allowed within our fencelines. 



 Our Maremma Livestock Guardian dogs Augie and Callie
Augie and Callie are usually very busy day and night doing their patrols and checking on everyone and everything on the farm. But this week, Augie took the time to write a post for our family’s blog, Rural Living Today. After reading it, I asked Augie if I could interview him for this GRIT blog.

The huge fluffy dog agreed, and we sat down for a chat. Here is what he has to say.

Augie, we understand that the term “livestock guardian dog” applies to a group of dog breeds used for centuries to protect and defend flocks of sheep and goats. Tell us more about these breeds. 

Well, there are several breeds of LGDs (that's short for Livestock Guardian Dogs). Of course, I am partial to Maremma Sheepdogs, since I am one, but the others do a good job too! The most common in the western world are (in alphabetical order) Anatolian Shepherds, Great Pyrenees, and Maremmas. The Akbash, Kommondors, Kuvasz, and Tibetan Mastiffs are also becoming better known outside of the old countries.

How are the LGD breeds alike and different? 

We all have some basic instincts that are the same. We all work hard to protect and defend our stock and our property. But there are differences too. Some breeds bond more to the stock or people, and some bond more to the boundaries they defend. Some are more likely to grow fond of children, and some would rather not be touched and petted very much.

How are the LGD breeds different from other dog breeds? 

Linda Beyer
4/29/2013 1:38:38 PM

Beautiful dogs!! Never saw that breed be fore. I have 2 Aussies, and a Border collie. All great dogs. They heard my chickens. Linda B.

4/12/2012 10:00:42 PM

LOL Karen--I will talk to Callie about a followup! I'm sure she would have a few things to say from a woman's point of view ;) Angie--We agree LGDs are magnificent dogs and so very unique. We're always glad to spread the word and share the joy. Give Akilli and Toey a high-paw from Augie and Callie!

Angie Snip Morrow
4/12/2012 7:56:20 PM

I wanted to thank you for writing such a great article on the Livestock Guardian Dogs. We have had Anatolians on our ranch for the past 14 years, and they are unbelieveable. It is very difficult to get people to understand how these dogs work, think and behave. They are the most intelligent dogs we have ever seen, and way too smart. I really truly appreciate your making a point that these are NOT show dogs. The breeding people do for show dogs, tends to go to coat/markings and colors and they end up breeding out the very special things these dogs were bred for. These are NOT dogs for city life, and literally, they must have room to run and be loose to perform their jobs properly. Thank you again, for such a well - written dogs, Akilli and Tophane (Toey) thank you too.

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