One of the things that people first notice if they even drive past our farm, are our big fluffy yellow and big fluffy white dogs. I’ve talked to a few people who have put two and two together that I’m from that farm. Most of them sadly have no idea exactly what those big white dogs are for. I’ve even talked with a few who have admitted to trying to hit big white dogs when they see them out on country roads. That really will make me mad. I have to admit that those people got an education and scolding on the spot! Those dogs have a special job to do on a farm and they take a long while to get fully trained and trust worthy despite being bred to do that job. It takes from 8 weeks old until 6 months old for them to begin to really take an interest. Then, they really start to be a help on the #homestead at 2 years old. They are in their prime at 4 and unfortunately, they don’t live long. Sadly dead by 5-7 years old.
My family’s big white dog is a great Pyrenees and Komondor cross. The big yellow ones are Anatolian and Pyrenees crosses. They are breeds that are specifically bred to protect the animals from predators.
We originally bought our first livestock guardian dog because one morning, my dad went out to the barn to feed the goats and there was a coyote staring into the barn, just drooling over the goats. After that, we decided that for the protection of the goats, we needed at least one livestock guardian dog on our #homestead. Now, where we live, we have more predators than coyotes. We also have bears, mountain lions, hawks, owls and eagles.
Later, after our first dog was dealing with lots of big predators, we decided that we needed at least two livestock guardian dogs because our local mountain lion started visiting our farm regularly.
The dogs are a good way to protect the flock, especially with two or more dogs. After we had a pair of livestock guardian dogs, the pup we acquired, found a big kitty to chase. Thankfully, the older livestock guardian dog wasn’t too far behind the pup when it caught it’s big kitty. The poor pup still ended up really beat up by it’s encounter with the mountain lion. That was a visit to the vet for our puppy. Poor fellow got a broken leg in the fight. He had to be kept on rest for a while and his leg had to be checked every bit to make sure that it was still ok, not too cold to touch.
He healed up nicely though and he’s back out in that field with the older dog and the Komondor mix, doing what they love. They do have access to several buildings on our property but usually prefer to be where they can see the flocks of animals.