If you’ve been in the farm animal business for long, chances are, you know about Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs). There are several breeds of these types of dogs, but they all have one thing in common: they have been bred over thousands of years to provide protection to prey animals like sheep, goats, cattle and chickens. They are a little different from the typical domestic dogs in that they generally do not like the indoors, may prefer the company of livestock to people and don’t really care much about people-pleasing. Our LGD is a Great Pyrenees named Chumley. Great Pyrenees were bred to be left with their flocks over the long winters without human intervention. As a consequence, they love cold weather almost as much as they hate authority. They’re pretty sure that all of their ideas are better than yours, and they are great problem solvers. My neighbors all know Chumley really well because (no matter how good the fencing is), a Great Pyrenees will always be trying to expand and patrol his boundaries. Chumley likes to expand his boundaries all the way to the Baptist Church – especially on spaghetti supper night. Chumley is pretty mellow during the day, lazing around the goat lot and watching for visitors, but at night he can be heard all along the fence line, warning potential predators to stay away from his home. Like most GPs, Chumley has a soft spot for babies. He always gets really excited to meet the new kids and often will pay special attention to does in labor. A livestock dog is a big investment, but I don’t know how we would keep our goats and chickens safe without one.



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