Are you thinking about raising cattle guard dogs on your farm but not sure where to start? I’m sharing some of our favorite items to make raising cattle dogs as easy as possible.
Raising cattle guard dogs
Shortly after moving to the farm, we noticed significant coyote behavior in the pastures. We weren’t surprised – coyotes are extremely bold in our area and have been known to casually walk through neighborhoods that are completely unimpressed by people. Our farm was also empty for over 15 years, so wildlife activity was extremely high. Finding a coyote here and there is inevitable, but finding one that lurks in the pasture several mornings a week and clearly sees the chicken coop while staring at me? No thanks. Do you find hundreds of coyote tracks right in front of our fence every time it snowed? I will take a pass.
I wanted to feel safe and secure with our kids running around the farm, but the amount of coyotes made me extremely uncomfortable. Not to mention that our nearly 100 animals clearly needed extra protection from predators! After months of trying to convince my husband, we finally decided to raise cattle dogs on our farm. Since we added our two great Pyrenees to the farm, our coyote problem has been virtually eliminated. I haven’t seen a coyote in months, and I’ve seen maybe two in total since bringing our pups home. I’m not naive about the fact that coyotes still roam the farm at night and sometimes I can still hear them moaning. But now, when I hear our LGDs barking at 2am, I know that they can either see or sense something is wrong on the farm, and that gives me a lot of convenience.
LGDs are working dogs
When raising pet care dogs, it is important to note that they take their job very seriously. Your main job is to protect your backpack. This not only includes cattle, but also their people. I strongly advise against approaching a zoo keeper for the first time without the owner present. Remember – their job is to keep you safe so they can see you as a threat. The way our pups watch their people while we do chores and the kids run around makes my heart so happy. They are the gentlest and wildest dogs at the same time.
Okay, did I convince you to breed cattle guard dogs on your farm ?! If so, check out some of our favorite articles to keep the process flowing below.
Raising Cattle Dogs: Grooming & Health Maintenance
- Shed dandruff: Great Pyrenees grow thick fur for the winter, which means they lose A LOT in spring. Their fur dulls easily, so it’s important to brush them regularly. Skip the fancy brushes in favor of this choice option. (a little different from ours, but Amazon Option here.)
- Grain-free food: When raising animal welfare dogs, it is important to feed them good quality, grain-free food. (If raw food is on your budget then even better.) We have used whole grain grain-free foods with good results.
- Heartworm: As always, dogs need monthly heartworm prevention. Take your new puppies to the vet as soon as possible after bringing them home to your farm, and don’t forget to get a feces test. Both Otis and Leroy tested positive for intestinal parasites immediately after ingestion, which could have long-term health consequences if not treated properly. Fortunately, our puppies tested negative for parasites during their follow-up test. Heartguard not only protects against heartworms, but is also used to prevent (and treat) various intestinal parasites. Your vet will prescribe this medication for you.
- Flea / tick: Our LGDs live 100% out of time, which means it is especially important for them to have monthly flea / tick prevention.
Raising cattle guard dogs: training
- GPS unit with track recording: Great Pyrenees are well known hikers and love to explore their border lines. Even though we have electric fences, I was concerned that our pups might escape the fence (this happened immediately after we brought them home), so we started providing them with a GPS tracker at night. A couple of downsides – the tracker isn’t overly secure on the collar and fell off (thus becoming a chew toy for our curious pups). Sometimes the GPS tracker also loses the signal and shows that your puppy has left the limits, if he is in topicality, they do not have the latest. It’s not perfect, but it also calmed my nerves for the first few weeks.)
- Shock collar: If you use a shock collar for training purposes, it is your responsibility. We didn’t have to use our shock collars for a month.
And that’s it! Raising animal care dogs is a wonderful experience. It is so rewarding to watch your pups come into their own and become the protectors of their pack in the first place!
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