We call them Homestead and Livestock Guardian Dogs to describe where they came from, who they are, and where they belong. If you have a homestead with livestock in need of protection and you’re the kind of family who stays at home working the Good Earth for your sustenance then you qualify as a potential good match for theses pups. What else?
Other qualities we consider important:
Dogs are social pack animals. They’re happy together and not alone. They work in teams. They’re more intelligent together. They cover each other’s back. They work in shifts for 100% protection. And lots of other reasons that come down to it’s good for the Dog so it’s good for you. So if you have older dogs around, especially LGDs and/or shepherding dogs, that’s best. Young dogs learn from older dogs. Our pups have been trained and adored by their pack~mom papa, auntie, teenage cousins…they’ve learned aLOT so far! For that reason, we’ve had several successes with homesteading families who adopted siblings from us~two or even three. They love each other and work together well, remembering lessons from their elders.
Good Nutrition (please see related page)
Love, compassion and good communication. These are good dogs who truly despise getting in trouble. They’re really quite sensitive and you don’t want them scared of you. That said, they are young and sometimes similar to young humans with extra amounts of energy. They need plenty of attention and clear calm communication. They will look deeply into your eyes and understand basically what you’re saying. Occasionally, like where poultry are concerned, they may need a little drama and a few reminders~they are dogs after all. But they will grow out of this stage soon enough and be totally trustworthy.
Ability to live with your family as part of “the pack”~that’s how they see it. Our dogs have a dog door and can come inside at will. Depending on weather, they prefer to be outside~on the front porch, nearby, or, as they get older, out at the barn….but it’s important to them that they can come in, check in and know that they’re part of the family. We don’t force puppies to sleep with the sheep before they’re ready. We make it really fun for them to hang out with the sheep most of the day. They adore the sheep and have lots of good associations playing together in the sheep’s forested enclosure. They go home nearby to sleep (and eat more)~and listen to the adult dogs protecting the sheep at night. This makes them naturally grow to be good livestock ~and homestead~ guardians.
A job. They need to know they’re being helpful. Each dog has unique talents and will let you know what they’re good at. They respond well to training and we encourage people to work with their pups~we like the book, “How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend” by the Monks of New Skete.