A Pack of Guardian Dogs

A pack of guardian dogs is a remarkable unit to observe and learn from. They really are unique in that they are comfortable and familiar with us, and while we influence them to a degree, they do not take directions for how to organize their pack solely from us. The guardians do most of their work on their own, without us knowing what they’re up to. We are graced with glimpses of their lives by watching them.

Keeping peace relies on keeping a balanced pack. We play a role in that by (hopefully) choosing pups/dogs that are calm and well tempered, and that we think will cooperate and be a fit for the current dogs. After that we set some boundaries with each dog in terms of manners and feeding.

The other key to maintaining peace is the amount of work in front of these dogs. These are not dogs living in a household, waiting for 45 min of daily exercise. They are at work each day, they have ample things to direct their mind and energy to, other than picking fights.

That said, a key thing to understand is that everything within nature is always evolving and unfolding, and with dog packs this is evermore true. The peace and order is not stagnant, nor guaranteed. You can have peace for months, maybe even years, and then arrive to pasture to find an injured dog. Then you look for clues to find out if it was an in house fight or a predator fight.

When they do have their upsets, a scuffle between the dogs settles quickly, a low key fight results in minor injuries, a major fight results in major injuries, often sustained on the legs and the hind quarters. I’ve witnessed the dogs handle countless scuffles with aplomb and deftness. I could never improve on that and do not try.

Yes, our dogs are comfortable with us. They come up to greet us, appreciate a gentle touch, a scratch in a favourite spot or a belly rub, and each one can be handled. This is not the case with all lgd’s. Many shepherds still prefer their dogs be wary of humans and have little contact with them. We’ve had a couple of those dogs in the past.


As a general rule well bred guardian dogs are not aggressive by nature, quite the opposite, they would much rather give peace a chance.  It takes more energy to fight than it does to get along.  This part of their makeup is why we use them.  Allen and I do not want dogs that are aggressive to the point they go after every thing, including pack-mates, we're wanting the dogs to be present with the flock, and be smart and assertive enough to tell predators it’s wiser to go elsewhere.



2 comments:

  1. I am quite mesmerized by your pack of guardian dogs. I recently had to get another dog, having lost my beloved Rottie/mix last June. I thought a lot about a guardian dog, but knew I didn't have enough "work" to keep one happy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love that picture with the dogs looking for affection! I think with a LGD, you need to be able to handle them,so if necessary you can take them to a vet, and they can ride in a vehicle without becoming frantic. I made that mistake with my German Shepherd, so with the Kuvasz, I started her as a pup. She was a no nonsense guardian, and could even herd the heifers, if they meandered off. But she always let me handle her. So that was very helpful!

    ReplyDelete

Popular Posts