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on the range have a rule: Never leave camp without toilet paper, and always check the tree before you pee! One dog against a mountain lion doesn’t stand a chance, two or more dogs have a much better chance to win the fight. Our dogs encounter lions at night and judging by the injuries they’re alive be- cause they team up against the big cat.


Border collies are considered the smartest breed among dogs, but I think the livestock guardian dog is an even smarter breed. The LGD is a dog that will defend her goats with her life, while she so easily could eat them. Guarding and protecting these critters they do instinctively even though it goes entirely against typical dog behavior to do this. Herding is much more natural behavior for a dog. Every dog likes to chase and bring things, whether it is a frisbee, a ball or a herd of goats.


Guarding a small critter from predators and knowing how to do it successfully is something the livestock guardian dogs do instinc- tively and willingly. LGDs do all this without any formal training. Most of what they do and how they do it is accomplished through good breeding by people who select for traits that help these dogs do their job and survive on the range. We buy either 5-month-old pups or older 18 months old dogs. When they arrive to their new home we introduce them to our herd and dogs. These dogs come from a sheep outfit, yet it takes them ten seconds to adjust to goats. They figure it out among themselves who does what. Our Livestock Guardian Dogs have independent minds, but work together as a team to keep our herd save on the range. Happy Grazing!


(Carolina Noya of Carlile, Wy., is a rancher who spends


her days herding 1,000 Boer-cross and Spanish-cross goats. She can be contacted at cncowpuncher@gmail.com.)


14 Goat Rancher | January 2021


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