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Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 382
Sheep Protection Dogs

Back in the dark ages when I was going to college, we made a field trip to the Dubois Experimental Field Station, a research facility in Idaho studying various aspects of the sheep ranching industry.  One big project they had going at that time - this would have been in 1979 to 1980 - was the training and evaluation of guard dogs.  Don is right in that Pyrenees were and are used.  The Station at that time was also studying a few other breeds, mostly old world european breeds.  The couple I remember were Komondors (mentioned them in an earlier post but had the spelling wrong) and Kuvasz's.  These dogs were weaned and then immediately placed with a contained sheep herd with minimal human contact.

These dogs were and are breed and used as guard dogs, not herding dogs, and as such are extremely territorial and protective of their charges (the sheep in the band, the hearder and the hred dogs - typically  border collies).  At a distance they look like big white hugable pets.  Up close there is absolutely no "hugable" in their attitude.  That's not a criticism of the breed but rather a comment on specific training goals and requirements.  The same breed from a different breeding line and with different training and socialization make great family dogs.  I new a contractor that was tired of people sneeking onto construction sites and steeling materials so he purposely trained a black lag to be a guard dog.  Meanest S O B I've ever dealt with and I'm a confirmed Lab lover.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3213
Thank's Hal Fast. Intresting

Thank's Hal Fast. Intresting information. Those dog's we might look down on but they are very very good at their job.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

For some reason today too many people get set on this idea that all dogs are supposed to be cute cuddly lap pets.  We tend to forget that many breeds out there that still exist with us were created by man using selective breeding and bred for a a purpose, be it working, sporting, etc.  You are correct Don, we can't blame a dog for being good at what it was bred to do.  Many ubanites today need to know this. 

ChuckDee's picture
Joined: 03/16/2012
Posts: 11
Some good reads!  Thanks for

Some good reads!  Thanks for sharing....have to agree with others though and if attacked by a sheep dog, it's going to be him and not me or my son.

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