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Livestock Guardians

2 Dec 2022

Livestock guardians are a broad group of dogs who evolved and were developed to protect flocks of domestic animals from large predators, especially sheep and goats. They originated in the Middle East, but are now found across the world. Well known livestock guardians include the Great Pyrenees, Tibetan Mastiff, and Kangal (Anatolian Shepherd). More often than not, they are viewed as “types” of dogs rather than recognised and standardised breeds.

Livestock guardians are large, courageous dogs who bond with and live alongside the animals they are protecting. They will have been introduced to these animals as puppies, and often “imprint” on them and view them as family members. They are hardy dogs, and often spend more time living “in the field” than in a home with their owners. Although they do form bonds with humans, their default is wariness towards those from outside of their family. Livestock guardian dogs should always be thoroughly socialised, with their size and power making this particularly important. Livestock guardians should not be taken on lightly, and are only appropriate as pets for experienced owners.

Personally, we do not believe that livestock guardians make good family or personal protection dogs. While formidable and brave, they tend to more reactive and less trainable than breeds such as the Dobermann, Cane Corso, or German Shepherd who were developed to live alongside humans in home settings. Livestock guardians are excellent working dogs, but not in the settings we require. We would advise against attempting to employ them in family or personal protection settings. In our experience, other breeds are far more suitable.

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2 Dec 2022

Bully Breed and Type Dogs

“Bully breeds” is a catch all term which refers to mastiff-type dogs and related terriers. All of these dogs shared a common ancestor in the Roman Molosser. Broadly speaking, they are stockily built with large heads and short snouts. While the Molosser was bred for war, subsequent bully dogs were…

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