Guardian dogs

About our Dogs

We have Great Pyrenees working livestock guardian dogs on our ranch that provide for the safety and security of our livestock and property. These dogs a very important job on the ranch to warn of any problems and keep predators away. We have dogs in the pens with goats, in the pens with chickens, and others free roaming in the pastures with the cattle.  Our pups are socialized with a variety of barnyard animals, as well as small children and family members. They have a sweet disposition and a distinct desire to work.

Our dogs are large, white, an athletic build and tremendous endurance. They make an impressive appearance and their presence is a deterrent to predators or prowlers. It is a big job on our ranch, but they do a great job for us.

Guardian Dog

Livestock guardian dog

A livestock guardian dog (LGD) is a type of pastoral dog bred for the purpose of protecting livestock from predators. Livestock guardian dogs tend to stay with the group of animals they protect as a full time member of the flock or herd. Their ability to guard their herd is mainly instinctive, as the dog is bonded to the herd from an early age.

Unlike herding dogs that control the movement of the livestock, LGDs stay close to the herd and blend in with them, watching for intruders within. The mere presence of a guardian dog is usually enough to ward off predators, but LGDs will confront predators by vocal intimidation and displaying aggressive behavior. It is very rare for a LGD to attack a predator, as they are able to drive predators off otherwise.


The dogs are introduced to livestock as puppies so they "imprint" on the animals. This imprinting is thought to be largely olfactory and occurs between 3 and 16 weeks of age. An LGD raised with sheep will generally not be an effective guardian of cattle or goats and one raised with cattle will not be an effective guardian of goats or sheep. The imprinting is critical because LGDs tend to behave in a non-predatory and protective way only with animal species they have been raised with.

Proper socialization and instinct, not training, are key to rearing an effective LGD. Bonding LGDs to cattle is more difficult than bonding them to the smaller livestock species. However, the practice of bonding guarding dogs to cows is becoming more common, especially in places such as the American West where the reintroduction of predators has conflicted with cattle herds in areas where predation had been rare. There are even trials underway to protect penguins.