Thursday, March 11

New Security Guard

We had a vacancy in the security guard spot on the farm.  Bert and Ernie, the llamas, were fired because they kept chasing the goats.  We had debated on our options for some time: try more llamas, a donkey, or a livestock guard dog (LGD) to patrol the pastures.  Coyotes are always yipping and howling around our place and without any sort of protection for the herd it was keeping Jennifer up at night worrying.  We have 48" tall 2" by 4" woven wire fence around the entire perimeter of the farm, so I felt some comfort that predators would be kept at bay.

One morning while feeding we encountered a coyote right in the front yard, so much for the fence keeping them at bay!  The house dogs chased him as he jumped our fences and ran straight through the barn lot where our youngest baby goats were.  We had already posted an ad on craigslist for and LGD and gotten several responses but we hadn't acted on any of them other than to ask questions.  After the coyote encounter though we made a quick decision.  I planned on picking up Jack after work and bring him home to his new job.

Jack is pictured above the first night we brought him home.  He's a Geat Pyrenees, a breed that has natural guarding tendencies. He is an absolute sweetheart.  He was pretty sheepish the first night but has really taken to both of us as well as the herd.  Jack's previous home sold off their goat herd so they were looking for a good home that could put him to use.  We kept him in the shop the first night and showed him his new territory the next morning.  He immediately went on patrol.  Jack lets the coyotes know he's there with a low bark that says "I'm gigantic, don't come here."  When he rests he strategically locates himself on high ground where he can see it all.  When it rains and the goats are in the barn he plants himself in the barn door.

We're both sleeping better knowing Jack's on duty.


cpolka said...

What a beautiful beast. Do LGDs wander around all night? Or does he just get up when he hears noises?

polly's path said...

Jack is beautiful!!!!
If our abused rescue Dalmatian can be a guard dog, I am certain Jack with his previous experience will fit right in with your crew.
I love these dogs!
The place where we bought our fainting goat also raised Jack's breed and I promise you, I contemplated shoving a few of their fluffy babies into my pockets as we were leaving.

Ozarkhomesteader said...

Jack looks like a wonderful dog, and I'm so glad he has a new job.

We have a Great Pyrenees next door that we happily let patrol here. It didn't help the night I came back from the hospital and my big male cat was still out late when I heard the coyote pack, nearby to the south, and a Great Horned Owl nearby to the north. We kept getting up through the night to see if the cat had showed up. I finally said a prayer that he was safely in a tree and just biding his time until he could make his way home. Sure enough, with dawn came the cat, very eager to see us. He's been very, very clingy since then. I wish he could tell us what he went through.