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Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) breeds have been used for centuries to protect livestock from predators in Europe and Asia. The most well-known of these breeds in the United States are the Great Pyrenees, Anatolian Shepherds, Akbash and Maremma. Many also work as family and home guardians, and several are assistance dogs to their disabled owners, as they are sturdy enough to provide physical support. With the right socialization, training and physical environment, LGDs can be successful family pets and home protectors. They are generally aloof toward strangers and their size alone is rather intimidating. Though strong, independent-minded and protective, they are normally gentle with children and livestock alike. A common saying among LGD owners is "LGDs are like potato chips - you can't have just one".

Please visit our Library for interesting and useful articles on breeding, behavior, livestock guardians, and medical information.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog Rescue League, Inc has an excellent booklet available on The Ins and Outs of Livestock Guardians. This is a compilation of articles by actual users of Livestock Guardian dogs and is a "must-read" for anyone considering using any breed of LGD.

Click on the link above for directions for ordering.

A range of temperaments can be found within the breeds. Some are better suited as remote pasture guardians where a daily routine is very constant, while some are good in situations where there is a high degree of variety. They may work well on a small farm, in a rural home, or as a city pet. Some may be found in the middle of New York City, others on the sprawling rangelands of Montana. There are enough variations between the breeds, and within members of a single breed, to provide a suitable dog for most situations.

They need daily exercise and the daily discipline of a job to do. This can be provided on an open range, protecting livestock or in a suburban back yard, protecting a family. They have a long puppy-hood and adolescence, often not reaching maturity until 2-1/2 or 3 years of age. During that time, they need training, supervision and a human who is capable of assuming the "alpha" role in their pack.

This site was developed in hopes of providing accurate information to both prospective and current LGD owners on the purchase, care and training of pet and working LGDs. We hope that the insight into the working aspects of these dogs can help both pet and working dog owners better understand the breeds .

For good information and lively discussion about Livestock Guardian Dog breeds as pets and farm workers, join the LGD-L discussion list.

Tips gleaned from the posts to LGD-L over the past years can be found in this collection of FAQs

Instructions for subscribing to the LGD-L discussion list is available HERE

The breed links at the top of the page represent the most popular LGD breeds in the United States. The sites to which they link were chosen for their accuracy and for the amount of information they present. Links to other clubs and representatives of those breeds can be found on the Library page. Links to breeds rare in the United States - those not shown above - can be found here


The Daemon Sisters and other LGD happenings

By Robert Denlinger

These stories are taken from a series of posts to LGD-L by Kentucky farmer Robert Denlinger. Born in June 1997, Capella and Calisto were a pair of Kuvasz bitches that would win the heart and try the soul of the most devoted LGD fancier.

These posts have been reprinted here with Robert's permission. However, he holds the copyright on all posts and none can be reproduced without his permission.

For further information about him and his farm, see his website

All material on this site copyrighted by the authors
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