Image via WikipediaDogs can be of great help to any homesteader. Besides companionship, there are certain breeds of dog that are suitable to guard your property or livestock animals.
Certain breeds are great at hunting. Others are natural shepherds, mustering cattle, goats, sheep and even poultry!
Dogs known for the excellent shepherding skills include the Australian Cattle Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Border Collie, Australian Kelpie, Australian Koolie, Australian Shepherd, English Shepherd, Welsh Sheepdog, New Zealand Huntaway, German Shepherd and Briards.
It's easy to confuse a herding dog with a livestock guardian dog. A livestock guardian's job is to protect other animals from predators, especialy at night. LGDs are sometimes referred to as "sheep dogs", while herding dogs are referred to as "sheepdogs", hence the confusion.
They don't do the same job though. LGDs guard livestock without any herding behaviors. They tend to blend in with their charges, keeping a watchful eye out for predators, particularly while the group is grazing in open spaces. LGDs can even be trained to guard poultry, without predatorial behavior towards the birds.
Some well known LGD breeds include the Pyrenean, Spanish and Tibetan Mastiff, Anatolian, Carpathian, and Greek Shepherd Dogs, the Maremma Sheepdog and the Great Pyrenees.
The first human-dog interactions most likely consisted of mutual hunting and there are many breeds suitable for hunting including hounds, terriers, dachshunds, cur type dogs, retriever, setter, pointer and spaniel.
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