Guardian Dog Success in West Texas on Large Landscapes

The numbers are in from a year-long experiment pitting 18 inexperienced, young, livestock guardian dogs and their neophyte dog-handling owners against a hoard of native sheep and goat predators ranging over thousands of West Texas acres. “Predation is and always has been one of the most significant problems in the sheep and goat industry in Texas,” said Dr. Reid Redden, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state sheep and goat specialist. “And the problem is getting worse.” "It’s reported we lose somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the lamb and kid crop annually in Texas to predators,” Redden said. “Because of this significant loss, AgriLife is working with local ranchers to improve our understanding of livestock guardian dogs and their effectiveness in this part of Texas.” Livestock guardian dogs are not herding dogs, but rather stay within the proximity of their sheep and/or goat charges, thus creating an effective and constant predator deterrent. Redden said these dogs have been used for thousands of years in other parts of the world where sheep are herded. But less is known about how to use them or how effective they might be for West Texas ranchers who don’t often see their animals on a daily basis, requiring the dogs

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

Translate »