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Livestock Guardian Dog

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Kazakh shepherd; his and his dogs' primary job is to guard the sheep from predators. Kazakh shepherd; his and his dogs' primary job is to guard the sheep from predators.

Livestock Guardian Dogs or LGDs are dogs of breeds which were bred to independently live with and guard livestock such as sheep. Because of this, LGDs are also referred to as sheep dogs. Unlike a herding dog, a LGD does not control the movement of the flock with predatory actions towards it. Instead, they blend into the flock and generally ignore the individual animals in favor of keeping an eye out for potential threats.

Livestock Guardian Dogs are generally large, protective and independent, which can make them less than ideal for suburban or urban living and housepets. None the less, they are often chosen for their guardian qualities towards children, and will be as protective of their family as they would be of their flock. They are also used as guard dogs for people and property. Generally, most LGDs around the world are still kept as working dogs.

There has been an increased interest in the traditional uses of a LGD in North America, where LGDs allow for predator control that is effective and less environmentally damaging than trapping and poisoning.

Two Kuvasz. The one on the left is displaying a typical watchful LGD pose. Two Kuvasz. The one on the left is displaying a typical watchful LGD pose.

There are several breeds of Livestock Guardian Dogs, many of which are unknown outside of the regions in which they are still worked. These include:

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