A well trained, fed, and cared for LGD makes all the difference. These dogs can do amazing work protecting livestock, if you invest in them.
We advocate for proven, humane management practices that improve the well-being of the dog. And experts agree. Research from Texas A&M and the American Sheep Industry Association recommend microchipping, vaccinations and dewormers, spay/neuter, routine and emergency medical care, and proven socialization and bonding.
When these recommendations are not put into practice, this leaves adult LGDs and litters vulnerable to neglect or becoming lost and taken to a shelter. Even worse, it can result in a feral dog that is at risk of being culled or an entire litter being left behind. Unfortunately, many LGDs are not fitted with identification, leaving them displaced and at-risk in the shelter environment.
Implementing recommended practices and educating the public about their use and how they differ from companion LGDs addresses the root of the problem.
Microchipping/collar and sterilization for dogs used on open range would ensure that no unwanted litters are born and no adults would be left behind. Sterilization should be used for population management rather than culling, which is considered inhumane.
Proven bonding and socialization practices decrease roaming and public conflict while increasing livestock protection. Providing proper nutrition, vaccinations, parasite control, and medical care greatly improves the well-being of the dogs and minimizes instances of neglect.
Informing the public on the uses of LGDs and what to do if they encounter one is crucial. An unhealthy LGD can be mistaken as lost and the stress caused by separating them from their livestock can be detrimental Contact information for overseeing agencies should be posted along with LGD use signage.
It is our focus to inspire LGD owners on the benefits of management methods such as basic health care, sterilization, proven socialization and bonding methods, and GPS collars. Our goal is to inspire the use of livestock guardian dogs as they were originally intended - as partners!
It is our goal to help establish proven, humane accepted animal husbandry practices and encourage support for them. We strive to define animal cruelty as it relates to working dogs and advocate for legal protections that prohibit that cruelty, such as a "Humane Treatment for Working Dogs Act".
We'll continue to encourage and support sheepherder training, livestock guardian dog certification programs, and public land signage, all of which are encouraged by ASI and BLM.
LGDs are considered livestock by state government. Without any basic protections, some LGDs live less than ideal lives. As with Police K9's, service dogs and SAR dogs, we believe that working dogs deserve protections parallel to the incredible service they provide.