Thursday, June 13, 2019
The Winnemucca, Nevada Community Living Magazine just put out their June-July 2019 copy yesterday late afternoon, which features my book, The Way of The Pack: Understanding and Living With Livestock Guardian Dogs, and a very interesting article on my LGDs and own health and fight with my sickness, which was hit on me literally after my LGD book was released on September 17, 2018. My huge thanks to the two women who committed and helped me in this book. Shelly Gerhard and Cindy Whitaker, I both thank you so much and God Bless your kindness and generosity in my magazine. Your kind remembrance of my story and the famous Kurt Markus photograph that he became famous on, means heart and soul to me as well.
My second book I began writing on and off, decades ago - far before I even tackled on my LGD books. I'm coming on 65 years old, and still trying to get this second book done. Don't laugh: there's even a third, final book in the works, and yes indeed, dogs involve with me again.
The Big Out There: A Buckaroo Life in Words and Art hopefully will come out this year. I dangled around this whole life with writing and artistically drawing on magazines and newspapers on ranching since I was in my 20-plus year old. With my fighting MS, mind confusion, pains and health issue, I struggle against my world every day. The loss of having a full time job to bulk up more money, does not help, as I hang on with my piddly SSI monthly penchant and the kindness of those who buy my book that helps me along. A month ago, I just put my beautiful 10-plus year ranch up for sale so I can get all the taxes caught up, and moved me and my ten left LGD dogs down closer to the river by Winnemucca. It's no easy life. I fight every day and become exhausted. Especially the kind of life I used to live on buckaroo and ranching on Nevada, California, Oregon and Idaho, and the tons of famous people I knew and lived with for decades, that will also come into my forth coming ranch book. But my Catholic faith and my belief that I can finish it to help others enjoy my art and words, will hopefully be done and enjoyed. I hope you enjoy this Magazine note and that what comes to you from my book shows you a kinder, gentler and kindly way in all things.
Sunday, June 2, 2019
The Way of The Pack Gets a Fan Mail
William C. Reynolds
My years of the famous author, film, movie star, horse and livestock owner Bill Reynolds goes back a long time. His own father used to own CBS. Yeah, you know, a famous film and television in California. Many of you LGDs, farms or ranches might not even have ever met Bill, let along hear of him. Tsk, tsk! Maybe your first look should be over his famous books, films and more: William C. Reynolds.
A most kind letter arrived this yesterday from Bill. I thought the remarks on my book, The Way of The Pack: Understanding and Living With Livestock Guardian Dogs, which was a copy I autographed on and sent to Bill in Santa Ynez, is mentioned here. I was so pleased to hear from him and also amazing his kindness and fight for me against my MS and sickness.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
The Way of The Pack has become a classic. Thank you Brenda for showing me a more kinder way with Livestock Guardian Dogs.
— Candy and Roy
This book is full of practical advice for learning about LGDs, and how to give them the opportunity to live to their fullest potential. The best part may be the great stories Brenda uses to illustrate how to put her advice into practice. Relying on years of living with these dogs, her knowledge and experience is deep and her love and admiration for the breeds is evident.
— Ms. Judd
This is an excellent book. It is written in a short snappy way that reads like an instruction manual on the proper handling of livestock guardian dogs (LGDs). Brenda Negri explains the reasons for everything in an easy to understand way. She brings 40 years of experience with livestock, predators, and study of LGDs both here and abroad and shares it with the reader.
— Sigmund Robbins
Written with heart, soul, and passion. This is a great book if you are looking at LGD's or already have them. Give it a try and you won't regret it!
— Nathan Negri
Brilliant talk, thanks a million Brenda.
— Jacqueline Judge
I have read many of the articles she wrote in magazines. I was fortunate enough to belong to a forum that she posted on and her words of wisdom were treasured. To have her life's work in a book, is a book to read from cover to cover and read again and again. She teaches how toread a dog's body language and how to present yourself to the dog. She promotes a hands on approach to these dogs and being involved in their daily lives. This book is on my nightstand, I read it at night. I just completed it and will start over in order to absorb all I can. I heartily recommend this book to anyone with Livestock Guard Dogs.
— Amazon Customer
It doesn't matter if your pack consists of 1 LGD or 10 this book is an invaluable resource. Bravo for dispelling the "Hands Off" myth that has been perpetuated in the USA since the 1970s. So glad to find an author of LGDs that 'gets it'. Get the book, you won't be disappointed at all!
— Missouri Homesteader
This book is the kind of depth, thoughtfulness and brilliance that does not come along very often. Especially with LGD books, I have not seen anything like Negri’s book before. More LGD owners need to read this book and see what they can realize, too. I’ve bought three other copies for other friends, to help them.
— CL Johns
You are a great women, I truly wish people would have to take a class by you. Thanks for your incredible works!!!
— John Petzold
I love this. I wish more ranchers in Eastern Oregon would practice non-lethal livestock protection.
— Deep Tracks
I bought one copy. It turned into many more. Fantastic, great, wonderful.
— H. K.
This book has taken a new breath, contemplated and yes – even a much safer way to use and own LGDs. That includes using and being “okay” with all the predators, and no, that does not mean shooting them all for kill-joy, either! Read this book, see how much there is to learn on LGDs, and it will show such a new, kinder way.
— John C. Ziller
Stunning, deeply thoughtful and brilliant; this book can’t be read enough.
— Kathy Kentucky
Her book grabbed me. The You Tubes she put out have become classic, even millions of hits. My LGDs became even better dogs after reading this book (and the films) and I wish more people would see what is capable for them, too. Hands up, first class, five stars.
— Y. W. A.
This is not a book you can flip through, grab a couple key points then put on your bookshelf and forget. This is a book you keep next to your bed and read through over and over again. Whether you run livestock or have a livestock guardian dog as a family companion, this book has valuable information. In fact, if you plan to interact with dogs in any form, this book is a good read.
— Let’s Talk Dogs…Logically! Blog
The owner may have an error or two in her book, however, many people also know of what happened to her after the book came out on Amazon (her health, hospital and illness.) Regardless, what she has done in more than six years on her book has been read over and over. To me, that makes more sense. The wonderful pages of photos, resources, films, book ideas and more, make this book beyond the average dog LGD book.
— Betty Taylor
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Friday, March 15, 2019
Self-Assessment & Discernment for LGD Owners
A special chapter from my book,
The Way of The Pack:
Understanding and Living With
Livestock Guardian Dogs
Understanding and Living With
Livestock Guardian Dogs
So how many of you LGD owners or LGD wannabe's have still have not bought this copy yet? How many of you still sit back and hem and haw? The time is now...
He who knows others is clever;
He who knows himself has discernment.
~ Lao Tzu
Man, know yourself... and you shalt know the gods.
~ Egyptian Proverb
How many of you will read this chapter, or skim over it and toss the book aside in a flustered huff and carry on as usual? Or will you use this as an opportunity to “start over” and learn and do things differently - more mindfully and responsibly - and make positive changes to how you live with, train and use your LGDs? If you want to succeed with LGDs, you must not only be willing to work very hard, you must undergo some honest self-assessment, and you must also learn how to develop discernment. To be an honest owner, to progress well with your dogs, and own and raise them to their fullest potential, being honest with yourself and developing discernment is paramount.
Self-introspection is never fun. It requires honesty and that is not always an easy pill to swallow. But these dogs are honest with us. They deserve honest ownership.
Here we go. Get the family together in the living room by a toasty fire; pour some hot chocolate, get comfortable, and make this a group learning experience. Discuss these questions with everyone who will be involved with owning an LGD. Take a deep breath, and let’s go down my laundry list of questions:
Do you really need an LGD? Or do you just want one because you think that “Breed X” looks “cool?” Or are you getting one because it’s suddenly become the popular thing to do?
Be truthful with yourself. Too many people are fad and binge-buying LGDs because they’ve become so popular - they then grow tired of the work involved, or find out they are in over their heads, or can’t handle the commitment, and then they dump them in shelters or try to give them away without any vetting of the new buyer. These dogs deserve better than that!
Can your predator issues be solved by the fencing you currently lack? Or can you deter predators by repairing the poor fencing you currently have? Have you looked into electrified fence or netting, fladry, noisemakers, game cameras, and if not in large predator territory, the use of a donkey, llamas, geese or even guinea hens to be watchful over your flock or herd? Do you truly understand the requirement for good dog-proof fencing to keep your LGDs home where they belong, and alive - not run over by a semi-truck on the Interstate, stolen, shot or lost?
Are you doing your part keeping your livestock safe by being a good, attentive shepherd? Or are you too busy to spend time in your livestock because you are gone 8 or more hours a day to a job? How do you expect to raise and train a puppy, then, if you are gone all the time?
Are you buying an LGD as a “quick fix” for in-depth problems that need more than a dog to fix? Are you using an LGD to put over your predation problems like a band-aid - a band-aid that will soon come off because you aren’t around to train and monitor your new LGD puppy? Go back and read the “On Being a Good Shepherd” chapter.
Did you get into hobby farming without doing the research first? Did you plop your experimental free-ranging chicken operation in the middle of coyote and hawk country without considering the consequential - and inevitable - loss of poultry?
Did you research your choice of land or farm or ranch before you bought it? Did you really think you could raise sheep or cattle next to several packs of wolves without suffering some losses? Or did you buy your farm or ranch or homestead without asking around to get the “feel” of the country and find out what predators you’d face?
How much money and time do you have to raise an LGD puppy? It takes a lot of time to rear up LGD pups and train them. Are you prepared for the financial burden of feeding, vet bills, regular vaccinations, and emergencies?
LGDs are big dogs - independent dogs. Do you truly get that? Do you grasp the fact that most LGD breeds grow into very large if not giant dogs who can be an independent handful, even in the most experienced of hands?
What has been your dog experience up until now? Do you realize LGDs are different than non-LGD dogs? Do you understand the ways they are different than other, non-LGD breeds?
Do you have young children? Most LGDs are good with children, but if you have small children, are you up to training them not to pull a dog’s ears or tails, and be respectful of your LGD?
Is your whole family on board with getting an LGD or are you the rogue elephant crying for one? Do they have good reasons why an LGD would not work, and you refuse to listen?
Do you realize LGDs need to be be run in pairs at minimum to be effective? If you are contemplating pulling it off with only one dog, forget that fantasy right here and now. You’ll realize too late you should have started with a pair or trio.
As you shop for pups, are you scrutinizing potential LGD breeders or just accepting shallow and vague answers from them? Be sure and read the Finding a Good LGD Breeder chapter. Do not be in such a hurry to get an LGD that you are settling for less in terms of a breeder and the dogs they are producing.
These are just a few questions you need to ponder before you race out and buy your first LGD, or buy one to replace the one you claim is not working out for you, or add to the ones you already own.
* * *
Discernment is the ability to judge well or in a Christian context, perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding. Discerning LGD owners learn to evaluate where they get their dog information.
For example, discerning LGD owners realize that most social media platforms, such as Facebook, have become hotbeds of armchair experts, fake members, and people who are in dire need of self-validation. They are usually not the best sources of good information, yet thousands of people rely on them. Yes, there is a connection between that sad fact and the huge numbers of dumped LGDs showing up in shelters all over the country now.
Livestock Guardian Dog forums on social media platforms and stand-alone website forums are time consuming due to their layouts, and by the mere fact that there are typically thousands of people on them, all seemingly competing against one another to be the “resident expert” or most active commentator. Common sense should tell you that if you are a busy farmer or rancher with work to do and time constraints, that your time is very valuable. It is too valuable to wade through hundreds of posts by fake posters and total unknowns on a forum. It is best spent reading legitimately sourced material that you will find in books, magazines or quarterly journals written by people with bonafide expertise. Agriculture journals, magazines (such as Sheep! Magazine,) and quarterlies, livestock breed association journals, woolgrowers and goat club periodicals, dog breed club magazines (The Akbash Journal, for example) and farm industry websites are much more vetted-out in terms of their content than a Facebook forum ever can be. Discerning LGD owners will lean on these solid sources for intelligently written and sourced material, steer way from information sources that use fake names or hide behind “cute” monikers.
Practicing discernment is a full-time job. Your judgment on whether or not to trust someone or believe what they are telling you in terms of LGDs, will make or break your success with them. This goes for most everything in life.
In our uber-politically correct society, too many people take things at face value and don’t look beyond facades. Too many people are afraid to ask questions. Too many people are too lazy to develop and use common sense. Too many people spend too much time in the shallow end of the pool; they become easily led because they are too lazy to vet out sources of information.
Don’t be one of them.
Don’t take LGD advice from incompetent or vague, shady sources. The man who claims to be an expert yet only owns one LGD and no livestock and lives in a city apartment; the woman who professes to be an LGD expert yet when you dig deeper you can’t find any real proof of her so-called “decades” of writing and research experience. The LGD blogger who hides her real name and her location and regularly plagiarizes other people’s works without giving due credit to her sources. The plethora of Facebook LGD groups. And more. These are the people you need to not listen to in terms of credible knowledge.
* * *
Lack of LGD owner’s self-assessment and practicing intelligent discernment is rampant in the American LGD community, and I see signs of it happening overseas in the Old Country, too. Lack of self-assessment and discernment is the core of so many LGD problems, failed dog ownerships and relationships, training and use issues, and results in dogs suffering by being dumped in shelters, pounds and rescues. It has become so bad that there are now rescue LGD groups all over Facebook, for popular, more common breeds, and rare ones as well.
That alone speaks volumes.
* * *
God gave you brains to use and think with, not park and gather dust in a corner of your head.
Owning LGDs is not a social exercise in gaining popularity, collecting friends you never had before or Facebook pals and “likes.” It is a very serious commitment. Please treat the ownership and use of these wonderful dogs with the serious respect it commands.
Look in the mirror first. Ask those hard questions of yourself and don’t settle for sugar coated solutions.
You portend and profess to love and care for your livestock and your agriculture-based farming, homesteading, prepping, organic produce, ranch, self sustaining “back to the farm” kind of existence and lifestyle. Well, time to do more than talk about it: it’s time to walk the walk and be serious about it. That includes your LGDs.
Don’t treat LGD ownership like an “E” ticket ride at Disneyland; don’t gentrify it or dumb it down into cute social media posts; don’t treat these dogs like plastic picnic plates you toss in the trash after you’ve used them. These amazing dogs give their lives in service to you, to keep your property, family members, precious livestock and fowl safe from harm.
You owe them so much for their valiant efforts and their devotion. Taking their ownership seriously and responsibly is a great way to start.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Lent: Time For LGDs & Humans
Showing Trust and Faith
It is now for Lent Season, for the time for not only our dogs, but LGD owners as well, to become adult, kind, consistent, mindful and intelligent. Yes, intelligence. By LGD owner, they can take a step back and be mindful, faithful, wise, pacifiers and kind. Instead of harming against wolves, coyotes, bears and other predators, more mindful humans and LGD owners can take a step back and learn. My book, The Way of The Pack: Understanding and Living With Livestock Guardian Dogs spoke passionately over these five core values I believed in of my book - and still do. Hundreds of people have bought here to read more, and more and more of them are realizing they too, need to get on board and learn. How about you? Have you thought over these thoughts and words in my book where you can read and learn?
Monday, February 18, 2019
Here's the Table of Contents. from my book, The Way of The Pack. You'll find it filled with tons of help, resources, film pictures, books and more. Have you bought a copy yet?
And an UPDATE: perhaps you'll enjoy this kind 5 star review. I responded with their kindness and their true words and wisdom:
And an UPDATE: perhaps you'll enjoy this kind 5 star review. I responded with their kindness and their true words and wisdom:
Friday, February 15, 2019
Who Let the Dogs Out? Blast from the Past:
The Famous LGD RANGE Magazine
When featured on September 2012, RANGE Magazine's article on my Livestock Guardian Dogs and the pack of my large packs of Kangals, Spanish Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, Maramma x Anatolians, Pyrenean Mastiffs and my mix of sheep and goats, was a favorite over many readers - particularly US ranchers who have read RANGE Magazine for years. CJ Hadley is a famous magazine author and writer who came down to see my ranch and take the photos. She still keeps in touch with me now and then, too, from her Reno, Nevada area that lives 2 1/2 hours from my ranch out of Winnemucca, Nevada.
If you haven't seen this famous magazine yet, a copy of this Fall 2012 magazine is still available to buy from RANGE Magazines:
Monday, February 4, 2019
Farm Show Magazine Feature: The Way of The Pack: Understanding and Living With Livestock Guardian Dogs
Farm Show Magazine has also done a great review on the magazine of my book.
Have you seen it yet? If not, go read it, and get my book...
"….Molosser Magazin(e) which first appeared in 1981, was the provocative and courageous brainchild of Christofer Habig, an internation...
It's time to publicly name and shame lazy shepherds, academics and researchers who are using and advocating the use of these and othe...