Thursday, June 13, 2019

Packing Life Into The Way of The Pack



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

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. 

Enjoy.









Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Way of The Pack Book Review




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

EPI Dogs


EPI - check it out now!
There are never too many times to read about EPI and know who it can hit on.
Remember my famous Spanish Mastiff, PATRON!



Friday, March 15, 2019

Self-Assessment & Discernment for LGD Owners - from my book, The Way of The Pack

Self-Assessment & Discernment for LGD Owners
A special chapter from my book,
The Way of The Pack: 
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 Assessment
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.
* * *
Developing Discernment
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

People and Carnivores LGD Discussion

People and Carnivores Livestock Guardian Dog Discussion
Two Different Days - March 27th and 28, 2019 - Montana

Also don't forget - have you watched the famous 2012 People and Carnivores film?


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Lent: Time For LGDs & Humans Showing Trust and Faith

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? 

Patience
Compassion
Respect
Trust
Consistency


Monday, February 18, 2019

Table of Contents for The Way of The Pack: Understanding and Living With Livestock Guardian Dogs

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:

February 17, 2019
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase



Friday, February 15, 2019

Who Let the Dogs Out? Blast from the Past: The Famous LGD RANGE Magazine

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:
1-800-RANGE-4-U
www.rangemagazine.com





Thursday, January 31, 2019

Dog Fights: During and After



Do you know what to do if your dogs get in a fight? Of course I know about this. I know so much over it for so many years and years in fact it becomes like a dance going on in front of me, literally. Why? Because it happens immediately with me and what is going on, and I am in the middle of it, it is like using my brain without even knowing why I have to. It just happens so fast, and I am so thick in the middle of it watching, moving, saying what I need to say, and working it over the dogs so it stops and all gets settled again. It’s literally like a dream. Anyone who can get their mind wrapped over this can do it too, if they try.
So listen to this little story. It so happens this morning one of my cranky very larger LGD females has been in heat and safely locked up in one of my barns. And she’s a huge female too and always trying to get something started, and that means being edged on her and what’s going on. Of course, the male pack is always edging around, moving, smelling, waiting, hoping, and finally, if one of the big studs gets the edge over the rest of dogs, well – the fight starts!
And that is what happened today with three of my very large LGDs got into it in front of the farm. I’m talking three huge dogs, and just one male that runs 230 pounds and a jaw on his head that could kill anything or anyone! So I get two of the big males pulled down more, and as it happened the smaller but very older ten year old male got ripped up on a whole side of one leg. It took me being in the middle of it to break down the other two males to stop and leave the old timer off, and get everyone backed down, separated, and moved. The old timer got my time with cleaning him, fixing his leg, washing off blood and medication and pain to get him settling and calmed and quiet. His thick beds will help him stay warm and quiet with his other same year old stud dog who’ll keep an eye on him and make sure he’s okay, too.
But how many LGD owners know what goes on behind a big dog fight? How many of you think about it after it is too late or through? How much time do people take to undertand what makes something like this happen? Does anyone think about how setting things up better, and being calm and steady when the fight is going on and you must take the chance and guts (yes, I mean YOU people) and do what is the best way to take care of things. Don’t people understand, this is using your brain, your eyes, your ears - always listening, watching, what is going on? Why are so many lazy farmers and ranchers too fat, too “important” over their Facebook, their fancy new car, their big money on their horse trailer?
Hmmm, something people need to think about, yes?
Well, here’s the big tease for those of you who still sit back and hem and haw about whether or not they should ever take the time sit down and read this book and take it seriously. No, I’m not talking about the panty-pants whiney cry babies who are always too lazy to get serious about their farm, ranch, livestocks and dogs. You need to know and read it and understand! The whole book is what you need to buy on and take home and read it and really study over what I say and try to get people understanding about what happens, what makes it work, move, fight and get over it. There is a whole world there on just that chapter; no telling what else is there you need to write, too!
Here’s the treat: part of the whole page. Get your mind focused and LEARN!
Dog Fights: During & After
The best fights are the ones we avoid.
— Jackie Chan
Love is more powerful than kicking ass.
---Jet Li
No decent, compassionate human likes to see two or more dogs getting into a fight. It is a traumatic sight for the owner and traumatic and stressful for the dogs involved. When you are running two or more LGDs to guard livestock, even under the best circumstances and most attentive shepherding, occasional dogfights are inevitable. Most of the time, dogs can sort out their own conflicts. Not all fights need you to step in and become involved, in fact, most of them will end quickly as the dogs figure things out themselves. Ah, but then there are those other kinds of fights…and that is what this chapter is for.
Here are some of my observations and tips for owners of working Livestock Guardian Dogs who typically are outside, i.e., not enclosed inside a building or home, when their dogs get into fights. Please understand one thing: when it comes to breaking up a dogfight, nothing is set in stone! Keep your mind open. Do not get stuck in the “it has to be this or that” mode.
Breaking it up
Some of the methods used or promoted to break up a dogfight include:
• Spraying water on combatting dogs with a hose
• Hitting them on their legs with a stick, shovel, etc.
• Throwing a blanket over their heads
• Making a very loud noise
• Placing a rope around the neck of one dog and pulling it out of the fray
• Stepping into the middle of it and trying to pull the dogs apart
• Throwing buckets of water at the fighting dogs
• Grabbing legs, collars or tails
• Honking a car horn, revving a truck engine
• If a fight is related to a female in estrus, removing the female
• Turning my back and walking away (“Letting Go”)
I have used every one of these “solutions” at one time or another. Sometimes they work. I have seen each of these methods fail more than they worked, many times. In other words, do not trust them to be the answer, all of the time. There IS no answer for all of the time. It will depend on the dogs, and the intensity and reason for the fight….
/////
And there the rest of it can be found on my book in this chapter! This is just the beginning of it! So see how much is left to learn on this alone?
Amazon.com $35.00 or $15.00 for eBook.
So stop hemming and hawing, and get on to it and learn!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Resources for Farmers Concerned about Large Predators

I must bow my head down with thanks, gratitude and great resources again, produced by Paul White in the EU - Transylvania. More American LGDs need to read what he has to say. And more USA LGDs are becoming less and less completive and ideological as they become fanatics on quick bings on cheap puppies, no thinking about their long goal planed, and so much more. That in and of itself I will attack over next on another topic. 

For now, it's important to read again from Paul White's latest Blog, Resources for Farmers Concerned about Large Predators. Read this, and keep following Paul's Blog.

https://www.wildtransylvania.com/2019/01/resources-for-farmers-predator-threat.html?fbclid=IwAR1xKC_lh11zBIdHXAfSNLJAU81fmCscUv2q6TZNfytOiWOnZAp2PbdeF_Y#.XE8yWZTP0Ak.messenger 



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Paul White's Comment on Sheep Farming in Predator Country

I am very proud of Paul White's continual work on animals, LGDs, shepherds, predators and more, and hope you enjoy his wonderful musing here and there - from his famous country near Transylvania. Enjoy his latest comment!
Sheep Farming in Predator Country


Never let anyone tell you that it's not possible to farm with sheep in predator country because it is. Shepherds and herdsmen have been grazing livestock in Transylvania for centuries and without fences. The big difference here is that sheep never graze on open ground alone. Shepherds are always present with the support of their livestock guardian dogs (LGD) to instantly counter threats from predators.

This was far from a typical day as normally I would be down there in one of those snow covered houses trying to keep warm. It was well below freezing, but rather than sit around the house I decided to take a trip into the foothills with Bandi, one of the many shepherds that live in Ozsdola. Usually I visit Bandi in fair weather during the grazing season which covers spring, summer and autumn. So this winter grazing trip was a first for me.

This is not 'one man and his dog', but more one man and his pack! Bandi had chosen five dogs for the several hours of grazing planned in the surrounding hills. Several points have to be considered before deciding which and how many dogs to take.

Predator burden - Ozsdola has a high predator burden for shepherds. The greatest threat comes from wolves and bears, so more LGDs are required to protect sheep. In winter when food is scarce, wolves move down from the surrounding hills and forests. They usually prey on wild boar and deer, but in winter often target stray dogs from villages. There is also the expectation that bears are hibernating in winter, but not all, especially if there is a food source available. Bears scavenge from bins and passing motorists, but equally both predator species will take sheep if not adequately protected.

Flock size - obviously the more sheep you have to watch and protect the more LGDs you need. All dogs are different and their skills, personalities, strengths and weaknesses must all be considered by the shepherd when choosing which dogs to take with him. Seniors obviously have more experience and knowledge but may not be as fit and agile as the juniors. The oldest dog with us was twelve years old, an incredible age for such a large dog. Although fit and healthy, it stuck close to the shepherd and the sheep. So did two other dogs whilst the remaining two acted as 'outriders' checking the ground surrounding the flock, especially bushes and trees that offer cover for predators.

It is important to say that here there is never a scenario of a shepherd working with one dog. A single dog is no match for a wolf or bear. Dogs are only effective when working in cooperation with others, so two is always the minimum number.

Livestock guardian dogs do not drive sheep, they integrate with them and surround the flock to protect them. If a bear or wolf attacks then these dogs will put their lives on the line to repel the predator.

As soon as the dogs and sheep left the village they all knew the routine and made their way uphill along a track which connects with one of several communal meadows that surround the village. I followed taking photos and noted that there was little verbal communication between the shepherd and his dogs. There was no need really as the dogs knew what to do and the sheep knew where to go.

Obviously there's not the same amount of grass available compared to summer but the sheep did find some morsels to eat amongst the snow. However, these winter excursions are not just about nutrition as the sheep are given plenty of winter feed in large barns. This is also about exercising the animals, especially the dogs as the winter here can be very long, often extending from November to April.

Note: Several people have contacted me regarding this article and the issue of a continuous human presence with LGDs to optimise predator deterrence and reduction of livestock losses. Many do not believe this to be economically viable in modern day farming. My observations are confined to my small study area situated in the eastern Carpathians of Romania amongst the Szekely community. Fladry and fences, electric or otherwise are not generally used.

I am aware that there are many instances of human/predator conflict in Romania, especially when the 'old ways' of protecting livestock have been forgotten. However, the shepherds I study are experienced and offer a highly effective deterrent (in conjunction with their LGDs) in an area with a high predator burden.

Dogs are much less effective without a shepherd or shepherds present. They need guidance, feeding and chastising occasionally. The shepherd is like a parent, attending to both sheep and dogs, looking after their health and dealing with injuries as and when they occur. LGD pack dynamics is a constant consideration too. Introducing new blood/puppies, raising and supervising young dogs, working with them and maintaining boundaries. All this early attention/intervention makes for a well balanced and better behaved dog. LGDs that are overly aggressive with humans have not been supervised properly and haven't been around people enough.

Transhumance here is remote shepherding with grazing areas often located between forest stands in the wildest areas of the mountains. Once grazed the shepherds follow forest corridors to fresh grazing on neighbouring meadows. They milk their sheep three times a day and make cheese on the mountain. They are too far away from home to return each evening for a shower and to sleep. It is a tough life being attached to your flock 24/7 from April through to October, but who said that farming in predator country was easy?

That said, this system works well and a constant human presence keeps livestock losses to a minimum. The choice is really very simple. If you want to farm in predator country and leave your sheep unattended, then your losses will obviously be high. Shepherds sleeping in huts next to their sheep can react immediately if a wolf enters the sheepfold. They work as a team with their dogs to repel any attack but never with guns which they neither carry or use. The objective is to repel and deter attacks from predators but NOT to kill them. Your dogs will always do their best to protect your sheep, but they will always do better with their master present.

WILD TRANSYLVANIA - COPYRIGHT © PAUL WHITE - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Way of The Pack on Kindle eBook!







Surprise! For the new year of January, my book 
The Way of The Pack: Understanding and Living With Livestock Guardian Dogs 
will be available for those who want or use 
Kindle eBook lists
Only $15.00 in eBook! 
100's of people have bought my book.
For those preferred to go on eBook, 
Amazon has it: 
$15 KINDLE eBOOK!



Friday, January 11, 2019

Working Dog Liability Insurance

Working Dog Liability Insurance

Goat-Dog-1_Web
Working Dog Liability Insurance (WDLI) is for livestock producers, who use guardian and herding dogs to protect their livestock from predators and other risks, and to assist in the management of their flock or herd.
Frequently the producers have no liability protection from incidents related to the guardian and herding dogs.
Most farm and ranch insurance policies exclude working dogs or dogs which “may show aggressive tendencies.” WDLI is managed and serviced by Food and Fiber Risk Managers. They understand the business, and know that livestock production is your livelihood, and have your best interest at heart.


Brenda M. Negri served as a consultant to the American Sheep Industry owned insurance company’s Working Dog Liability Insurance program, https://workingdogliabilityinsurancedotcom.wordpress.com. She authored it’s Loss Prevention Manuals and assisted in creating and implementing the ground breaking program in 2015 and 2016. 

Check out Liability Insurance today.

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