This is Us
Updated: Feb 6, 2018
I’m Wynne, editor for indogspensable! and these are the dogs of Wynley Park: our golden lab, Honor and our 2 LGDs, Scout & Finch.
indogspensable! is a compilation of articles written by respected experts, my experiences as dog lover & trainer and reviews for the best products to help you and your dog celebrate life!
What's an LGD?
Book lovers might remember Scout Finch, Harper Lee’s heroine. Ms. Lee’s Scout was an unusually kind, smart, confident, and spirited (okay, stubborn, but always with the best of intentions) protector of the underdog. Like Ms. Lee’s gal, LGDs (livestock guardian dog)#livestockguardiandog are inherently fierce, loving, independent dogs. They’re bred to protect their herd. When one is working (protecting) get out of the way or get run over!
Adore me as they may, obey me they will not if a predator is nearby.
Danger can be anything that comes into their space; stray dogs, coyotes, snakes, rats. Even cute bunnies and fed ex packages are shown no mercy at our farm. Most common LGD breeds in the US are: Great Pyrenees (Scout & Finch), the Anatolian Shepherd,
Maremma Sheepdog and the Komondor (nice dreads)
I made sure to read up on the Great Pyrenees traits before getting one to guard Wynley alpacas.#alpacas
Though I’ve trained a number of dogs, Scout was my first working dog and I wanted to train her in such a way as to respect her guardian instincts.
I couldn’t help falling in love with her- could you not love this face?...
BUT she did not come inside, not even her first night home, because everything I learned advised me not to treat them like a pet. Scout learned to “sit” in the first 24 hours and could “shake” by the end of the weekend. “Stay”, not so much. She lets us know when things are amiss. Example, when she was around 6 months, the door was blown open by the wind. I heard whining coming from the kitchen and found her standing at the threshold. She had wanted to let me know the door was open and the inside cat had gone out. She cautiously entered the kitchen, but she refused to step into the hallway with the the odd-looking soft stuff we know to be carpet.
There are polar thoughts when it comes to LGDs. Some people are adamant in their "hands off" approach to raising guardians, keeping them away from pet dogs, even people, in order to bond to their charges. Others think it’s okay for humans to be affectionate, but not too affectionate, so that the dog remains committed to guarding. After nearly losing Scout twice, I believe these dogs can be must be handled on a regular basis as pups. They need to walk on-leash, come to me when called and get into my vehicle because I am responsible for their well-being.
LGD owners quickly learn their dog's specific bark for specific dangers. Scout has unique barks for human visitors and unwelcome critters, but we respond most quickly when she alerts us of a snake. She has intense dislike for all snakes of any kind. She survived two rattlesnake bite, a bite #dogsnakebite to the face at 8 months of age, and a 2nd bite to her paw when she was 16 months. Scout’s paw had to be kept clean and dry and we re-bandaged it several times a day for almost a month. Due to a slew of rainy days, she spent lots of time indoors, becoming familiar not only with carpet, but also with dog beds.#bestdogproducts
This Serta orthopedic bed is her favorite! She's also crate trained now. In case anyone is wondering about the snake, it's dead.
Of this we agree- there is no such thing as a good snake for Wynley Park. It took us awhile to convince her that soaker hoses were not of the same species, however, she has since matured into a wise and brave farm partner, and she is very serious about teaching Finch his LGD duties.