|Barked: Mon Apr 23, '12 9:36pm PST |
|Around here the requirement is 2 acres per single horse, but take that as you will. We didn't used to have to bring in a lot of feed but since we are just now starting to get over the drought (still considered moderate drought condition) that made a mess of my area the past ten years we've had to buy a lot of hay from out of state.
It makes a wreck on a financial scale and honestly it's not cost effective in many cases to run livestock here.
That said to address your original question.. It depends on what you want a dog For. if you want a livestock guardian go with a guardian breed... don't try for a multi purpose dog, they aren't any good unless they live with the stock.
Two main issues... Do you have a large number of predators... and what Kind of predators. I run livestock dogs in conjunction With jacks with each of my herds. It's the safest most cost effective method.
Not all livestock guardians are created equal either. In order to have a good dog you really need a pup that has been imprinted on the kind of stock that you wish to run them with. There are a lot of people trying to 'rehome' mix breeds for this purpose in my area and it's not even slightly useful.
My opinion is that if you feel you need a guardian go with either a jack, a llama, or a guardian dog.. if you want a dog to be a pet/do other things with, get a separate dog.
I have some friends who run packs of dogs for cougars, Coyotes or occasionally for hogs, but these aren't Guardians... they're hunters and without proper training and management they can just as easy turn on your livestock.
Even the guarding herders are not meant to be left with the stock, they are meant to protect stock during the day with the shepherd either their or nearby and with stock that goes into pens/barns at night. These are not really LSG's it's a different thing.
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