LGD Myths

There are a number of myths that are circulating in the LGD community. One of these myths is the so-called notion of “wolf killer” LGDs vs. the more common and traditionally known LGD breeds. There is strong marketing and claims out there trying to portray that breeds like the Turkish Kangal, Sarplaninac, Transmontano Mastiff and Karakachan are somehow capable of handling wolves, whereas Great Pyrenees, Maremmas and other white LGDs are not. The reality is that no LGD is capable of actually facing and killing wolves, especially the large-sized Canadian Timberwolves. Effective wolf management has less to do with utilizing a specific breed and more to do with proper strategies and utilization of the LGDs. For example, making sure there are adequate numbers of LGDs vs. the predator load as well as considering the terrain, predator patterns and behaviour, and figuring out a real and comprehensive management plan. It is usually a numbers game and strategy much like chess between the LGD pack and the wolf pack. A strong, solid and cohesive LGD pack is vital to repel wolves. If the dogs can outnumber the wolves and maybe ambush one, it is possible they can inflict casualties and the vise versa can also occur where the wolves will kill outnumbered or unsuspecting LGDs. Therefore, the idea of just buying a "wolf killer" LGD and placing it in an outnumbered situation is as good as feeding wolves. CERTAINLY, a more canine aggressive LGD breed is preferred in wolf country due to the aforementioned reason of the “willingness to engage” factor. I believe Kuvasz are certainly canine aggressive enough (least the lines I breed) to be effective LGDs even against wolves.


Another notable myth is that LGDs should just be thrown out in a field with the livestock and they will figure out what to do and they should have minimal human contact. Although LGDs possess inherent instincts to be gentle with the weak, to bond to livestock and to protect them, it is not as simple as abandoning the dogs with the livestock. The dogs still need some guidance and training, such as making sure that during adolescence they don’t play with the stock, or for them to understand where their property boundaries end. Moreover, LGDs do not have to be isolated from human contact to be effective and to bond to the livestock. LGDs need to be able to be handled, such as for example if a dog gets injured and requires medical attention. In the olden days (and even nowadays in Transylvania) shepherds lived with their livestock 24h a day out in the pasture and the LGDs accompany them, which means they were continuously exposed to human contact (i.e. the shepherd) and it does not hinder them from bonding to and protecting the livestock.

Spiked collars have been used for centuries and are highly recommended when guarding against wolves.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roccale_2.JPG

Electric fencing is another useful tool to ease the job of the LGDs. 

Source: grit.com

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