Why LGDs Bark & How To Manage This

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Even after working all night this capable adult pair scan for threats to their donkeys; to sound off with barking is absolutely appropriate.

Barking is the primary way LGDs protect their livestock – and themselves – from predators. Barking lets the predators know, before they come anywhere close, the presence of the dogs. In most cases predators are deterred from coming any closer; this is especially true if two or more LGDs are doing the barking. This is good even if the barking annoys you!

LGDs represent a sizeable investment of time and finances. Although they are bred to be willing to take on a predator I’d rather they didn’t have to because I don’t want my dogs hurt. The beauty of the relationship between LGDs and predators is that they may never have to because they deter predators just by being present.

This means they will bark at nothing – or do they?

The Oregon state trapper told me that a mountain lion can smell prey from two miles away, so I wonder how close that lion needs to be for my dogs to know he’s there. In almost every case the dogs will sound off much before I, limited human that I am, am aware of the presence of a predator. I was told once that the measure of an LGD who is good at his job is that he makes you think you don’t need him because you never see a predator. This is wonderful because in this scenario nobody dies.

There is a blog on my site called “No Illusions.” In it you will see a photo of a bear and a mountain lion fighting it out at 1:00 am on my ranch. I was shocked to see this when my friend, who monitors the game cameras on the ranch, showed me the photo. He chuckled and let me