12 Livestock Guardian Dog Breeds (With Pictures)

12 Livestock Guardian Dog Breeds (With Pictures)

If you could have any expertise with proudly owning livestock, you understand there are predators on the market who need your livestock for dinner. Depending on the world you reside in, there might be coyotes, mountain lions, foxes, wolves, and even bears. A livestock guardian canine might show you how to preserve all of your chickens, geese, goats, sheep, or different small livestock secure and accounted for.

Sure, there’s your common household home canine who barks from the within of the home at each particular person strolling by, after which there are livestock guardian canines (LGDs for brief). These canines are fairly totally different from regular canines, as they’re bred to guard and collect no matter livestock they’re set answerable for.

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The 12 Livestock Guardian Dog Breeds

1. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees in the mountain
Image Credit: Paolo Seimandi, Shutterstock
Height: 26 – 32 inches
Weight: 80 – 120 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

Likely the most well-liked LGD, the Great Pyrenees canine breed has been round because the fifteenth century. Originally from the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe, the breed first got here to the United States in 1931. These canines are mild in direction of livestock and youngsters and fearless in direction of undesirable predators. Their nocturnal sleep schedules imply they will keep up and work together together with your livestock all night, so there’s no want to fret about them being out to pasture.

2. Kuvasz

Kuvasz sitting in the snow
Image Credit: La Su, Shutterstock
Height: 26 – 30 inches
Weight: 77 – 110 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

Hailing from Hungary, the Kuvasz is a giant canine with a giant character. Believe it or not, these canines are well-known for being humorous. Because of this, they make an ideal household canine and have been rising in reputation as family pets. Although humorous, these canines are additionally fairly impartial and might bark typically, and so they might not be nice to have you probably have different small pets round.

3. Anatolian Shepherd

Image Credit: CharlitoCZ, Shutterstock
Height: 28 – 32 inches
Weight: 88 – 140 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years

This Turkish LGD is assumed to have been a crossbreed between an Akbash and Kangal canine. Anatolian Shepherds had been first delivered to the United States as part of a Department of Agriculture program attempting to determine which canine was the perfect sheepdog. When this system fell via, the canines had been bought to most people.

Anatolian Shepherds’ character traits are described as impartial, cussed, agile, and speedy. They are praised for his or her intelligence, and their sense of listening to is extraordinarily good.

4. Akbash

Image Credit: Liam Copeland, Shutterstock
Height: 2.3 – 2.8 ft
Weight: 90 – 140 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 11 years

The Akbash canine breed can be from Turkey and isn’t seen outdoors of the nation. It’s been round for hundreds of years, holding shut watch over giant and small livestock by watching out for any adjustments within the setting round them. Akbash canines, when skilled nicely, solely assault when they’re challenged, which might make them an ideal canine breed for a household that has many guests.

5. Kangal

Image Credit: Marry Kolesnik, Shutterstock
Height: 25 – 31 inches
Weight: 90 – 150 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years

Even although the Kangal has solely been just lately heard of in the remainder of the world, they’ve been guardian canines in Turkey since historical instances. These canines are quick, reaching speeds of as much as 31 miles per hour when they should. Kangals are the perfect of each worlds in relation to LGDs: they’re loyal and delicate to their homeowners whereas additionally guarding your livestock with their lives.

6. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Caucasian Shepherd dog
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock
Height: 2.2 – 2.3 ft
Weight: 100 – 220 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

Caucasian Shepherd dogs are large and protecting as well. These canines have been sheepdogs within the Caucasus mountains (which embody the nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) for a whole bunch of years, identified for combating off wolves, jackals, and even bears. When you carry a Caucasian Shepherd canine house, be ready with quite a lot of coaching in your again pocket. Because these canines have an impartial and cussed streak, it’s not beneficial that first-time canine homeowners tackle the duty of being accountable for this canine.

7. Komondor

Komondor running on snow
Image Credit: HellViolet, Pixabay
Height: 25 – 30 inches
Weight: 88 – 110 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

The Komondor, also referred to as the Hungarian Shepherd, blends proper in with its environment; from distant, it appears to be like identical to one of many sheep in a herd. This implies that an unsuspecting predator would get fairly the shock in the event that they tried to hold away one of many livestock. Their hair begins off curly and steadily varieties cords over time. It takes about 2 years for these cords to kind. Komondors make wonderful guard dogs. To preserve them from pinning your guests down, be certain they’re nicely socialized at a younger age.

8. Karakachan

Karakachan Mountain shepherd guardian dog
Image Credit: Julian Popov, Shutterstock
Height: 24 – 30 inches
Weight: 66 – 120 kilos
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years

A canine breed originating from Bulgaria, the Karakachan remains to be discovered shepherding in its native nation, in addition to Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia. At one time, the breed was utilized by the Bulgarian army for border patrol, however now they’re nearly all the time guardian canines. Although they are often affectionate and loving to individuals they name household, they will present aggression to individuals they have no idea. Karakachan homeowners ought to preserve their canines skilled nicely to keep away from this drawback.

9. Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff in the snow
Image Credit: AnjavdR, Shutterstock
Height: 25 – 31 inches
Weight: 120 – 240 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years

Like many canine breeds on this checklist, Pyrenean Mastiffs are a really outdated canine breed. They come from Spain initially. After the Spanish Civil War, financial hardships meant that folks might now not feed these large canines, and so they practically went extinct. Today they’re now not endangered, however they’re nonetheless fairly uncommon.

Due to their big measurement and territorial character, Pyrenean Mastiffs needs to be correctly skilled when rising up from puppyhood to keep away from accidents and accidents as adults. As lengthy as you’re on their good aspect, although, they’ll love and shield you till their final day.

10. Polish Tatra Sheepdog

polish tatra sheepdog lying on grass smiling
Image Credit: Neon Lilith Photography, Shutterstock
Height: 24 – 28 inches
Weight: 80 – 130 kilos
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

The Polish Tatra is a delicate big. Compared to the opposite livestock guardian canines, the Polish Tatra is just not as aggressive. By solely barking and being there close to the livestock, they defend and shield the herds. Just just like the Pyrenean Mastiff, this breed was nearly extinct if it weren’t for breeding efforts in Poland.

As the saying goes, the Polish Tatra’s bark is larger than its chew, because it’s identified for its loud bark. However, one upside to this breed is that they don’t drool. Drooling is a standard trait in giant canines.

11. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan-Mastiff_Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock
Height: 24 – 30 inches
Weight: 75 – 160 kilos
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years

Tibetan Mastiffs stands out as the most ferocious livestock guardian dogs on the checklist. These Mastiffs have been identified to tackle flying predators, coyotes, and bears. Because their ancestors come from the cruel Himalayan mountain situations, Tibetan Mastiffs are hardy and have a thick coat of fur, so they’ll do nicely in chilly winters. They will keep up all night time together with your livestock and sleep in the course of the day. Get them skilled when they’re younger to keep away from sure cussed behaviors.

12. Tornjak

Tornjak_Simun Ascic, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Simun Ascic, Shutterstock
Height: 23 – 28 inches
Weight: 62 – 110 kilos
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years

Our closing LGD breed on the checklist can be the smallest: the Tornjak, also referred to as the Croatian Mountain canine. Though smaller, the Tornjak remains to be robust and highly effective. It comes from the world previously often known as the Balkans, however right this moment known as Croatia, Herzegovina, and Bosnia. This canine breed is calm and regular for its homeowners and suspicious of strangers. They can’t be bribed and so they be taught rapidly, making them simple to coach. Make positive to take action when they’re younger, although, or they might get aggressive and uncontrolled.

Before you resolve to purchase your self a livestock guardian canine from this checklist of breeds, let’s discover their temperaments somewhat extra and why they could or might not be an excellent match to your property and household.



Livestock Guardian Dog Characteristics

LGDs have their professionals and cons. They are wonderful, in fact, at guarding issues. These canine breeds are impartial canines who suppose rapidly on their ft. There’s no want to inform these canines to assault; it’s of their DNA to chase away predators with a nasty bark or a cost and assault.

Livestock Dog Temperament: Aggressive or Friendly?

With that being stated, some individuals fear that these canines could also be too aggressive for his or her households or their small animals. In truth, most of those canines are normally docile in direction of livestock and their homeowners.

Many of those canine breeds are thought-about nice household canines; it’s strangers and different visiting pets that you simply might need to fret about. That’s as a result of these canine breeds take into account something outdoors of their interior circle a menace to what they shield. So, for those who get an LGD, be ready to both practice him nicely at a younger age or preserve him chained or caged up when you could have guests over, simply in case.

Do Livestock Dogs Bark a Lot?

Yes, livestock canines are inclined to bark quite a bit. It is smart: their complete purpose is to chase away any menace to the animals they shield, so they’re prone to bark at something they sense is threatening. You can safely assume that for those who carry an LGD house, there can be quite a lot of barking occurring at any hour, relying on the exercise round your property or property.

For this motive, take into account your property: is it giant or small? Are there neighbors very shut that is likely to be bothered by quite a lot of barking? Do you could have individuals strolling alongside the streets close by typically? By asking your self these questions, you’ll higher know if a livestock guardian canine can be appropriate to your state of affairs.

Dog vs. Wild Animal: Can Livestock Dogs Kill?

Livestock guardian canines can positively kill predators. Research by The Conversation reveals that, out of the scientific stories about livestock canines that they studied, 34% of livestock canines chased away predators, and 10% of the time the canines killed them. The kind of predator is just not specified, however you’ll be able to ensure that having a livestock guardian canine might be higher than not having one in relation to your livestock’s security.




By now you’ve realized that livestock guardian dogs are big, loyal, and all the time have a watchful eye out for threats, even via the night time. These canines, when skilled and socialized nicely at a younger age, will shield not solely your livestock but additionally your loved ones when wanted.

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