"How many Guardians do I need?" is a
question that has no absolutely correct answer. Before you can can begin
to know how many guardians will be right for your needs, you must answer the following questions:
Terrain and property questions-
What is my terrain like? Is it flat or hilly? Is there a
dense growth of forest or brush? Is it all pasture? How much acreage is
there? Is it isolated or urban? Is it a farm where I live or property away
from the house?
What kind of stock do I have? How many of them are there?
Do I have them penned in separated pastures or all together? What kinds of
predators are they at risk from?
What kind of predators are in this area? How many of
them are there? (the answer to this question is not a number but a relative
estimate - many, few, some) What kind of predator problems have been common in
Do I have neighbors? Are they farmers and stock raisers or
suburbanites? How many small stock (as in goats and sheep) operations are
close to me? How many large stock (as in horses and cattle) operations are
close to me? Are there current zoning laws which would have an effect on me if I
use livestock guardians?
Once you have answered these questions, consider how all of
your answers relate to each other. Consider also the follow general
Large predators and packs of predators generally need
multiple guardians to protect your stock.
If your area is fragmented by hills and gullies or has
dense forest, you'll need more guardians than if you have flat pasture.
Large areas need more dogs than small areas.
High predator populations will require more LGDs to guard
your stock adequately.
Smaller, more vulnerable stock that are farther away need
more protection than larger animals that are close.
Relatively densely populated farming areas where most
farmers have an LGD will require fewer LGDs on any particular farm.
A single LGD can be distracted by multiple predators.
Two LGDs are never too many but one LGD may be too few.
People who operate in cougar country tend believe they need
4 or 5 dogs in each area where they keep stock.
If you have thought about your answers to the questions and
considered the implications of the statements, you have already formed a general
answer to the question that seems right to you. You may want to think
about it some more but if you ask others for help in making a decision, you must
be able to give all the answers about your situation to whomever you are asking
Dan & Paula Lane
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