Last summer, Glynwood added two new members to the livestock team, a pair of Maremma livestock guardian dogs. Livestock guardian dogs (commonly known as “LGDs”) are specifically bred to protect their flock from predation.
Originating in the mountains of Italy, with depictions dating as far back as ancient Rome, Maremmas were bred by shepherds to protect sheep and goats. Selective breeding led to the development of coarse fur and a dense undercoat, similar to the wool fleece on a sheep. Their coat sheds in the spring and fall, keeps the dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and protects them from wind, rain, and snow. This unique adaptation allows them to be full-time members of the flock they protect, living with them in all climate conditions.
When you see Glynwood’s livestock guardian dogs with their sheep flock on pasture or in the barn they are at work and taking their job very seriously. Because LGDs are also bred to be self-thinkers, they are capable of independently evaluating the threat level of any situation — and then taking appropriate action. They notice subtle changes in their environment, and self-sufficiently respond to keep threats away without waiting for human command. Glynwood's LGDs are currently focused on protecting their flock from the growing coyote population. Later this year, we are excited to add more LGDs to protect our poultry from hawks, weasels, and other hungry predators.
When visiting Glynwood, you may see our LGDs out and about—enticing as it may be to offer a pat on the head, call them over, or approach with a treat–you will most likely be met with a firm BARK! That’s them letting you know “I’m a proud, hard-at-work LGD, please DND (do not disturb)!”