Braefiddich Working Komondors
Braefiddich could not remain in the livestock business without the invaluable services of our working dogs. They allow us peace of mind, no matter how rough the conditions in the pastures, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We always know our animals are protected from predators and our farm is safe from intruders.
Please judge the effectiveness of your LDG (livestock guardian dog) by the safety of your flock. If you are not experiencing losses or injuries to your flock, your dog is doing a good job. Sometimes, people judge the dog's guarding ability by his "kills", i.e. if the dog isn't producing corpses, the dog isn't working. Actually, your dog should not be required to fight, nor do you want him to. Fighting only risks your dog's well-being. While any LGD runs the risk of injury or death protecting his charges, needless harm is unfortunate.
LDGs frequently keep predators out of the pasture entirely by many behaviours predators understand. Barking declares territory though sound. Scent marking marks boundaries, primarily something people note with males but also done to some extent by females. Many LDGs patrol fence lines establishing visual confirmation the territory is "owned". Of course, facing off the enemy will frequently prevent a return from the predator. Predators are generally looking for an easy meal, not one protected by large bad tempered dogs! The truth is predators avoid fighting if at all possible, because injury could prevent hunting. A predator unable to hunt is at risk for death.
There are occasions where LGDs are required to fight, something we owners dread. Larger predators such as wolves, cougars and bear present danger to the dogs as well as flocks. Again, these predators prefer not to fight, but are much less hesitant than smaller animals such as coyotes, due to size and aggression. If you are in an area with these types of predators, you will need to run pairs/multiples of LDGs.
At Braefiddich, we like to establish long term pairs of dogs that work well together. Pairs are very effective especially in pasture situations with heavy predator pressure. It can be truly amazing to watch the dogs work when faced with what they believe is a credible threat. Frequently one will hold the goats out of harms way while the other faces off the threat, providing backup when needed.
We believe in daily handling of our guardians. Contrary to many prevailing stories, this does not reduce the effectiveness of the dogs. Fortunately, the belief in never interacting with LGDs is becoming less frequent. Every pasture dog receives attention each day, along with their ration. While bonded with us, the Komondors are also firmly bonded with their charges and willingly remain with them. They realize the flock is their primary responsibility.
Socialization allows the dogs to readily accept medical attention, clipping and other necessary care, as well as allowing us to override their inclinations regarding the Border Collie who absolutely should not be harassing their flock. Visitors are greeted, but only if accompanied by one of us. Strangers are definitely not welcomed if alone.
Regular care such as heartworm prevention, inoculations, etc. allow your guardian a much longer, healthier and more productive life. Clipping your pasture dogs will help them be much more active during the warm months. It will also prevent hot spots, other skin problems and remove some rather interesting objects they may have accumulated in their cords. Clipping is not such a necessity if living north. Feeding a quality dog food is another necessity. Even if the dog is a capable rabbit hunter, don't expect him to feed himself. A well nourished, healthy dog is a capable guardian. Please do not expect a dog in poor shape to be able to work effectively.
We are proud of the Komondor's working heritage and would not breed puppies without consideration of this necessary trait. Braefiddich offers support to anyone with LGD problems or questions, not exclusively Komondors but any breed, and not restricted to clients.
Please Visit -
STARTING YOUR NEW KOMONDOR PUPPY IN THE PASTURE
MORE PHOTOS OF OUR WORKING KOMONDORS, PAST AND PRESENT