Farm and Ranch
Raising a Successful Livestock Guardian Dog Workshop set March 15 in San Angelo
By Steve Byrns, Texas A&M
Mar 15, 2018
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SAN ANGELO –  A workshop on bonding and starting livestock guardian dogs is set for March 15 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo.

The program will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the center, located north of San Angelo on U.S. Highway 87. Individual registration is $15 by March 12 and $25 thereafter. The fees include a noon meal. For more information and to register, call the center at 325-653-4576.

The Raising a Successful Livestock Guardian Dog Workshop: Covering the Basics Needed to Get Through the First Year, is part of the center’s ongoing effort to help producers adopt the age-old practice of keeping specially bred and trained dogs with livestock as a deterrent to predation, said Dr. John Walker, Texas A&M AgriLife Research director at the center.

“We have 14 dogs out at different ranches working right now, and we’ll have six to eight dogs here for the workshop,” he said. “We have two pups on-site we’re bonding with sheep, and we’ll have more in coming days. The dogs involved with the workshop will be at various stages, so we can demonstrate everything from how to get started all the way to having them ready to put out on the ranch and go to work.

“The biggest single loss in sheep and goat production is predation. The problem is not going away and in many areas it’s increasing, so I think this workshop will be very helpful, especially for those with little or no dog-handling experience.”

Walker and Dr. Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo, will be the main speakers.

https://youtu.be/t-jrQsRnRZM

Workshop topics will include: Bonding Your Livestock Guardian Dog with Livestock; Feeding Your Livestock Guardian Dog; What Breed and How Many Livestock Guardian Dogs Do I Need?; Veterinary Care; Monitoring and Insurance Options; and Overview of Livestock Guardian Dog Research at the Martin Ranch in Menard.

The program will end with a panel discussion featuring ranchers involved with a recent livestock guardian dog demonstration project.

Snowball, a 10-week-old livestock guardian dog candidate, will take center stage during the Raising a Successful Livestock Guardian Dog Workshop conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife in San Angelo. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Steve Byrns)