7 Best Dogs to Protect Your Livestock

Dogs have been used to protect livestock for hundreds of years. They are the perfect partner for a farmer, but finding the right one with so many different breeds to choose from can be challenging. 

Often, the size and temperament of the dog are the most important factors to consider when choosing a livestock protector. 

Some of the best dogs for this job include mastiffs, bulldogs, Rottweilers, and German shepherds. These breeds are all large and have a naturally aggressive temperament. 

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best dogs that are suited for protecting livestock! 

7 Best Dogs to Protect Your Livestock

1. Akita Inu

They will bark and intimidate the intruder while being gentle with your animals. The Akita Inu is a loyal breed of dog that makes an excellent livestock guardian. 

These dogs are known for their bravery and protective instincts, making them perfect for guarding your farm animals from harm. Akitas are large dogs that often stand over 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh over 100 pounds. 

They are typically very territorial and bark loudly to scare off any intruders. However, a great thing about the Akita is that they are very gentle with your animals, which means you won’t have to worry about them causing any harm. 

The downside of these dogs is that they can be pretty stubborn and often require extensive training to listen properly. So when considering an Akita as a livestock guardian for your homestead, keep this in mind.

2. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are incredibly alert and make excellent guard dogs. They are also very loyal to their owners, making them the perfect dog for protecting your livestock. 

Dobermans are a large breed of dog and can be pretty intimidating, which is why they make such great protectors. They are also known for being very intelligent and easy to train. 

If you’re looking for a reliable dog to watch over your livestock, a Doberman Pinscher is a great option. However, if you’re interested in adopting a Doberman Pinscher, be sure to do your research first. 

Many Doberman Pinschers are abandoned by their owners because they can be challenging to train. You also want to ensure that you have enough time for training and exercise, as Dobermans need a lot of attention. 

They require frequent walks or jogs to stay healthy, so you must be able to give them plenty of exercise. 

3. Rottweiler

Bred to herd and protect livestock, the Rottweiler is a powerful dog not afraid of anything, with its muscular build and protective nature. In addition, the Rottweiler is a very courageous dog that will take on any challenge. 

They are generally not aggressive with other dogs or the family, but they can be if necessary. They need to know who their “alpha” (leader) is and obey this person at all times. 

If you don’t show them dominance, they may become controlling themselves, leading to aggression problems later down the road.

These dogs can be a great addition to any farm or ranch, helping to protect livestock from predators and thieves. The Rottweiler is a very loyal dog that will stick by your side through thick and thin.

4. German Shepherd

German shepherds are brilliant and loyal dogs. They are good at protecting people, livestock, or property when they detect something wrong. Their bodies are built for herding, but they also make excellent guard dogs keep watch over your home while you’re away. 

On farms, German shepherds can herd livestock and protect them from predators. They are very versatile dogs that can work in several different ways. 

If you’re looking for a good all-around farm dog, the German shepherd is a great option to consider. A German shepherd is very good at sniffing out potential dangers and barking loudly enough that it can scare off wild animals. 

These dogs also have a strong body build, which makes them natural protectors against other types of dangerous intruders, like burglars or robbers. 

5. Caucasian Shepherd

Caucasian shepherds are an excellent choice for protecting your livestock. Not only do they look intimidating, but this breed is intelligent and very capable of taking care of itself. 

This makes it a great option if you need to leave the dog alone during the day while tending to other duties on the farm. Caucasian shepherds can be trained easily and will obey commands even when distracted so that they get back to work as soon as possible. 

They are loyal and protective, making them ideal companions in rural settings and suburban homes alike! Caucasian Shepherds make good guard dogs because they’re intelligent, solid & obedient. If left alone all day, they’ll still protect what needs protection. 

If you’re looking for a dog that can protect your livestock, the Caucasian Shepherd is an excellent choice! They are ideal for homesteads since they are pretty versatile and may be used for a wide range of applications. They can, for example, be used for protection, herding, and even as working dogs. 

They are devoted and dependable companions with the strength and resolve to secure your animals. Pitbulls are an excellent choice for farm protection. They will herd the animals and keep them secure on the farm. 

Their robust bulk allows them to chase away predators or other intruders easily. In addition, they are excellent with children and family members, so you do not need to worry about their safety. 

6. Pit Bull

Pitbulls are an excellent choice for farm protection. They are wonderful with children and family members, so you do not need to worry about their safety. 

They can be aggressive to outsiders, making it easier for them to protect the animals from intruders. They are ideal for homesteads since they are pretty versatile and may be used for a wide range of applications. 

They can, for example, be used for protection, herding, and even as working dogs. They are devoted and dependable companions with the strength and resolve to secure your animals. Pitbulls are an excellent choice for farm protection. 

They will herd the animals and keep them secure on the farm. Their robust bulk allows them to chase away predators or other intruders easily. 

They are excellent with children and family members, so you do not need to worry about their safety. They can be hostile towards outsiders, making it easier for them to protect the livestock from intruders.

7. Kangal

Kangal is a Turkish dog breed known for its ability to protect livestock. They are large dogs and are bred for their strength and protective instincts. Kangal makes excellent guard dogs and often bonds closely with their herd or flock, protecting them from danger. 

Kangal is not the easiest dog to train, but they are worth the effort for farmers looking for a reliable protector of their livestock. These dogs can be purchased from breeders or rescues, and there is a growing population of them in the United States. 

Also, they are known to be excellent with children. However, Kangals should not be kept as family pets because they will always feel the urge to protect their herd or flock first and foremost. 

Kangals have a short hair coat and come in a variety of colors. They are giant dogs that require room to roam, so they do best on farms to live with their herd or flock. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best breeds of dogs to protect livestock?

The best breeds to protect livestock are the ones that are naturally protective of their territory and family. Herding breeds such as border collies, Australian shepherds, and German shepherds are good choices because they have a strong instinct to protect animals. Other breeds that make good livestock guardians include mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, Anatolian shepherds, and Akbash dogs.

How long will a dog’s life expectancy be while protecting livestock?

Dogs can be used to protect your livestock, so knowing what kind of life expectancy they will have is essential. Most dogs’ average lifespan is around 12-15 years, but it varies depending on the breed. Most farm or ranching dogs come from working lines with a history in herding livestock like sheep and cattle (Border Collies are one example). Therefore, guard dogs should not have a much different lifespan than dogs not used for this purpose. 

How many acres do you need for a dog?

One acre should suffice several dogs! A good range of dogs should provide the protection needed and not take up too much space on your land with their roaming needs. A large dog might seem like an obvious choice for keeping out predators, especially if they can cover a larger area in less time than other types of herding or guarding breeds. But while bigger is generally better for herders and guards – some disadvantages must be considered. 

Takeaway

Now that you have the right dog, you need to know how to take care of it. You can teach your dogs a series of tricks and commands to understand what behavior is expected from them when protecting livestock. 

You should also consider taking classes on training your dog if you feel like it’s not getting the job done alone or with your help. If you are worried about keeping both yourself and your pets safe at night, we recommend using an electric fence.



bryan rucker
Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things homestead. He grew up on a homestead and helped his parents do the day-to-day. Read more of Brian's articles.