'Besides sturdy fencing farm field fence suppliers , guard dogs are the primary tool to prevent such horrors, not just with sheep, but goats, calves, chickens, ducks, and any other livestock small enough for a predator to take down. But its more than your four-legged coyotes, foxes, bobcats, wolves, and mountain lions you have to worry about, hawks and other birds of prey can easily nab poultry, even in urban areas, as can raccoons, skunks, and weasels. Livestock guard dog (LGD) breeds are generally large (over 100 pounds), and while they may be devoted and friendly with their human owners, they are often unfriendly with other dogs. (A good canine guardian will also keep stray dogs not to mention your neighbors mischievous cockadoodle at bay.) LGDs are true work animals, and they cannot double as a traditional family pets if theyre expected to do their job. They have evolved a specific combination of traits that few other breeds possess: the ability to live outdoors year-round; a willingness to not harass, guard dogs are the primary tool to prevent such horrors temporary pool fence los angeles , livestock, even when hungry; a highly developed sensitivity to livestock behaviors; and a skilled approach to detecting and deterring predators. Below are the LGD breeds most common in the U.S., though another dozen comparable breeds are available, too. All are suited for guarding virtually any type of livestock. There is no need to look for a purebred many farmers find that offspring of two LGD breeds combine the best qualities of each. For protecting small livestock, such as poultry or rabbits, in which case the dog is typically kept outside the fence that contains the animals, non-LGD breeds may be suitable as long as they can be trained to live outdoors. A Great Pyrenees guarding sheep in a field. By Ingrid Curry/Shutterstock.com Great Pyrenees These noble, independent, highly intelligent dogs are perhaps the most widely used LGD in America. Originally bred by the Basque in the mountains between Spain and France, they excel in wide open spaces; in small pastures, they may be tempted to dig out of fencing to satisfy their urge to roam. They do not accept vocal commands as readily as other breeds, but theyre considered more friendly with humans. Note: Great Pyrenees thick coat makes them a poor choice for hot, humid regions. An Anatolian Shephard guarding goats in Namibia. By Bobby Bradley/Shutterstock.com Anatolian Shepherd This breed is muscular, imposing, and reserved in temperament. Originally from the mountains of Turkey, these dogs are unmatched in their devotion to the herd, but may not be particularly friendly toward humans. Some individuals may even dislike petting. Historically, Anatolians were often left alone with livestock for extended periods. They are capable of withstanding hot weather. An Akbash guarding sheep. By Mike Rogal/Shutterstock.com Akbash Another Turkish breed, Akbash are all white, not just with sheep cheap serrated bar grating , however. A Maremma sheepdog and puppy. By Ricantimages/Shutterstock.com Maremma Sheepdog Also referred to as Marremmano, this breed originated in the hills of central Italy and is quite small for an LGD (typically under 100 pounds). They are fiercely loyal to the herd, but fairly aloof with people. Finding a good LGD is completely unlike finding a good pet, where its easy to find a lovable mutt from the local shelter who will readily befriend you for life. The best places to start are breed associations websites. These typically provide a list of reputable breeders across the country; dont be shy about asking for references if theres any doubt about their credibility. Another option is to contact farmers who own LGDs to see if they are selling puppies, or perhaps even a mature, trained animal that you can see in action prior to purchase. The key is to find breeders that focus specifically on working animals, not show animals or pets many LGDs are sold for the latter purposes, but you want a dog from a bloodline with proven guardian dog instincts. If possible, purchase a dog that has been raised by a working LGD among livestock, preferably the same species that you intend for it to work with. At the very least, the seller should be able to provide some evidence that the animal is descended from working dogs. Avoid bargains, as there is usually a reason, whether poor health, undesirable temperament, or lack of training. You can expect to pay a minimum of $500 for a puppy and $1000 for an adult, and twice that for some of the less common breeds. One LGD may be all you needthe livestock serve as their companions but two or more are necessary for large herds on open ranges. If you have multiple herds kept in different locations, youll need at least one dog per herd. This sign, available from Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International , helps people know that your guard dog is working and not to be bothered. If you purchase a puppy, but goats scaffolding metal plank suppliers , not with you, from day one. Its important to socialize LGDs with humans, as well, but its best to keep human contact to a bare minimum for the first couple of months. The good news is that there is no need to train the dog to guard the herd either they have the instincts or not. But dont expect them to do much guarding during puppy-hood (they will want to play with the animals at first). Look for the protective instincts to kick in at around six months of age; they will continue to develop until the dog reaches adulthood at about two years. If a young LGD play-chases their livestock companions too aggressively, use verbal reprimands to discourage the behavior. They will need a rain-proof dog house with soft bedding, such as cedar shavings. Sturdy fencing is critical on farms where the livestock are not roaming large, open ranges, as most LGDs instinctively want to patrol a large territory. The same fencing that contains your livestock may not do the same for your dog, who can dig and jump (electric fencing is often an effective deterrent for both, however). Post signs that say Working Livestock Guard Dog Do Not Disturb along the fence line to warn passerby not to approach the dogs. As a final note, expect a lot of nighttime barking that means your LGDs are doing their job. But think twice before using LGDs where neighbors are in close proximity. Save Save\n', 'EAGLE PASS, Texas (AP) A Texas pecan farm nearly the size of Disneyland has become entangled in a turf war between the Biden administration and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over immigration enforcement on the southern border. Hugo and Magali Urbina, who bought Heavenly Farms in April 2021, at first welcomed the state footing the bill for a new chain-link fence through their property earlier this year as part of Abbotts multibillion-dollar crackdown on border crossings along the Rio Grande . But then, one day, they found the fences main gate unexpectedly locked. The lock was put there, the couple says, by Texas authorities who have spent months arresting thousands of migrants on trespassing charges on private land . But the Urbinas didnt want the lock and neither did the U.S. Border Patrol, which found it impeded the agencys own immigration enforcement and had it removed. Now a single gate on the 1,200-mile Texas border has swung open a new dust-up over how to address near-record levels of migration on Americas southern doorstep, a fight the Urbinas say they want no part of. Unbelievable, Abbott lashed out on social media last month after the lock was removed. While Texas secures the border, the federal government is enabling illegal immigration. The dispute is the latest example of how Texas unprecedented challenge to the federal governments authority on the border has created a clash among agencies working at cross purposes. The Border Patrols Del Rio sector, which includes Eagle Pass where most of the nearly 470-acre farm is located, is fast becoming the busiest corridor for illegal crossings, with thousands passing each week onto the farm alone. The sector may soon surpass Texas Rio Grande Valley, which has been the focus for the last decade. The Urbinas do not oppose Abbotts massive border mission. But in the case of the lock, they say it went too far. They blamed what they see as a lack of single command in an area saturated with state troopers, Texas National Guard members, U.S. Border Patrol agents and local authorities, all of whom constantly cross paths and often work in tandem. They are all doing what they are being told, Magali Urbina said. It is really not their fault, but there is nobody running or telling them. There is no boss. It isnt an isolated case. In September 2021, Texas troopers told Border Patrol agents on horseback to block migrants from crossing the river to a camp of nearly 16,000 predominantly Haitians in Del Rio, about an hours drive north of Eagle Pass. Images of Border Patrol agents twirling reins at overpowered migrants sparked widespread criticism, including from President Joe Biden. The internal investigation found that agents acted against Border Patrol objectives and resulted in the unnecessary use of force against migrants who were attempting to reenter the United States with food. The agents had been instructed to help where needed and not told anything more specific about how to respond to requests from another agency. Abbott, who is seeking a third term, launched his multibillion-dollar Operation Lone Star last year, creating an overwhelming presence on the border. The size and cost of the mission has grown in defiance of the Democratic administration in Washington: Since July, the state has picked up 5,600 migrants who have entered the country illegally in Texas and returned them to ports of entry on the border , a role that has been reserved for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In Eagle Pass, state buses drop off migrants throughout the day at a border crossing with Piedras Negras, Mexico, as far as they can go. CBP releases them, creating a circular flow. Since April, Texas has bused more than 7,000 migrants to Washington and New York on free, voluntary trips, attempting to call attention to what it considers Bidens failed policies. This week, Abbott began sending buses to Chicago , with the first arriving Thursday at Union Station. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has called the move a political ploy. Since last year, the state has charged more than 4,800 migrants with trespassing, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail. The Urbinas farm, which winds along the river, includes an old house that the couple is restoring for visitors to sample pecans, coffee and wine. They were inspired by Fredericksburg, a town of German heritage near Austin that draws tourists. The farm of neatly manicured rows of trees had long drawn migrants but was relatively peaceful before the lifelong Eagle Pass resident couple bought it. It is located at the end of a stretch of new border fencing that was built on Abbotts orders, on the edge of the 30,000-resident town that is dotted with warehouses, decaying houses and chain stores. Agents stopped migrants nearly 50,000 times in the Del Rio sector in July, with Rio Grande Valley a distant second at about 35,000. About 6 of 10 stops in the Del Rio sector were migrants from Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua, who are likely to be released to pursue their immigration cases because poor diplomatic relations with those countries means the U.S. cant send them home. Migrants cross the river and climb a few feet uphill amidst overgrown Carrizo cane and concertina wire to surrender on the farms edge, expecting they will be released. U.S. Border Patrol agents, state troopers and journalists are a regular presence. Border Patrol unlocked the gate and took migrants in for processing, a regular procedure for the federal officials in any situation involving a lock within 25 miles of the border, said Jon Anfinsen, president of the National Border Patrol Council union chapter that includes agents in Eagle Pass. The governor is telling everyone, Secure the border. I have no doubt that is the intent but the reality of it is that its just not that simple, Anfinsen said. Weve been doing this forever and it hasnt been fixed yet. So its a noble attempt, I suppose, but were going to have to take these people into custody. Border Patrol officials declined comment. Ericka Miller, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the agency is accommodating the Urbinas request to have the gate unlocked. She said DPS is also working to have carrizo cane on the property removed but said the Urbinas are allowing concertina wiring to stay on the property. All landowner agreements are voluntary and can be eliminated at any time. Again, DPS is there to assist the landowner, Miller said in an email. The chain-link fence, which rises over the cane intertwined with the razor wire, makes it easier for the Urbinas to pursue trespassing charges against people crossing into their farm. However, they havent, although they know cattle ranchers who have. The state and federal governments are each wanting to pull all the levers and not working together, Hugo Urbina said. The couple regrets what they see as a disconnect. The president is not here, the governor is not here, but this is our land, Magali Urbina said. ___ Associated Press writers Elliot Spagat in San Diego and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed.\n'