Leave them alone … they are there to protect sheep from predators
There have been a number of incidents lately where people have picked up expensive livestock guardian dogs – often large white Great Pyrenees dogs – thinking they are lost or have been abandoned, when in fact, they should be left alone to protect sheep herds, officials said Monday.
Sheep ranchers and Forest Service officials say this is an emerging problem that’s increasing across Southern Idaho.
Guard dogs are there to protect livestock from predators like coyotes, mountain lions, black bears, and wolves. Taking a guard dog out of the woods or the range is a no-no, similar to taking what might look like an orphaned fawn from its mother.
“I realize that everybody has their own best intentions, but you shouldn’t be taking a guard dog out of its environment, bringing it home, causing undue stress, and exposing it to unnecessary domestication,” says Cory Peavey, a Blaine County sheep rancher, who has had his dogs hauled away to an animal shelter by mistake.
“Out of respect for the dog and the rancher, it’s better to leave them where they are,” Peavey says. “Even if they might look lost, they know the way.”