If you have sheep or goats, one of the best ways you can protect them is with a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD). These dogs were bred to do just that, bond with the livestock and protect them. Today, I won’t go into the breeds of good LGDs, but I will address one of the most important aspects of keeping one on your land. Feeding them.
To feed a LGD can be a challenge. Sheep and goats would love some of that dog food that you’ve put out to feed your LGDs. However, sheep and goats are not as intelligent as dogs, so you can easily design something to work with those physiological traits. See the picture below.
First, when thinking about designing a feeder for your LGDs, I would recommend that you make it mobile. This feeder here that Greg built is on runners. It’s easy to tow around the pasture, and if you needed to, you could drag it a few miles on dirt roads, or load it into a pickup. Second, you want to allow the dogs in, but keep the sheep out. This is the approximately 12”-16” opening you see at the bottom. This allows the dogs to crawl up underneath, and get inside to access their food. Like I mentioned earlier, sheep and goats are too stupid to get into this. One thing that is not on this feeder, but I would recommend putting on one, is a secure roof. Just something like a cattle panel to prevent any critters (goats) from jumping inside and running your dog feed. This is basically all you need, and the tarp is no necessary either. We recently put on some LGD puppies out there, so we gave them some extra shelter. One thing you will notice is a gravity feed dog feeder in the back. This is filled with dry dog food and strapped with a bungee cord to the cattle panels. When you move your livestock, you can drag this right along with them.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section.