Why Livestock Guardian Dogs?
When Never Forgotten Ranch's founders sat down together to decide how to structure the dog rescue portion of the organization, it didn't take long to decide what breeds to focus on. You see, we're farmers and ranchers. We're country folks who love the great outdoors, and adore our good ole' country dogs! And livestock guardian dogs in particular have a very special place in our hearts. For years, our Ranch has been kept safe by certain beloved members of our furry family, our devoted teams of hard-working livestock guardians. These dogs are smart, intuitive, love what they do and are darn good at it.
But they are also so very misunderstood.
You see, livestock guardian dogs are also pretty. Think of the fluffy white Great Pyrenees or Maremma, the majestic intensity of the Anatolian Shepherd, or the striking strength of the Akbash. These qualities have made many livestock guardian breeds quite trendy in recent years, which in our experience has not been in the dogs' favor. Livestock guardian breeds end up in shelters just as much as their equally misunderstood pitbull cousins, as they are irresponsibly bred and sold into homes that do not understand the breeds and are not prepared to provide the specific lifestyle and environment needed in order for the dog to thrive. We have seen this time and time again. Frustrated owners surrender their dogs to already overcrowded shelters because they say they're out of control. Their livestock guardian breed is barking too much and upsetting neighbors, scratching at the door all the time, pacing all night, panting and drooling all over the house, breaking out of crates, refusing to come indoors, or even dangerously escaping and wandering the neighborhood in search of something to guard. Their dogs are exhibiting common and often destructive anxiety-induced behaviors, and they are at the end of their ropes. They say their dog can't be trained and is out of control, but what they don't realize is that these dogs are showing exactly what skills they have and are asking to be trained to use them. They just can't do that in an apartment or within the close quarters of an average city home and yard. They need space. They need the great outdoors. They need the country lifestyle and job for which they were bred.
And that is exactly what we want to provide.
We are happy to say that since starting this rural-based livestock guardian dog rescue mission, we have received immense support from shelters, dog owners, and other rescue organizations from coast to coast. We are filling a need in the rescue community, helping a very specific type of dog find happiness in the right environment. Since learning of our organization, numerous well-meaning city-dwelling individuals who found themselves struggling with a trendy livestock guardian breed dog in their urban environment have contacted us for help finding their beloved animal a more suitable country home. Shelters are contacting us to help farm breed dogs in their care get safely out and matched with adopters who understand the breeds and can provide the environment they need. We are making a difference.
If you'd like to help create positive change in the life of a livestock guardian breed dog in need, there are many ways you can do so! Adopting is of course a fantastic way to help, but if you are not in a position to bring another dog into your life, donations and sponsorships are always needed in order to keep the rescue moving forward. And if you can't donate, just spread the word.
The more people who learn of our our mission, the more dogs we can help!
We thank you sincerely for your support.