The Guardian Way – September 2021

AgriLife LGD Program Update

The Sheep and Goat Field Day on Aug.20 was a great event with several vendors and some great presentations by the staff at the AgriLife Center in San Angelo.  There were over 100 people in attendance at the field day.  It was followed by the AgriLife Sheep and Goat Expo at the Spur Arena in San Angelo later that afternoon and on Aug. 21.  I gave a short presentation on GPS trackers at the field day that was well attended by visitors.

If you would like to know more information about GPS trackers, check out our next webinar in the LGD series.  On Thursday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. we will be presenting “GPS Technology to Aid in LGD Management.”  You can register for the Zoom presentation on our Facebook page by clicking on the blue “Go to Link” button or on the AgriLife Center’s website under the events section.  The webinar will also be broadcast live on Facebook.  The video will be recorded and posted to our YouTube Channel as well.

The new LoRa trackers on Goliath and Hulk have been working great.  The dogs have had the new trackers since June 8, 2021.  Hulk has traveled 212 miles and Goliath has traveled 190 miles as of the middle of August.  We are still evaluating battery life, but it looks like they will get substantially longer life than normal cellular or satellite-based GPS trackers.  If all continues to go well with the new system in Ozona, we will be putting in a LoRa system at the Sonora Station in the fall to replace the satellite-based trackers that only ping and update every four hours.  One of the biggest benefits to the LoRa system is 15-minute pings and updates which allow you to constantly know where your LGD is!

On Oct. 8 in Fredericksburg, we will be hosting our first in-person field day since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will have several workshops from guest speakers, a ranch tour, and a producer panel along with LGD breeders and a few vendors at the event.  Check out our Facebook page @TAMUlivestockguarddog for more information.   You can register for the field day by contacting the Gillespie County Extension Office at 830-997-3452 or via email at  If you would like to sponsor the event or be an exhibitor, please email me at

LGD Bonding Project

Wyatt with his first porcupine quills. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo courtesy Costanzo 2021)

August was a busy month with our LGDs at the AgriLife Center.  Squiggy finished his first round of antibiotics, but after a checkup at the vet’s office, it was determined that he still had the infection in his chest.  He was placed on a second round of antibiotics by our veterinarian.  His spirits are good, and his cough is gone.  Hopefully the next round of medication will cure the infection completely and he can return to the Sonora Station.

Wyatt finally discovered porcupines!  Luckily, he was found by our ranch foreman in Ozona before the quills got infected.  He was the only pup in this round of the bonding project that did not find our resident porcupine at the Center when the pups were all still here.  Miley is still in the kennel recuperating from the spear grass infection in her rear leg.  She is doing much better and slowly putting on weight.  She is getting better at walking on a leash for her daily exercises.  I’m hoping that all this time in close contact with humans in the kennel will resocialize her and make it easier to catch her when she is returned to the ranch in Menard.

Thor was doing well in Menard and staying with his charges until the first week of August.  For some reason he decided to roam to our neighbors on the east side of the ranch twice.  He was brought back and placed in the kennel for several days and then returned to the ranch.  He roamed again two days after being returned to the same neighbor’s ranch.  I brought him back to the Center and placed with some nannie kids that we will be keeping as replacements.  The nannie kids will be at the Center for several months until they are old enough to be placed at another location.  Hopefully during that time Thor matures more and stops roaming.

Johnny and Thelma’s travels in early August. Johnny is blue, Thelma is red, and Doc is green. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo courtesy Costanzo 2021)

Johnny and Thelma also decided to roam quite a distance one day in early August for some reason.  They travelled about 2 miles away from the ranch and were found on a neighboring ranch.  The neighbor contacted us and returned the two dogs to the Martin Ranch.  Johnny had roamed a couple times in late July, to a different ranch, for some reason.  Each time he returned on his own to his charges.  All the dogs decided to follow one of our trucks off the ranch in later August.  They were all picked up at a neighbor’s ranch and kenneled at the Center for several days.  It’s important to have collars with identification tags on them in case your dogs are found off your property.  Otherwise, our neighbors would not have known that Johnny and Thelma belonged to us until they had been taken to the local animal shelter and scanned for a microchip.  All our dog’s wear collars with ID tags and are microchipped.  Replacing a good LGD can cost several thousand dollars in time and lost

Dog collar used on all AgriLife LGDs. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo courtesy Costanzo 2021)

production.  Make sure that your dogs are ID chipped and have collars with your contact information on them so they can be returned if they leave your property.

If you enjoyed our monthly LGD blog don’t forget to subscribe to it with this link The Guardian Way | Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo (  To provide feedback on this article or request topics for future articles, please contact me at or 325-657-7311.  The Texas A&M AgriLife Livestock Guardian Dog Program is a cooperative effort by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas Sheep and Goat Predator Management Board.  Make sure to follow us on our social media sites and share them with your friends and family!


Instagram: @tamulivestockguarddog  


Don’t forget to check out the Texas LGD Association on online!  Follow the organization at or check out their website!



Comments are closed.