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Category Archives: Guardian Dog
Winter has arrived in Texas! Severe freezing weather and rain hit parts of the state last month, closing businesses and schools. More wet, wintry weather is expected this month. It is essential to make sure you are prepared for the weather and have shelter ready should you need it for your LGDs. All purebred LGD breeds have a double hair coat, and the long-haired dogs can withstand extreme temperatures. However, if your dogs are wet from heavy rains and exposed to below-freezing temperatures along with strong wind, the… Read More →
I received some sad news one afternoon last month. One of our LGDs, Doc Holiday, aka “Doc” from round three of the bonding project, was hit and killed by a vehicle outside of the AgriLife Center on Highway 87 N. Those following our Facebook page may remember seeing posts about Doc and Thelma hugging as puppies, roaming long distances from the ranch in Menard, and finally receiving invisible fence training to stop the roaming. The invisible fence training worked well for these LGDs, and their wandering almost completely… Read More →
Hunting season is underway, and reminding hunters that LGDs are in use on your ranches is essential. Frequent reminders to your hunters to not feed or socialize with your LGDs will help keep conflicts to a minimum. Move LGDs to other pastures that hunters may not use or kennel the dogs on weekends when possible. Your dogs could use the rest and extra food in the winter months ahead. Reminding hunters to clean deer and leave carcasses in designated areas also helps keep the dogs away from the… Read More →
The cooler days of fall have finally arrived, and it appears we are headed out of the drought! Long-range forecasts continue to show above-average rainfall this spring and slightly below-normal temperatures. Now is the time to ensure your LGDs are in proper body condition to handle the cooler winter temperatures and the stress of spring lambing and kidding that will quickly follow in the spring. An excellent body condition scoring sheet can be found online that we use to score our dogs. AgriLife Livestock Guardian Dog Program: Update… Read More →
We have finally received some long-overdue rain across the state, quenching the dry soil. We recently got over four inches in a single day at the AgriLife Center, creating a lot of mud in the pastures. Long-range forecasts show that we will have a wetter-than-normal winter this year due to El Nino. Hopefully, enough rain will fall this winter to relieve the drought and allow the grasses to repopulate our sparse rangelands. On another note, make sure to use tick preventatives year-round. On Sept. 17, we lost a… Read More →
This summer’s extreme heat and lack of rain have been hard on ranches across the state. Hay prices are increasing as ranchers are starting to stockpile feed for the possibility of a dry fall and winter. The elevated temperatures have also been difficult for LGDs, especially the longer-haired breeds. Make sure to watch for excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, and dogs that are lethargic. Excessive panting, excessive drooling, and vomiting can lead to dehydration and are signs of heat exhaustion. Dogs can get heat stroke just like humans. If… Read More →
The summer heat is in full swing in Texas and it’s very important that you provide a cool area for LGDs, especially your long-haired ones. Proper grooming that cleans out dead hair allows the cooler morning air to get trapped in their coats to insulate them into the midday temperatures. After that the dogs need shade and cool soil to lay in to help regulate their body temperatures. Some LGDs like to relax in water troughs which may get filled with dirt and muck. Remember that dogs can’t… Read More →
Proper grooming of your long-haired dogs is critical in the extreme heat we have been having in the state the last few weeks. Dogs with coats that are properly cleaned out of dead hair will be cooler as their coats trap cool air in the night and early morning hours that helps cool them throughout the day. Brushing the dogs with slicker brushes and deshedding combs is the best option. Do not clip your LGD unless necessary as their coats cannot trap cool air properly and you will… Read More →
Some much-needed rain has been falling across parts of West Central Texas, a welcoming site on the ranches that have received it. In some areas, this has led to the Texas winter grass going to seed with the warm weather we have also been having. While a valuable feed resource for livestock most of the year, this grass produces the dreaded “spear grass seeds” that burrow their way into the coats and soft skin of LGDs. These seeds can cause infections all over LGDs, but especially in their… Read More →
We had a great Spring LGD Field Day in Sonora on April 14 at the AgriLife Sonora Research Station. Over 50 people attended the event. Excellent information was provided by all the speakers at the event. Like all our LGD field days, there was a lot of interest, questions, and comments from the crowd. We would like to thank Bo McClelland, the Sutton County Trapper, and Mark Taylor, the hunting lease manager for the Sonora Station, for taking time out of their busy schedules to provide participants with… Read More →