Sign In

Guardian Dogs

August 31, 2020

The Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission and U.S. Forest Service officials say there have been several incidents lately where people have picked up expensive livestock guardian dogs thinking they are lost or have been abandoned. The dogs, which are often white Great Pyrenees dogs, should be left alone to protect sheep herds, according to officials.

Sheep ranchers and Forest Service officials say this is an emerging problem that is increasing across southern Idaho. Guard dogs are there to protect livestock from predators like coyotes, mountain lions, black bears and wolves.

“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.”

John Noh, with Noh Sheep Company in Kimberly, has had his guard dogs picked up by people who thought the dog was lost and they ended up at a shelter in the Wood River Valley. This forces Noh to go down and get the dog and return it to his sheep flocks.

“These are working dogs that ranchers rely on to non-lethally protect their sheep from predators,” Noh says. “For people to take these animals out of the woods that ranchers have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars feeding and training is wrong.”

Renee Kehler, a range conservationist for the Sawtooth National Forest, says there have been a number of guard dogs picked up by people thinking they were lost or needing attention.

“It’s been happening a lot lately,” Kehler says. “Please treat them like livestock and leave them alone.”

If you have questions, call the local Forest Service office to report any issues and let the range specialists contact the ranchers to check if there are any issues or concerns. Livestock guard dogs often have a collar with a name and phone number on them. If a person has questions, they should also call those numbers to see if the dog is lost, according to a news release. “For me, I’d appreciate a phone call over taking my dog,” Peavey says.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more