What is the Best Dog to Protect Against Coyotes? – 5 Great Options!

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Coyotes, native to the western two-thirds of the USA, have seen a dramatic expansion in their range since the early 1900s. This has resulted in increasing conflicts with humans, particularly farmers who suffer livestock losses.

One humane and effective solution to manage coyotes and protect livestock is to employ guardian dogs. In this article, we will delve deeper into the top five guardian dog breeds that can deter coyotes and protect both livestock and pets.

But what is the best dog to protect against coyotes?

The Coyote Problem

  • Population expansion: Coyotes have increased their habitat across North America by 40 percent since the 1950s.
  • Adaptability: Their success is partly due to the eradication of wolves, which used to balance the coyote population. With no predators or competitors, coyotes have thrived, adapting to urban and rural areas alike.
  • Traditional management: The traditional approach of killing coyotes is not effective, as it only creates a habitat vacuum that allows more coyotes to move in. Furthermore, coyote biology adapts to increased killing rates by maturing faster and producing larger litters.

The Guardian Dog Solution – The best dog to protect against coyotes

Flock guardian dogs offer a more humane and effective solution to the coyote problem. By stepping into the void left by wolves, these dogs can deter coyotes without harming them. Here are the top five guardian dog breeds with more details:

Caucasian Shepherd

What is the Best Dog to Protect Against Coyotes? - Caucasian Shepherd
  • Origin: Caucasian Mountains in Georgia
  • Size: Males can grow up to 30 inches tall and weigh up to 70 kilograms
  • Coat: Heavy double coat, suitable for cold climates and harsh weather conditions
  • Traits: Intimidating size, fierce guarding ability, loyalty to family and territory, and natural protective instincts
  • Training: Early socialization and consistent training are essential to prevent excessive aggression
  • Health: Generally healthy breed; susceptible to hip dysplasia and obesity

Turkish Kangal

What is the Best Dog to Protect Against Coyotes? - Turkish Kangal
Kangal Shepherd dog lying in the grass
  • Origin: Turkey
  • Size: A true working Kangal stands 80 centimeters tall and weighs up to 60 kilograms
  • Coat: Short and dense coat, suitable for various climates
  • Speed: Faster than a Caucasian Shepherd, suited to larger farms and areas that require quick action
  • Traits: Love and devotion to its family, natural guarding instincts, and territorial nature
  • Training: Early socialization and obedience training are crucial to ensure they become well-rounded protectors
  • Health: Generally healthy breed; prone to hip dysplasia and entropion (eyelid abnormality)

Anatolian Shepherd

what is the best dog to protect against coyotes? - Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherd Dog standing on Grass
  • Origin: An American breed made up of Kangal-like dogs from Turkey
  • Size: Stands 80 centimeters tall and weighs up to 60 kilograms
  • Coat: Short to medium-length double coat, suited for various climates
  • Traits: Tall, powerful, fast, and strong; independent and highly intelligent, making them excellent guardians for livestock and family
  • Training: Firm and consistent training is necessary due to their independent nature; early socialization helps with adaptability
  • Health: Generally healthy breed; prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and bloat

Great Pyrenees

what is the best dog to protect against coyotes? - Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees Dog or Pyrenean Mountain Dog
  • Origin: Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain
  • Size: Males can grow up to 32 inches tall and weigh up to 54 kilograms
  • Coat: Thick, weather-resistant double coat, suitable for cold climates
  • Traits: Patience, tolerance, effective guardians, and loving companions; known for their gentle demeanor with family and livestock
  • Training: Early socialization and consistent training are important to ensure they develop into well-mannered and reliable guardians
  • Health: Generally healthy breed; prone to hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and bloat

Akbash

what is the best dog to protect against coyotes?
Akbash dog at the dog show, on a trip
  • Origin: Turkey
  • Size: Males can grow up to 34 inches tall and weigh up to 64 kilograms
  • Coat: Short to medium-length double coat, suited for various climates
  • Traits: Intelligence, independence, and strong protective instincts; natural guardians for livestock and family
  • Training: Early socialization and consistent training are essential due to their independent nature; proper guidance helps to develop appropriate guarding behavior
  • Health: Generally healthy breed; susceptible to hip dysplasia, bloat, and hypothyroidism

Conclusion

Guardian dogs offer a humane and effective solution to managing coyotes and protecting livestock. The top five breeds – Caucasian Shepherd, Turkish Kangal, Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, and Akbash – possess the size, strength, and instincts necessary to deter coyotes without harming them.

By employing these guardian dogs, farmers can reduce livestock losses and promote a more balanced ecosystem. Proper training and socialization are essential for these breeds to become effective guardians, ensuring a harmonious relationship between the dogs, livestock, and their human families.

But as asked earlier, what is the best dog to protect against coyotes? it’s really up to you! Now you know a little more.

References

  • Coppinger, R., & Coppinger, L. (2001). Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution. Scribner.
  • Dawydiak, O., & Sims, D. E. (2004). Livestock Protection Dogs: Selection, Care, and Training. Alpine Publications.
  • American Sheep Industry Association. (n.d.). Livestock Protection Dogs. Retrieved from https://www.sheepusa.org/Resources_LivestockProtectionDogs
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