As effective a guard dogs are, there are some other unlikely choices you may not be aware of.
|Guard Llama - Photo by Paul Keleher|
Donkeys are another popular choice as a guard animal as they are naturally wary of strangers and harbor a strong dislike of predatory animals, even domestic dogs. Donkeys have fantastic hearing and good eyesight as well as a loud bay that can be used to warn the herd. Like llamas, guard donkeys can and will attack threats if necessary. The video below shows a guard donkey attacking a ranch fence when strangers approach in a car. It may seem funny, but these donkeys take their jobs pretty seriously!
According to an Iowa State University study, the use of these unconventional guard animals is extremely effective, in some cases reducing predatory losses to only 7% of the herd.
While wildlife lovers will always view coyotes and dingoes as rightful residents of their habitats, to ranchers they represent a significant problem as pests. Using effective guard animals such as llamas and donkeys allows ranchers to protect their herds from predators without resorting to killing the predators, which seems like a win-win situation for everyone.