When is National Livestock Guardian Dog Appreciation and Awareness Day?
This day will take place on October 26 of each calendar year.
What is National Livestock Guardian Dog Appreciation and Awareness Day?
Dogs that work alongside shepherds and goat herders to protect livestock originated in Europe and Asia, and have been used for centuries around the world. Called livestock guardian dogs (LGD) or referred to as “big white fluffy dogs”, these brave dogs can be seen protecting large bands of sheep on the vast open ranges in the west to guarding chickens on small homesteads in the tribal territory and everything in-between.
Although these dogs can be prone to mass amounts of barking, shedding, and protectiveness, some are raised as a mix of working and companion. While others prove to be ill-suited for working life and have transitioned to life as beloved family members in an environment in which they are allowed to express typical behaviors and thrive. These dedicated dogs bond very deeply and are independent thinkers and problem solvers with lots of love and loyalty to give.
Why is this day being celebrated or observed?
Livestock guardian dogs make a profound contribution to humankind yet ask for little to nothing in return. Nobody knows how many livestock guardian dogs are lost annually to disease, predation, or antiquated methods. We do know that the losses are severe and more importantly, preventable. In most states, livestock guardian dogs are classified as livestock, leaving them vulnerable to neglect and abuse.
The Coalition for Livestock Guardian Dogs is a nonprofit with a simple mission: improve the lives of livestock guardian dogs in need. While the mission is simple, the challenges we face are not. We envision a world where nobody loses a working dog to distemper or malnourishment and there are no losses in the field because the newborn pup couldn’t keep up with a mother who has a job to do. We envision a world where compassion is part of the formula when deploying livestock guardian dogs. We envision a world where communication, education, and an open mind are as valued as a healthy bottom line. Most importantly, we envision a day when livestock guardian dogs are considered partners, not tools. The challenges we face are significant but they pale in comparison to the spirit and compassion that inspires National Livestock Guardian Dog Appreciation and Awareness Day.
How should this day be celebrated or observed?
Show your appreciation for the glorious livestock guardian dogs by sharing their stories, spreading awareness, and advocating for livestock guardian dogs in need. Celebrate by giving your own canine companion a treat and spend the day doing what they love to do most! Whether protecting livestock or napping next to you on the couch, show your dog how much you appreciate their companionship and loyalty!
Who created this day? This day was created in September 2021 by the Coalition for Livestock Guardian Dogs.