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Baruch on Dogs
The Kind of Dog A Beleaguered Rancher Wants

Re: Fred's question, Doggy Style

What you want is a Central Asian or a Caucasian Shepherd:

Both are extremely loyal, good and courageous, independent guard dogs. They are naturally excellent at guarding, and are very good in very hot and cold climates, and rugged terrain. Since both are landraces, there is a lot of variation. You want to look at the parents and grandparents and see that they have the massive, bear-like build, because this is the mountain variant—the more gracile variant is for the plains.

I personally side with the Central Asian, since they are more stable. The Caucasians are quite dangerous, and need a very strong personality in their owner, especially the males. Caucasian females can be mellower. You do not need a dog that is looking for an excuse to eat somebody-the dog needs to respect your guests.

These breeds are actually subsets of one big family that runs across the spine of Eurasia, including the Pyrenean Mountain Dog (not the Pyrenean Shepherd,) the Maremma Shepherd, the Yugoslav Sarplaninac, the Turkish Kangal and Akbash and the Afghan Kuchi dog. There are probably 20-50 local variations. All share the same variation of builds and character. I have a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, who is, hands down, the best dog I've ever owned in terms of personality, loyalty, intelligence and guarding ability.

The other way to go is to get a Belgian shepherd (Malinois,) but I don't like them-while powerful, healthy and intelligent, they are too high strung and needy, they need several hours of work per day, and they can easily lose their shit and bite their owner or a family member, just out of that working drive. You want something that is mellow and patient, and smart enough to figure out when an intruder needs killing.



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