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Visitors mistake working dogs for lost dogs

Pyrennes pup
Steve Stuebner for the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission and Life on the Range.
A Great Pyrenees puppy, a guard-dog-in-training, watches over a ewe with a new born lamb in the Little Wood River Valley.
Cory Peavey w. his dogs
Steve Stuebner for the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission and Life on the Range.
Cory Peavey with his sheep dogs

FAIRFIELD, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-The good will of people is creating some problems for shepherds. 

The Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission says there have been a number of incidents lately where people have picked up expensive livestock guardian dogs, thinking they are lost or abandoned.

In fact, the dogs, often large, white Great Pyrenees dogs should be left alone to protect sheep herds.

The dogs are there to protect herds against wolves and other predators. 

 “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.

Another sheep rancher found his guard dog at a shelter in Wood River Valley. 

Renee Kehler, Range Conservationist for the Sawtooth National Forest, said there have been a number of guard dogs picked up by people thinking they were lost or needed attention. “It’s been happening a lot lately,” Kehler says. “Please treat them like livestock and leave them alone.”

Often livestock guard dogs have a collar with a name and phone number on them. If they have questions, they also could call those numbers to see if the dog is lost.

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