Letter Re: Recommended Versatile Dog Breeds for Retreat Security

Mr. Rawles:
I have owned many types of dogs over the years, from coonhounds when I lived in Idaho, to a horrible little dachshund we currently have, but who may be the best watchdog I’ve ever owned. Were it not for his addiction to killing chickens and rabbits (which we also raise), he might make a great retreat dog! My current choice is the Komondor. Extremely independent, but in the right hands an absolutely devoted and fearless defender of livestock, home, barn, children. My big male is the constant companion of my daughters as they roam our property, putting himself between them and any threat, real or perceived. Never vicious or prone to attack, but very willing to stand off a stranger until he has been thoroughly investigated and cleared by me as being okay. These are not dogs for everyone; but with proper handling they are great dogs even with children. They do not share the Great Pyrenees penchant for roaming, and have a well-developed sense of property and territory. Their drawback as well as part of their uniqueness is their unusual corded coat, which we shear here in Texas due to the heat and the fact that nearly everything here has burrs or thorns. Even though it is a large breed, their dietary requirements are surprisingly small. Such giant breeds often have slow metabolisms and don’t need as much food as you’d think. My big male gets about 4 cups of high protein food a day. And being of rather peasant, Hungarian ancestry, he is happy with the occasional baked potato to supplement his regular diet. He also will consume goat feed if he thinks I am not watching, but seems to suffer no ill effects from it.

So I’ll end here, but thanks for your hard work, and we look forward to reading more and learning more. Best wishes to you and your family, – Ginger B