Man's (and livestock's) best friend
It's always fascinated me that domestic dogs are widely embraced as "man's best friends," while wild dogs like coyotes and wolves often elicit deep-seated animosity. So I was particularly taken by this video of livestock guard dogs by the Montana-based conservation group, People & Carnivores. The good folks at People & Carnivores work to resolve real-world conflicts between wildlife and livestock producers, making life a bit easier for both. Specially-trained guard dogs imported from Central Asia keep sheep and cattle safe while scaring off wolves, coyotes and bears. They even wear spiked collars -- yikes! I thought I knew a thing or two about dogs, but this video includes a bunch of amazing breeds I had never heard of, plus cute puppies.
Ben Long is a writer, outdoorsman and conservationist in Kalispell, Mont. He is senior program director for Resource Media. He owns a Lab mix guard dog who protects the bird feeder from squirrels, skunks and coyotes.