Animals have proven to be good guards. Animals have a remarkable capacity, and, when trained properly, have shown to be good guards of humans and property. Guard dogs protect property, and serve as an effective deterrent to potential criminals. Certain breeds of dogs are very loyal to their owners, and are fiercely protective.
Animals often have some intelligence that humans do not have. Because they do not have the reasoning and communication skills that humans have, they often have to rely on their intuition. Often they have a better sense of smell than humans do, and they are able to sense problems more quickly than humans.
Most sheep producers agree that no one management practice or method of control will eliminate predation. To effectively combat predation producers must adapt management practices and implement methods of predator control that address specific problems facing that particular operation.
There has been significant interest in using livestock guard animals, sometimes also referred to as predator control animals or mobile flock protectors, as a non-lethal means of reducing predation. Livestock guard animals live with the flock, protecting the sheep from predation, without harming or interfering with the flock. Guard animals currently being used with sheep include specially trained dogs, llamas and donkeys. Donkeys are gaining in popularity due to their relatively low cost, minor maintenance requirements, longevity and their compatibility with other predator control methods. Donkeys also offer the additional advantage in that they can be fed in much the same manner as sheep.
Animals in general do not make good guards. Yes, certain breeds of dogs, along with some well-trained animals can play the role of a guard. However, those examples are the exception, not the norm. Animals for the most part make poor guards, because they do not understand what is is they are doing. Furthermore, most animals won't know to alert their owners when trouble arises.