Learn the form, but seek the formless. Hear the soundless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn The Way, then find your own way. But do not name it my friend, for it is like water; nothing can overcome water, yet it can overcome rock. It does not fight; it moves around the opponent, boneless, nameless. The true master dwells within. Only you can free him.
Jet Li as The Silent Monk, The Forbidden Kingdom
GROWING UP ON CATALINA ISLAND
FURIANO DE PUERTO CANENCIA – At a towering 38" tall, "Furi" steals the show on my ranch with his affable and commandeering presence. He's sired many huge, gorgeous litters here and has set a new US standard for excellence in work ethic!
1980'S BARBARA WALTERS 20/20 TV SPECIAL ON THE IL RANCH BUCKAROOS
Unlike most LGD breeders, I am proud to have have met standards and requirements and have been legally licensed as a business and permitted to operate my dog breeding practice through my county and when applicable, the State of Nevada, for many years.
Since Day One, I have promoted the responsible, ethical, compassionate and common sense ownership and use of Livestock Guardian Dog breeds. It is why I have a very extensive puppy application process to vet out potential homes. I regularly advise against using extremely aggressive or unstable exotic LGD breeds that come from fighting, military or police backgrounds, and regularly promote owner education and training so as to facilitate a trustworthy relationship between dog and owner. The #1 main cause of failure of LGDs in America right now is under-educated, novice owners "biting off more than they can chew" with poor breed selection, buying from backyard, fad breeders and puppy mills, and expecting too much from the dog, and not enough from themselves. LGDs are large, powerful dogs that can become a huge liability in the wrong hands. They are a serious responsibility. Do not buy one unless you are prepared to be a responsible owner and operator.
Cinco Deseos Ranch
THE FIRST FIVE– I started out with a pack of 5 LGDs - Maremma/Anatolian brothers Pala and Pak ("The Mafia Brothers") and sibling trio Pyrenees Petra, Peso and Pinta. They're all still here!
PHOTO BY KURT MARKUS FOR HIS FAMOUS BOOK, "BUCKAROO"
TROY FARMA STEKOT & SON BOBO – (Late) father and his heir son Pyrenean Mastiffs have been loveable but staunch protectors of my ranch, sheep and heifers. The breed is addicting, smart and devoted!
CHP PSD II BISHOP, CALIFORNIA A14402
Cinco Deseos Ranch was established in 2009 when I moved back to Northern Nevada with my ailing mother, and we bought this property. I purchased a man's dairy goat herd and three Great Pyrenees pups out of a litter he had bred (above, right), who were being raised in the goats. That is how my "Five Wishes" ranch came to be and my love for Livestock Guardian Dogs began. My name is Brenda M. Negri and I have an extensive and long background and experience in agriculture, cowboying, ranching, raising and running working dogs. Over the years, I was blessed with incredible, great mentors in the ranching and dog realms - persons who are renowned in their fields and considered experts. People like Tom Dorrance, The Marvel Ranching families of Nevada, renowned German show judge Christofer Habig, and others. I am happy to share what I have learned from them, and am still learning from my dogs, with you. My chosen path of how I live and train these magnificent dogs is unique and different than others; perhaps it will fit your path, too.
Cinco Deseos Ranch ("Five Wishes") is my five acre 'postage stamp ranch', located in the Great Basin high desert of Northern Nevada, and sits at approximately 4500' elevation, 10 miles south of Winnemucca in Grass Valley. The climate is one of extremes, from 100+ in the summer to -30 in the winter. I am surrounded by BLM open range and checkerboard private cattle ranches and public lands. This is in the heart of 'buckaroo country' where large cattle and sheep operations once were the mainstay of the local economy that has now turned into one of the biggest gold mining regions in the world. In this country, predators include mountain lion, coyote, hawks, ravens, bobcat and feral and domestic packs of dogs that have been dumped out in the desert. Wolves regularly dip down into Northern Nevada from Oregon and Idaho. I raise Livestock Guardian Dogs here full time along with some sheep, goats and two registered mini-Herefords. My puppy litters are raised around these species plus immersed in a large pack of dogs that gives them a decided head start in life. Because the dogs are my first priority here, they are the focus of my ranch, not the other way around. That is the main reason my dogs consistently come out more advanced and stable minded than many others. They are treated with the respect they deserve here, never as merely disposable tools.
I was born in California of a Mexican father and a German mother, and have been around and raised dogs my entire life. I grew up on Roy Rogers and John Wayne, and from childhood all I ever wanted to be was a cowgirl. I pursued that dream, and made a hand on my own, back in the days before cell phones and Internet, and you got a job by knocking on doors, and a firm handshake, and your good word. I come from a cattle ranching background and spent over a decade buckarooing for a living on small and giant outfits in California, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada.
The ranches I lived and worked on included Tom Marvel Ranches (The Martin Ranch, Battle Mt. NV), his sons - including 1978 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Joe Marvel of Marvel Brothers Ranching (Buffalo Valley, NV), Maggie Creek Ranch (Carlin, NV), HC Ranch (Likely, CA), Gamble Winecup Ranch (Montello, NV), Trout Creek Ranch, (Fields, Oregon), JR Simplot Co. (Grandview, ID), Estill Ranches (Clovis, CA), Sunnyside Feedlot, Bar X Horse Ranch, (Weiser, ID), Calorvada Cowboys (my former husband and I ran a contract cowboy crew business out of Fresno, CA), Minarets Pack Station (CA), and several smaller family ranches in the San Joaquin Valley foothills in central CA and over on the coastal ranges out of Paso Robles and the Carizzo Plains area, and down on into Bakersfield. I also spent a few years in the Eastern Sierras in CA riding and caring for horses out of beautiful Bishop and Big Pine where I lived.
I was able to meet and learn from the legendary horseman Tom Dorrance when I worked for the Marvels in Idaho. He deeply influenced my training and approach to not only horses and livestock, but how I raise, train, understand and work with dogs as well. Noted European dog behaviorist and trainer Turid Rugaas' methods and ways with dogs strongly parallel that of Dorrance's work and I am a staunch devotee of her work, books and training methods which I regularly recommend to my clients.
During my youth, I also spent time studying under Baba Hari Dass, the renowned silent Hindu Yogi Master, and lived for a while in a Buddhist environment. Thus, my ideas and ways that I practice with these dogs, you may find uniquely different than other ranchers or LGD owners and breeders.
I've not only raised dogs for decades, I've also dabbled in illustrating and freelance writing for just as long, and since the 1980's have been published in or profiled in, a variety of magazines, periodicals, quarterlies and newspapers, including:
Western Horseman Magazine (1990's - several articles on buckarooing, large cattle ranches, and cowboy craftsmen)
Dog World (Rare and Versatile: The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, June 1987)
RANGE Magazine ("Living for The Lambs", Summer, 2012; "Who Let the Dogs Out: Brenda Negri and her big, bold canines" profile on my ranch and dogs by RANGE Editor C.J. Hadley, Fall 2012)
El Mundo del Perro (Spain) (Article and photographs on the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, 1987)
Molosser Magazin (Germany) (Article on the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, 2/1987)
Sheep! Magazine (Numerous articles on LGD breeds, training, responsible ownership, breeding, behavior, etc., 2013-present)
Le Montagne des Pyrenees: Chien de protection de troupeaux, (France) by Mathieu Mauries, several papers authored by Brenda M. Negri used with permission (L'edition, a facon, 2016)
The Shepherd Magazine (Spanish and Pyrenean Mastiff Breeds, October 2012)
Countryside & Small Stock Journal Magazine (Protect Your Poultry With Livestock Guardian Dogs, Vol 99, No. 6, Nov/Dec 2015)
Backyard Poultry Magazine (Buckeye Enthusiast Keeps Heritage Hens Safe With Livestock Guardian Dogs, Vol. 11, No. 1, February/March 2016)
Goat Rancher Magazine (Old World Solution for a New Age Problem, December, 2011; The Benefits of Using Sibling Guardian Dogs, December 2013)
Western Ag Reporter (Guardian Dogs vs. Wolves: Don't Take A Knife to a Gun Fight, Nov 24, 2011)
Winnemucca Community Living Magazine (WOOF! Raising Livestock Guardian Dogs in Nevada, a profile on Brenda Negri and Cinco Deseos Ranch by award winning author Carolyn Dufferena, July/August, 2012)
Farm Show Magazine (Livestock Guardian Dogs From the "Old Country", by Brenda M. Negri, Vol. 36, No. 1; Pack Raised Guardian Dogs Work Harder, Vol. 36, No. 4)
Working Ranch Magazine (With Editor Tim O'Byrne, "Dogged Dedication: LGDs might be the answer to wolf and coyote harassment of the herd, if you're a dog person", April/May 2014)
Nevada Rancher Magazine ("Two Rein Jane: Brenda Negri shares memories of buckarooing in the 1980's", January 2014 & with Jolyn Young: "Livestock Guardian Dogs: Selectively Bred for Hundreds of Years", February, 2017)
American Sheep Industry owned companies Consultant: I was hired as a consultant to prestigeous American Sheep Industry's owned insurance companies to assist in creating and implementing the working dog liability insurance program and wrote two loss prevention manuals for the project.
Film: My dogs, my ranch and myself are featured in a 2012 award nominated and winning co-existence film on Livestock Guardian Dogs.
Internationally publlshed author: Several articles I authored were included in a French book on the Great Pyrenees authored by Mathieu Mauries, Le Montagne des Pyrenees, in 2016. In the 1980's I also wrote for German and Spanish dog periodicals Molosser Magazin and El Mundo del Perro.
LGD Consultant Work: I regularly serve as a paid consultant to LGD owners and operators about specific and general breed, ownership, training and behavioral issues, challenges and problems.
I am continually humbled by these great dogs and learn something every day. I realize the moment you begin to think you "know it all", you stop learning, therefore, I strive to "empty my cup" and keep my mind and heart open to new knowledge and experiences with these phenomenal dogs. And, the joy their owners bring me when I see their happiness and successes with my dogs, is irreplaceable. I hope if nothing more, my website and blog can enrich your Livestock Guardian Dog ownership and use experience as well.