Farm Utilizes SpotOn Collars for Livestock Guardian Dogs

spoton dogs

Company Holds Veterans Day Giveaway

2023 has been a wild journey for our family and small dairy farm, Gabhran Creek. We started the year needing to move closer to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, for my full-time Montana Air National Guard career.

I have served in the United States Air Force for 22 years and am a member of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, whose mission is to mobilize veterans to feed America. 

Our family’s goal was to purchase an affordable property suitable for our herd of dairy goats, dairy cows, heritage poultry, horses, sheep, dogs, cats, etc. In January the FVC announced its application period for the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund.

The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fellowship Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to third-party vendors for items the veteran has identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business.

Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000. We applied for the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund while still living on our small 2-acre homestead 250 miles from base knowing we’d eventually move in the future. 

If selected for the Fellowship Fund, we wanted to purchase three wireless fence collars for our three livestock guardian dogs (LGDs). We weren’t utilizing the LGDs to their fullest potential on our small property with close neighbors right next to our perimeter.

Our property wasn’t fenced on all four sides and the LGDs like to explore beyond their property boundaries. The dogs are bred to have natural herd protection instincts, eliminate predators, and an overall sense of duty to protect.

We wanted to utilize our LGDs to their fullest potential with minimal installation and maintenance. Additionally, we have four other dogs that spend much of their time inside and do respect the property boundaries when outside.

Collar Selection

After considerable research we decided SpotOn GPS Fence collars were the best collar for our LGDs to maximize their true potential.  

In June the FVC notified us that our farm was selected for the Fellowship Fund. We immediately reached out to the SpotOn marketing team asking if we can purchase collars and yearly subscriptions utilizing the grant process.

Hannah Bowden at SpotOn worked with Abbie Earp from the FVC to finalize the purchase process and placed our order along with three subscriptions. During that same period, we began the sale of our 2-acre property and purchased a 130-acre property with home 45 minutes north of Malmstrom.

The new property lies east of the Rocky Mountain Front and can be susceptible to large apex predators such as mountain lions, coyotes, wolves and wandering grizzly bears. The property has a fully fenced perimeter and the closest neighbor lives over a mile away.

We are cognizant of our neighbors in the area and have notified them about our LGDs. Unfortunately, people can see the dogs as threats and try to harm the dogs.

Training Time

The collars shipped to us in July just after we closed on the new property. We were excited to put the new collars and GPS tracking app to work but knew the LGDs would need some training first.

We wanted to ensure our LGDs stayed within their set perimeter and not wander on another landowner’s property. We slowly started introducing the LGDs onto the new property by letting them out of their large kennel in the mornings and evenings without the collars on. We would walk the property boundaries with them and sometimes would take the goats along, too.

The LGDs have such a gentle and caring disposition with the goats and other dogs but if left unsupervised they would wander beyond the property boundaries.  After familiarizing the LGDs with the new property we started the collar subscriptions and set our first perimeter for approximately 20 acres of the property.

We walked the boundaries with them for their first experience approaching and breaching the perimeters. The LGDs are a sensitive breed that can hold grudges after being corrected. We were concerned the static corrections could instigate some aggression toward one of their fellow guardians if they perceived them as the threat which the correction came from.

The LGDs did well, quickly learning their boundaries without incident. We gained confidence with collars but initially would kennel the LGDs when leaving the property.

We finally trusted the collars and app to their part and the LGDs were left to do their job unsupervised. We are working up to utilizing it for longer periods of time while taking advantage of a rest and refuel for the dogs in their kennel while the collars charge.

Working Great

It makes us happy to see the LGDs enjoying the chance to do the job they were bred to do.

We’ve noticed their behavior change for the better and we can truly see the dogs smiling. They love the freedom to patrol their set perimeter and work together as a team if they sense a threat.

We highly recommend SpotOn collars for owners desiring security that their dogs will stay within set boundaries. We are also able to track the dog if one breaches the perimeter. It eliminates guessing if the dog went north, south, east, or west. 

We can immediately go respond to the dog. We are grateful SpotOn was willing to work with FVC and utilize the Fellowship Fund to purchase the three GPS collars. We have recommended the collars to everyone we know and will continue recommending SpotOn to other dog owners.

These working dogs are priceless and our first line of defense to protect everything two-legged and four on our property.  They deserve our best effort at keeping them safe while they keep us safe.

The SpotOn system has alleviated the stress and worry about knowing where our best defense team is at, by keeping them where they are supposed to be, and the ability to track them should the scenario arise. We are grateful to be a part of the SpotOn team.

Giveaway Info

SpotOn GPS Fence, which is a partner with Farmer Veteran Coalition, is holding a Veterans Day giveaway that will award an FVC member with a SpotOn GPS collar and two-year subscription.

Go to Veterans Day Giveaway ( to submit your entry by Nov. 12. The winner will be announced Nov. 14.