The grey wolf (Canis Lupus) recolonized the Alps in Switzerland (westernEurope) from Italy around 1995. Since its return, herders and farmers have had to protect their livestock from potential attacks.
Today, guarding dogs that protect livestock are one of the most popular measures implemented in the Alps to prevent and reduce predator attacks. Although they may be an effective strategy to deal with wolves, looking after these dogs may require their owners to spend a significant amout of time and resources to care for them.
Lydwine, a shepherdess from Switzerland, struggled with the upkeep and feeding of her dogs. She, thus, set up a self-feeding system for her dogs: an initiative that has significantly reduced the time spent feeding them. It is a cheap and easy solution to implement. It consists of a few stakes and nets (the same ones used for livestock) to build the enclosure, a wooden pallet to make the entrance of the enclosure, and garbage cans and ropes that respectively serve as self-feeding food reserve (see photos and video).
At first, dogs may not know how much food to eat daily so it may happen that they eat too much. Nonetheless, dogs have the ability to quickly regulate themselves. Having several dogs may be an advantage when using this system as the more experienced dogs can teach the younger ones how use this system.