Home › Forums › Forum › Livestock guarding dogs: what to do to make them effective to deter predators?
Livestock guarding dogs are used in many places all over the world to protect livestock from carnivores. Could you please share here what would be all the requirements to make them the most effective possible in the long-term? What to do/not do from the very beginning?
In my country there is a very interesting experience on this, in a community within the Madidi National Park protected area, a woman raises two guard dogs, feeds them well, gives them a lot of love and they themselves take care of their owners and the animals that The lady raises, every time the jaguar approaches, the dogs run away barking to scare this feline away. Apparently keeping dogs healthy and well fed is the key to serving as guardians.
Thank you for your feedback.
Could you please tell me which breed you are using and in which country? I actually start testing the breed “Kangal” (cf. https://encosh.org/en/simplified_initiatives/livestock-guarding-dog-kangal/) to repel jaguars and pumas in French Guyana. One breeder who had this dog was one of the only farmers of his area who did not get attacks of jaguars or pumas on his livestock.
Between 4 and 18 months, the dog stay with the livestock so that they get used to each other. Social time with the breeder is also essential. During this period of time, the dog has to be kept in a safe area as it can still be a prey for the carnivore as the dog remains too young.
Hello! This is my first post to encosh, I hope it is helpful. This research project in the United States quantified some of the specifics in livestock guardian dog efficacy in the US Northwestern Rocky Mohntains. It followed several breeds of dogs (kangal, transmantano, karakachan, akbash, etc) and evaluated several variables in what determines guard dog success and their impact on local wildlife.
“Evaluating the effectiveness of livestock guardian dogs”
By Daniel Kinka and Julie K. Young
There is a nice article about the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project in issue 22 of the CDPnews – Carnivore Damage Prevention News, available here: https://www.protectiondestroupeaux.ch/en/cdpnews/
What makes a good livestock guarding dog?
I would say it would have to be the right genetics (meaning good working lineages resulting from adequate functional selection) potentiated by the right environment (proper bonding and training) and enabled by good animal welfare.
The role of the farmers/owners is crucial to optimize the bonding process and the physical and behavioural development of the dogs, and to prevent and correct any problems that may occur.
There is a lot of information available on how to select, train and maintain these dogs in different contexts, so they can grow up to become good working dogs: attentive, trustworthy and protective of the livestock, well integrated into the community and with existing activities (e.g. tourism, hunting).
There is also a nice article on issue 15 of the CDPnews – Carnivore Damage Prevention News that discusses solutions to perceived limitations on the use of these dogs. It is available here: https://www.protectiondestroupeaux.ch/en/cdpnews/
That is a crucial question. Thanks for bringing it up!
I know the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project (https://www.bankhar.org/), and I believe one of the key aspects is the engagement with the local communities at all stages and levels.
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