In the LIFE DINALP BEAR project we are engaged in preventing damage caused by large carnivores to human property. Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs), in addition to the presence of a shepherd, are the oldest form of herd protection against predators. Through centuries, different breeds have been shaped in different parts of the world and have been preserved to this day, which is a proof of their effectiveness. Modern approaches to grazing livestock farming have abandoned the presence of shepherds on the pasture, which means that it is essential for herding animals to be protected by at least three dogs.
Raising a LGD is not an easy process, as it is long lasting and requires a lot of patience. Within the project, we have started a collaboration with five LGD breeders, who breed four breeds: Karst Shepherd, Sarplaninec, Tornjak and Caucasian Shepherd. By working with experienced breeders, we have established a network of farmers who protect their herds against large carnivores with the help of LGDs and are successful in doing so. Knowledge gained from long-term breeding and use of dogs on pastures is passed on “first hand” to all those who decide to buy a young LGD. In the project, 20 LGD pups were co-financed to interested livestock breeders.
Photo: Anita Tomšič