The protective instinct of Livestock Guarding Dogs

Date published: 13 Jan 2019 - Written by - Filed under Dogs

Tags: Innlandet   Landåsbygda   Oppland   Østlandet   Søndre Land

I WONDER WHY THE ITALIAN MAREMMA DOG, a so-called Livestock Guarding Dog, is not introduced by the Norwegian government into Norway to help farmers with predators such as wolves?

Fjellhaug, our home in Landåsbygda

The Maremma is well known (for hundreds of years) for protecting its herd - whether cows, sheep, or penguins (as is the case in Australia, which introduced the Maremma dog to Middle Island 12 years ago, in the very successful attempt to protect the little penguin population, which was slowly being hunted into extinction by introduced foxes). Young Maremma pups learn to live with sheep flocks at age 4-8 weeks and small packs of Maremma work together to form a ring of protection. The breed seems to be doing and has done a very good job as the middle man in the co-existence of farmers, hunters and wildlife in Italy (where there is a much larger population of wolves and other wildlife than here in Norway). This is also the case in other parts of Europe with other LG breeds, where local people have decided to live together with all aspects of nature. Possibly reintroducing traditional farming practices, such as shepherds, may also provide a sustainable solution? As well as an understanding of how our increasing encroach on wild spaces, growing world population, movement of people, greater demands on natural resources, profit mentality, etc., is affecting the behaviour of wild animals and reshaping the environment. The best way forward needs to be a win-win for all. Some food for thought at least for me, when considering farming with livestock (alpacas, goats, villsau) in the future.

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