Our Livestock Guarding Dog Programme is so successful in part because of our thorough concern and assistance for the dogs throughout their lifespan, and in recent months, we’ve seen that demonstrated clearly.
Our first litter of Kangals has been placed. Placement with a farmer happens when a puppy is eight weeks old. The young dog stays with younger livestock for the first few weeks. A three months, the dog will go out with the herder and the livestock to begin habituating it to the behaviour of the livestock and wild animals. Farmers must participate in training programmes on how to work with the dogs and make them effective livestock guarding dogs. A well-trained, well-cared-for Anatolian shepherd or Kangal is an imposing barrier against the predation of its herd.
Over the past few months, our LSGD team, Gebhardt Nikanor and Anja Bradley, has been visiting CCF dogs in the Otavi, Tsumeb, and Kamanjab districts near CCF. During these regular visits we talk to the farmers and herders about the dog, and have them answer questionnaires about the dogs’ performance and health. We also apply routine vaccinations and provide medical supplies to help ensure that the dogs’ health is a priority.
Occasionally, we find dogs that for various reasons, are in poor health or exhibiting poor performance. These dogs are removed from that specific farm, evaluated, and placed on another farm if appropriate. When a dog is unable to continue working, a home is found for the dog as a companion animal. When our own CCF dogs are retired, they live out the rest of their lives here at CCF as a valued member of our community.
We are sad because this month we lost Shades, an Anatolian shepherd who had been protecting
CCF’s own kraal of goats for over 12 years. Shades had been retired, but still lived in the kraal–such was his bond with his former charges. His health deteriorated rapidly and as he was in great distress, Shades was euthanised. We all miss him terribly.
But, as they say, the circle of life continues, and on Friday, 10 August, one of CCF’s Kangal dogs, Feliz, gave birth to six puppies, three male and three female. Sadly one of the males was stillborn, but the remaining five will become part of our growing and successful LSGD programme!
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