Kiri's litter of eight Kangal puppies born on 31. It's almost time for CCF's puppies to be placed with Namibian farmers to begin their work as Livestock Guarding Dogs. Kiri's litter is getting ready for Puppy Day! On this day, farmers will receive their new guarding dog.
Farmers who receive a CCF dog must go through training to learn how to utilize the dog effectively with their herd, and we visit the dogs after placement to ensure that they are doing well in their new homes. The dogs and the farmers are usually very successful!
Over 100 Livestock Guarding Dogs currently working with Namibian Farmers. Farmers using a CCF dog see their predation rates go down from all predators by over 80 percent.
The Next Generation of Protectors....
When one of our Livestock Guarding Dogs gives birth to a litter of puppies, it’s always a cause for celebration. Over the years we’ve placed over 400 Anatolian shepherd and Kangal dogs with Namibian farmers, and as they watch over their herds, they provide better livelihoods for these farmers, resulting in a significant reduction in the trapping and killing of cheetahs.
Every new puppy is another protector, another friend to the cheetah.
Our most recent litter, however, is special for another reason.
Cappuccino is an Anatolian shepherd. Around here we call her “Cheena.” In 2010, her mother, CCF’s Anatolian Uschi, was bred to an Anatolian male from the United States named Zor. Zor and Uschi never actually met, however. The breeding was accomplished via artificial insemination, and Cappuccino was one of the three puppies born from the breeding two and a half years ago.
Because Cappuccino’s bloodlines are so important, CCF wanted to make sure that she had a very special home. The U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, who had just lost a dog of her own prior to her arrival in Namibia, offered her home in Windhoek to Cappuccino. Cappuccino now lives with the Ambassador and her husband, serving as an ambassador in her own right for CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dogs.
Cappuccino gave birth to a litter of puppies -- four males and four females -- on 16 February 2013. She is the first dog ever in Namibia that as the product of an artificial insemination has successfully given birth to a litter of puppies.
Both mom and puppies are doing well. At a week old their eyes and ears are not yet open, and they depend on Cheena for her warmth and nutritious milk. They stay close to her throughout the day and soon they will be moved to CCF’s Conservation Education and Research Centre to begin their journey as Livestock Guarding Dogs.
While we are excited by the possibilities that this milestone represents from a breeding perspective, we are even more thrilled to welcome eight new little protectors to the ranks of our Livestock Guarding Dog Programme.
For cheetahs everywhere,
Dr. Laurie Marker
Founder and Executive Director
They will spend every day for the next couple of weeks out here, getting used to a bigger area and being able to stretch those short, stumpy legs! Good training for when they go off to their new homes. We’ll keep you updated on their progress!
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Aleya gave birth to six healthy puppies on 30 September 2012, right on her due date! All went well and both mother and puppies are doing just fine. These little ones will receive intensive care and training over the next
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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