Foxes and feral dogs

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Foxes and feral dogs
From: Debbie Lustig <>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 23:32:44 +1000
This is addressed to Graeme and Sandra Gallienne but is not part of the 
'Shooters' thread. Have you heard about Livestock Guardian Dogs? These are dogs 
trained from a young age to live with and protect sheep, goats, cattle, poultry 
as well as horses, emus and ostriches (ie any animals) from feral attack. 
They're defensive rather than aggressive but will confront predators and fight 
if necessary. 
Australian farmers began using them around the early 1980s and they protect 
against dingoes, feral dogs, foxes, birds of prey, cats, etc. (I've seen this 
myself but that's another story.)
The best-known breed here is the Maremma Sheepdog or Maremma, originally from 
Italy. There, they guarded goats and sheep from human thieves and wolves.
These dogs are incredibly effective against feral attack. Here in Victoria, 
they have even been successful in helping guard the Warrnambool Middle Island 
Little Penguin colony recover in number from fewer than 10 to about 205. Not 
one penguin has been killed by fox predation since the trial commenced in 
summer 2005.
There is a Maremma-owning discussion group online and a very thorough manual 
available, complete with case studies of five properties. It's published by the 
University of Canberra's Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Ph 02 
6201 2887.
Hope that helps.


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