The Anatolian Shepard, Livestock Guarding Project in South Africa

The Anatolian Shepard is an imposing canine. Bred to protect livestock from bears, wolves, as well as other predators, the amazing ability of Anatolians to protect livestock stems not only from their physical attributes—size, strength, good eyesight, sharp hearing and excellent sense of smell—but from their familiarity with and dedication to their charges.

Starting from 6-8 weeks in age, puppies are raised as a member of the herd and naturally bond with the sheep or goats they are kept with. As calm, confident animals, this early bonding technique forms an instinctive quality to protect the other members of their unlikely family. Anatolians will investigate and aggressively confront any intruders or threats to the herd.  These dogs are capable of making independent decisions without the direction of a human master. Anatolians possess the three main behavior traits that an effective livestock guarding dog must have: trustworthiness, attentiveness and protectiveness. A truly magnificent, loyal creature.

This March, Cross Cultural Journeys is co-sponsoring a journey to South Africa, where a portion of each trip cost will be donated to the Cheetah Outreach benefiting the Anatolian Shepard, and particularly the Livestock Guarding Project in South Africa.

The Livestock Guarding Project, South Africa. In 2005, De Wildt’s Wild Cheetah Management Project (WCMP) and Cheetah Outreach placed Anatolian guard dogs on farms in cheetah range in Limpopo and North West Provinces. This project has been met with overwhelming success, where they have reduced livestock losses from 95 to 100%. Though mostly used to guard sheep and goats, for the first time in southern Africa, some dogs have been used to successfully guard cattle and in one instance, wild game. Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation is honored to be a part of this project. To find out more about this program, visit Cheetah Outreach.

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