Spanish mastif, Livestock guarding dog, Spain

Spanish mastif, Livestock guarding dog, Spain

Author: John Linnell/Monday, April 9, 2007/Categories: Gallery

The expansion of wolves across the agricultural plains of northern Spain is one of the conservation success stories of the last decades. It has not been without conflict, and livestock depredation has increased. Although the traditional shepherding practices are relatively intact in Spain, many herders have lost the tradition of using effective livestock guarding dogs. In order to reduce this conflict a project called CoEx, funded by the EU LIFE programme is providing shepherds with traditional Spanish mastif dogs to help guard sheep from wolf attacks. This little pup is around 3 months old and has been placed in the barn together with lambs so that he will bond on sheep - a requirement for effective guarding. The restoration of this age old husbandry system is a very effective action to help conserve wolves, indigenous dog breeds, and traditional husbandry practices.

Text & Photo: John Linnell


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