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Dogs for herding and guarding livestock

By L. Coppinger, R. Coppinger, T. Grandin

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Dogs that perform best for guarding and herding livestock have different behavioural profiles, as stated by the authors: 'herding dogs are selected to show hunting behaviours, such as eye, stalk, grip or heel. Guarding dogs are selected to show more of the wild ancestor's puppy-like or juvenile behaviour, preferring to stay with the "litter" of livestock to which they are bonded, and to react to novelty by barking an alarm'. In addition, the chase and bite behaviours are absent in guarding dogs. Ranchers in the western USA have reported that cattle located in areas of high wolf predation learn to react to Border Collie herding dogs by attacking them and so they are no longer useful for herding. The guarding dog that does not perform threatening movements towards cattle is tolerated. Ranchers have observed that the reintroduction of wolves has made mother cows more aggressive towards domestic dogs. Previously, the presence of smaller coyotes did not cause mother cows to be aggressive towards herding dogs. The protection of sheep against wolves will require two to five guard dogs.

Pages 245-260
ISBN/ISSN 978-1-78064-321-2
Publisher Cabi
DOI 10.1079/9781780643212.0245
Language English
Author Address School of Cognitive Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Aggressive behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. APEC countries
  6. Bovidae
  7. Canidae
  8. Canine
  9. Carnivores
  10. Cattle
  11. Countries
  12. Coyotes
  13. Developed countries
  14. Dogs
  15. guard
  16. Mammals
  17. Maternal behavior
  18. natural enemies
  19. North America
  20. OECD countries
  21. Pests.
  22. Pets and companion animals
  23. predation
  24. predators
  25. Ruminants
  26. Sheep
  27. Social behavior
  28. Stress
  29. Stress response
  30. ungulates
  31. United States of America
  32. vectors
  33. vertebrates
  34. Wild animals
  35. Wolves