A project launched by WWF, where ARPO took part in connection with its project “Arma Bianca”, has shown that the best protection for sheep and goats is a skilled shepherd with the aid of valid dogs, good at guarding and leading the herds.

Over 4 years, 9 farms have tested various methods of protection against large predators. While the brown bear is a traditional presence, the lynx and the wolf are once again populating our mountains. As a result, it is important today to find the proper solution to prevent attacks and losses of sheep and goats.

Damages caused by wolves can be considerably reduced with the use of guard dogs. This is the conclusion drawn from the positive experience lived by the farmers who participated in the pilot project, which focussed on wolf attacks in particular. Wolves have such a hunting technique that can caused much more serius damage than the lynx or the bear.

There exists no patented system for the protection of the herds. Each farm is a specific case and no general conclusion can be drawn. Protection animals have very different characteristics from one another. For this reason, it is necessary to adopt a specific system according to the single situation. Yet, the breed of dogs “pastore abruzzese” has shown very successful protection performances, both on our county territory and outside.

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