The first adult livestock guarding dog given away to a new owner
The protection of grazing animals with the use of livestock guarding dogs (LGD) is a growing practice in Slovenia, although it is not yet widespread. The main reasons for this are probably the time needed to raise a LGD and the lack of a systematic way of providing quality dogs. Many breeders do not have the necessary knowledge and cannot afford the extra cost and time involved in working with such a dog.
In terms of legislation, changes were made last year to bring LGDs on an equal footing with service dogs (military and police). This means that in the event of a dog attacking a human within a grazing area, all the circumstances leading up to the attack are considered.
Since 2015, the Slovenia Forest Service has been working on the protection of grazing animals with the help of LGDs as part of various projects. We have established cooperation with experienced dog breeders who are involved in the breeding and raising of dogs within the working lines. These dogs act as herd guardians and are in constant contact with the animals.
The LIFE WolfAlps EU project promotes the use of LGDs as one of the more effective protection measures, especially in combination with electric fencing. Slovenia Forest Service will therefore co-finance the delivery of 3 adult dogs and 10 puppies to interested livestock herders. The first one, Dede, an adult female bred by a breeder Aleš Sedmak, was delivered to her new owners at the end of June this year. She went to a small farm in Predmeja (Slovenia), where she will protect a herd of pedigree goats from attacks by large carnivores.
Aleš Sedmak, a grazing livestock breeder and LGD breeder from Notranjska region in Slovenia, already has extensive experience in breeding such dogs. Dede is the eighteenth dog he has bred for give away, and the third one to go to its new owners as a trained adult dog. Aleš protects his grazing animals with seven dogs, which are Tornjak and Central Asian Shepherd breeds. He also advises new owners on working with the dogs and how to integrate them effectively into the herd.