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Non-Lethal Methods

alternatives
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Livestock Guardian Dogs:

Livestock guardian dogs are a fairly effective short-term deterrent. The Kangal Shepherd dog is commonly bred and specially trained for this task. Livestock guardian dogs are trained to alert of wolves nearby or run down predators until they are comfortably far from livestock herds. Wolves are intelligent animals and learn to avoid distressing circumstances they experience (as being pursued by dogs). Chances are, if a wolf perceives that a dog (or multiple dogs) is nearby, they may see it as a threat to them or their pups and will avoid conflict altogether. Wolves can pass on this fear to their offspring, which enables them to avoid situations where they associate danger. However, livestock guardian dogs only work short-term.

DO'S and DON'TS with LGDs

DO:

  • Analyze the size of the ranch. If you have a small amount of land, with less livestock, you may only need one or two LGDs. If you have a substantial amount of land, you will need at least more than 2 dogs.

  • Do research and determine which breed is best suited for your ranch. Some of the best LGDs include the Kangal Shepherd Dog, The Pyrenean Mountain Dog (Great Pyrenees), the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Kuvasz, and the Tibetan Mastiff.

DON'T:

  • Don't encourage fighting between the wolf and the dog. Instead, the dog will bark aggressively to alert the herder that a wolf is nearby. Most likely, the wolf will have fled in the presence of a dog. 

  • Keep dogs away from wolf dens April through July (when wolf pups are most vulnerable) to avoid conflict between protective wolves and the dog.

 

Electric Fencing:

Electric fencing functions similarly to the livestock guardian dog method. Electric fences act as a barrier, and anything that attempts to cross it will be non-fatally shocked. Like the livestock dogs, wolves will associate the livestock with painful experience and avoid it all together.

Turbofladry is a fencing tool that is used for deterring predators--particularly wolves. The fencing conducts an electrical current and bright red flags along the wire.

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RESOURCES

You can view the following websites for resources and more anti-lethal methods for protecting livestock.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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