Maremma guard dog hailed for its role as a lamb nanny, chook protector for livestock

Australian Brodcasting Corporation
By: Brooke Neindorf
Photo: By Brooke Neindorf

Photo Caption: Tom and Fiona Fryar have more than 30 Maremmas on their free range egg farm on Kangaroo Island.

Original content from Australian Brodcasting Corporation.

With wild dogs continuing to present a major issue for livestock producers, a group of Eyre Peninsula locals are embracing the benefits of guardian animals.

Some producers in the far west of South Australia have seen sheep losses in their hundreds and are at their wits end about what to do about it.

Linda von Bommel from the University of Tasmania has been researching the benefits in particular of the Maremma breed of dog.

She said the animal has an instinct to protect.

"They live out in the paddock with the livestock 24/7 and they deal with any predator that comes along and chase the predator away," she said.

"Animals like llamas and alpacas and donkeys and mules, they have an inherent dislike of canid predators so anything that will enter the paddock they will charge and chase. The same goes for Maremma dogs.

The guardian dogs come to see the livestock as their social companions as they associate with the livestock, and this is where the protectiveness kicks in.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at Australian Brodcasting Corporation.