icon
Auto Translate

Feature story

Romanian Carpathian Shepherd dogs - the best protection for Carpathian livestock

Overview

The Alboni family from Bucova village, western Romania, has a long tradition of “ciobănit” (sheep herding, producing and selling cheese), passed from father to son. Few years ago they were donated an electric fence system and a pair of Romanian Carpathian Shepherd dogs to test the efficiency of these prevention measures against large carnivores attacks. 


Story by

Cosmin Alboni

Occupation

Livestock raising

Location

Bucova

Province

Caras-Severin, Romania


Chapter 1

starting point

Livestock owners from Bucova village (Caraș-Severin County) lose around 15-20 sheep to bears and wolves every year, because
there were only a few prevention measures implemented. The compensation system is far to be efficient, and usually the
locals don’t take the long and time consuming process to recover the damages inflicted by large carnivores.

Chapter 2

approach

A few years ago a new project started in the area to promote measures to prevent human-large carnivore conflicts. In this project the brothers Alin and Cosmin Alboni received a system of electric fences and a pair of Romanian Carpathian Shepherd dog as a donation from Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Zarand Association.This breed has impressive native characteristics that make it the most effective guarding measure for the sheep flocks.


Since we have Doru and Prada, we haven’t lost a single
sheep. This is 100% protection for our animals, which is a great achievement

says Alin Alboni, proudly wearing his traditional long sheep wool coat.
 

Flora & Fauna International in Romania
Zarand Association
Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog Club

1/7

Unlike other dogs, these will not bark unless their fine sense of smell spots the presence of a wild animal that might represent a threat to the flock. At that moment, they immediately dash off to directly confront the bear or wolf.

It’s very important to keep this breed exactly as it developed itself over the years in the company of Romanian shepherds. Breeding will harness these characteristics instilled over the millennia

explained Radu Luca Popa, a local ranger working for FFI. Not only did his furry companions reduce livestock losses, but they provided a precious offspring - a pure breed Romanian Carpathian Shepherd pup. The market value of Iancu - the young shy and fluffy pup - is around 300 Euros. As a result of the good care of the dogs, the Alboni family got a certificate for opening an authorized kennel. Now they can reduce their costs by selling puppies to other shepherds.

Livestock guarding dog

Livestock guarding dogs defend the herd against attacks by wolves. They feel like part of the herd and settle down with the pet owner.  The dogs live permanently outside and defend "their" herd against all intruders from the outside. Well-trained livestock protection dogs are no danger to walkers and hikers, but these should lead their dogs on a leash. To make this work, well trained herd protection dogs are required, which are adapted to the type of grazing by the livestock. This requires regular checks made by experienced people so that the dogs do not start to behave incorrectly.

Romanian Carpathian Shepherd dog

Romanian Carpathian Shepherd dog

1/2
Report your experience with this tool

Blanca Berzosa

24.08.2018

This was a non-binding measure implemented by Fundación Oso Pardo in the frame of LIFE COEX (LIFE04NAT/IT/000144) in 3 provinces, including transboundary wolf population. In Portugal other beneficiary (Grupo Lobo) also carried out similar activities in contiguous region in the Provinces of Salamanca, Avila and Segovia. It specifically involved Farmers, Livestock risers, Administrative staff (government). It operated for 4 years (from 2004 to 2008) and received financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Mrs Jasna Jeremić.

Gavril Marius Berchi

24.08.2018

The project ended log time ago, and since than no projects dealing with wolfs were implemented in Croatia. This was a non-binding measure implemented by State Institute for Nature Protection in the frame of LIFE III CROWOLF in municipality / municipalities in the Gospić. It specifically involved Farmers. It operated in 2005 and received financial support from EU funds.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Christian Pichler.

Christian Pichler

24.08.2018

This was a non-binding measure implemented by Österreichischer Bundesverband für Schafe und Ziegen in municipality / municipalities in the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, Kals am Großglockner. It specifically involved Farmers. It operated for 5 years (from 2012 to 2017) and received partial financial support from EU funds, Provincial goverments, Ministry of Environment, WWF.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to László Patkó.

Zsofia Joo

24.08.2018

This was a non-binding measure implemented by Kuvasz-Őr! in the frame of László Patkó in a transboundary region in the North Hungarian Mountains. It specifically involved Livestock risers. It operated in and received financial support from Own funds, Private donors.Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Dr LUDDENI Véronique.

Beatrice Jouenne

24.08.2018

www.polegrandspredateurs.org NGO working on nature protection/conservation. Thanks to livestock guarding dog, this project aims to support sheep breeders whose herds are victims of lynx attacks. An important step of the project is to learn breeders the educational protocol of dogs. During this project, we developed another protection tool: the multi-herd guarding dog. We educated a dog in order to place him one season after another with different farmers whose herds was attacked. This dog was effective immediately and stopped lynx damage. After this test, the Pôle Grands Prédateurs proposed to breeders to take one or two puppies to replace him. In this context, breeders had the experience of a livestock guarding dog, knew the benefits, and could better apprehend the arrival of a new dog on their farms. Since 2015, the Pôle Grands Prédateurs is no longer a breeding pole for livestock guarding dogs. The association continues its action of support to the sheep breeders by being a platform of discussions and putting in relation breeders who look for dogs and breeders who have puppies to place. We also take in charge directly pups placement. Besides, we organized a lot of communication actions around the theme of “livestock guarding dog as a tool of prevention against lynx predation”. We realized a documentary about this subject in the Jura Massif in 2015/2016. Since 2017, we organized projections and debates with this film for a large audience (general public, naturalists, elected officials, schoolchildren, breeders ...). This was abinding measure implemented by Pôle Grands Prédateurs in the frame of Assistance to sheep breeders – livestock guarding dog and personalized support in Sheep breeders from the French Jura Mountains in the French Jura Mountains. It specifically involved Farmers, Livestock risers. It operated for 8 years (from 2007 to 2015) and received partial financial support from Own funds, Other sources, Public funds (State).Please reply to this post for more information or reach out directly to Jean-Marc Landry.

Chapter 3

outlook

There is still lots of work to do when it comes to preventing large carnivore attacks on livestock in the region. But the demonstrative project of FFI and Zarand Association created good examples that can be followed by other shepherds and established a base for further projects. Their efforts will be continued in the area by WWF Romania, as a partner in the LIFE EuroLargeCarnivores project. Electric fences systems and pairs of Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dogs will be donated to other livestock owners as well, to measure the efficiency of these prevention tools.

Submit story

Would you like to contribute a story?

Let us know!
Romanian Carpathian Shepherd dogs - the best protection for Carpathian livestock

icon

    Please select the province you live in.

    This will allow us to show you information specific for your county.