Dogs have been guarding flocks and herds from wild predators for thousands of years, and conservationists have advocated the practice to avoid lethal predator-control methods, but a literature review in BioOne found the practice takes a toll on wildlife. A majority of the animals chased or killed by guard dogs are not predators, and some are already endangered or threatened; conversely, guard dogs may also protect species like ground-nesting birds and limit the transmission of disease between wildlife and livestock.
Some unintended consequences from livestock-guarding dogs
Sign up for Animal Health SmartBrief
News for animal health professionals
Get the intelligence you need: news and information that is changing your industry today, hand-curated by our professional editors from thousands of sources and delivered straight to your inbox.