Rasy psów pasterkich stróżujących są dedykowane rejonom, w jakich ukształtowano ich wzorzec, oraz lokalnej charakterystyce środowiska ich samodzielnej pracy.

A social guard dog is selected for its character, to bond with other animals. Therefore the dog must be a social animal, that is surrounded by other social animals. This is the reason why the dog cares for the sheep, as they satisfy their need for companionship. - KORA describes predestined livestock-guarding dog (LGD) in 1999.

– socialized with livestock / cattle / other herded animals

Socialization (then habituation) is important - if not the most important - aspect of Canis behavior, creating a base for developmental offspring management - a critical period when socialization process is finalized permanently. To initiate it correctly, Polish Tatra Sheepdog puppies are placed directly in the sheepfold or on the grazing land, in safe kennels (preventing potential inventory attacks) where they sleep, eat and drink water. Their kennels are moved from time to time, to provide familiarity with the entire herd and complete socialization before the young sheepdog will be released into open area (starting as a company of the shepherder). The whole training process is finished after circa 20 months. According to Association for Nature “WOLF”, dog efficiency in preventing potential losses, results directly from how much time it spent with livestock. A dog which is able to abandon a herd or becomes distant when predator’s approaching, is not being a good guardian dog.

– limited in contact with humans

Canis familiaris evolved by inheriting predispositions toward humans in the natural way (interspecific cooperation) or by human intervention (selective breeding).. Touching and playing together builds dog-human relation in a sensitive period (developmental puppy management), making that bond more and more attractive. During LGD training/socialization process itself a dog-human contact (including limited petting within a target environment) is advised to stay reduced to owner and family (feeding, watering, care and livestock inspection), then to being a shepherder’s independent companion. Touching or playing together, especially at home, is not permitted unless the pasture is located nearby a household where dog-human contact is unavoidable. The consequence of not abiding to the rules is a dog abandoning a herd because a human companion is preferred.

– not aggressive towards guarded animals

Adult livestock-guarding dog accepted by guarded animals, can work standalone, without humans supervision. It’s a dog which reacts permissively or submissively being sniffed by them, avoid their eye contact, can put ears back and tail down. Owner’s/breeder’s/trainer’s role is to spot in time deviating behaviors (instinctive puppy playing, prey drive, partial predatory sequence simulation) yet while the young guardian dog is trained, and do not strengthen them or motivate repetitive attempts. Otherwise, the dog should be not allowed to guard livestock.

– independent and fearless

Owners of Polish Tatra Sheepdogs living as companion animals (at home, in towns) report that their dogs are inclined to watch over their family by patrolling regularly every room, looking after children and the rest of pets. Livestock-guarding dogs work independently. Seemingly lethargic during the day, they revive during the night - reacting to every suspect noise or movement, barking loudly and bass, bravely looking straight into intruder’s eyes. Every factor depends on danger rate. Immediate reaction on potential intruder’s approaching (predator, unknown person) is essential. The perfect way to train/educate/socialize selected youngster is introducing it into a LGD work familiar herd in company of working parents (optionally other experienced adults). Livestock guarding dogs are territorial, and they are protective of what they believe is theirs. The “resource-guarding” that we find so unacceptable in most dogs is exactly what we desire in a guardian dog. - Ken Ramirez says, a professional dog trainer in Karen Pryor Clicker Training Academy (KPCT), who took care of a 2-years-old female Maremma sheepdog, trained LGD for his Ranch protection because of coyotes’ appearing - LGD are reinforced by seeing outsiders and predators leave when they bark. Ranchers who are instructed to let the dogs “feel that they are in charge” are less likely to discipline nuisance behaviors and lower the dogs’ confidence. A confident dog bred for territorial aggression will claim more territory than an insecure dog. Ranchers who are instructed to let the dogs “feel that the herd is theirs” will have the dogs sleep with the herd, establishing the dogs’ territory.[1]

Domestic dog accompanied in sheperding through ages what - as a consequence - was the reason to shape almost 100 multiple pastoral breeds all over the world. Typical guard dog should be heavy (up to 75kg) and large (up to 70cm). In action, guarding with a tail held up, barking and staying determinate to attack the source of menace, it causes an intruder to back off in order to avoid confrontation or by decision that the risk is not adequate to uncertain benefits. European livestock-guarding dogs are especially popularized in mountain regions (as exemplary mountain dogs) where sheep herding is historically utilized and still most intensive, specifically breed to be familiar with a surrounding area, its topography and climatic conditions. For example: Slovak Cuvac, Hungarian Kuvasz, Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog - were primarily dedicated to Carpathian Mountains; Caucasian Shepherd Dog guarded in Caucasus Mountains; Polish Tatra Sheepdog was specified to guard sheep in Tatra Mountains (cross-border central part of Western Carpathians). Swiss shepherders use omnipresent border collie as herding dogs and LGD breeds - Patou (Pyrennees sheep dog, coming from France/Spain regions, related with some Carpathian LGD breeds), Kangal (coming from Turkey, related to Central Asian Shepherd Dog, same by breed destined to protect against wolves) and Maremma (Italian Maremma Sheepdog, dedicated to Apennine Mountains, also by breed destined to protect against wolves). Effectivity of LGD work is determined by its individual characteristic, education and performed training. LGD collective work is influenced by herding area span and topography in pair with herd dispersion and quantity. Number of guardian dogs should be adapted to the number of guarded herd - approximately, 2-3 LGD on 100 animals.

[1] Tulip Joins the Ranch

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