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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of livestock guarding dogs for reducing predation on domestic sheep

Published source details

Andelt W.F. (1992) Effectiveness of livestock guarding dogs for reducing predation on domestic sheep. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 20, 55–62


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use guardian animals (e.g. dogs, llamas, donkeys) bonded to livestock to deter predators to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1986 of 134 sheep producers in Colorado, USA (Andelt 1992) found that using livestock-guarding dogs Canis lupus familiaris reduced coyote Canis latrans predation of lambs in fenced pastures and some open ranges, but predation of ewes was not reduced in either. A lower percentage of lambs was killed by coyotes in fenced pastures with livestock-guarding dogs (0%) than without dogs (2–5%). In open ranges, a lower percentage of lambs was killed compared to 20 of 25 producers without dogs (with dogs: 1.2%; without dogs: 16%), this was not the case compared to the five producers without dogs that responded by telephone rather than post (without dogs: 3%). The percentage of ewes killed by coyotes did not differ significantly with dogs (fenced pastures: 0%; open ranges: 0.4%) or without dogs (fences pastures: 0.5–1%; open ranges: 1.1–1.5%). Sheep producers kept ewes and lambs with or without livestock-guarding dogs in fenced pastures (with dogs: 6–7 producers; without dogs: 87–92 producers) or open ranges (with dogs: 10 producers; without dogs: 25 producers). Average flock sizes were 90–321 lambs or ewes in fenced pastures and 910–2,440 lambs or ewes in open ranges. Seven breeds (or mixed breeds) of livestock-guarding dog were used (see original paper for details). The 134 sheep producers responded to postal or telephone surveys in 1986.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)