I love dogs. I love dogs a lot. In fact, I can’t remember every meeting a dog that I did not like (OK some more than others). But dogs in most parts of the world are not just pets but an integral part of everyday life and contribute greatly.
That could not be more true than in Namibia (and I am proud to say now in Tanzania) with the Cheetah Conservation Funds Livestock Guarding Dog Program.
Livestock Guarding Dog program is a successful, innovative program that has been helping to save the wild cheetah in Namibia since 1994. Working with local farmers and their livestock, this program is was created by innovative founder Dr. Laurie Marker. In 1994 after being hit hard by a drought cheetahs began preying on livestock. And when they killed livestock the farmers went to kill them. Laurie asked them not to and in response they said then tell the cheetah to stop killing livestock.
From that she came up with the brilliant solution. By giving farmers puppies that are then raised with their herds, the dogs’ natural instincts is to protect the flock. The livestock guarding dog lives with the herd, eats and sleeps with the livestock and travels with them. The dog is always on alert, and defends its herd against a variety of threats.. The dog is not trained to chase or attack – its job is to bark and posture to scare the predator away. Cheetahs are not normally aggressive, and are quick to retreat from a barking dog. Thus cheetahs don’t kill livestock and farmers don’t kill cheetahs. Brilliant! To learn more about this unique program and how you can help click here.
Now what would really make it perfect is if they each wore a Maasai Beaded Dog Collar Project to support my effort of building a well for women who walk 6km for water!