LES MONTAGNES SERBES
OD SRPSKIH PLANINA
Livestock guarding dogs
20.000 years ago the dog became partner of the Siberian hunters. In the
Middle East (Palestinian burial place; Iraqi cave) the bones of dogs, dated
from 12.000 years B.C., were found. In Scotland, in Denmark and in Spain
bones from 10.000 years were found in the peatery and the caves. The dog
was the first animal to be domesticated. It is nowadays generally accepted
that the domestication of the dogs was done during the period of hunting
and gathering in human history, i.e. 12 000 years. According to Mason, the
sheep was first domesticated on the mountains, located at the present territories
of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. One can believe that the livestock guarding dogs
start their evolution on this location as well, and this about 6.000 years
ago. Man from that period has selected, among the domesticated dogs, dogs
of equal height to sheep and which had a weak hunter’s instinct. Just
like the modern Navajo Indians, they put their puppies to grow up among
the sheep. The puppies grew up considering the flock as their pack and they
preferred to stay with it.
Like in the USA there are no breeds of livestock guarding dogs, they make use of “the old World Dogs for the New World”. Among the breeds, which are the most used in the USA for guarding the stock are quoted the Great Pyrenees, the Komondor, the Akbash, the Anatolian, the Maremma, the Sarplaninac and the Kuvasz.
Let’s see now which breeds of dogs from this group exist on the other continents.
Recently I had the opportunity to receive via Mr. Jean-Jacques Allard some pictures from those countries, made by a big traveller and dog lover, Mr. Philippe Deltreuil. Most of those pictures come from Armenia.
The FCI classification leads to confusion, because certain dogs “protector”
of the flock are classified in group I, group of the shepherds and others
in group II, in the section of Molossoïdes mountain type. The common
characteristic is that all those dogs are mountain dogs with two exceptions:
the Komondor and the Kuvasz.
|One of the very efficient livestock guarding dogs and who since ages is still nowadays doing this job is certainly the Sarplaninac.|
proofs that he has the sheep “under his skin” are numerous and
lately I got the occasion to discover that by different examples.
Let’s go back to the anecdote about Pasa reported by my friend Jelena.
Here is what his owner told about him:
“It is very interesting that although he was not going after the sheep (and even we did not let him approach them, because we were afraid that he was going to attack them) he knew the sheep. Once when we sold the sheep to another village 20 km away, he simply disappeared for several days. When he came back, we heard that he had found back the sheep, which were sold and that he stayed with them for a couple of days. He accompanied them when they were grazing and he slept next to the sheep pen. The people who bought the sheep understood what all is about and they fed him. At a certain moment he judged that the flock was not belonging to him anymore and he came back.”