Why Namibian Farmers Are Satisfied With the Performance of Their Livestock Guarding Dogs

  • April 4, 2013
  • by G.C. Potgieter, L.L. Marker, N.L. Avenant, I.L. Kerley Graham

Abstract

The success of livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) in mitigating farmer–predator conflict relies on the perceptions of farmers that use them. Purebred LGDs are provided to Namibian farmers by the Cheetah Conservation Fund as a farmer–predator conflict mitigation measure.We examined the perceptions of farmers using 164 of these LGDs by analyzing data collected during face-to-face interviews from 2000–2010. Although most respondents reported reduced livestock losses since LGD introduction, satisfaction with LGD performance was more strongly linked to their observations of LGD behavior. The most commonly reported negative behaviors were staying home (29 LGDs, 18%) and chasing wildlife (25 LGDs, 15%). On subsistence farms, care provided was negatively correlated with LGD age (r=−.34, n = 35, p = .04) and LGDs reportedly staying home were provided with less care than other LGDs. Overall, LGDs performed satisfactorily on commercial and subsistence farms, and thus contributed to farmer–predator conflict mitigation.

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