Once our puppies have been placed on farms we are vigilant about checking on their progress and health throughout their lifetime. All of us pet owners know how important it is to vaccinate our cats and dogs, but this isn't so easy out here in Namibia, especially when you live far from the nearest town and vet, and particularly for poorer farmers who may not be able to afford such care.
Our livestock guarding dog puppies are placed at approximately eight weeks of age onto the farms, following neutering and spaying done on site. We follow-up these placements to check on the dog’s progress with visits at three months, six months and a year, and then by annual visits as near to their birthday as we can get!
I recently took a dog trip up to the Otavi and Tsumeb districts of Namibia which are areas north-east of our CCF base. It involves very early mornings, long drives and occasionally we get a little bit lost, but it's wonderful to see our dogs doing the work they were bred to do. And so far, all of the farmers I have met have had healthy, happy dogs all doing a wonderful job of protecting their stock from predators, which is great news!
The visits involve speaking to the farmers and herders about the dog, completing questionnaires about the dogs performance and health, and vaccinating them if required. We provide rabies vaccine and a 5in1 injection which provides protection from Distemper, Hepatitis , Parainfluenza, & Parvovirus. We also provide a spot-on treatment for fleas, ticks and worms. A healthy dog is a happy dog and a happy dog helps to protect his herd better!
Livestock Guarding Dog Project Officer
Cheetah Conservation Fund
Photos copyright (c) Cheetah Conservation Fund 2012