Cheetah Outreach
Cheetah Outreach

Promoting the survival of the free ranging, Southern African cheetah through environmental education and delivering conservation initiatives.
Dog Breeds Used

Because a majority of cheetahs in southern Africa live outside protected areas on farmland, it is essential for the survival of the species to find non-lethal methods of protecting livestock from predators in order to reduce conflict between farmers and cheetahs.

Anatolian Shepherd

The Turkish Anatolian shepherd, bred to protect livestock from bears and wolves, has a history of over 6,000 years in the arid Anatolian Plateau region of Turkey, an area of little rain, extreme heat in summer and cold in winter, much like parts of southern Africa.  Anatolian shepherds have a medium-length coat and coarse, light-coloured hair that allows for effective cooling of the body while maintaining an insulation factor.  These dogs are physically imposing; males are normally 60+ cm at the shoulder and weigh 70-75 kg.  They can reach a top speed of 75 km/h and go days with minimal food and water when necessary

The amazing ability of Anatolians to protect livestock stems not only from their physical attributes—size, strength, good eyesight, sharp hearing and excellent sense of smell—but from their familiarity with and dedication to their charges.  Puppies are raised with the herd from 6-8 weeks of age and instinctively bond with the sheep or goats they are kept with.  They are calm, confident dogs that continually stay with the herd and are very sensitive to changes in normal herd behaviour or routine.

Anatolians will investigate and aggressively confront any intruders or threats to the herd.  These dogs are not dependent on their masters for affection or direction, and are capable of making independent decisions. Anatolians possess the three main behaviour traits that an effective livestock guarding dog must have: trustworthiness, attentiveness and protectiveness.

Lesotho Maluti

The Lesotho Highland Dog, also known as a Maluti, is an indigenous African dog that has been used to guard livestock in Lesotho.  They have proven very effective in guarding small stock such as goats and sheep roaming over vast, rugged terrain.  Cheetah Outreach started placing Maluti dogs on farms outside cheetah range in 2014 to guard sheep and goats from smaller predators such as caracal and black-backed jackal. 

The first 2 Maluti dogs were placed on sheep farms in the Montagu area of the Western Cape as part of a pilot project.  In 2015, 10 Maluti dogs were placed in the Greater Karoo, 5 as part of a pilot project requested by sheep farmers in the Koup area and 5 in the Prince Albert area as part of the Woolworths/Cheetah Outreach initiative to support the Woolworths Predator Friendly Meat Initiative.  Five more Maluti dogs were placed in the Free State in 2015 as a pilot to show farmers that livestock guarding dogs can be used effectively.  In 2016 Maluti placements expanded to Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces.

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