The demonstration farm at the CCB camp in Ghanzi serves as a venue for research and testing of new livestock farming methods. The farm is also the grounds where benchmarking sessions for intensive, practical knowledge-sharing on working with livestock guarding dogs (LGDs), including their training and care, takes place. In March 2019, the farm received a group of 11 10-week-old Tswana puppies to be trained as LGDs. We are excited to report that the puppies are doing quite well, growing quickly and bonding with our goat herd. After approximately eight weeks of training, the puppies will be placed with farmers experiencing conflict with cheetahs in the Ghanzi area. The puppies will be monitored closely after placement to check their effectiveness with regards to protecting their goat herds and proper guidance. Additionally, the recipient farmers will be offered an advisory service to ensure the continued performance of the dogs. Testimonies from numerous farmers thus far have been that the dogs work well; and, as long as they are cared for and monitored, they deliver the desired results and reduce livestock loss due to predation. Cheetahs are close to extinction. We hope that by utilising this simple technique, alongside other elaborate ones, farmers will have relief from their ongoing conflict with carnivores moving forward.
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