Maremma sheep dogs protecting penguins from foxes.
Sheep dogs were so successful protecting farm animals from predators, that they’re now performing body guard duties on an island full of penguins.
Maremmas are bodyguard dogs on middle island in victoria.
Middle island is a dangerous place for penguins.
30 years ago, 1,000 penguins used to bunker down in little ols here to breed, but by the late 90’s that number had halved and by 2005 there was only four birds left.
A local chicken farmer, swampy marsh, suggested maremma guardian dogs could be used to protect the penguins.
Maremma guardian dogs eudy and tula spend five days per week on middle island during the breeding season and on their days off they live at flafstaff hill maritime village.
Maremma dogs were trained and placed on middle island to protect the pengins from foxes during the breeding season.
Maremma dogs are suited as guardian dogs in rural and large block locations. Maremmas are generally not suited to suburban or small block locations.
As sydney, australia, maremma breeder cecilia mcdonald says, “the dogs work by instinct. But they need to be introduced to the stock they’re looking after so they can differentiate the predators from what is to be protected