Posts Tagged ‘livestock guardian dogs’

This painting “La Chasse au Loup” by Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1746).

Two of the dogs that are attacking this wolf are heavy greyhound-types– exactly the same type of dog that was used to hunt wolves in Great Britain and Ireland.

The other two are eighteenth century Great Pyrenees dogs.

I’ve always thought it was interesting that many nineteenth century texts mention a dog very similar to a Great Pyrenees but call it a “Pyrenean wolfhound.”

Although the dogs certainly were useful in protecting flocks from wolves, I think they probably were also used to hunt wolves on occasion.

These dogs were the guard dogs of the shepherds of the Pyrenees, but they moved up in French society in the eighteenth century. It was not unusual for wealthy individuals to keep these dogs, and the show dog fancy adopted this breed very early on.

With the exception of the village type dogs that have adopted this function, the Great Pyrenees is probably the most common livestock guardian breed in the world.

But again, livestock guardian dogs are supposed to be genetically incapable of predatory behavior.

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