• Livestock-guarding dogs in Norway: Part I. Interactions

      Hansen, I.; Bakken, M. (Society for Range Management, 1999-01-01)
      We documented behaviors of Great Pyrenees livestock-guarding dogs toward people, livestock, dogs, horses, reindeer, and bear to determine if they might be suitable for protecting livestock in Norway. None out of 13 dogs showed aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people, and aggressiveness towards dogs and livestock was also low. However, 91% of the dogs tested chased reindeer. A willingness to chase bears was apparent in all 3 dogs tested. Although the Norwegian strains of the Great Pyrenees are bred mainly for exhibition, they obviously have retained some behavioral patterns important for the livestock-guarding function. Their nonaggressive behavior towards people, dogs, and livestock, and their active reaction towards bears suggest that this breed could he suitable for use as livestock-guardians in Norway. However, the dogs' tendency to chase reindeer is a trait that may cause conflicts in reindeer-herding areas.