Best practice guidelines for the use of guardian dogs for the protection of livestock in Australia

Lead researcher: Greg Mifsud, National Wild Dog Management Facilitator,

The aim of the project is to develop a best practice manual that provides examples of where guardian dogs have been used successfully to protect livestock. Currently available literature concentrates on the types and breeds of guardian dogs available and rarely provides detail on how to implement their use under Australian conditions. It is especially important for current poor practices that will not provide positive outcomes for either guardian dogs or their flocks to be identified. Current poor practice includes use of entire animals and poorly bonded animals.

The manual will provide the basis for the effective implementation of guardian dogs while making owners and landholders aware of the commitment and management required to successfully employ these animals in a range of environments and grazing situations. It is hoped that the information produced will reduce the negative impacts of poorly managed guardian dogs and ill fated attempts to use these animals in the future. The manual could also provide a template for further work looking at best practice for additional guard animal species (e.g. donkeys, alpacas etc).

Download the full manual from:

This project was funded under the Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP).
For more APARP projects, visit:

Author Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP)
Year 2008-09
Institution Invasive Animals CRC
Region Australia - national