If you’re in the UK and looking for guard dogs for sale, it’s unlikely that wolf attacks will be high on your list of concerns, but not so if you’re in the US where one poor dog has just been bitten by a pack of wolves – and seriously injured into the bargain.
Sheep dog Johnsey, a cross between a Great Pyrenees, Maremma and Akbash, was looking after some 200 sheep in a field in north-east Washington when the incident occurred, the first of its kind involving the Huckleberry wolf pack since summer 2014, Capital Press reports.
Johnsey’s owner Dave Dashiell, a rancher in Stevens County, said the dog was now in “bad, bad shape”, with wounds to his neck, ears and side. Last year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that Mr Dashiell had lost at least 26 sheep to the pack. Mr Dashiell himself believes the number to be closer to 200.
In the UK, you may not have to worry about wolf attacks but if you are using dogs to guard your flock there are other concerns you should make note of. Sheep rustling is always a worry for farmers and according to a recent report from insurer NFU Mutual, rural crime is on the rise, costing the UK’s economy £44.5 million in 2013.
The report, issued last year and reported by the BBC, indicated that cattle and sheep rustling in the north of England and Northern Ireland have helped to drive livestock theft costs up by some 25 per cent.