Livestock Guardians

Livestock Guardian Dogs:  Karakachan DSC_0750 The Karakachan Dog is one of Europe’s oldest breeds.   Its ancestors started forming as early as the third millennium BC.   A typical Mollos, created for guarding its owner’s flock and property, it does not hesitate to fight wolves or bears or coyotes to defend its owner and his family in case of danger. The dog is named after the Karakachans – nomadic shepherds of Thracian origin and the oldest inhabitants of the Balkans.   Due to their conservative stock-breeding traditions, they managed to preserve some of the oldest breeds of domestic animals in Europe–the Karakachan sheep, the Karakachan horse, and, of course, the Karakachan Dog. The breed flourished for centuries until, in the 1940s, the Bulgarian Communist Government nationalized the farming industry.  All livestock were placed in communal farms and the Communist regime ordered extermination of the Karakachan dogs, whose services were deemed unnecessary on the collective farms.   It was at this point in their history that the Karakachan dog became dangerously close to extinction. Since then, through the dedicated efforts of a few special people in Bulgaria and around the world, the population of the Karakachan dog has grown steadily.  As of a few years ago, there are around 200 Karakachan dogs serving as livestock guardians in the United States.   Miniature Donkeys! DSC_2254