Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
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***Brave Dogs, Gentle Dogs

How They Guard Sheep

by Cat Urbigkit

Reviewed August 2, 2005.
Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 2005.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J 636.737 URB).

I expected a book about what I think of as sheep dogs, but this is a book about guardian dogs, dogs especially bred simply to guard sheep—not separate or herd them, but live with them and protect them.

Guardian dogs have been used for thousands of years in countries like Turkey, Hungary, Italy, and Spain.  They were brought to America when the Endangered Species Act was passed.  Ranchers were no longer allowed to shoot grizzly bears or grey wolves, so they needed another method to protect their sheep.

Guardian dogs are simply raised from puppies with their sheep.  They bond with and know their own herd, and of course won’t allow anything to harm them.

This is a beautiful book, explaining the relationship of the dogs to their sheep, with lots of beautiful pictures of the dogs and sheep together.  The story told is simple and effective.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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