Science

These are the best guard dogs, according to science

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Since wolves were reintroduced to the U.S. West in the 1990s, ranchers there have wondered whether their dogs—including Maremma Sheepdogs and Great Pyrenees—are still up to the task of guarding their flocks. A new study suggests that three European and Asian breeds raised to defend against wolves and bears may be a better choice, Associated Press reports. That’s because the breeds—Portugal’s Cão de Gado Transmontano, Bulgaria’s Karakachan, and Turkey’s Kangal—did better than local dogs at deterring wolves and coyotes on western U.S. ranches during the 4-year, still-unpublished study. But researchers caution that because each dog has its own strengths and personality, a combination of breeds may provide the best protection for a flock.

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