Imported guard dogs deployed as part of US wolf-sheep study

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Imported guard dogs deployed as part of US wolf-sheep study
In this 2013 photo provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture a Kangal dog greets Ben Hofer of the Hutterite Rockport Colony near Pendroy, Mont. Nearly 120 dogs from three large breeds perfected over centuries in Europe and Asia to be gentle around sheep and children but vicious when confronting wolves recently completed a four-year study to see how they'd react to their old nemesis on a new continent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture supplied Cão de Gado Transmontanos, Karakachans and Kangals that can weigh 150 pounds (68 kilograms) to guard sheep in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon. (Julie Young/U.S. Department of Agriculture via AP)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal scientists say a four-year study involving nearly 120 guard dogs imported from Europe and Asia found the animals do well protecting sheep from wolves and better than traditional guard dogs deterring coyotes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture supplied Cao de Gado Transmontanos (COHN day GAH’-doh TRANS’-mahn-tan-ohs), Karakachans (kah-RACK’-a-chans) and Kangals (KAN’-gahls) to guard sheep in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.

Scientists say they’re still analyzing information from fieldwork that includes remote cameras and GPS collars from the dogs that can weigh up to 140 pounds (64 kilograms).

The dogs were gathered as puppies in Portugal, Bulgaria and Turkey and sent to the American West, where they spent four years guarding sheep.

Environmentalists say guard dogs can mean fewer wolves killed for livestock depredation.