Anti Poaching Dogs For Africa

Darryl’s dogs in Kenya, with their proud handlers.

Amanda has been interested in training working dogs from many years, and following a visit from Daryll Pleasants of ‘Animals Saving Animals’ the British Anti Poaching Dog charity, we realised that we could do something very direct to help the efforts to combat horn poaching.

Darryl Pleasants of Animals Saving Animals

With a little modification to the type of training Amanda was already actively involved in, coupled with the excellent bloodlines we had available in our own dogs and guided by Darryl, we have raised two puppies, Vaala and Primaa, trained them and shipped them to Africa.

Vaala (right) and her Father, Gladio, at the house
Primaa, tracking at home

Their primary purpose is prevention of horn poaching but their work on the reserve benefits all species – as well as the rangers – who do a very dangerous job.

The dogs track at night, detecting and hunting down poachers, working loose and covering many kilometers. No one should be in the reserve at night and thus those that are apprehended. The dogs’ apprehension skills are well known and work as a strong deterrent for the poachers who, despite the huge value of the horns at point of sale, receive relatively tiny amounts fo money for the risks that they take.

A very significant part of the job is seeking out caches of guns and ammunition that are typically brought into the reserves ahead of a kill. Discovering and confiscating arms as well as other poaching ‘equipment’ such as traps as well as finding the individuals intending to use them all add to the great utility of the dogs.

As well as protecting the rangers, hunting for poachers and their guns, the dogs track the very animals they protect, that the reserves are better able to monitor their animals.

A big part of the work is searching therefore, and with the position of the house (within a hunting reserve) and the long dry Tuscan Summers, we were ideally placed to help.

The dogs require both a good nose and a taste for a good fight to be appropriate for the job. Courage and determination are also requirements as is soundness ‘under fire’ and the ability to defend the handler. The dogs are tremendous assets to the reserves.

Amanda & Gladio at Hatfield House playing rangers in 2017

We are in touch with Vaala’s new owners, the Environmental Stewardship Trust, who send us updates. Sadly we lost touch with Primaa following her shipment from Rome (Thank you Boccanera Perazzoli) and have no ongoing news about her, we worked very hard to train her in day and night searches, munitions scenting and indication, bite development and apprehension and we are confident that she is an asset, we hope she is well.

Amanda and Tom acting as Rhino Rangers at the A.S.A. Hatfield House demo in 2017

Animals Saving Animals

‘Vaala’ is operational at Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe.

Primaa‘ is at Limpopo Lipadi Reserve in Botswana.

The choosing of Vaala ‘The Chosen one’ in Autumn 2016