Moral, R. A., Azevedo, F. C. C., & Verdade, L. M. (2016). The use of sheepdogs in sheep production in southeastern Brazil. Pastoralism, 6(1), 1–7.
This study assessed the economic value of using sheepdogs as livestock guardians in southeastern Brazil by implementing a semi-structured interview format divided into four main categories: maintenance costs of sheep production, selling prices of carcasses, annual rate of depredation, and sheepdog acquisition and maintenance costs. According to our results, producers perceive the “unproductive” costs of sheepdogs similarly to the way they view taxes. However, management using sheepdogs as herd guardians tends to be most profitable for herds above 483 head from the fourth year on, being possibly more stable and predictable over time. In contrast, management without sheepdogs shows stochastic dynamics with occasional, though unpredictable, episodes of sheep depredation. This means that sheep farmers follow a cyclical decision strategy, which basically depends on the purchase price of the sheepdog.