Lyn and Tac Campbell with their dog Tiny. Tiny is a guardian dog for the flock of sheep attacked by wild dogs in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Lyn and Tac Campbell with their dog Tiny. Tiny is a guardian dog for the flock of sheep attacked by wild dogs in the early hours of Sunday morning. Jojo Newby

Family shattered after wild dogs go on killing frenzy

TWO wild dog attacks in three days have all but wiped out an Eatonsville family's flock of sheep.

Tac and Lyn Campbell woke to the throaty barks of their flock's guardian dog Tiny about 12.30am on Sunday.

Racing out to the paddock near the house the couple saw four to five dogs attacking their sheep, with Tiny trying desperately to chase them off.

Mr Campbell shot and killed one of the dogs and believes he might have mortally wounded another.

They weren't killing for food, they had a lust for blood and wanted to kill anything they could

In the attack, eight sheep were killed, or so badly injured they had to be destroyed.

Another ewe injured in the attack is still missing and the couple believe she may have died.

Several of the surviving sheep are injured and the couple fear they may still lose one or two more.

Only three days earlier a pack of dogs killed all six of the lambs most recently born on the property.

"It (shooting the injured sheep) was a heartbreaking thing to do," Mr Campbell said.

"These were not hungry, drought-stricken sheep, but healthy, strong animals."

Mr Campbell said the dogs returned a few hours later and he and his wife heard Tiny barking again.

At first light when he was patrolling his property Mr Campbell saw three dogs running away, but could not get a clear shot at them.

"One of them has to be the brother of the one I shot, his markings were so similar," he said. He said the dogs were on a killing frenzy when they attacked his flock.

"They weren't killing for food, they had a lust for blood and wanted to kill anything they could," Mr Campbell said.

The Campbells have been breeding their sheep for the past eight years.

They are looking at getting more guardian dogs like Tiny and building a shed where the sheep can be kept at night.

Guardians

The Campbells have a specially bred and trained guardian dog, Tiny, a three-quarter Great Pyrenees and quarter Maremma, who lives with the Campbells' flock.

On Sunday morning he found himself outnumbered, but ran from dog to dog during the attack, attempting to drive them off.

Guardians are imprinted as puppies with the animals they are to protect and live with them.

The dogs constantly watch for threats to the flock and alert owners with their barking.

They also confront attackers and are known to fight fiercely to protect their flock.

More often the presence of guardian dogs deters wild dogs from attacking.

Guardian dogs are an alternative to baiting and trapping.



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