Cane da Gregge Abruzzese: The White Italian

In Europe we still have several mountain and wilderness areas where predators and shepherds roam the land. The highest concentration and core population of European predators can be found in The Romanian Carpathians. Through the ages we humans tried to exterminate all large predators for many foolish reasons and for sure that was and is a very big mistake.

Large predators vanished in a lot of European countries and now remain only in remote mountainous wilderness areas. Eastern Europe still houses good large predator populations. The communist and socialist regimes in various eastern European countries have proven to be (more) ideal for nature and ecosystems. Due to the eastern European political regimes mankind didn’t evolve and destroy with the same destructive speed as in western Europe.

The decreasing and/or disappearing of large predators also happened in Italy. Breathtaking and important nature areas like the Abruzzese mountain region lost most or all of their key species: large predators. The shepherds roaming these lands slowly started to adapt to the new situation. With their enemies decreased in numbers, or gone, they could keep more livestock to reach higher production numbers and profits. However those large herds are hard to control and even harder to keep grouped together. A solution was at hand: a different kind of dog, a herding dog. And so it happened that a lot of shepherds exchanged their (white) guardian dogs for national and international herding dogs.
Abruzzese mountains
In the late 70s after multiple congresses, European countries agreed on a number of laws and terms to start conserving remaining nature areas and they even created a list of threatened flora and fauna species that have to be protected. Of course large predators are on that list and an important condition for large predators: vast wilderness areas, resulted in to decade long efforts to link and (re)connect nature areas across Europe.

All those international efforts resulted in a comeback of large predators in various regions. A thing that’s still going on today. Also the Abruzzese mountain region saw their key species return and of course it didn’t take long before problems (conflicts) occurred. The large herds of sheep without the protection of good guardian dogs were just too easy for the opportunistic predators. The white dogs that once were wide spread among shepherds in the Abruzzese region were needed again. But only a few of them remained.

A group of devoted conservationists and canine specialists joined forces in 2005 to find and
register all remaining (working) white Abruzzese dogs.  They established the Associazione Cane da Gregge Abruzzese. And they succeeded in their mission while having many roadblocks in their way, for example the heavy earthquakes that hit the (l’Aquila) region and the commercializing of the Abruzzese Shepherd Dog that has many names and/or varieties now a days. However in the wilderness of the Abruzzese mountains only the real, working type dogs were needed.
Cane da Gregge Abruzzese LGDs with the flock
Last August (2012) we visited the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga and surrounding areas. There we met the local project people who showed us their results. The remaining days we performed research ourselves in the region and we noticed that the White Italian dogs were wide spread again among shepherds. All shepherds  were very content with and proud of their dogs: The White Italian, Cane da Gregge Abruzzese (Abruzzese Shepherd Dog).

Registered under KVK nr: 74452800

Registered under KVK nr: 74452800