There are 14 dog breeds kept by Ugandan farmers, namely; St Bernard’s, Great Danes, Bull mastiffs, English Mastiffs, South African Boer Bowls, Labradors, German Shepherds and of course, local breeds. However, the fact is that more money is earned through exotic dog keeping.
The German Shepherd, English Spanish, Caucasian Shepherd and many others, are dogs imported to Uganda for security and income generating purposes by Ugandan farmers.
Musoke Van Yusuf, an engineer from kireka in Wakiso district is engaged in dog rearing.
“Dog keeping is an inspiration from my father who was a dog keeper and veterinary doctor, therefore, it is a family business,” Mukose says.
He started with two security dogs. However, he realised one add can value on them through training them to sense dangerous bomb explosives, sniffing and taking them for exercise every morning. This helps the farmer get a better bargarin, making dog keeping a great business which can even be done on a small-scale even at home.
“Dogs are more loving than humans; that they can fight for their master until the opponent is defeated or die for him. Therefore, they need to be given total love and attention like that given to people,” Musoke says.
He adds that a dog can produce many puppies and, therefore, it is very easy for a dog farmer to become rich since a puppy from 1-20 days can be sold at sh300,000-500,000, depending on the breed.
Musoke says they make kennels from imported timber from Thailand since it does not rot like the local timber and the small kennels cost sh500,000-600,000, depending on the buyer. The big kennels cost sh700,000-sh1m.
Feeds for dogs
Pellet is a conversion of finely ground mash feed that is imported from Italy, Germany and many other countries.
Tinned food from crocodile, chicken, vegetables and cooked meat but not raw because dogs become dangerous and can easily eat up a baby. Though this is not the only food for dogs, feet and heads for chicken also make good feeds for dogs.
Market for guard dogs
Musoke says the price of a dog is determined from the added value such as training them to be metal detectors, explosive detectors, sniffing for things like drugs, tracking criminals, plus the breed. Overall, mature dogs cost between sh2-sh6m.
Maintenance of a dog
Vaccinate them to protect them from sickness.
Do not put your stress on them because they can easily bite you.
Wash the kennels and dogs, do manicure, pedicure and trim its hair.
Take them out for exercise every morning like any other human to remain fit.
Give them food and water and weaning mothers and babies take milk or porridge mixed with milk and love them like people.
Challenges of dog keeping
- Diseases like pavel, rabies and distemper.
- Dogs from seasonal countries takes long to catchup with the Ugandan temperature.
- Food for dogs is costly; a bag of pellets ranges between sh150,000 and sh600,000.
- A dog can easily harm its master or family members if not handled carefully.