|In the photo
we see the regal "Tratturo" as it was at the beginning of the century.
The "Tratturo" was used by the shepherds for traveling and the passage
of flocks, and along its route, were numerous farms where the shepherds
lodged with their flocks and with their keepers.
The photo shows the "tratturo" between Pratola and Raiano where there were found and there are still found, near the Petrella farm, "the great white dogs."
|Those who believe that these
dogs have a 'standard' for all are wrong; in fact, every shepherd had
his own 'type' of dog, selected for the individual characteristics and
needs of the location.
You can, in fact, often see dogs that are not of great size and others of immense size, or dogs with the enormous head (molossoide) and others with the long face.
In Pratola and on the Morrone mountain the present stock contains some dogs that are larger, both in height and weight, than the actual standards dictate. These dogs are defined by the characteristics of location and the tastes of the shepherds.
The scarce water resources and the excessive concentration of flocks present on the Morrone Mountain were the cause of violent quarrels among the shepherds, who were often forced to have nighttime raids in the bordering communes to recover a quantity of water necessary for the maintenance of the flock.
This characteristic of the Morrone made it necessary to have some dogs that, besides defending the flock from its number one enemy, the wolf, also defended the pasture from sheep of other zones.
This characteristic was not present in dogs of other zones of Abruzzo, where the abundance of pastures and sources allowed for a more peaceful cohabitation.
I still remember that even when we had plenty for the sheep, and despite the fact that the dogs didn't live on the mountains anymore, to be able to add some new heads to the flock required a period of adaptation and acceptance by the dogs.
The Petrella Farm
Kennel of Marco Petrella is found along the "Regio Tratturo". (in the
photo we see a very old photo of the tratturo and the farm).