Make my day
There was a resident llama on the farm when we first moved here. His name was Tuffy and we were delighted to have him because we knew that llamas made good livestock guardians. Even though we had high-tensile fences surrounding our pastures we felt the need to replace Tuffy when he eventually departed the farm. Sheep and goat producers from around the world use a variety of dog breeds as livestock guardians and we settled on the Anatolian Shepherd to watch over our flock.
“The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is an ancient breed from Anatolia, the central part of Turkey. For apparently thousands of years, shepherds have used these dogs to protect their flocks from predators. Over time, the shepherds have developed a dog that will adopt the flock as his own and live with it, be calm so as not to frighten the livestock, and be capable of working independently, without constant supervision. The dog is large so it will be intimidating to predators, and it is strong and fast and agile, but it is also calm and gentle with young stock, dependable about staying on the job and with its flock, and intelligent enough to try to warn and chase away predators before resorting to the use of force ….. The Anatolian is a dog which can be extremely intimidating but is self-confident and discerning enough to know when, and how much, protection and intimidation are necessary. Therefore, it should be non-threatening as long as no threat exists. The Anatolian is extremely intelligent, extremely loyal, and extremely independent. These dogs can be very loving with family but are generally reserved around strangers.” [The preceding was written by Beth Goldowitz and had been found, in its expanded and original form, at the website of Anatolian Shepherds’ Dogs Worldwide which seems no longer to be publicly available.]
We currently have two working dogs Argus (pictured here) and Hank. Our hardest working and most trusted dog Sophie was with us until very recently when we lost her to osteosarcoma. Sophie produced two litters of pups for us during her time here, some of which are shown on our blog page entitled Pairodox in Pictures.
Our dogs work tirelessly … 24/7. It has always been our fascination to observe the range and intensity of their instinctive behaviors. They are always aware and always on guard. Their reactions are always measured and appropriate. At lambing they watch over laboring ewes and will leave them only when they are convinced their efforts are no longer required. They will even assist an inattentive ewe in cleaning a recently dropped lamb. Anatolians will sit with sick or injured animals – how they know that these individuals need particular attention, we cannot tell. Our dogs know what they’re about and take their work very, very seriously.