Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock Guardian Dogs

More info on how we raise puppies.

2017 marked a move to our new farm which is situated in a heavily predator populated area, nestled among trees and hills.  In anticipation of this, in early 2016 we had two beautiful livestock guardian dogs brought up from Skylett Ridge Goat Ranch, a goat farm in the woods of Tennessee - introducing Peaches (5/8 Anatolian Shepherd, 5/16 Great Pyrenees, 1/16 Akbash) and Herb (13/16 Anatolian Shepherd, 1/8 Great Pyrenees, 1/16 Akbash).  We have retained Rosie from their first litter.

Our admiration for these dogs led me to research further into Anatolian shepherds, and I discovered that the mountains and regions of Turkey are diverse and full of nomadic tribes with their own particular genetic lines of livestock guardian dogs.  However, when these dogs are imported to the US, if their importer chooses to register them, they are all lumped under the "Anatolian shepherd" label (with the exception of Akbash which retained its own!).  I became particularly interested in the Boz breed, and in January 2018 we were incredibly lucky to bring home Henry, who is 50% Boz and 50% Kangal.

We chose our dogs’ bloodlines for their innate ability to be smart and powerful guardians, and for their amiable traits around humans, reinforced by shepherds and goatherds over two thousand years and more immediately by generations of working parents. Finding their mix is a deliberate effort on our part to perpetuate a reliable guardian dog capable of functioning in a dense predator region, who is also comfortable with themselves and their strength and therefore kind and trustworthy around family and friends. Also, having dealt with the care of the coat of a Great Pyrenees, we wanted coats that stand up to the harsh Iowa winter temperatures and winds, but also remain low maintenance.

Our dogs are part of both our human family and their goat family, and the dogs work along with us to ensure the well-being of the goat herd and other farm animals (turkeys, chickens, and cats!)  While appearing quite relaxed, they are very aware of their surroundings and patrol our land regularly to stay on top of any changes and potential threats in the area.  Asserting their presence on a constant basis allows predators to consider whether it is even worth messing with our farm!