We couldn't do this, without them.
Livestock Guard Dogs "The Protectors"
We have Akbash LGDs to keep the herds from harm. Not only will they stay with and protect their goats, they move their goats away from fences and from time to time they herd the goats to keep them together. If you are not familiar with the Akbash breed, I can tell you from experience they are extremely intelligent and fierce protectors. I love my dogs as much as I love the goats. They work hard while asking very little in return - a scratch on the head, a good meal, and plenty of room to stretch their legs. We have also now introduced two Anatolian puppy to the team going forward. I am very glad to have found such great guardians to fill in the gaps of those that are no longer with us.
It's hard to believe he turned 8 years old in the fall of 2020!! He is still getting around as well as any young dog and is very much in charge of the buck lot!
Some of you know my former Akbash, Millie, passed away during a C-section in late March 2016. She left us with several puppies. I tried my very best to save them all, but this girl was the only one to survive a human mom from day one. Named for her mom, Millie is her mom made over. Also a daughter of Sam, Millie is a large Akbash female. She has a special love for patrolling the perimeter and even though raised on a bottle by us, she has never tried to leave the goat pen.
Crockett & Tubbs
These males came to us from Brian Graves at Rocky Hill.
The really great thing about these two? They bring back the original lines we had here on the farm before. The sire and dame of these two came from two different farms who purchased dogs from us in the past! So these guys are great grandsons of females born on this farm years ago!!
These boys were born in June 2021 doing a great job for us. They have bonded well to their herd and we are really pleased with them!
After seeing how well Crockett & Tubbs tackle their jobs, we went back to Brian for another pair, full brothers different litter.
Forrest & Howard will get their training from these two. More photos to come!
Meet the newest guardian!
Phoebe came to us from Milton TN. She is mostly Anatolian Shepard and went to work with Millie for her on the job training. We put her in a pen separate from the goats so they could get used to each other through the fence. When we went back to check on her, she had climbed her way out of isolation and was already in the midst of the herd.
The herd moms with kids on them kept hurting her feelings, but she didn't let that stop her. She's making a great partner for Millie as Millie is more territorial and Phoebe seems to be more comfortable in the middle of her herd.
Our dogs work. Every day, every night. While every shift doesn't always bring about threats or danger to the herd, sometimes there are. These dogs have ALL been tested and have performed above and beyond. The photo above shows Hoss after a run in at the buck lot near the barn. At first sight, it looked as though he had been seriously hurt.
Closer inspection showed he suffered a cut on the tip of his ear. The rest of the blood must have come from another source. Most important, not one goat was harmed or even touched and Hoss is still good to go! Good job, as always!!
On September 1, 2020, we lost Buddy to bone cancer. It was a sad day for us and the other dogs he trained and the goats he guarded. He was a mighty warrior; a true champion. We buried him under a huge oak tree where he spent many hot days in its shade.
Buddy has been with us longer than any of our other Akbash dogs. We went all the way to Missouri to pick him up when he was eight months old. He was out working in the pasture with his Dad and a few of his brothers and sisters. They called him Sasquatch and for good reason!! Born March 30, 2011, he is in charge of training the new recruits. Ole Bud was neutered young, so there are none of his offspring here on the farm and I regret that very much. But like a good drill sergeant, he whips all of them into shape and gets them ready for action.
Border Collies "The Herders"
We have two very well trained border collies to help with gathering. I do not know what we would do without Maggie & Jake. Jake is now getting up in years and Maggie recently turned six! Maggie is full of high energy and a desire to please, just like her mom Copper! Introducing the herders to the guardians was a challenge in the beginning. We will be putting forth some effort on introducing the new guard dogs to the border collies to make sure they understand the difference between dogs on our team and dogs that don't belong.
We've added another helper!!
Jake is here to help Copper with her gathering. Sometimes, especially with cattle, one dog can encounter a mama that just doesn't want to budge! With two working together, they are all the motivation a contrary animal needs. So far, so very very good.
This is the kind of energy and enthusiasm you want to see in your working dogs!
A well trained border collie makes a days work much easier.
Akbash Dogs and Border Collies working well together
Gus, shown at left at 9 months old, has been learning the role that Copper plays here on the farm. This picture shows his comfort and acceptance of Copper's presence for the upcoming activities with the herd.
This would not be his posture or disposition if a strange dog or animal were approaching his girls.