Our little backyard farm just wouldn’t work without our working farm dogs. The most important job they serve here is to guard the livestock from the many predators in our mountain area. We have everything from mountain lions and bobcats, to bears and coyotes, to raccoons and aerial predators. Our farm dogs live in the barn and barnyard with our animals, protecting them and keeping watch. They also have protected baby chicks and baby meat rabbits from the barn cats. And they kill vermin as well.
Our lead farm dog is Tundra. He is a chowchow/border collie mix that we got out of a cardboard box in front of a grocery store years before we ever had a farm. He was raised as my husband’s work dog, going with him to construction sites. Amazingly, we found that once we had the farm he was very interested in protecting whatever he saw my husband taking care of. He is super loyal and super smart and when he saw husband caring for the animals he wanted to care from them too. He easily transitioned into his life as boss of the barnyard. When trouble is near he quickly herds the chickens into the coop and the sheep into the barn and then faces whatever the problem is. He has never been trained to do any of this, it is simply his instincts and his bond with my husband that have created him into this oh-so-perfect farm dog for us.
The more we realized the important purpose Tundra served at the farm, the more we realized we would need to begin training up another dog to serve that purpose when Tundra was gone. Tundra is 12-years-old now, and starting to show his age, and we didn’t want to be left with no working farm dog.
So we now have Anya as well. She is an Anatolian Shepherd. She is still young, and should be able to handle the guarding of the livestock for many years when Tundra is gone. They work together for now, and are both content to lay on high spots in the yard and watch over everything, springing into action when needed.