Our farm just wouldn’t work without our working farm dogs. The most important job they serve here is to guard the livestock from the predators in our area. When we lived in the high-altitude Rockies, we had everything from mountain lions and bobcats, to bears and coyotes, to raccoons and aerial predators. Now, in the High Plains we have coyotes, foxes, skunks, snakes, stray dogs, and even more 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 for many years was Tundra. He was 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 Daniel’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 Daniel taking care of. He was super loyal and super smart and when he saw Daniel caring for the animals he wanted to care from them too. He easily transitioned into his life as boss of the barnyard. When trouble was near he quickly herded the chickens into the coop and the sheep into the barn and then faced whatever the problem was. He had never been trained to do any of this, it was simply his instincts and his bond with Daniel that created him into the oh-so-perfect farm dog for us.
The more we realized the important purpose Tundra served at the farm, and as Tundra began to age, we realized we would need to begin training up another dog to serve that purpose when Tundra was gone.
After a lot of research we settled on Anatolian Shepherds being our LGD of choice. So in spring of 2017 we got our first. Then, when we moved to the new farm in 2021 and expanded the flocks, we added an Anatolian/Great Pyrenees mix to the family.
Anya and Ayla are both excellent guardians for the flocks and we can’t imagine raising livestock without their help and protection.