dogs - See a prequel on how we came to the dog in the archive. Since we decided to try Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) on our farm, we have spent time researching and talking to fellow farmers. We finally decided to try Anatolian Shepherds, for several reasons.
First, they are more territorial in their guard style, so if the sheep only grudgingly accepted them, the dogs would still guard them and also our fowl by virtue of living in the same territory. Second, they have a lighter fur than Maremma and Pyrenees dogs. In our wet climate, rain rot under the thick Winter fur is a real issue for local Pyrenees and Maremma owners. Third, Anatolians are supposedly more feed efficient than other breeds of LGDs.
However, Anatolians are such independent thinkers that they are known to want to see for themselves instead of taking your word for it. Would we be strong enough leaders for one of them? Anatolians are also known for jumping fences and roaming. Since we totally reworked our perimeter fence, we thought it would hold up decently. Anatolians are also prone to allergies, so we plan to watch our dog's diet and the things it gets into carefully, just like the rest of the family.
As we got acquainted with the idea of raising a puppy, a 16 month-old Anatolian girl was offered for an immediate emergency rehoming and we decided to give her a try. She seemed a bit insecure, so we decided to give her a buddy. When that did not work out, the buddy went back. I know you smell another good story here but this one is different! ;-)
Turns out, Nova had a bit of a difficult start and fear-aggression issues. After trying almost all conventional dog advice and wisdom we almost gave up on her. We finally learned from a friend how to actually talk to her in "LGD" for just one simple situation. That advice has saved her her home. We will keep working with her. She has been here almost one year now, shed out beautifully, and is wonderful with our birds.