In 2004, we were losing one chicken a day to hawks. At ten dollars a chicken it was adding up fast. We already had electric poultry netting for ground predators. Honestly, we didn’t expect too many predators from the sky.
We looked at available options for aerial protection. Slim pickings for a mobile operation. Guard dogs seemed the only option. Although Matthew has never been a “dog person” he could see the benefits outweighed the inconvenience.
After much research I selected Great Pyrenees. Calm disposition. Good guard dogs. Likes people. Did I mention at this point in time I was still afraid of dogs?
I only knew one person with a Great Pyrenees, Mary Liz. I remember thinking if I had to pick a dog I would want one just like her dog, Louie.
I visited a local man with a litter of Great Pyrenees pups and got permission to do puppy aptitude testing on his litter. Afterward, I chose two pups (Blue and Daisy) making arrangements to pick them up when they were a bit older.
Shortly after, I saw Mary Liz. Little did I know she was looking for a home for him. Next thing I know I’m making arrangements to pick up Louie. So in a space of three weeks we had three new dogs to guard our farm! Of course, the puppies wouldn’t be ready for a couple years–up to three for a pup to mature! Good thing we had Louie in the meantime.
It was the start of a new adventure!
Although Louie was pretty strong-minded, he would let Darrell walk him around occasionally. The rest of the time he just sat and Darrell couldn’t tug hard enough to make him go anywhere. Louis was a fairly strong alpha male who was tolerant of people and even enjoyed them on his terms but didn’t appreciate people telling him what to do.
We are breeding this year! We will have puppies!
The puppies are coming! The puppies are coming!
Oh, so exciting. It really is one of the highlights of our style of farming. With so many tasty, pasture-raised chickens in the field (near all those coyotes, opossums, racoons, owls, rats, and such) we need a livestock guardian dog or two. Although...Read More »
At 7-8 weeks old, I always do Puppy Aptitude Testing so I can properly place the pups in the right homes/farms. I send many hours matching the pups personality traits with each candidate home. Dogs are just like humans in their characteristics and traits. Some dogs like a lot of...Read More »
Sunshine had a heifer (girl) calf today! Now we get to play the Name Game.
Every year we get to name the calves, cows, dogs, etc that join the farm. This is one of our favorite things to do. We always consider many attributes to properly choose the names. You can...Read More »
Today is the day we learn a bit more definitively what homes the puppies will be most suited for. I have my suspicions as I have been watching and interacting with them for weeks.
We test for many personality traits to allow us insight so we can place the dogs in...Read More »
When it rains it pours! We have had two litters of puppies and now a little bundle of kittens. Oh, how I love birth and young life!
Smiling Great Pyrenees Puppy
Just two months ago we had a litter if puppies from our dog Tundra....Read More »
We did the Puppy Aptitude Testing this week. All went well. We will be selecting just the right dogs for each companion, family and farm.
I will call each in turn to make arrangements.
...Read More »
Each pack has a leader, the Alpha. Being the Alpha is more of an attitude than anything else. You need to establish yourself as the top of the pack. The hierarchy of a pack is similar to the life of ROYALTY.
Consider yourself the KING (male Alpha).
Kings are often married, they...Read More »
So many things to cover, I will get to as many as I can. This is not a comprehensive manual rather a few of my thoughts and observations. Please know I am not an expert and there are so very many more qualified people than I am on this topic....Read More »
Can I get the gender I prefer?
Sometimes. We feel the most important thing to pet owner happiness is to match the puppy’s personalities with family/farm needs.
We use a three step process to match puppies with owners.
- We first test each puppy using a Puppy Aptitude Test. This helps us know more...Read More »
As I meet all the people interested in one of our puppies I seem to be categorizing them based on what they are wanting out of a dog. Some want a companion while others a guard dog. Here are the groupings I have so far.
If you are considering...Read More »
Wanting to mimic nature, we have made a cozy den for Tundra to raise the pups. Inside it is rather warm and dark so the pups get to adjust to their surroundings more naturally. Up until now they have only been concerned with sleeping and nursing. So it was exciting...Read More »
Just one day before Thanksgiving our puppies arrived. Tundra and Flash are the proud parents of four boys and four girls. All healthy and doing well. All of them have the badger markings. Some of them have spots on their rumps. All are adorable.