2020 - We currently have no litters planned but may know of other breeders in the area. Email us and we will put you in touch.
We live in rural Amador County located in Northern California. Coyotes, Bobcats, and Mountain Lions are our neighbors. I don't have a problem with that as long as they leave my critters alone. I do believe that Mountain Lions are getting too populated in California and a restricted hunting season should be opened for them but that's for someone else to do. Anyway, I had for several years thought about getting livestock guardian dogs but just never did get it done. Over the years we did lose animals to coyotes and raccoons but fence repair work and a few bullets properly placed took care of that. But the decision was made after several sightings of Mountain Lions in our area. I myself saw one crossing the highway in the middle of the day. I told the bicycle rider that I saw right after that about it and he commented that he would kill it. Well I don't know what he intended to do with his little helmet, bicycle shorts and bicycle but good for him. But that's another story. During this same time, a friend lost two of her three goats to a Mountain Lion. My decision was made and hubby was going to have to get over it (he initially had reservations).
We got our first Anatolian in the fall of 2009. I got Mowgi from a goat breeder in Modesto. I got the feeling it was a family that had hit upon hard times and was downsizing. Mowgi was just a little over a year and so skinny. Loading him into my truck was a chore as he had never been on a leash or ridden in a truck. I was hesitant to give him too much manhandling myself as he was a big dog even then (much bigger now) and I could tell he was uncertain as to what was going on. I had taken a package of venison with me which proved to be very helpful in enticing him to crawl to my truck. He did the belly crawl. We got him loaded into the back of my truck and I tied him to the front. This turned out to be a very smart move as the camper shell of my truck came open but Mowgi was safely tied in. Once I got him home I immediately put him in with my goats. My goats are accustomed to dogs as we have several but they have never lived with a dog. I was impressed with how they took to it so quickly. Because I had never lived with a livestock guardian dog, I was constantly watchful to see how he handled his new herd and the new environment. I attempted to lock him into a smaller pen the first night but found him with the goats the next morning. AWESOME became a part of my vocabulary when describing my new dog. During the day Mowgi would sleep. At night he was on duty.
Mowgi is not a purebred Anatolian. He has 1/4 Great Pyrenees but definitely has the coat and coloring of an Anatolian. Definitely a plus with the stickers we get in our area. Mowgi had the misfortune of tangling with our Dexter bull. It was more of a playful encounter but Mowgi's leg was badly broken. Before spending the $3000 to fix him, we had his hips x-rayed (in addition to the leg). They were excellent. So we spent the $3000 and got him fixed. He has a plate in his leg that doesn't cause him any discomfort or slow him down.
With the total success of the first livestock guardian dog I was ready to add a second one. That is not an easy chore. We looked online and in the papers - nothing close to us was found. We did find someone in Missouri and since we usually go there for deer hunting in November, I called them. Unfortunately, they had sold all their pups and only had older adults for sale. I was hesitant to try to bring anything other than a puppy as it is two long days drive back to California. How was that going to work for the potty stops and the one motel night stay? The owner said she would have her kids start leash training the older dogs and we would keep in touch. Yeah for me - one of the pup buyers decided to take an older dog and Callie (5 months) became available. Even transporting Callie home was an "adventure". We soon learned that leashes other than chain were just a puppy toy to be chewed. And the big animal crate I took to keep her in was easily destroyed and of no use. Fortunately as long as she was with us she did not do any damage to anything. Once home we introduced her to her bud Mowgi. Mowgi was ecstatic to have the company. Callie quickly bonded with her new herd and her new partner.
Callie is a registered Anatolian Shepherd Dog with AKC. But that won't do us anygood at this point as Mowgi is "our" guy of choice. But honestly, I don't think the Coyotes or Mountain Lions are concerned about their registry. They just see the big ass (yes I said it) dogs in the goat pasture and they don't want to play. It is so "AWESOME" to see them on night patrol. And they work good for day duty patrol too.
Callie passed on in 2019. She will forever be missed on the RD Ranch but we thank her for her guidance in keeping the ranch safe.
Bootsie, Somer & Whiskey
Under the leadership of Mowgi & Bootsie we have two younger females that are filling the paws of Cricket and Callie. They are our version of ADT. Our 24-hour security team also warns us to human visitors. More than one person has been escorted to the gate when they decided to come unannounced. Appointments are very much recommended.
This photo was taken when we told them "back to work". We allow our Anatolians out everyday to socialize with us and the other dogs. This would not work if we actually took our goats to other locations. This is definitely not the recommended way of doing things but it works for us and has for many years. They all love time with us but have never fought us on going "back to work". No one can say that my goats aren't protected.
I had been told that the Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) would kill dogs that got into the pasture. My Rat Terriers can get into the pasture and the first time they did was comical. They were barking fiercely at Mowgi and he wanted to play. But make no mistake about it, strange dogs must be introduced and supervised.
They definitely are a team act with the goat protection. We have a neighbor that will stop by occasionally and he normally has his dog with him. The dog stays on the truck but you will see Mowgi running the fence pacing the truck and Callie is at the other end of the pasture with the goats. AWESOME. We have had no Bobcat, Raccoons or Mountain Lions. We did have a skunk which I only know because of the odor that Mowgi sported for a few days. And we had a coyote that was getting into the pasture but it was very awesome to see Cricket bringing the goats in from the back pasture while Mowgi was chasing it out of the pasture. The coyote jumped over the fence. We told our state trapper about it and his comment was "if that dog was chasing me, I could jump that fence too". The coyote was only coming in when we let the dogs out. This was the middle of the day when we let our guard down. Well he did it one time too many times and he found out how good of a shot I am. We also found the hole where he was getting in and fixed it. We did lose a couple chickens to him.
I sleep better knowing that the herd is protected and if I'm needed the LGD will let me know. AWESOME.
We added chickens to our group in early 2013. Our previous flock of chickens were wiped out by Raccoons and Coyotes. This was several years ago before we got the Anatolians. I ordered over 40 chicks from a mail order hatchery expecting that I would lose a few. We lost one the first day and we lost a couple more since then but not a one was lost to predators. Mowgi and Callie took to the poultry guardian duties immediately.
I also have to give Mowgi and Callie credit for alerting us to the neighbor's dogs killing our Dexter calves. The neighbors allowed their dogs to roam free and two calves were killed by them. Mowgi and Callie barked everytime with their alert bark that tells you that you need to do something. Each time they did this we found the neighbors dogs running in our front pasture. Fortunately after involving the local sheriff and animal control, one dog is gone and they appear to be keeping the other dog home. And we pay very close attention to the LGD.
Mom taking a much deserved break and socializing with an older crowd.
Proof our pups are raised with goats!
Anything I write here is just going to be a rewording of what is found on the internet. Instead I am including helpful links to other sites. If you have goats/sheep or other animals that need protecting, I highly recommend the Anatolian. As for me, I don't know how we went as long as we did without them and I don't intend to ever be without them again. They are very protective of their herd but I also have no doubt that if I was in danger, these dogs would do whatever it took to protect us. You can ask my neighbor who came in unannounced when Mowgi was out. He wasn't hurt but Mowgi definitely let him know he was being watched and I'm doubtful of any surprise visits again.
When getting your Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD), please make sure you purchase from a reliable working farm/ranch. I am so disgusted by the number of posts/ads I see from people selling LGD that are mixed with Pit Bull, Rottweiller, Australian Shepherd, etc. To be a REAL trustworthy LGD they must be from a Livestock Guardian Dog Breed. A LGD is a dog type bred for the purpose of protecting livestock from pedators. They don't herd. Herding dogs control the movement of livestock. LGD will blend in with their herd. Their ability to guard their herd is mainly instinctive. This is not a trait that can easily be taught.
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