We couldn't solve the predator problem here in deep East Texas until we acquired large guard dogs. Foxes, no problem! Coyotes, no problem! Hawks, no problem! Not bad considering we were losing a bird or two PER DAY until we built heavy duty fences and had some trained large guard dogs to protect the animals. The fences now mostly just keep the dogs in. And then the dogs keep everything else that's not supposed to be there out. These dogs become useful as guard dogs when they get to be over 18 months old, and then they are priceless.
We have 8 farm dogs guarding our farm--
Reishi, our purebred Akbash male,
Rosie, our Great Pyr/Anatolian mix born on our farm female,
Angelica, with golden eyes who usually stays in Bird Acres,
Daisy, our sheep-guarding specialist,
Gingko, our young male growing into his own, and
arthritic old lady Lily Bell who still tries to keep up.
Our new additions from our most recent litter are Pepper and Mace.
Rosie had her fourth and final litter of TEN puppies on 6/5/2015, 6 males and 4 females. She has always been such a good mama. We are keeping two from the final litter, Pepper and Mace. Mace just got moved in with the sheep to start bonding with them. Pepper is going to stay in "Bird Acres." Having the adults teach the next generation is so much less work!
Reishi is incredibly strong and absolutely stunning, the best guard dog we've ever had. Rosie, was the pick of the litter and has turned out to be a wonderful, even-tempered guard dog. We can put this pair in any pasture to watch our chickens or turkeys or sheep or pigs and know everyone will be safe. Rosie's "specialty" is watching for hawks. Our dogs are well-socialized, raised around everything on the farm. Getting these dogs that were bred to guard sheep to guard sheep and goats is easy. Dogs that have the temperament to guard poultry, now that's much harder. We are done with puppies for a while as Rosie has been fixed. One of these days, a pure-bred Akbash female will join our farm, but she hasn't been born yet...