Here at Deepstep Creek Alpacas, we use Anatolian Shepherds as our Livestock Guard Dogs. We have an unrelated male/female pair that we use for breeding and have kept one of their daughters, Simba. This brings us to 3 LGDs for our ever growing, 90+ sized herd of Alpacas and Llamas. We will keep 1 more puppy from the next litter to round out our number of LGDs to 4. We find that they work very well in pairs, so we would like to have 2 for our females and 2 for our males.
When we first obtained Sadie and Simba, they were almost 6 months old. They had spent their entire lives at a goat farm across the country and were already well versed in their duties.
If you have never seen a pair of LGDs working together, it is really amazing. A lot of sleeping occurs during the day, but at night, after making a round of inspection along the fenceline, they would position themselves in different fields to keep watch. If a perceived threat was spotted, one LGD would run to protect the herd and the other would investigate the threat.
As our herd grew, we have had many cria born on our farm. Sampson, our large male LGD, guards the babies like they were his. When a new cria is born, you will see one of our LGDs closeby at all times. If he cria goes out in the field, so does one of the dogs. You will see one of them sitting no more than 20 feet from the cria at all times. It is also not surprising to see a cria draped across one of the dogs, asleep. When we had an unusual birth, at 10:30 at night, Sampson let us know that SOMETHING wasn't right. The Dam was in trouble with a dystocia birth and couldn't deliver without assistance. The barking of the dogs told us we needed to see what was going on.
When Sadie had her first litter of 9 puppies, Sampson wanted to be right in the middle of the them. He was always gentle and patient with them. When the puppies got old enough, it was common to see Sampson patrolling the fence line with 9 little puppies following him, learning what it meant to be an LGD. It is interesting to see the parents teaching the puppies how to do their jobs.
We breed Sadie and Sampson only when we feel that there is enough interest in purchasing the puppies. We are not a puppy mill and we do not breed animals that may end up as unwanted. All our dogs have free range to all of our fields and have plenty of room to run, play and lead very happy lives.
If you would like to meet our dogs and see how they are raised, please feel free to contact us to make an appointment for a farm visit.
See our "Contact Us" page or our "About Us" page under "More Information" for more information.
Updated February 05, 2012