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Livestock Guardian Dogs / Sheepdogs

Our Maremma livestock guardian dogs / sheepdogs are a critical component in assuring the safety of our farm animals. Knowing they are “on duty” 24/7 is very comforting.

On the farm to defend our livestock and property from predators we utilize livestock guardian dogs (LGD), specifically the breed Maremma Abbruzze, aka Maremma sheepdogs. We have come to rely on them for protection and companionship, not only for all of our livestock but for all of the human members of the farm as well. Honestly would not want to imagine our farm without them.

We started out with Baron (originally from NEK Sheep and Goat Farm) who is such a fantastic dog in all respects. We opted to purchase him a mate when it came time to add another LGD to our farm. Baron guards the farm in its entirety free ranging the 140 acres chasing off any predator that dare enter the fields from our wood line. Baron also greets all visitors.

A long search lead us to Duchess, the pick of the litter at Moon Acre farm located in Flagstaff, AZ. Since that time Duchess has proven to be an outstanding guardian and has repeatedly impressed us with her intelligence and intuitive nature. Duchess is excellent with all of our farm animals primarily staying with our ewes and their lambs but also with my small goat herd as needed.

We selected a male pup from their first litter naming him Sir Pupster the Magnificent. At nearly 2 years of age he is the perfect blend of Baron and Duchess and can be found with (often lounging alongside) our rams and wethers. Pupster is incredibly smart, very obedient and taller than his father weighing 15lbs heavier than Baron.

For AJHC it is very important that all of our animals are friendly not only to those they see every day but strangers as well since we often have guests and visitors that wish to interact with them. While it is not the custom of all shepherds, we find that allowing all of our LGDs to have time out of the pasture or barn for daily visits (when possible) gives them time not only for affection and treats but exposure with new people and other animals they don’t regularly interact with.

AJ’s Happy Chick Farm is a proud member of the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America.

Below is a recent testimonial and photos of  our Maremma sheepdogs including Pupster, Duchess, and Baron. Enjoy!

Email us to inquire about an early November 2021 litter or visit our puppy page.

A year ago, my husband and I renewed our search for a new Maremma puppy to join our older dog and the sheep flock. We reached out to various breeders in the Northeast but none had available puppies, or they were only males. We needed a female.

By the kind suggestion of one breeder we were referred to Susan Beshar-Dedona at AJs Happy Chick Farm in Albany, Vermont. Susan not only had two females but she generously invited us to the farm to check them out before choosing our favorite.

What an amazing place! The animals are definitely loved and well cared for. In the barn we had a chance to visit with the pups and watch their interactions with no hurry to choose. It was a very relaxed visit and we selected a female to pick up in a few weeks.

When we returned for the pup, all paperwork was in a tidy folder for us. All in all, we were impressed with Susan’s knowledge of Maremmas and the quality of her breeding dogs. As it turns out the puppy’s great grandfather is also the father of our older male. The lineage is superb and the coat is thick- perfect for New England winters.

Little Sophia is now a large dog; she is responsive to directions, willing to be handled and groomed, waits for her ‘ok’ on her dinner, and easy to take to the vet. Without a doubt, she has become a valued member of our farm.

F. Greene