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Livestock Guardian Dogs / Sheepdogs

Next Livestock Guardian Dog Litter: August 2022

On the farm to defend our livestock and property from predators we utilize livestock guardian dogs (LGD) specifically the breed Maremma Abbruzze. 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. We honestly would not want to imagine our farm without them. 

Our Sire Baron (born 2013 from NEK sheep and goat farm) is rock steady in his disposition. He guards the farm in its entirety free ranging the 140 acres protecting it from predators and greeting any visitors. He works well with all of the animals and has an extremely calm and relaxed nature. He gets along well with people and other dogs and for us has been the perfect LGD. It was his personality that lead us to want to breed finding his attributes to be ones we strongly desired to have passed down. In 2017 we found Baron the perfect mate in Duchess the pick of the litter at Moonacre Farm located in AZ. She is 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.  She can be trusted with even new born lambs and has even been used to train skittish livestock that, after a bad experience, were terrified by dogs.  

The pairing of these two dogs have led to excellent offspring.   

We selected a male pup from their first litter naming him Sir Pupster the Magnificent. At 2 1/2 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 15-20lbs 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 excitement 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.

Email us to inquire about our next litter or visit our puppy page.

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

 

Snowy is literally the best dog I’ve ever known. She’s smart and gentle and loving and protective at the right times.  She really loves being rubbed and petted, but remains independent and self-sufficient.

She is super relaxed when in her own element and has no prey instinct whatsoever, which I love. She can be in the coop with chickens and not even think about eating one.

I love talking about my Snowy!

Molly V.

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.

Frances G.