Maremma Sheepdogs: Fearless Protection for Your Farm / Livestock Guardian Dogs
Maremma sheepdogs defend our livestock and property from predators. Our Maremma sheepdogs / livestock guardian dogs (LGD) are Maremma Abbruzze. We have come to rely on our Maremma sheepdogs 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 our Maremma sheepdogs.
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 led us to want to breed finding his attributes to be ones we strongly desired to have passed down to our Maremma sheepdogs.
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 Maremma sheepdogs have led to excellent offspring.
We selected a male pup from their first Maremma sheepdogs 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, including Maremma sheepdogs, 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 Maremma sheepdogs 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.
Below are testimonials about our Maremma sheepdogs.
“Seppe (Giuseppe Seppeloneous the Great) is a wonderful dog. We got him at eight weeks from Sue and right from the get go he was steadily calm but always curious and incredibly social for the breed. A great match for us as we’re beginning our small sheep farm and got Seppe a couple month before our lambs. He grew up in the house with a cat and our 15 year old dog, Homer, who still thinks he’s the boss. He learned how to accept other animals boundaries, got socialized with other dogs, and basic obedience skills as well. Now that he’s entered his career as a livestock guardian, it’s valuable to me that he listens to my commands – always eager to be a good dog. We take our sheep out on pasture daily and into the barn every night, so that Seppe basically has a workday, watching the sheep while they’re on pasture. In the evenings he’s then proud and exhausted and happy to be home with his family. Often he sleeps in our mudroom from where he has access to the outdoors at all times so that he guards the property and house as well. He’s a sweetheart and while he loves to socialize he never misses a bark when strangers try to get close to his flock. While we are aware that we’re raising our Maremma closer with the family than recommended in literature – for our 20 acres with a road crossing through we’re grateful that Seppe is distinguishing dangers competently.”
”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!”
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.