Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Searching for Mr. Right...

Four years ago we decided we wanted to raise registered AKC Anatolian Shepherds.  Back when we started with the brush goats, a big group of wethers, we had a Pyrenees who was "adopted" by a neighbor (that is along and interesting story - not the time nor the place to explain).  Who was then replaced, after his "adoption", by Rabies, an Anatolian cross (looked all Anatolian).   We really liked that he had short hair and stayed cool in the summer not to mention his great athletic ability and the no questions asked when it came to taking care of business. Later after Rabies passed and we re-started our goat venture (another story) we purchased a pair of unregistered Anatolians, Jo and Mischief, from a couple out of TX.

Hondo - 21 month old raised with goats.  Tall and well muscled

As our goat herd grew we knew we were going to have to find another dog (or two) to add.  That is when we decided we wanted to raise this wonderful breed.  Much searching went on to find the right female.  To my surprise a lot of Anatolian breeders 1. do not raise them as LGD and 2. Are extremely picky about whom their dogs go to.  I understand being picky, they are a different type of breed and are not for everyone, but occasionally it felt more political... the contracts that came with the dog seemed more detailed than adopting a child.  I won't go any further into that...

We found Ookii (pronounced Okie and means Big in Japanese) at Dream Catcher Farms in TX - she was raised with goats and children, which makes for a good fit for our ranch.  Did I mention our dogs have to be very tolerant of strangers, this is not an easy fit sometimes - again another story.

We decided to wait on the male thinking we might breed to an outside dog.  This also allowed Ookii to turn 2 for her OFA certification which came out as good.  During that two years we purchased a male that didn't work out and ended up with another female as a replacement.  Horizon Farms Amazing Grace.  She is a beautiful dog.

Jasper - 11 months old, raised with bottle kids and does and kids (bonus points there)

So now we have two registered females and no "Mr. Right".  If we were going to do this, the time is now. Ookii is now 4 and Gracie 1(she won't be bred until she is two and her OFA test done).

I have three dogs I am considering right now... it is hard to choose, they are all different and very nice in their own right.  There are so many different "types" of Anatolians if you have not noticed.  Some have more of a Mastiff type body, others are long and lean and then you have the inbetweens.

Gideon - 21 months old - raised with goats very stout.

Now we are just deciding on who we like the best and we have to  factor in who will work the best in our situation.  The dog needs to be aloof to strangers but not eat them because even though you tell the people running around our ranch DO NOT PET OR FEED THE BIG GOAT DOGS they will.  

Keep checking back to see who Mr. Right will be!