The other day we discussed raising chickens as part of our new homesteading journey. One thing I always said I wanted, if we ever moved to the mountains, was a Livestock Guardian Dog. I wanted either a Great Pyrenees or an Anatolian Shepherd. I feel like they are gentle enough to be a family dog while still being loyal and protective over animals or people. Well, it just so happens, that I got my wish! A gorgeous little 2 month old Anatolian Shepherd mix came our way last week!
I’d like to introduce you all to Felina, the newest member of our family, an Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guardian Dog!
Her mama is 100% Anatolian Shepherd but we’re not sure what breed the father is. She could be a mix or she could be pure. No one saw what caught the mama so we don’t know her full lineage. That doesn’t matter to me, though. She’s adorable! I love her little pouty face.
This pup is going to get pretty large. Anatolian Shepherd females can get upwards of 120 pounds. They are great for guarding livestock and for protecting chickens. She came into our lives just as we are starting our chicken raising journey so the timing in all this was perfect! With all the coyotes, hawks, owls, bobcats, bears and other large predators around here, I felt we needed a livestock guardian dog to help keep everything safe.
Felina seems to be pretty even tempered. We’ve all been cuddling her and loving on her and she seems to be enjoying all the attention. I’ve read that they shed quite a bit so she’ll need to be brushed regularly, but Jasper sheds horribly so we’re used to that. She loves to play and has a ton of puppy energy. I can already tell that she will need toys she can play hard with because when she gets bored, she’s gonna go after cords and things.
She’s being crate trained so, hopefully, I can get that under control fast.
She is learning really quickly too. She’s really smart! She hadn’t been worked with at all. She’s not house broken and hasn’t been taught to walk on a leash yet. So everything is very new to her. She’d been living in a horse trailer with her 4 other siblings until weaned, so I have a lot to teach her.
In just a couple days, though, she’s already starting to walk on the leash pretty well and she’s only had one accident in the floor. I’ve been trying to keep a really close eye on her and take her out as soon as she starts to wander around. So far, so good!
I was concerned about how she’d do with our first dog, Jasper, and our cat, Honey. When we bought our house back in the fall, there was a stray cat already here. She won’t look at you in the eye so I can’t get a good picture of her but, honestly, she kind of looks like a hoot owl! Big, round eyes and her fur sticks out everywhere, even though I bathed her. She’s pretty but she’s a hot mess. She has a funky tail that does some really weird stuff when she tries to wag it so we named her Glitch. For her glitchy tail. lol It is hilarious to watch. I’ll have to try to get it on video!
Anyway, Honey despises her, which is sad, because Glitch is really sweet! Another cat showed up a few weeks ago and took up residence in the outdoor cat box we’d made for Glitch. The kids named him Leo.
Honey is a little more tolerable of Leo but she hisses and growls at Glitch and won’t have a thing to do with her. I’m guessing it’s because they’re both female. Anyway, this made me worried about bringing Felina home. Honey has always adored Jasper but they’ve grown up together since they were both babies. So I didn’t know if Honey only hated female cats or female animals in general. We brought Felina in and Honey seems to be ok with her! She sniffed everywhere Felina went and got pretty close to her. And Felina doesn’t seem to mind Honey. I’d also read (after we got her) that Anatolian Shepherd’s don’t really like cats but I think we’re good. PHEW!
Hopefully, no more cats show up here. If they do, they will be taken to the animal shelter where they can be spayed/neutered and adopted out to a good home. 3 is our limit and 2 of those live outside as barn cats. We can’t afford to feed every cat that shows up here!
I can honestly say that I NEVER imagined we’d have 2 dogs, 3 cats and 6 chickens in our lives! I kind of, sort of, maybe want a guard donkey too! Like, I really, really do. If you can find one that will actually guard, they keep predators away. Like the coyotes I mentioned in my “raising chickens” post. I’d also love a sheep some day. And a dairy cow so I can make cheese and butter and have fresh milk to go with our fresh eggs! Those are just some things I always imagined I’d have if I ever had a farm of my own. Our son wants a duck and our oldest daughter also wants a rabbit. But that’ll definitely have to wait. We have enough animals to take care of without adding more. We need to get this homesteading thing down pat first!
This journey sure has taken on a life of it’s own. We have animals now that we never thought we’d have. There’s something for everyone to take care of. We’re planning a container garden in the spring, and have buildings in mind to add to the property. As long as we are doing well, that’s all that matters. And so far, the kids are happy. Clay and I are happy. The animals are being fed and loved and well taken care of so they seem happy too. And that makes this homesteading mama super happy!
So tell me, do you have a livestock guardian dog? Do you have any advice or tips for me on raising an Anatolian Shepherd mix?
Until next time…
UPDATE: Our gorgeous Anatolian grew to over 100 pounds by her 9th month! Sadly, she was not thriving well as a house dog and had to be rehomed to a farm where she could live her live doing what she was meant to do – guard a flock! She is HUGE and absolutely beautiful, loving her life on a farm.
Hi! I’m Crystal Martin, a stay at home mom of 4, living in KY with my high school sweetheart husband of 20+ years. My husband and I are co-bloggers at Cinnamon Hollow where we write about homesteading, travel, beauty, our lives with our kids and pets, fun and free printables as well as the products and services that make our lives just a little bit easier – and a lot more fun!
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