I can't speak highly enough about this dog. He is literally our farm's guardian.
You see Buddy is what is referred to as a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD). He lives as one with whatever livestock he is responsible for guarding at the time. While there are many breeds of LGD's, Buddy is an Italian Maremma - but yes he is often confused for the common LGD the Great Pyrenees.
Buddy came to us from working parents on a goat farm when he was 6months old. He was put right to work with the sheep.
It took us FOREVER to name this guy! I wanted something strong, vicious or furious sort of name - but in the end because he was declared the sheep's buddy - "Buddy" dog he became! And it is a perfect fit!
Buddy didn't have a whole lot of people skills - heck he still doesn't! But he loves his family and his job. I often remind people to just ignore him and let him come up to check you out when he's ready!
After two years of being strictly with the sheep, Buddy learned he could escape the high-tensile fence of the main pasture and it became impossible to keep him in once he learned "freedom." However Buddy quickly learned the property lines of the farm and literally there is a trail around our 28 acres patrolled by Buddy.
As air predators became a problem, Buddy was placed in the net fence with the poultry - in which he became worth his weight in gold!
The only predator issue we have had is when weasels have attacked inside our brooder barn. These smart, awful predators know that Buddy is not an indoor dog. Knock on wood, we have not had an issue like that so far this season!
Realizing that Buddy can not be all places at all times, we have decided to add a girlfriend to our farm....Daisy! More to come on this sweet girl in future blog! But we look forward to sharing Buddy's great LGD skills with a liter or two of offspring in a couple of years!
Carrie grew up on a small dairy farm in downstate New York. After attending Morrisville State College and Cornell University, she continued her passion for agriculture in careers as a herd manager on a large dairy and working for Cornell Cooperative Extension. A handful of years living in North Carolina and working for NC State exposed Carrie to southern agriculture and beach life! A leap of faith has brought the family back to rural upstate New York, where Carrie now "practices what she preached" in small, sustainable agriculture production, along with now raising two small boys in a farm family tradition.