The puppies have arrived!!
Amerie and Boaz's second litter was born on 1/27: 10 beautiful pups. Stay tuned for more details and updates...if you are interested in learning more about purchasing one of these puppies from RRR, please email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Livestock Guardian Dogs
We are now raising the third generation of livestock guardian dogs that have been with our family and our farm since 2014. We started with Leo, our gigantic and gigantic-hearted Pyrenees-Anatolian male, and Gracie, another Pyr-Anatolian mix whose gracious and protective personality blessed everyone she came into contact with. Out of their two litters we kept just one male, Boaz. He has moved with us from Oklahoma, to Nebraska, to Montana, always adaptable, always loving, always kind. And he is the best chicken guardian ever! We’re pretty sure he snuggles up to the hens that escape their netting when no one is looking.
We found the perfect match for him in Amerie, a Maremma-Kangal-Boz Shepherd mix who brought fierce protectiveness, playfulness and excellent mothering to the mix. Boaz and Amerie’s first litter was born November, 2020, and those pups have gone on to work as guardians for sheep, children, and property, as well as being dedicated companions and hiking partners. Roving Ram Ranch retained three of those pups to train as full-time sheep guardians and they have excelled in their duties, even at young ages. We are so excited to see what they will accomplish as they mature!
Scroll down to see pictures and read more about our dogs and about other pups from Amerie and Boaz’s first litter.
Why Livestock Guardian Dogs?
Let us be absolutely clear here: we could not do what we do without the skills and dedication of our dogs.
Guardian dogs are an important part of most small ruminant operations, but for our sheep and our operation, they are absolutely critical. Because most of our grazing (7+months) takes place on leased land away from our home farm, we are not with our sheep 24 hours/day. Although they are always inside electrified netting, inside a perimeter-fenced property, the sheep are still susceptible to all kinds of highly-motivated predators found in northwestern Montana. This includes mountain lions (pumas), black bears, grizzly bears, birds of prey (primarily a concern with lambs), coyotes and wolves—not to mention the threat posed by mal-intentioned humans and domesticated dogs. Our dogs are on patrol night and day, living with the sheep and bonding deeply with them. They most often work in pairs and inexperienced dogs are matched with more-experienced mentors to teach them the ropes.
As strange as it may sound, our dogs not only protect our sheep, they also protect predators. Montana is a beautiful and wild place and we care deeply about keeping native carnivores in their native habitat. Livestock guardian dogs present a strong deterrent in advance of an attempted depredation or attack, thereby minimizing the chances that a predator will have to be put down or removed from an area due to an unfortunate interaction with domesticated livestock. If predators never have a chance to prey on our sheep, then they will not become conditioned to using them as a food source and will be forced to hunt wild prey in their natural habitat.
We are constantly humbled and awed by the deep history of protection and bonding bred into the genes of these very special livestock guardian breeds. It is a privilege and a joy to work with them on a daily basis, as partners and friends.
Meet Our Dogs
6-year-old Anatolian Shepherd/Pyrenees Male
4-yr-old Maremma/Kangal Female
4-yr-old Sarplaninac male
Boaz is the father of Amerie's two litters of pups, and is our remaining genetic link to his amazing parents, Leo and Gracie. We are so pleased to be continuing his line of traits through to another generation. He is our steadfast chicken guardian, although he was raised with goats and spends many of his days with our sheep, as well. Trustworthy, gentle, always looking for love and a good petting, he has shown us his adaptability and consistency through his ability to adjust to numerous moves and work environments. Although his build has always been on the lanky side, he is also incredibly strong and powerful. We value Boaz's demeanor, kindness, and wisdom and are thrilled to see that these traits were passed down to his first litter of pups.
Protective mother, devoted guardian, rambunctious life-lover. Amerie's name is Germanic in origin and denotes one who is brave, powerful and full of vigour. We think that suits her to a t! Amerie has whelped two litters and we couldn't be more impressed with her mothering abilities and the quality of the pups out of her and Boaz. She is built long and strong with a powerful front end. Her coloring and build are characteristic of the Kangal breed; in looking at her you would never guess she's half Maremma.
Caliber came to us from the same farm our first flock of sheep came from. He was a year old when we got him, but already had the guarding skills and demeanor of a much more experienced dog. He is unshakeable in his commitment to his sheep, and absolutely adores lambs! He is usually everyone's favorite dog on the ranch, those sweet eyes along with his charming personality seem to make everyone fall in love with him. He is a gentle giant and loves having visitors to his pastures, but if the wrong person steps foot across the fence, his tail stops wagging and he lets you know you've crossed the line. We could not ask for a better guardian than this one; we are so grateful for him.
Wise earned his name at a young age and is certainly living up to it. He is maturing into our most trusted LGD from last year's litter and will likely be the sire of the next generation of dogs on our ranch. He is the largest of the pups we kept and we joke that he got all of the Maremma and Pyrenees genes since you can barely see a trace of Anatolian or Kangal in him! He spent most of his training time last summer with Caliber and that only helped to solidify the most positive of his traits: devotion to guarding, discernment, a calm demeanor and readily obedient. We can't wait to see what this next year brings in his growth and development as a guardian!
Greta was one of Amerie's puppies from the November, 2021, litter. Since she was a tiny puppy she has been a serious and focused guardian, always watching and taking note of what's going on. She spent her first season working and learning alongside her mom and is spending the winter with our rams as one of their guardians. Very sweet, very intense, and ready to protect her sheep at a moment's notice, Greta is a wonderful addition to our lineup of dogs.
Scooby is the lovable clown of our bunch! He takes his job seriously, despite being goofy at times, and dislikes being alone. He craves being with other dogs, people, or sheep--just anyone to keep him company! In the picture below he's with his buddy Dirk, who he instantly and deeply bonded with after Dirk came to our farm in the summer of 2021. They were inseparable! He is growing into a fantastic guardian and we love the playfulness he brings to our ranch.