Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Don't clash with Titan

This is Titan, our Maremma livestock guardian dog. He is gentle and loving with us but I sure would not want to be a coyote that tangles with his sheep. The coyote problem in Ontario is increasing every year with more loses for sheep producers. This problem has a huge impact on your bottom line as a pack of coyotes can wipe out your yearly profits in one night of mayhem.
Enter Titan. He is a 2 year old purebred Maremma livestock guardian dog that we purchased as a pup with our first flock of NC Cheviots. While some suggest that the dog should not be socialized to humans, we have too many people visiting the farm to take the chance. Plus we needed him to come easily to our few basic commands. However Titan is not a pet. He is a working dog on duty 24 hours a day. He lives with his sheep and has developed an amazing communication with them. If he senses a threat, he lets the girls know and they all head back to the protection of their paddock and shelter at a dead run.

One night last month the gate to their shelter broke open. Titan rounded up the sheep, put them back into their shelter and guarded the door until we returned home. He certainly earned his chew bone treat that night.

While we have no experience with any of the other guardian animals we certainly can recommend a Maremma. And since we like him so much we will be adding another Maremma in a year or two to our staff.


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