Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sephiroth: Live Stock Guard Dog?

Many alpaca farms have livestock guard dogs (LGDs) that live with their alpacas for protection from external threats. The most common breeds of Alpaca LGDs are Great Pyrenees, but Akbash, Antolian Shepherds, Komondors, Maremma's, and Tibetan Mastiffs are traditional livestock guard dogs as well. Our farm is in Grant Michigan and while there are many coyotes, fox, domesticated dogs and possibly even bear and cougars in our area, we have not yet found the need to have a livestock guard dog of our own to watch over our herd. So far, they have done pretty well protecting themselves. If the alpacas, especially our male, sees a foreign animal or object they sound off their warning sounds something like a donkey braying, which alerts us as well as the other alpacas that there is possible danger. They will also not hesitate to move as a herd stomping and kicking at a foreign animal like a cat or even a large dog. While we don't have a LGD on our farm, we do have SEPHIROTH.

Sephiroth was adopted into our family shortly after we purchased our farm. Noah and I have always loved Great Danes, and decided that it was time to get one now that we had the room. We found an awesome breeder last winter in Ohio called Rainmaster Danes (Jan and Larry Miner). They specialize in breeding and showing Blue, Harlequin (black and white spotted), and mantle (black and white) Great Danes. You can visit there website through our favorite links. We got on the waiting list for their next litter due last February and awaited the birth of our puppy. We had always wanted to name our dane Sephiroth after the One Winged Angel from the Final Fantasy video games (Pictured Below). When we visited Rainmaster Danes to meet Jan, Larry and the dogs, we told the breeder that we were hoping to get a merle color (blueish with black spots) with mantle markings (white on the muzzle legs, neck, and a blaze on the forehead). We also wanted it to be a boy and to have a large black patch on his shoulder (like Sephiroth the one winged angel). The breeder Jan admitted to us that this was a tall order and she had never had a male puppy like it before. He was born on February, 24, 2008 looking exactly how we prayed and hoped he would like. I can still remember when Jan called me to tell me that the puppies were born and that there was a mantled merle with a black patch on his shoulder. She said that Maggie, Seph's mother had 11 puppies, more than she has ever had before. Noah and I like to think that God slipped Sephiroth in there just for us. While sometimes he can acts like he came from hell (like when we come home and the couch is no longer in the living room, but dragged into the dining room and the cushions are ripped up, or when he has used the trim on the window sill and doorway as a chew toy, or when Noah, Seph and I share one full size bed...don't ask how), he is usually an angel...a one winged angel, sent to us from above. So that is the story of how Seph came to be a part of our family. While the alpacas do not like Seph, and I think he would prefer to chase them around if he could for fun, he is an awesome addition to our family...even if he is not a LGD.

Here are some pics of our boy Seph growing up. He is 9 1/2 months old now and weighs about 106 lbs.

2 Days Old

1 weeks old

2 weeks old

4 weeks old with all his sibs

5 weeks old

6 Weeks old.
We visited Seph and met him for the first time.

7 weeks old. He blends in with the Newspaper.


1 comment:

Vikki said...

Great story :)