Absolutely! His genetics were top notch. I know I will never have another Bubba, but I can certainly have the genetics in another dog. Any of Erick's dogs with those bloodlines are phenomenal. I would have definitely bred him to our newest puppy Ozel BUT he died a year ago and I don't like doing AI with dogs. However, I am giving all Bubba's straws to Erick and he has a full litter sister to Ozel so hopefully he will use some of the straws for his bitch. He is having trouble finding good outcrosses for his bloodlines. Ozel's litter was an outcross though so if he uses Bubba' semen on her litter sister I would definitely be first in line beating on his door for a male. I will be breeding Ozel in a couple years (when she is 3) and would like to find a good male for her. The owner of Ozel's sire has the sire's litter sister, and we were hoping to have him use Bubba so maybe he will want to do AI to Bubba.
I would definitely love to get another Bubba, but I would never expect the puppy to be the same as the sire. He might look like him (Bubba looked just like his sire Asker) but based on their training and experiences they will behave differently. I loved Bubba and still miss him, but his genetics would be what I wouldn't look for a carbon copy. Each of my dogs are different and I treasure all of them for their differences as well as their similarities. One day I will see all my precious dogs and horses again, get to play bridge with my grandmother and dear friend. But like the country song says, "Yes, I want to go to heaven, but I don't want to go right now!" They will all be waiting for me. LOL
In the last 7 years we worked our way through many problems - normal large breed puppy destructiveness, socialization problems, wanting to steal newborns, over aggression in barn during lambing, chasing/biting behavior, and a few others. Talking about these training problems doesn't take much time in print, but in real life it seemed to last forever. In the case of Bubba for several years during lambing season. With Angel's BFF play it took months of twice a day care for the lambs' wounds until they healed and could be returned to the flock from the pens in the barn. The cost of replacing puppy-chewed equipment was significant. Dealing with these problems was exhausting over the year. Once the dogs were trained, we were home free - except that they aged. And our predator load grew demanding more protection for the growing flock. By now our sheep were pastured in 3 different locations requiring more work for the dogs.
Now, with the loss of Bubba, we were down to 2 dogs again. Rika was 10 and showing her age, Angel was 4 and in her prime but our predator load requires more than one or two LGDs. Also, we were preparing to move to a larger ranch in Texas. In Texas we would have the same predators as here with the addition of feral hogs, black headed vultures, and eagles.
We needed another puppy. Luckily Erick had bred two of his bitches. One was pregnant and we were at the top of the list for a female puppy. The litter arrived on December 1. Another Anatolian adventure was on the way.
We convinced that our Anatolians are the best guardians we have ever had. Where our Pyrs used to roam over the 100 acres behind our property they do not leave the flocks. We have had only one time the dogs got out and that was because they did not realize there was a fence in place. The gully had washed out under the fence leaving a 30" high gap that the dogs simply strolled through. Once the fence was repaired, they showed no desire to leave. We have trained them not to go out the automatic gate when it is opened. We watch to make sure no stray dogs or coyotes are around when we open it though. With our Pyrs someone had to hold the dogs while we opened and closed the gate. Even with us standing there and holding them, if the wriggled free they were gone! Luckily, we have a parking area outside the gate.
Anatolians are not a dog for everyone. In some ways they are harder to train, but our favorites. We could never train our Pyrs to stay inside the fences. I think we were working against their hereditary instincts. Switching to Anatolians took care of the roaming but brought other problems specific to the Anatolian breed. All our LGDs have demonstrated instinctive guarding behavior that is incredible. Due to their protection, we have escaped attacks by coyotes, neighborhood dogs, and other predators. They have alerted us to newborns and injured animals, remaining with their charges until we could come to the rescue. Without our LGDs, as everyone who has these dogs knows, we would have no sheep.
Our Anatolians have been the best LGDs we have had. This is our opinion and, like I said, Anatolians are not for everyone. Nor is any breed. You have to match the breed and its instinctive behavior to the owner, whether you are getting an LGD, a family dog, or a lapdog. Anatolians would have not been good for us back in the day when we had strangers over constantly to buy rabbits, attend 4-H meetings, etc. Anatolians are suspicious dogs. They do not like strangers. They must be socialized to accept them. Some individuals are more aggressive than others. It takes time to understand and work with them. This is why I recommend getting an Anatolian from a reputable breeder who grades his puppies for their aptitude to livestock guarding, home guarding, family pet. That type of breeder can make sure you will not get a dog with a personality that does not work for you. That breeder wants the dog and you to be successful partners. This applies to any breed of dog you ever get.
Anatolians are a lot of dog, especially for someone who has never had LGDs. That’s why I chose Great Pyrenees as my first LGD. Of course they come with their own set of challenges and if you can make it through a couple of those, then you are ready for Anatolians.
My first GP was a free throw away chicken killer. She also was a Houdini escape professional and could go through a crack that would be difficult for a cockroach. My second GP jumped the fence to chase deer monsters away. Both were excellent guardians.
Sentry is half Anatolian, 1/4 Pyrenees and 1/4 Akbash. Sheba is 3/4 Anatolian and 1/4 Pyrenees. Buford is registered Anatolian and I’m hoping that we are coming out of the teenage stage. I’ll have ewes lambing soon and I’ll be working extensively with him.
In late spring, he targeted a small triplet and played with her to death. I put him in a small pen and beat him with her. I screamed, yelled, threw her on him and just had a general meltdown. I put him on a leash and worked with him with the lambs. He was fine with the other lambs, he just wanted to play with that tiny undersized lamb. It was my fault for letting him out when she was on the field. I thought I could keep an eye on him, but when I was distracted, he did what puppies sometimes do and she was dead.
So I’ll be working with Buford, I hope I can catch a ewe lambing and bring him in the pen. Supervised of course. It would be nice to have a dog I can put in the field with expecting moms. Sentry derailed and started stealing newborns so he can lick the birth goop off and I lost 2 lambs . I’ve never put Sheba in with lambing ewes because she wants the babies. I have ewes due, starting in a few days. I’m not letting them out on the field. It should be interesting!
I've loved reading through this thread. Anatolians are amazing, and I'll add - in the right homes. Which as you pointed out is true of any breed. If I were to go the LGD route, I would be looking at them. But - with any of LGD it's required to have a different mindset than I'm used to with the dogs. I do greatly admire Murphy - the young Anatolian that lives next to the ranch. Watching him figure things out an work (though he doesn't have livestock) I know he's helping us out. When he's at the fence I can be pretty sure we are golden when it comes to coyotes. So far, since he's been here and out (he's maybe 14 mos??) we've been good. Lately when I've seen the coyotes he hasn't been at the fence or from what I could tell anywhere near. He's an impressive boy and maturing nicely. He is from this dog person's eye gorgeous. Makes me wonder if he came from Eric. I'll have to ask next time I'm within talking distance .
So, what happened to Bubba?
We took Bubba back to Texas to Erick. He was going to have him collected and look for an outcross female for him. Unfortunately, about a month after we got back to California Erick called in tears. Bubba had been fine in the morning, happy and loving with Erick. That evening when Erick went to feed him he was dead in the pen. We are not sure what killed him. It might have been bloat, but Erick and I started to think that he may have caught a toad or frog and eaten it. He had no symptoms, he was fine in the morning and during the day then dead at suppertime. This was shortly before Baymule's Sentry ate a toad and got so sick and nearly died. Erick has a creek on his property and frogs and toads are around. Both of us were completely devastated. Erik hadn't seen Bubba since he was 4 months old and was thrilled with how he turned out both physically and temperamentally. We were looking forward to some puppies out of him. Luckily, I had him collected in California but it doesn't replace having my Bubba. Erick had gotten so attached to him in just a month that he was hating the idea of us reclaiming him. LOL We both cried together over the loss of this wonderful friend and guardian.
Oh Geeze. Sorry - somehow I missed that. I do remember Sentry getting sick. Toads ugh. We get them occasionally- we had DS’s Schnauzer for a week and she tried to grab one - luckily I was there and she spit it out - but even after thoroughly flushing her mouth it was hours of strange mouth and tongue movements as if she still had it in her mouth. Some toads are worse than others. The one here was one of the “better” ones.
Hugs on your loss, he sounds like he was a heart ❤️ dog.
I was worried about toads and Bruno. I've has some success with training him to avoid them. Basically, I had him on a leash and pocket of small rocks. If he touched toad with his nose, small rock to ground nearby made a dust cloud which started him sneezing. I think I got him in the nose with the rock once because my aim sucks... Now he avoids touching them.
The Anatolian male hatred has begun. I woke up shortly before midnight last night to snarling and YIPE! The dogs bark and I usually sleep right through it, but they don’t snarl and there is no YIPE of a scared puppy. THAT woke me up.
I got dressed and went outside. Buford was in a corner, Sentry had heard me coming and was at the wire, sitting, wagging his tail, telling me that he was a good boy. Sheba commandeered the dog tower, usually Buford’s spot, and was barking at Buford. Sheba is too honest, to go sit down and look all innocent. I spoke to them, Sheba jumped down, Buford got his spot back and was happy.
This morning Buford was slightly limping, he wouldn’t let me look at his front leg. I’ll wait until this evening after he’s eaten. He’s usually calm with a full belly.
Lately Sentry has been a bully, running Buford off his food. Even with me sitting there, Sentry snarls, and comes at Buford growling. Buford is scared of this maniacal much smaller dog with the heart of a lion and an attitude bigger than Dallas.
Separation happens this evening. I’ve seen the signs, I’ve seen it coming, it is here. I’m not going to wait for a bad fight, torn up dogs and two separate trips to the vet because they both can’t ride in the truck together.
Buford will have to come stay in the small pen where the dog kennel is and share it with the 2 young rams, Rocky and Ringo 2.0. He will think he’s being punished. The front field will be his. As soon as it’s fenced, I will let him have it.
Sentry could have given me a few more weeks before his testicles took over his brains.