Livestock Guardian Dogs
That was my first look at Hercules, a three-month old Maremma male pup. The thick snow-white fur that covered his body stood straight up on the top of his handsome square head and down his back. His black nose was like a piece of coal in the middle of a winter field. He had almond-shaped hazel eyes. He was only a pup, but his instincts were clear to me. He would do what needed to be done to protect whatever was in his care, even if his side still hurt from the beating the buck gave him after the farmer put him in the pen.
We were first introduced to livestock guardian dogs (LGD’s) by our friends the Dillon’s. Will and Debbie milk goats in the coastal mountains of South Tillamook County, and we were visiting them to pick out our first Nubian doe in the late 1990’s. We were greeted by Pete, a Great Pyrenees pup, and an older female Pyrenees. Our first impression was astonishment both at the size of the dogs and at the fact that they were so calmly living in the midst of goat herd pandemonium! We have over the years been treated to many stories of Pete and his companion LGD’s and their escapades.