Our dogs in Canada

Here is an update on my last story. My family and I moved to Canada on the 25 August 2008. We are living in Northern Alberta about 20 km north-west of a town called High Prairie. We brought all our border collies (13) , 3 Sarplaninac and 2 Sivas Kangals.The Kangals where for other people who where wanting the Kangals as Livestock guardian dogs

The move and flight went really well. None of the dogs had any stress or problems. It was just a very long trip with the dogs travelling more than 22 hours. All the dogs behaved themselves very well.

We are living on a farm next to a national park. Our farm is surrounded by wilderness with a lot of wildlife around. We have a lot of predators in the area, coyotes, wolves, bear, fox, wolverine and free roaming dogs. We also have very many moose and various deer species.
We intend starting a large sheep flock and want to go to 1000 ewes fairly quickly. As we knew a few years ago that we will be farming sheep with many coyotes and wolves we would need to have extra guardian dogs. We have had a Sarplaninac before as well as a CAO (central Asian ovcharka). The Sarplaninac was a great dog and we decided to look for some Sarplaninac to bring to Canada with us.

Our oldest dog is Alaska, after that we bought Lord Beli Ste Kot North from Czech Republic. He is a white Sarplaninac. After that we looked for another bitch, she also came from Czech Republic. We call her Fena but her official name is Debela Medi Ste Kot North. These dogs have grown up with the sheep and are now also living constantly with the sheep.

We have got our first 108 sheep and another 400 will come this spring. We have made a kraal (night field) for the sheep to help keep them safe. During the day the sheep go out to the pastures to graze. Beli and Fena go out with them. Alaska stays at the kraal to look after the breeding rams. At night I go out and fetch the sheep and the dogs in.
We get a lot of moose and deer meat to feed the dogs from a local butcher.
The first weeks we where here two young wolves came around to see what were happening at our place. I did not see them but heard them howling at the edge of the woods. We have very many coyotes and see them often and hear them every night.

A few weeks back I heard our Beli and Fena really barking a lot. Now our Beli is not a barker without reason so I thought I would go and see what was happening. The dogs where in the kraal with the sheep and where really barking a lot and very aggressively. I walked out in the dark and shined my torch. I was looking at a black wolf that had come right into our yard. He walked away and disappeared into the forest. This was quite an experience.

The last few weeks we have been seeing a lot of moose gathering on the field of farmers. Normally the moose are fairly solitary and you don’t see big groups together. However we have been seeing groups of 8 to 15 moose altogether. The hunters say that the wolfs are hunting very actively here and that they are chasing the moose out of the forest. The moose are scared and are gathering on these fields. We have moose everyday on our farm. The Sarplaninac don’t really agree!

We have not lost a sheep yet to any predator and we hope that our dogs will keep doing such a good job. We do however feel rather low in the number of guardian dogs as Fena is only 8 months old. We have decided to breed Alaska to Beli so that we can raise one or two more pups to help the other dogs in their guardian tasks in the future. As we will increase in sheep numbers we will need more dogs to protect them.

The most common guardian dogs here in Alberta are Maremma, Pyrenees and Anadolian (Kangal) dogs.
Nobody knows the Sarplaninac!
I will update the stories of our dogs once in a while.

Our new adress and link to the site are:

Louise Liebenberg PO Box 2759 High Prairie Alberta T0G 1E0 Canada

e-mail: info@grazerie.com
home page :  www.grazerie.com