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The New Chiots

September 24th, 2013

If you listen to Cultivate Simple, you know that we’ve been talking about getting a new dog.  We have been talking to a breeder of Anatolian Shepherds in Ohio who feeds raw and follows natural protocols for her animals.   The plan was to get a puppy from her, but she contacted us a few months ago about a four year old dog that was looking for a new place.
Tara 2
Tara 4
This is Tara, the new resident chiots (don’t worry, Lucy is still around and kicking, but she’s retired to a life of rest). Tara has had a few rough patches in her life.  She was purchased by some people in Canada and wasn’t treated very well. They claimed she was aggressive and were going to put her down when she wasn’t very old, the breeder knew she wasn’t and fought to get her back. When she finally got Tara back, she was placed with an animal behavioral specialist for a while to make sure she didn’t have aggression issues. After being given the all clear, she moved to a farm in SE Nebraska where she had goats, chickens and ducks to watch over.
Tara 3
They decided to downsize and didn’t really need Tara anymore, so they wanted to find a good home for her where she could have a job to do and animals to protect.  The breeder thought we might be interested and after much conversation with the current owner we decided she’d be a good fit for our little place.  Transport was going to be an issue, but luckily, the breeder had a network of people willing to help.  After asking, she found a very generous guy that was moving from California to Connecticut and was willing to pick her up on his with through.
Tara 6
Tara 5
Last Friday, he met Tara’s parents in a parking lot at 3 am in Nebraska.  At 7 am on Saturday morning, he arrived in Connecticut (his brother was traveling with him and they took shifts and drove straight through).  I left Maine not long after she arrived in CT and picked her up at 1 pm.  She made the trip to her final home. This was a photo of her when I picked her up in CT.
Tara 1
So far she’s been great, very sweet and gentle. No doubt her personality will start to show more and more as she becomes comfortable. She will probably also start testing her limits as well as dogs are prone to do, particularly dominant dogs.
Tara 7
She’s settling in, getting to know us and the animals that live here and our workflow.  So far she’s contained to a leash or a chain until we’re comfortable that she views Chiot’s Run as her new home.  We’re working with her daily on perimeter training so she learns the boundaries.  Hopefully she’ll be a big help with our predator problems.

Do you have any working dogs at your place or have you seen working dogs in action somewhere else? 

28 Comments to “The New Chiots”
  1. Deb on September 24, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Could never afford these types of dogs so will never have one. Eating is more important to us. What all do the dogs do and is there enough for all your dogs to protect without gettting in each others’ way? She’s a very pretty dog and I hope she fits in well for you.

    Reply to Deb's comment

    • Susy on September 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

      We only have two dogs, one is very old and no longer able to protect much of anything. This new one will protect our poultry from foxes & coyotes and probably sheep next year if all goes as planned. Sometimes a dog is worth it’s weight in gold if they keep predators away, not to mention they keep all of your food from being eaten by someone else. Since we raise our livestock for food and eggs if we don’t protect them we don’t eat. So in a way having her does help provide food for our table.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Deb on September 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm

        Oh, i thought you had a couple dogs, i was mistaken. My chickens are for eggs and the freezer next year, but couldn’t afford the livestock guardian dogs in a million years. cheaper to lose a couple chickens if we are so unfortunate.
        She’s gorgeous and I’m sure she’ll be good for you.

        to Deb's comment

  2. Marina C on September 24, 2013 at 7:29 am

    It seems a very ‘Chiot’s’ story: you get the dog you want, and you save a dog at the same time!
    You two gave a way of connecting with people that is special and true, which is why the breeder thought of you!
    Our daughter adopted a research lab dog from the school where she is studying to be a vet,
    Zucca had a very similar expression at first, and what we call the shy ears lasted for a while.
    She is all joy now, and really loves Meagan.
    As soon as she figures it out, Tara will know she is one lucky dog!

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  3. kristin @ going country on September 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Our three collies aren’t trained as guard dogs, but they have such an innate drive to hunt that they guard the property naturally. I have no doubt we’d be overrun with possums, woodchucks, rabbits, and coons if it weren’t for them. To say nothing of their battles with the neighborhood coyotes that would love a nice young lamb for dinner.

    They’re kind of a pain on occasion, being more like feral dogs than docile pets, but we could never be without our dogs.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  4. Natasha on September 24, 2013 at 8:08 am

    This brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad you found (and saved) such a lovely dog. We adopted a 6 year old black lab last August. Her owner was unable to provide for her. She was also already trained! She’s an excellent guard dog, including guarding scraps that fall in the kitchen (to keep them from hitting the floor).

    Dogs can be worth their weight in gold.

    Reply to Natasha's comment

  5. Robin on September 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Congratulations! And Hi Tara, nice to meet you.

    We adopted a puppy mill, 100% bilaterally deaf border collie from Puerto Rico years ago. Three months later he had his first seizure. No matter his background and epilepsy, Hobo was the best herding dog and best with poultry I’ve ever had or worked with. He taught me a lot. We communicated through sign language. I taught him some signs, I learned others from him. If a chicken flew over the fence he’d herd it back, never stepping on a plant in the garden, and put a paw on it until someone noticed and returned the chicken to its proper place.

    We have a farm collie (born here, he mother was the best I’ve had at predator control) and an English shepherd now. The collie decided to retire a year or so ago and prefers sleeping in the sun on the back porch. If a crow, hawk, vulture or eagle fly over he’ll chase them off. The ES is great at herding her poultry when they escape or need to be moved. She has epilepsy and doesn’t let it slow her down.

    We couldn’t do what we’ve done where we live, deep in the woods, without our working dogs. We’d be raising food for the wildlife without them.

    Reply to Robin's comment

  6. Nebraska Dave on September 24, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Susy, in all my years of country living through my life time, I’ve never had a dog that did any work other than clean up the crumbs that fell on the floor from us eating. Even during the country living during my younger years, our dogs were nothing more than pets. Now that I am pet less life is allot simpler. I do wish I had a dog to keep my big garden clear of wildlife but it’s just not feasible being 20 minutes away from my house.

    Tara looks like she will be a great dog. I’m sure she will settle in and be a wonderful addition to the new place. I can’t remember if you have named your new property or not. Those wily old foxes have no clue what’s coming, do they. :0)

    Have a great day with Tara

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  7. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on September 24, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’m so happy for Tara and for both of you too! I’m sure she will grow to be a special part of your family. We don’t have any dogs at the moment. We lost our beloved Moose last year and the wounds are still too deep to even think about another dog just yet.

    This made my heart happy :)

    Reply to Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary's comment

  8. Felicakes on September 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I am so glad you decided to go the adoption way. I foster dogs (usually retired greyhounds) from time to time and they are amazing.

    A friend of mine have a cattle farm about 5 hours down south of where I live and they have 3 Kelpie dogs. All amazing and brilliant. I visit them from time to time and I am totally amazed of these dogs. Amazing!

    I wish you and Tara all the best and I am sure, Tara is an amazing dog. :)

    Reply to Felicakes's comment

  9. Misti on September 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

    If only I could train my ferals to keep the deer out of my garden. ;)

    I can’t wait to see more of Tara’s adventures around the Run. :)

    Reply to Misti's comment

  10. DebbieB on September 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    She has the same sweet face and eyes as the German Shepherd I grew up with.

    I’m reminded of an old Sesame Street bit from when my kids were little – an Australian shepherd dog is happily and efficiently running around herding animals, and the song in the background is “I’m a dog, I’m a workin’ dog, I’m a hard-workin’ dog!”

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  11. Andres on September 24, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I’m curious as to what you guys are doing for the perimeter training. We have an Australian shepherd that could probably do with some to be able to help out a bit around the homestead.

    Reply to Andres's comment

  12. Katrina on September 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    We never had working dogs but my family has had Labradors and more recently an English Springer Spaniel. All our dogs “worked” to keep our yard/property safe from unwanted creatures such as rats, mice and bats. We never had rodent problems because quick as a flash our dogs would track them down and then deposit their kills on the front porch. ;) And our cats would do the same, both inside and out.

    Reply to Katrina's comment

  13. Sheila Nielsen Rocky Top Farm on September 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    this brought tears to my eyes also! sounds like a happy ending story for sure!! Tara will have a great home and will also serve the critters at Chiots!! love anatolians!

    Reply to Sheila Nielsen Rocky Top Farm's comment

  14. Miranda on September 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    i’m so excited for you guys! LGDs can be difficult but so rewarding. I still resist the idea – ( i just can’t imagine the feed bill for all the animals i’d have to raise to feed one! ha). A friend of mine recently had to let go of one of her dogs, a Maremma named Rufous. She offere him to us and i was tempted, but he attacks her chickens and i keep chickens and ducks – not a good fit! Her farm straddles a county road and Rufous just couldn’t not attack folks walking through the middle of his domain. Total bummer.
    I hope Tara works out for you well! i’m sure it will take a lot of consistent training from you and Brian, but i think you are the right folks for the challenge!

    Reply to Miranda's comment

  15. Kay on September 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    What an adorable pup pup :) We have a Great Pryennes (sp). He is such a good boy, and he guards the chickens, ducks, and cows. He was a recue boy as well. I couldn’t be without dogs. I love them so much.

    Reply to Kay's comment

  16. Chris on September 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Thank-you so much for giving an older, dog a loving, permanent home that she so deserves…I’m sure she will repay you 100 times over in protecting “her” livestock! :)
    She has a gorgeous face!

    Reply to Chris's comment

  17. Sincerely, Emily on September 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Oh, she is beautiful. She sounds like she has finally found her true “home!” thanks to you and Brian. Congrats!

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  18. amy on September 25, 2013 at 12:20 am

    We have four dogs and everyone of them was a rescue…..One of them severely abused….The photo that most moves me….is the one you took of her when you are meeting her for the first time….Not to read too much into it….but there is trepidation there…which saddens me….She has been thru much and moved around much….I truly hope this is a perfect match for all of you…..As someone else mentioned her eyes remind me of my German shepherd…..They say much….My dogs are wonderful guard dogs and they keep all unsavory critters at bay….They are indeed worth their weight in gold!

    Reply to amy's comment

    • Susy on September 25, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Yes, she had concerned eyes at that point. She’s definitely coming out of her shell. Every day she’s a happier dog and seems to be feeling much more at home here. Of course she’s being slightly spoiled as well, buckwheat dog bed on the back porch, lots of attention to make her feel welcome, lots of walks around the property. She has a great personality and will fit it quite nicely here.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • amy on September 25, 2013 at 10:19 am

        I know she will~I am glad she found you guys~and you her:) Blessings

        to amy's comment

  19. Erin on September 25, 2013 at 8:50 am

    How do you perimiter train your dogs? Our neighborhood was very dog-friendly until we got new neighbors who dislike dogs, so I can’t have my border collie going next door for treats and things anymore. I live on five acres, which I think is plenty of room to run without having to also go across the neighbors’ properties, but my dog disagrees. He’s not very happy with the new long walks regimen we’ve started!

    Reply to Erin's comment

  20. Colleen on September 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    We have a ten year old Australian Shepherd, Beau. We have done a little herding with him, he is a very gentle herder and ended up licking the faces of the sheep. At present, he doesn’t have anything to herd, but he takes great pride to help keep the raccoons out of the chicken yard and the deer out of the orchard.

    I lived next door to a family who had an Anatolian Shepherd, they eventually had to make up a sign and hang it on the fence, too many people stopping to ask questions about their dog.

    Tara looks like a sweet and beautiful dog. She is very lucky to have found a home with the two of you and your menagerie.

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  21. Teresa on September 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    So glad you and Tara found each other. Her eyes are so sad in the first few pictures–I’m glad to hear she’s relaxing as she settled in.

    I’m especially glad the working dog ended up in a place where she’ll have work to do. Nothing worse than a bored collie!

    Reply to Teresa's comment

  22. The Groundskeeper on October 7, 2013 at 1:19 am

    What a beautiful dog. I hope she is settling in well.

    Growing up we had dogs for pets and cats for pets and rodent control. As I got older, my thinking changed to wanting a dog to take with me to work outside. (Safety, someone to talk to when I was by myself for hours on end, etc.) As life would have it, so far I’ve worked outside in the city or stayed home raising a family. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back to working outside in the country. Still, I agree that it is nice for animals to have a ‘job’ around the place. Even more so now that I see how much it costs just to feed them, not to mention vet bills and other expenses.

    Just curious, did they really make the drive from Nebraska to Connecticut in four hours?

    Reply to The Groundskeeper's comment

    • Susy on October 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      They did’t make the drive in 4 hours, I added Saturday morning. It took them 28 hours.

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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