Chomby - Kangal / Anatolian
In the Summer of 2012 two of my geese were killed, either by coyotes or by roaming dogs that came onto the property. I quickly re-homed the third geese before she suffered the same fate and knew that for the sake of my sheep (and if I ever wanted to have anymore birds) that I needed to get them some 24 hour protection. Dogs that watch livestock and protect them from predators are commonly called "livestock guardian dogs". I had entertained the idea of getting one many times, but now I felt a pressing need to.
Among the guardian dogs, the two most commonly used are Anatolian Shepherds and Great Pyrenees. Both are formidable protectors, but I felt that the Pyrenees' thick coat just wasn't suited for desert life. Aside from that, I was just really drawn to the Anatolians. A true desert dog from Turkey, this stoic breed was a serious dog and seemed to fit in with what I needed perfectly.
Adding Chomby to the family...
Chomby was a birthday present from my dad. I got her at four months old from a sheep breeder in Northern New Mexico that bred a litter of protection dogs for her own sheep and others every few years. These puppies were born outside and from day one had exposure to sheep and farmlife. Being four months old already, the puppy I got would have already learned plenty about guarding sheep from her mother and father. Pair that with thousands of years of instinct that comes with the Anatolian breed I felt that I was off to a good start.
Chomby's lineage was all working dogs. In fact, some of her relatives were among the Kangals selected to be part of the Cheetah Conservation Program in Africa.
Life with Chomby
Chomby is a great all-around dog. Very loving and happy all the time. She sleeps mostly during the day and then watches the property at night. I don't think anything could get past without her approval. It's nice going to bed at night and knowing that the animals outside are taken care of.
Sugar Tree & Chomby
Sugar Tree the Doberman gets along great with Chomby. They love each other and they love to play. I'm sure Sugar Tree would love it if Chomby could come in the house and play with her, but I make sure that they play together in the yard every morning. It's strange sometimes having an outside dog, but outside is really where this breed loves to be.
About the Anatolian breed...
The Kangal aka Anatolian aka Çoban Köpeği is a tough breed originating in Turkey for the purpose of guarding livestock. Kangals are big, strong and independent. A formidable breed capable of taking on wolves. They have a lot of mastiff in their background and I would mostly compare them to one, but they are really a breed apart. Not too many people recognize what sort of dog Chomby is when I take her somewhere. In Turkey (formally called Anatolia), Anatolians are called Kangals. There they tend to be bred tougher and larger than the American lines. Anatolians in the US vary between more home or show orientated to closer to the working Kangal found in Turkey.