A Suburban Farm of 6th Happiness.

A puppy and sheep

by Alan - February 22nd, 2011.
Filed under: Mikołaj, Sheep. Tagged as: , , , , , .

I love sheep, and since there are several ‘miniture’ breeds, I felt they belonged in our little ‘urban farm’.  I decided on Babydoll sheep, aka Old English Southdown. There are large sized southdowns as well, but those are a recent alteration of the breed, created for the modern “mega” mindset.  As such, the babydoll isn’t actually a “miniaturise” one, but the original ‘heirloom’ breed.

I initially asked to be on breeders’ waiting lists for a breeding ewe and ram pair in 2012. I planned to wait for two reasons. First, I would have more time to relax, collect needed supplies and build their shelter. Second, I didn’t want to get them without a Livestock Guardian Dog. Having researched LGDs, I selected the Polish Tatra Sheepdog as the best choice for us. As they are rare in North America, I expected it would take a while to find a breeder, and get on their wait list for their next litter. As it turned out, a breeder was practically in our backyard with a puppy ready to go!

Our puppy is named Mikołaj after my grandfather, but called Mickey for short.   He was born October 2010; we brought him home January 2011.  At 3.5 months of age he was already 45 pounds.   He is very intelligent and easy to train.

Polish Tatra Sheepdogs come from the Tatra Mountain region of Southern Poland; the breed goes back to the 14th century.  Adults can be expected to weigh 120-150 pounds!    Their instinct, through hundreds of years of breeding, is to protect livestock, though they’ll also protect their humans if kept as a house dog.   They are guard dogs, not attack dogs:  they prefer to intimidate predators and human strangers, but if left without option, they can fierce when needed.

Fozzie and Zeus. Photo by Michelle Hill.

While Mickey was bred and raised for the first 3 months around sheep, it isn’t a good idea to keep him away from sheep for over a year, so I started looking for a couple wethers or retired breeders that might be available now.  (Sheep are mainly available as lambs in the spring).  Luckily, Michelle Hill is not too far away and has two adolescent wethers available.  As soon as we are in the new house in March, I’ll go pick these boys up.  I can hardly wait!

Fozzie and Zeus are wethers which means that they are neutered.  Having a wether or two is actually useful for a small scale breeder because if you have only one breeding ram or ewe, then when they are separated (when not breeding), they will have friends to be with.  As herd animals, sheep need constant companionship.  Although wether’s can’t be bred, they still provide companionship for the other sheep, produce wonderful wool, are adorable pets, and they mow the lawn.

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2 Responses to A puppy and sheep

  1. Hello,

    I found your blog while looking for a tatra breeder. My husband is Polish and loves the breed. We have wanted a puppy for years, but have had difficulty finding a breeder. Could you send me the name and information of the breeder that you bought your puppy from? I would really appreciate it!



  2. Could you give me the name of the breeder. We are looking to buy a puppy.

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