Pack on Top of the World

Our Pack, On Top of the World

Sirius, Hanno, Kavi, Remus and Romula surveying their domain and watching over their herds on a blue sky winter day. These are some of our pack of livestock guarding and herding dogs. Our dogs are working farm dogs, they do both tasks, guarding and herding, which in many breeds are separated to one or the other. Part of that is inclination, genetics, instinct. Part of it is pack culture and training – they were raised into these jobs from birth since their pack has been working on our farm for six generations.

I love good butt. Especially from an older sow. Last night we dined on the Boston Butt steaks from a nine year old sow. They were fantastic. This is a little known secret, the older pigs have more flavor. With age they develop excellent intramuscular marbling and the years of grazing out on pasture maximizes their flavor profile. Chefs know this which is why we get pre-orders months ahead of time for when the older breeders get culled from the herd.

The disadvantage of the older pigs is they’re big. This makes them not fit the standard restaurant menus and what consumers are expecting on store shelves. Think pork chops that weigh in at many pounds. Huge 20 lb bellies – that’s 20 lbs per side which is 40 pounds of bacon per pig. The hams are enormous, too big to fit in home ovens. The steaks, like the one we dined on last night, cover an entire platter and feed a family. At 600 lbs this sow was the size of many smaller breeds of cattle and the cuts reflected that. A specialty item, and delicious.

Outdoors: 21°F/12°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/57°F

Daily Spark: Never deny someone the chance to give you a gift for you are allowing them to cleanse their soul.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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13 Responses to Pack on Top of the World

  1. Eric Hagen says:

    I like your spark, it rings true.

  2. Sal says:

    Thank you for the names and the spark

  3. laurie says:

    Beautiful dogs! And such a great shot of them on the snow with the blue sky.
    I like the idea of using them in a pack as working dogs – it sure makes sense now that I think about it. Better defense against packs of coyotes, which is what we will have to contend with when we move out to our farm. Now I just have to convince my husband who is just now coming around to the idea of having two dogs…

  4. Sarah T says:

    Love the dogs. So Coy was the first dog, what breeds do you think he was from? What breed(s) were his mate?

    • Coy just showed up one day and said he was going to work here. I said no. He said yes. I said no… This went on for days. He did things around the place and eventually I gave in. That’s how he figured to nail a job interview I guess.

      Our pack is a pinch of German Shepherd, a pinch of Black Labrador and a lot of Other. You can see more on the Dogs Page and follow the links from there to stories about the pack who has live on Sugar Mountain for six generations.

  5. JP Swift says:

    That pack doesn’t look like it puts up with any crap!

  6. Larry AJ says:

    Just curious. What is the pack ranking of the each of the dogs in the picture?
    I am asking because only Remus his his ears down which I suspect is a sign of a lower rank when in a group like in the picture.

    Thanks ! Love our dog pictures.

    • Remus is the youngest although the tallest he is not the heaviest, it will be a few more years before he has put on full muscle at which point I think he will try to exert leadership. He has potential but sometimes finds himself on the wrong side of the fang for that.

  7. Megan says:

    Hello Holly and Walter. Are you telling me these husky/malamute type dogs don’t chase or kill livestock? Amazing. While I am not in the market for a dog, I do wonder if you share pups with other farms looking for a good working guardian dog. A friend had a while to finally find a good working English Shepherd after losing a beloved husky to old age(husky was NOT a working farm dog). Interesting you can “have your cake and eat it too” with a husky-type working farm dog. Do you have any pictures of your “Coy”?

    • Our dogs aren’t Husky/malamute per say so I would hesitate to make that statement. The original sire Coy simply showed up at said he was here for the job and would not take no for an answer. This in itself was a self-selecting process. With each generation the ones who were farmers and ranchers are the ones who stayed on our farm. It is not a large pool as they do not breed very often unlike domestic dogs. You can see a photo of Coy when he was very old laying on the beach in the post about Feeding Big Dogs and at the top of that post is a photo of his son who looked just like Coy when Coy was younger when he came to us. From what other people have told use it may be unusual that our dogs have both the herding and the guarding instincts however I think it may be largely environmental, they were born into a pack that manages a farm so they grew up doing the work. Add to that some selection. In any case, they are physically suited to our environment.

  8. Diana says:

    Hello … I LOVE your dogs. Actually, what brought me to your website was a picture of one of your females coming out of a red barrel (don’t know her name). She doesn’t just look exactly like one of my own dogs (Gracie), but even the spirit I see in her beautiful face and her eyes matches Gracie’s. I was really stunned when I saw that picture. So,since our Gracie just “showed up” at our

    • Diana says:

      … Sorry,my tablet poster before I was finished. …… Place and kindly took over a job (almost like your Coy), I got curious about the breeds. And started reading about your dogs. Having watched Gracie with our other dogs over the past months, I see a distinct difference between her and them. Gracie is more independent and does not look to us humans for guidance. To me, she seems more like a wild animal than a pure dog. My guess is that, Gracie has some coyote blood running through her veins. And, having looked at your Coy’s picture (esp. His eyes), I’m wondering about that possibility in your dogs, too. Also, their multi-talent makes me think that, too. And of course their eyes and coats. Gracie hunts small animals,but after just one “leave it” when she went after one of our cats, she started protecting the cats. She knows everything that goes on in our hollow, and I have learned to totally trust her skills , judgement and knowledge. She is incredible, and I am 99 percent sure that she is not a full-blooded domestic dog. Thanks for your wonderful dog posts.

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