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Winnie the Pooch

Meet Winnie, the newest addition to our farm family.

Winnie is a mix of Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd. Both of the breeds are considered "livestock guardian breeds," which means that they have instincts to guard "their" herd of animals from predators.

Eventually, when Winnie grows up, she will spend her time living among the alpacas. She will sleep with them, eat with them, and lie around the pasture with them. Most importantly, when an intruder enters the area, Winnie will stand between the visitor and the alpacas protectively. The biggest threat we anticipate encountering is a pack of domestic neighborhood dogs, but coyotes and bobcats live in the area, too, and Winnie should be able to handle those through sheer intimidation.

But for now, Winnie is a puppy, and doing all the things that puppies do. We set up a pen for her in the alpaca pasture so she can familiarize herself with them without getting underfoot, and she learned how to escape by wriggling between the bars. So we added scraps of fencing and hardware cloth. And she got out again. We secured it all in additional places. And she got out again. Every time we add a new security measure, she gets around it. She must be a smart dog.

Tom's taking her on frequent outings around the pasture to teach her the yard, introduce her to some basic commands, and let her run off some of her puppy ebullience.

And, when she's supervised, she gets to hang with the 'pacas.

(While "Winnie the Pooch" is a delightful literary reference, the REAL reason for her name is that we got her near the town of Winchester.)

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