By the time we closed escrow, I was on a mission. I wanted a dog. I had a lot of reasons I wanted a dog and I used them all to sell my wonderful husband on the idea, but bottom line is, I just really wanted a dog. At first I was looking into a Livestock Guardian Dog. You know all of those gorgeous, huge white dogs that look over flocks? I really wanted one. Specifically I wanted a Marema. I did my research. Maremas are an Italian breed. They are intensely loyal and prone to wandering. They can be left alone with the flock unattended and will protect to the death. The down side is they bark all night, have to be introduced, at a very young age, to the type of animal they are to protect, and they can have some aggression issues. I was undeterred by this news so I contacted a very nicely done website that spoke of her commitment to breeding dogs with the traits that I was looking for and even selling young dogs that had been introduced to various kinds of livestock. I told her my husband was not what I would call a dog person and we would need some support working through some of the things that were bound up with this breed. She took that to mean that somehow my husband was going to kill the dog or worse yet, send it back to her. In an instant, I was over her and her well-bred dogs. There was no way I was going to deal with weird people while trying to raise a potentially difficult puppy.

So I went back to the drawing board. What was it our family needed? I want a dog that’s good with livestock, will protect the house, won’t eat the cats, is smart, and enjoys pina coladas. Actually, pina coladas were not optional. Hubby wanted a dog that would have enough energy to play with the kids, protect them from wild pigs, and protect the house. The I remembered that the owners of DG Bar Ranch in Hanford have two Dutch Shepherds that are really great ranch dogs. Neither of them are especially useful like a Border Collie might be but they came and got the staff when a mare was having a hard time foaling and they really liked to play. I knew hat the breed was used as police dogs so they had to have the protective drive. And there my research began. My studies eventually led me to Von Falconer K-9 in Bonny Doon. One of the owners, Eric told me he had two nine month old females that he could show me. the first dog was a lot of energy. you could see her vibrate from across the lawn. She was social and loved the kids, immediately. The second dog was what the dog trainers call “softer.” She was quiet and the tiniest bit timid though I suspected she would get over that. But she was scared of the kids and was suspicious of the group. I went with my instinct and bought the first dog. Her name had changed enough times that I wasn’t sure what her name was when I bought her but she soon went back to her first name…Chaos.

I fell in love with her the day I brought her home and she in turn fell in love with my husband. My husband, who doesn’t even like dogs, fell in love with her. Since he’s not big into the training stuff and she won’t listen to me if he’s anywhere near her, she has become our good enough, all around ranch dog. And she’s perfect. I can not say enough good things about this breed. If you are an active family, looking for a dog that will keep up, Dutch Shepherds are awesome.


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