This page highlights personal experiences shared by fellow Karakachan owners.
Feel free to contact us with your own testimonial on this wonderful breed!
Our first night on our Virginia farm, our Horned Dorset Sheep were attacked by
dogs, and the results were devastating. The entire flock, with the exception of one sheep, was injured, and several
were killed. While nursing what was left of our injured flock, we began immediately to search for livestock guardians
to help protect our goats, sheep and calves from predators. Our research led us to two kinds of livestock guardian dogs,
the Maremma, originally from Italy, and the Bulgarian Karakachan.
livestock are now protected by seven livestock guardian dogs, two Maremmas and five Karakachans who give us tremendous peace
of mind just knowing that they are "on duty" twenty-four hours each day.
The Karakachan Dog is loyal, affectionate, and devoted to its masters, but woe to any intruders who would seek to inflict
harm upon their herd. They are always on duty and stand ready to defend their
charge fiercely should a threat present itself.
Peter and Patricia Houchin
One June day I came home to find Mira barking nonstop. Philip came outside just as
I pulled up, and he and I started walking down to see what was wrong. At first, we thought the horses might be too close to
the sheep's pen. (Mira, after months of living near them, still mistrusts horses.) As we got closer we could see that there
were no horses in sight. Rather, the problem was that a big section of the electric fence was down. Expecting to have to find
and round up the flock, Philip ran ahead, and I got a bucket of feed. When we got to the pen, though, we found the flock was
all there; none but Mira realized that the fence was down. Mira knew that we needed to know that the fence was out of commission
and she was barking to alert us to a situation she considered threatening to the sheep. As soon as Philip arrived on the scene,
she stopped barking. I was really impressed with her intelligence, to equate a down fence with danger and to know to call
us, and still a pup just shy of 8 months! The genes are strong, and the instinct is intact, despite our socializing her more
than most people would... That is just one of several stories I could tell about our Karakachan Dog. She is the first LGD
we have owned, so we are learning a lot about this type of dog in general, but have so far been really impressed with the
strength of her instinctive desire to be part of a group of small animals, like sheep or goats. She is happy as a clam to
be with the sheep for long stretches, and she is well-adjusted enough to be allowed to roam the farm freely at times, as well.
She is intelligent, alert, and protective. She is also a healthy and physically beautiful animal, and, like her parents, possessive
of a grace and athleticism surprising for her size.
Shy Valley Farm