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Grazing-Based Viticulture

Guardian Dogs

Guardian dog watching over goatsAntiquum Farm’s pack of Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) are the glue holding Grazing-Based Viticulture together. This system cannot (and did not) work without these faithful and hard-working canines. Words fall short in expressing the value of our dogs' contributions to the farm and our appreciation and love for them. Over the years, they have offered the most rewarding working partnership on this farm. Day and night, these vigilant sentinels ward off everything from hawks and eagles to black bear and mountain lions.

Typically, LGDs bond with a single species of livestock, and not all dogs prove to be suited for the work. We've enjoyed the extremely rare blessing of four dogs who have excelled at being multi-species guardians, in addition to being exceptionally sweet and welcoming to our human guests. The territorial and protective nature of most guardian dogs can be an outright liability with the public. Yet, our dogs have become farm ambassadors who love accompanying our guests on vineyard tours.

In the summer of 2020, we made the decision to propagate these exceptional genetics by breeding two of our Maremmas, Opal and Dewey. Opal gave us twelve beautiful pups just before the 2020 harvest. Properly prepared LGD puppies are hard to come by, and we take great pride in the start these dogs received. We've sent bonded and imprinted Maremma puppies to farms and ranches from southern California to eastern Washington, with inquiries coming in from as far away as Alabama and Maine as the word of Opal and Dewey’s talent spread. Four of our litter – Gus, Pink, André, and Churro – will remain at Antiquum Farm as the next generation of protectors for our animals. They represent the future and are sure to bring big changes as they mature. We will continue to build our genetic line with the goal of offering true working dogs with all of the exceptional traits we see in Dewey and Opal.

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