Once we decided on looking for a LGD, the Pyrenees was the one that first came to mind. However, hours of research later, I've learned that there are many breeds out there from different countries that all have the same ancestor; Great Pyrenees, Maremma, and the Akbash. If you are interested in learning more about LGD, here is a good site; Livestock Guardian Dogs. Then, it wasn't until I came across a breeder to the west of here about 125 miles, that I start reading more about the Maremma's. The Maremma is a little smaller than the Pyrenees, but still near a 100lbs. They also doesn't seem to have the roaming tendencies of the Pyrenees. And will guard all critters that on the farm, including its humans.
So, on Jan 7th 2012, after traveling west towards Devil Lakes ND and returning home, I will announced to the local coyotes, coons, skunks and neighbors dogs that a Maremma is the new sheriff in town. Sure, it will take months of growth and training to get the pup ready, but why wait to start spending the word.
And this is what the Coyote, Coon, Skunk, Dog or burglar is going to meeting if misdeeds are on their minds.
Both images are borrowed from the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America.