Ever since Bravo arrived, I’ve had a sense that he would be happier and more productive with a partner. I suspect that some of his less-savory behavior was motivated by boredom (though some was certainly the inherent idiocy of a young male Maremma); he was previously paired with an older female Maremma at Dancing Ewe Farm. Experts also argue that a bonded male-female pair provide the best protection — convincing predators (coyotes, mostly, around here) that the farm is already the home territory of a pair of canids and should thus be avoided.
I’d put the word out widely that I was looking for a second guardian dog, and after several false leads, I brought home Bravo’s new girlfriend* today.
Cleo is a 6-year-old Great Pyrénées who had been guarding goats at Willow Moon Farm in Vermont; the dairy is shutting down, so Cleo needed a new place to work. Since she had a long history as a successful livestock guardian, I was confident that Cleo would fit in here, but I was concerned about how the introduction to Bravo, the sheep, and the border collies would go. So far, she and Bravo seem to be delighted with one another, the sheep are relaxed around the two of them, and there were no sparks with the BCs.
*Cleo is spayed, so girlfriend is accurate only in its most reductive sense.