Naranjo Hills Brunello (Bruno) is a 16-month-old male Maremma looking for a new home. He is registered with the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America (MSCA) with confirmed pedigree. Bruno worked on a pastured poultry farm with approximately 1500 chickens and ducks from 5-16 months old. The farm used electric poultry netting for rotational grazing and Bruno stayed within the boundaries. Prior owner reported Bruno was amazing with the chickens over the last year- he showed a bit of excitement around the ducks- and thwarted many aerial and land predators. Bruno was a top pick at time of go-home one year ago due to his natural ability with chickens. He just understood them from the beginning and what he should and shouldn’t do. Prior owner reports Bruno got along well with her female Border Collie and her older child.
Bruno was returned to us in May 2023 after the owner could not keep visitors from opening the farm gates, as she did not own the property, and coming into the area Bruno guarded. Bruno is very protective of his poultry, livestock, and family and will confront and in no uncertain terms tell strangers and visitors to leave the area immediately. Prior owner further reported Bruno is not safe around cats. (Of note, Bruno lived with and was fine with barn cats up until he was placed in his home at 5 months old, so this is something that may be able to be worked through in a new home with appropriate supervision). Since Bruno is so protective of his charges, we will only consider a home that has livestock guardian dog experience and has larger or more secluded acreage where visitors won’t show up unannounced and walk the property. Bruno is not suitable for agritourism properties or those who do farm tours. Bruno owns the ground he walks on and does not want strangers in his space. Since Bruno has bonded so strongly to his current family (young couple and their daughter), any new owners will need to proceed slowly with Bruno and gain his trust over time rather than push him into interactions. Bruno is not suitable for a novice dog owner. He is a true protector and takes his job seriously. He would be perfect as a deterrent for farms dealing with rustling and/or property theft.
We are asking for $1500 to cover the cost of his veterinary fees as Bruno came to us in need of his annual vaccines, treatment for an infection secondary to flea bites, heart worm and flea preventative, and premium dog food to improve his coat condition. He further will be neutered.
Update: Bruno has been back on our farm for one month now. He remains an impeccable livestock guardian. He went right to work protecting our pasture raised chickens, goats, potbellied pigs, and mini cows. There have been zero issues with aggression or playfulness with our animals (other than cats). We have been training Bruno around our barn cats and he is making great strides with no chasing after and trying to attack them. The new owner will need to continue this training if they are have cats (we can walk you through the process). He arrived to us with the behavioral issues of jumping up on people, mouthiness, and barking at non-threats. We paired him with our self-assured, calm neutered male Maremma Marco. Bruno has thrived under Marco's guidance and his behavior issues have almost been eliminated. Of course, the new owner will need to continue positive reinforcement to strengthen and maintain his good behavior. We have noticed that Bruno, who is still a teenager, needs a livestock guardian partner to thrive. He intently watches his dog partner and defers to their judgment. As such, we are looking for a home with an experienced/mature female or mild mannered neutered male livestock guardian dog to continue building Bruno's confidence. We tried to pair Bruno with our intact male and neither one was happy with the interaction, likely as Bruno has not yet been neutered. Lastly, we have learned that Bruno will not let anyone other than his owners touch him. He unfortunately has to be sedated for vet visits. With the right vet, trust can be built over time, but Bruno likely will always need to wear a muzzle as a precaution at the vet office.
Bruno taking a water break
Bruno hanging out with his cow friend
Bruno completed PennHIP testing (x-rays) on May 16, 2022 at 16 weeks old. All of our puppies complete PennHIP testing at this age before going to new homes to make sure their hips are sound for an active life guarding poultry and livestock. Both of Bruno's hips were found to be better than the Maremma breed average. There was no evidence of osteoarthritis in either hip. He's a healthy boy!
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