Syncope Falls Farm
Breeders of Fainting Goats &
Karakachan Livestock Guardian Dogs
As you can probably guess, any animal that faints when it is scared needs protection when grazing. Also, since two of our herd hands are very young, we needed dogs that were good with children.
From our discussions with many goat owners across the U.S., the most successful stories were from those who were using Karakachans. We were fortunate to be able to purchase a female, Sasha, in 2006, and realized she was worth her weight in gold. She loved the goats and did an excellent job of keeping them safe. But there are not many of these dogs in the U.S.
In order to expand the bloodline, we went to Bulgaria, twice in 2007, to bring back Pirin and Duda. We were very fortunate to be able to work with the Sedefchevs at BBPS Semperviva - the source for pure breed Karakachans in Bulgaria. In 2008, we again worked with BBPS to acquire a male pup, Rado, that is of completely different lineage than the other Karakachans currently found in the U.S. Most recently, we traveled back May 2010 to pick up two females to improve the blood lines in our breeding program.
For additional photos of our dogs' lineage along with more information on the breed, please click here
Pirin (at three years)
Sider Sedefchev at his farm in Valhi in 2008, sporting his Syncope Falls hat!
Farm at Valhi, Bulgaria
To see a video of Rado's father in Bulgaria, click this link:
This dog, Medun, is our Duda's great grandfather.
New Year greetings sent to us from SemperViva in Bulgaria
Rado with Red Bonnie Boop and her kids, April 2009. Rado always performs very well with his babysitting duties.
Our Breeding Standards
We breed for working abilities, temperament, health and preservation of the Karakachan dogs. We follow the breeding practices and examples that have been established by the Sedefchevs. It has been our experience that the dogs are excellent with children and very protective of our herd hands. We've heard the same reports from people that bought our puppies.
Raising True Karakachan Livestock Guardian Dogs
We believe the Karakachan LGDs are happiest when they are used for their true purpose, guarding livestock. From the day the puppies are born, we have them and their mother in the pasture with select goats. In this way, they have constant interaction with the animals that they will be protecting. For this reason, we only sell to working farms. We also name the puppies in the Bulgarian tradition of observing their dominant personality traits or charateristics and naming accordingly. Since 2010, we are the first American member to have our farm listed with the International Karakachan Dog Association (IKDA) located in Bulgaria. We have our puppies registered through IKDA.
Rado, 2yrs, November 2009.
Pirin (at two years)
Volo guarding hair sheep. He also guards some fainters and at the moment he is watching over bucklings.
Usually, we use Pirin to guard the bucks and bucklings. In 2010, we decided to try him with the does as they kidded. As usual, Pirin amazed us with how good he is with the goats. Here you can see that he took us to find Timber's new kids as well as helping with the clean up process. He is also a very attentive babysitter and seems to completely enjoyed his new duties.
Timber cleaning Dixie Land Delight and Pirin cleaning Fighting Gravity
Pirin takes us to where Timber has hidden her kids
Backwoods Barbie trying to play with Pirin. The kids also enjoyed jumping on and off of Pirin's back.
Pirin keeping a close eye on Dixie Land Delight
It is now normal to find the kids curling up with Pirin to take a nap.
Working with Sider Sedefchev of BBPS Semperviva in Vlahi, Bulgaria, we bought these two new female puppies to the US on May 11, 2010
Duda at 1.5 years old
Duda with Storm's new twins - 2009
Gizda, pictured at 10 months old, in her own pasture with her own herd of goats, doing an excellent job.
Kandjl, pictured at 1 year old, on the alert, guarding her goats.
As with our goats, we enjoy seeing the difference attributes within the pure Karakachan dogs. For example, Karakachans can either have long tails or short tails, with the short tail being a recessive trait. This is said to be a highly valued trait by Bulgarian Shepherds, especially in areas of intense predators, as the lack of a tail is one less vulnerability for the predator to attack/bite/grab ahold of.
Both of these females are short tailed and come from exceptional working parents. We added them to our breeding program in 2011.
Meeting with the IKDA President and President of the Bulgarian KDA at the Third National Exhibition Karakachan Dog Show in 2010. Click here to see more of our trip.
Our Male Karakachans
Pirin - Pirin, named for the Pirin Mountains, was the first pup we brought back from Bulgaria. He was born and raised at Vlahi. He is an excellent guardian dog and a valued member of the farm.
Rado - Rado, whose name means joy, is the second male pup brought from Bulgaria. He is not from the Semperviva breeding program as we were looking to expand our blood lines and Semperviva found him for us. He is a wonderfully natured, intelligent dog. Rado has the speed and he can catch anything that crosses his fields.
Volo - Volo, who is named for the God of Horned Animals from Bulgarian myth, is our first pup from our very first litter. He was the pick of the Herdmaster.
Our Female Karakachans
Duda - Duda, whose name means happy, is the first female pup brought from Bulgaria. She is from the Semperviva breeding program. Each of our dogs has their own distinct personality, but she is our most independent and strong willed dog. She is wonderful with the goats and especially loves the kids.
Gizda - Gizda, whose name means "pretty like a ribbon", is from the Semperviva breeding program in Valhi. She has a thinner, more wolf like shaped confirmation. She is also incrediably fast. If you think of a ribbon whipping in the wind, that is Gizda running through the fields. She is a very protective guardian and has shown excellent qualities as a mother.
Kandjal - Kandjal, whose name means "claw", is from the Semperviva breeding program in Valhi. She is of a heavier confirmation. She notices everything and is the first to sound off at any possible disturbance. She is an excellent guardian and has shown excellent qualities as a mother.