Well, I did make the Wensleydale sheep owner an offer, but she could not give up her dog for any price, and I just feel too squeamish making such a big investment without a guardian dog. And, her price wasn’t consistent with what she originally led me to understand either, so that firmed me up on deciding these weren’t right for me at the moment.
I snooped around on the Web a bit to assess how accessible adult, working LGDs are. Not very! A friend of mine did tell me she purchased one, so they do exist, but I think they are hard to find. There was one listed on craiglist from a woman who was getting out of farming due to health reasons. But, when I emailed her, she said the response for the dog was overwhelming. So as I expected, they are in high demand, low supply. So that’s not going to help me with the Wensleydales.
So, I’m back to considering Katahdins again, there are a few options of them on the market from some good breeders. I like the idea of buying from an active breeder, because I know I can rely on that person for advice and support in the future as I learn the ropes. Though Katahdins are kinda plain looking, they are very practical– good feed converters, no shearing hassles, and they are fairly easy to find, so I shouldn’t have trouble maintaining a breeding program.