Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Farm Dogs

Seems like every farm has a dog and some dogs are suited better to farm life than others. Things to ask yourself before getting a farm dog is what will the animal be used for? On a farm everything has a purpose. I am partial to Rhodesian Ridgebacks for several reasons. The fact that they were bred to be multipurpose dogs is a great thing for us because we need a dog that has several jobs to do. Some typical breeds that are popular on farms around here are Australian shepherds and Blue heelers. Most of the farms are cattle farms and these dogs make great companions as well as being very helping in herding cows. Goat farms are becoming more popular around here and with the goats comes the ultimate goat/sheep dog the Great Pyrenees. We are seeing quite a number of pyrenees showing up on farms because of the goats. These dogs are voracious guardians of their herd and most live with the herd on a 24 hour basis. Border Collies tend to be popular because of their great herding ability and they love their job. Many farms have small dogs like jack russels instead of cats for mouse control. Actually these little dogs are much better at catching and killing mice than cats are. I think every farm needs a dog or two and the breed or mutt depends on the owner. I have never been real fond of many breeds on a farm, but really it depends on the dog, not the breed. I currently have a pit bull/hound mix that I never would have chosen for the farm. However, we wound up with her and she is a wonderful guard dog and does noteven pay attention to the chickens. The biggest concern with some dogs/breeds is that they have an inner instinct to hunt smaller animals.Then they either kill them by accident or on purpose. When choosing your farm dog, keep in mind what the breed or breeds if they are mixed were bred to do. This will give you an idea of what to expect and what hurdles you may have to jump to establish a good working relationship. I don't know what I would do without my dogs and they are well suited to our farm even if one shouldn't be. They enjoy their job and we feel good having them do their job.

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