Photobucket

Author Topic: Best dog breeds for farm  (Read 18271 times)

Offline ekcrawford

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Best dog breeds for farm
« on: May 23, 2011, 05:14:31 PM »
I'm inquiring about good dog breeds for small farm.  We about 4 acres, mostly unfenced.  We have chickens, and both neighbors have goats, along with horses.  We have 5 kids, so looking for dog that good with kids, but can be trained to protect chickens and other animals we might get into in future years.  Any suggestions?  Obviously training will be required on our part, but some dogs just aren't good for this kind of environment.  Also, it will be an outside dog year round as a few of those in the family are allergic to dogs.

Offline ekcrawford

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 05:16:10 PM »
BTW, got the idea from the video recommended on the show "Backyard food production" -- btw, GREAT video!

Offline Bubafat

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 386
  • Karma: 24
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 08:31:07 PM »
Vallhund!  Not a well known breed, but all the attributes of a good farm dog.

Inflatable Goat in 2014!

Offline ekcrawford

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011, 08:43:28 PM »
Why do you recommend a Vallhund? 

Offline Bubafat

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 386
  • Karma: 24
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 08:49:33 PM »
Strong herding instinct, can withstand cold weather (since you're keeping it outside), great family dog, easily trained and are fearless. 
Inflatable Goat in 2014!

Offline Malamute

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 253
  • Karma: 18
  • Lester Burnham goes Survivalist
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2011, 10:53:35 PM »
How about an American Bulldog?  Acquire it young and train it, they are loyal, alert, and have zero tolerance for livestock predators.
There's no such thing as life without bloodshed. I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous.
--Cormac McCarthy

Offline nikkisnusrey

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 01:23:52 AM »
We have two English Masiffs on our mini-farm.  They are very lazy so you do not have to worry about fencing your yard.  They never run off.  That is 1 of the things the breed is known for. 
 They are awesome with kids, like gentle giants.  I have 3 small kids And they are great with them.
 They are also huge, so they intimidate trespassing people. Even though they are not vicious at all. They are also great for guarding animals.  Last weekend I found mine fighting a raccoon in front of the chicken coop. 

Hope this helps in your search for the perfect dog for you.

Offline fritz_monroe

  • The Defenestrator
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7000
  • Karma: 117
    • The Homestead Fritz
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 06:07:43 AM »
I can't really offer any first hand recommendations since we have small dogs that I'm going to need to really work with once we get chickens.  But check out the Livestock Guardian Dogs web page for a bunch of good info.
F_M
Check out my blogs at The Homestead Fritz and Camping With Fritz

Offline gundog

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 311
  • Karma: 15
  • It's the dog....not the gun.
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 06:58:33 AM »
Rat Terrier.

Here is our Maxi.......great for keeping the varmints away. Rats, mice, squirrels etc.  Not a protection dog but I think he is a nice piece of the package. He is the most alert dog on the property......he misses nothing and they are lightning fast.....he has caught gray squirrels on the run. (yeah his percentage is bad.....LOL but ever catching one is pretty cool)


Here he has grabbed a training bumper while I was working one of the labs.....LOL He retrieves too.
Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.
Lao Tzu

Offline OkieBoy

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 74
  • Karma: 9
    • J. Luker Acupuncture
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 09:07:04 AM »
I'm looking into getting an old time Scottish collie. They were, at one time, common to most farms in the US and possess all the qualities needed: herding instinct, livestock protection, guarding, and not to mention, they are smarter than a lot of people I know  :D

Offline eph2

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
  • Karma: 12
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 02:57:55 PM »
I'm looking into getting an old time Scottish collie. They were, at one time, common to most farms in the US and possess all the qualities needed: herding instinct, livestock protection, guarding, and not to mention, they are smarter than a lot of people I know  :D

There's a breeder near OKC.  They're awesome dogs and pretty rare.  I'd like to become a breeder one day.

Offline Roundabouts

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1382
  • Karma: 66
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 04:19:54 PM »
There are several dogs that would be good on a farm research research research.  The biggest concern is that you say the dog has to live outside due to family members with allergies.  You really need to evaluate the situation very seriously.  Dogs are pack animals by their nature need some type of companionship another dog people possibly live stock works for limited breeds.  If the family is allergic how allergic?  Are you talking life threatening asthma or just a little snotty nose with a few sneezes?  If it's serious then I say no way get a dog.  Someone has to feed groom handle medicate love on that dog and the silva hair and dander gets on you and in the clothes brought into the house and so on. 

Leaving the dog on a chain and just throwing food at it not an option.  Not saying that's what you are planning don't get me wrong but I have seen that done time and time again.  That is wrong no matter how you slice it.    There may be other ways for protection and security just as effective but don't run the risk of making a family member sick. 

Also how is the allergies activated?  I can be allergic to cats My eyes swell up and it gets hard to breath.  But I can be fine if the cat has a bath on a regular basis and I don't smooch them all up in my face. I have 3 house dogs and have allergies.  I keep them groomed and vacuum every day.  If I don't vacuum my feet itch and burn so  so badly.  It was worse with Great Dane hair.  When they go outside and play in the grass bring in pollen I can have breathing problems.  I don't care they still sleep with me they are a part of my family and when they hear the slightest noise or the alpacas squeal they are out the door in a flash.   


Working dogs love to do their job as I have found with all the dogs I have helped to rehabilitate " problem dogs"  giving them a job even if that is catching a ball is so good for them.  So working as a protector can be a good thing.  If you don't have a fence to contain your dog you need to get one.  It is the owners responsibility to control and protect their dogs at all times.  Without a fence a dog may bolt and do something it isn't suppose to. I have had dogs that never hardly left the front porch and out of the blue after 10+ years that old gal decided that it would be fun to go chase the neighbors chickens.  Maybe that rooster just crowed one to many times. I don't know.  I kinda think that she thought something was going after the chickens.  Any case it was a problem with the neighbor.  Now we have all our yard fenced.  To bad the neighbors don't I am constantly having get after their dog he loves running our fence line to bark at our alpacas and play chase me with my dogs.  Any way you get my point.  In a lot of places it is the law that you maintain control over your animals at all times.  Also protecting the dog from bear coyotes mt.lions may be needed.

Some dogs that can handle the cold don't handle heat well at all.  And those that can handle the heat can't handle being wet & cold.  Malamutes Huskies can handle the cold not the heat and love to run.  i have also know people that got Great Danes (The Gentle Giants) to protect their place thinking bigger was better.  How bad that was Danes are inside dogs all the way.  They don't survive outside.  if your plan is to get just one dog make sure you search out their needs some dogs like Beagles and Labs are more pac orientated than other dogs.  One last note just because the general rules say this is how a dog is to be does not guarantee it.

Now a plea from the bottom of my heart.  If and when after your exhaustive search for the best match PLEASE PLEASE do not go and buy a dog from a back yard breeder.  Try a rescue search for the breed of your choice first they are nation wide for all types of dogs pure breeds and mixes.  Maybe a local pound.  Then from a high end breeder.  These puppy mills need to be put out of business.  Never buy a dog from a pet store adoption yes purchase no.  Best of luck  Oh Have you thought of guard Lama or Goose? 

My Milo  and Rudy are asking for lunch and that reminded me shock collars and those underground boundary fences don't do it.  Why because if a dog does bolt for some reason gets shocked it may not be able to get back into the yard. Gets shocked again trying to return home and takes off scared.  That's how I ended up with Milo and Rudy. Plus a dog that is smart enough will figure out that when that collar isn't on it wont work and now you have a bigger problem.  Besides that you don't train out of pain you lead your pack and they follow.  Dogs always want to please.  just my 4 Cents

 
There is no $50 job that I can't do without a $100 worth of new tools.

Offline willille

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Karma: 0
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 05:00:22 PM »
For a farm dog I would say that a mutt from the local pound would do.

Offline Cacinok

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 396
  • Karma: 6
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2011, 11:35:04 AM »
Since you have chickens and your neighbors have goats, you have to be careful w/ your choice of dog.  Even dogs that are naturally docile can and will kill birds unless a lot of training takes place.  Our Pyrenees have killed a few birds, but I think it was more out of playfulness than anything else.  Any type of bird/hunting dog will be a poor choice.  You'll be fighting their natural instinct when you try to train out the aggression to birds and goats.  It can be done, but it's a lot of day to day work for a long time.  Also, scent dogs wander, they catch a scent and are gone. 

As others have mentioned, focus on a herding dog, e.g, collie, heeler, etc.  These dogs will tend to be focused more on the herd. 

We have two heelers, two mutts and two Great Pyrenees.  All, but one of our dogs has killed a chicken.  The Pyrenees are true herd protection animals, in that they become part of the herd and would prefer to be w/ the herd.  Whereas the herding dogs love to be w/ and work the herd, but ultimately, they'd rather be around humans.  So when you look for dogs, seriously look for breeds that don't depend on human interaction, this also means that you probably want two dogs versus just one. 

Also, as a point of clarification and contrary to what Jack has mentioned on podcasts, Pyrenees will kill birds and they wander, big time.  Our 150 lbs male climbs our 4' fences and has been seen miles from home.  Our 130 lbs female stays w/i .5 mile, but she wanders too.  I've spoke w/ Pyrenees breeders and they've confirmed both of these statements.

Lastly, make sure you have good field wire fences.  Inevitably livestock (e.g., your fowl or your neighbor's goats) will get out.  You want to prevent the neighbor's goats from getting on to your property as much as you want to prevent your dog from getting on to theirs.  Since you don't have goats, whatever dog you get, might get aggressive w/ the neighbor's goats.  It may not bite them, but goats are stupid, especially when spooked, they'll hang themselves on barbed wire, run into obvious holes, etc.  Point is your dog might run them to death.

Offline spartan

  • Ass Hat Hitman
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 1165
  • Karma: 54
  • Battle Hippie
    • The Permaculture Podcast
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2011, 02:42:36 PM »
My favorite breed is the Australian Cattle Dog.  Medium sized, compact, well muscled, with a good herding instinct.  One problem that I've had reported from several owners is that they can take some time to become good, useful, well behaved working companions.  Until then they are holy terrors: loud mouthed, chase things, a bit destructive.  After you've paid that price they are wonderful.

Yeah, I know, that doesn't really sell the breed that well, but I really like them.
The Permaculture Podcast

Permaculture Design Certificate
Advanced Permaculture Course in Teaching Certificate
Graduate Student in Parks and Resource Management and Environmental Education

Offline Cacinok

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 396
  • Karma: 6
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2011, 02:18:26 PM »
My favorite breed is the Australian Cattle Dog.  Medium sized, compact, well muscled, with a good herding instinct.  One problem that I've had reported from several owners is that they can take some time to become good, useful, well behaved working companions.  Until then they are holy terrors: loud mouthed, chase things, a bit destructive.  After you've paid that price they are wonderful.

Yeah, I know, that doesn't really sell the breed that well, but I really like them.

We have a red heeler and blue heeler (aka Australian Cattle dogs).  Our red is, perhaps, the smartest dog I've ever seen.  He is phenomenal with both voice commands and hand gestures.  If any of my kids were walking the pasture or the woods, he's the one I would want to be w/ them.  When he was younger, he'd ride on my tractor as I did work around the property.  He struggles to jump up on it now, but I'll pick him up and put him on it. 

Heelers are extremely devoted and won't stop working until you tell them.  No matter how many miles you've gone or what you've done.  Extremely muscular and great jumpers.  I've seen them easily jumped into the back of a full size p/u - over the bed rail and jump onto the back of a cow and nip it to get it moving. 

Now the caveat, as Spartan said, they are a lot of work, especially when young.  Because they are bread to heard animals 20-40 times their size, they are strong, fast and strong willed.  It took three years of daily work to get our red heeler to the point where we didn't have to worry about what he was doing.  We had a ton of chew toys for him b/c he was so high energy.  When we lived in town, we were walking him a couple miles a day (sometimes twice) and he still had a ton of energy.  We've had friends w/ heelers and the names they choose for their dogs were appropriate, one was chaos and the other was bedlam.  We named ours Podnuh.

Heelers are also one person dogs and they need attention.  They are fine w/ a family, but will always look to one person for instruction.  Our red bonded to my wife (I was in law school when he was a pup, so I wasn't around much) and he'll always defer to her when we're both in the room.  If she's gone, he'll do what I say, but if she's in the room and I give him a command, he'll literally look to her as if to say "do I really have to listen to him".  It's funny and annoying at the same time. 

Our red heeler is tolerant of kids - he'll give a low growl when the kids are doing something he doesn't like, he doesn't bear any teeth, but you know he's not happy.  Our blue heeler is less trained and less tolerant. 

I would definitely get another heeler, but only if I had plenty of time for training.  A more forgiving option is the Australian Shepherd. 

Offline goathollerguy

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2011, 08:57:51 PM »
I've had blue heeler and was a really good dog but shelties would be my favorite farm dog. Smart, loyal, you'll never have a visitor without knowing it and they are GREAT herders. Best farm dog I've ever known my dairy/hog farming Grandfather had a sheltie/german shepherd mix, thaught about doing that on purpose.

Offline hoping4better

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2011, 04:39:28 PM »
Given the fact that you have chickens I would be very cautious of many of these breeds. The pic of the dog with the bird-dog training device made me shiver for your birds.

There are many breeds, but it depends on your needs and environment. Will they be guarding the chickens, or fenced off from them? Will they be expected to be friendly or aloof? Will they stay outside or inside? Will you be getting any other livestock? If so, do you want a herding instinct or not? DO you want them to help you hunt or not? Will you want them to keep small varmints (rats) away or do you have cats for that?

There's a plethora of questions to consider beside what I've listed. All of these considerations as well as the personality of your family and your aesthetic desires will determine the correct breed for you.

Sorry to just leave you with more questions, but when looking for an "ideal" breed there are a lot of questions to answer.

If it is going to guard the chickens I would be very cautious of any dog that has a strong predator prey instinct. I've lost a third of my small flock (from 19 to 13) due to some stray dogs that look to be pit mixes and a lab. So, even dogs you wouldn't think of having that instinct could be a threat to your investment/pets. That said my wife's aunt has 2 labs and a german shepherd mix that have been trained not to eat the chickens anymore (they lost a few early on) - now they're great guard dogs and rarely are a problem for the chickens, though they do love eggs if they find em.

Offline FromScratchWoman

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 529
  • Karma: 17
  • "Never buy nothin from a man named true"
    • Cold Creek Homestead
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2011, 09:10:20 AM »
I am inclined to agree that your choice must be made very carefully,while rescuing shelter dogs is commendable I personally wouldn't recommend it for your situation..anything with a herding instinct is not wise with hens..also your looking for something that will be content on its own a majority of the time..I can from experience say I would go with the ancient breed of the Great Pyrenees,they are loyal to the charges given and if trained properly they will not stray from there flock be it sheep or hens or children, I personally have been a registered AKC breeder for five years and the breed is fantastic around my young children 7&4 and is very intelligent and will for a fact fight to the death to protect its charges,I also have unfortunately experienced this as well..
"We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.

We are monkeys with money and guns."
-Tom Waits

www.ColdCreekHomestead.com
Living deep Off Grid in the NE Oregon Blue Mountain range

Offline kimrpeterson

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Karma: 2
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2011, 03:37:55 PM »
I have a Great Pyr/Anatolian Shepherd cross.  These dogs are the absolute best livestock guardians.  Mine are with the goats and chickens from birth.  Since we have problems with wolves and other wild animals, these dogs are perfect!  The Anatolian Shepherd is a bit more protective than the Great Pyrenees, so we felt it was a good cross. I would suggest you reasearch the Turkish breeds.  My personal choice to work with goats, sheep, and chickens, would be either the Anatolian, Akbash, Maremma, or Great Pyrenees.

Offline peytonriver

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Karma: 0
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2011, 10:05:11 PM »
I went looking for a new farm dog a little over a year ago. I do not have the time to go in to everything that I was looking for but I think I found the breed I was looking for. An English shepherd is want we got and we are very happy with him. I think any one that is thinking about getting a farm dog they should look in to this breed. Here is a good link.

http://www.englishshepherd.org/

"Do Your Best and Be Prepared" BSA

Offline caverdude

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 782
  • Karma: 16
  • larrydgray.net
    • blog dot Larry D Gray dot net
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2011, 05:39:05 PM »
We had a Weimeramer growing up. A female. I loved that dog. Those are grey short haired German Bird Dogs. Ours was super loving with us kids and mother, she hated men. Men had beat her to train her as a watch dog.  She hunted mice and snakes.  And she would tear stuff up to get to a mouse.

I have been looking into dogs some and if you have sheep/goats you need Great Pyrenese (a white long haired dog). Collies are great and very intelligent, they must be worked with and handled though.  Dogs are tempted to kill yard birds though on ocassion. I also knew a Keeshond dog which is kind to a palmeranian but larger dogs. What a sweet and wonderful dog. The one I knew was a female, great personality and smart. She would walk in front of the motion light to turn it on so that she could see what might be making noise just across the street. I've wanted one ever since I knew that one. They are hairy though, they get hot in the summer and shed a lot. They were bread to guard Dutch Cannal Boats.
http://blog.larrydgray.net My Blog, survival, off-grid, self-sufficiency, energy-efficiency, homesteading, owner buidling
http://larrydgray.net  Off-Grid, Outdoors and other stuff.
http://arksoft.org Java Programming
http://off-grid.net  A good off grid living web site and forum.

Offline heliotropicmoth

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 402
  • Karma: 14
  • "Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly" -TJ
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2012, 01:08:33 PM »
My fiance and I are thinking about getting a couple Akbash LGD's for our homestead. I have about a 1/2 acre fenced in. Is that enough room for them? If not are there other smaller LGD breeds I haven't heard of? How tall does a fence have to be to keep them in? Thanks for any help.

Patrick

Offline Cacinok

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 396
  • Karma: 6
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2012, 08:39:30 PM »
My fiance and I are thinking about getting a couple Akbash LGD's for our homestead. I have about a 1/2 acre fenced in. Is that enough room for them? If not are there other smaller LGD breeds I haven't heard of? How tall does a fence have to be to keep them in? Thanks for any help.

Patrick
Honestly 1/2 an acre is not enough.  Pyrenees have a wander lust and like to move and want space.  Anatolians, from what I understand, don't tend to wander as much.  For 1/2 an acre, a heeler or collie would be fine.  They won't attack predators like a Pryenees or Anatolian, but they will generally scare them off.  That being said, our heeler, who's 11 and normally stays in the house, saw a coyote that had entered our pasture and took off after him.  I'd never seen him move that fast, coyote barely made it out the hole under our fence.  I yelled at the heeler and he stop at the hole and came back.

The height of the fence is not as important as fence training, using electric fencing when they are young.  You train the dogs young to respect fences and they will not want to go near them. 

Offline heliotropicmoth

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 402
  • Karma: 14
  • "Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly" -TJ
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2012, 08:13:25 AM »
Thanks for the info. Whats a heeler? Do you know if husky's make good livestock dogs? I have always wanted a couple husky's. My short fence is metal can I just charge it with a battery or would you suggest getting or borrowing some actual electric fencing to train with?

Offline FrohickySmolder

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2012, 01:04:13 PM »
My husky acts willing to kill just about any mammal. He is especially intrigued by horses (and they are especially spooked by him as he looks like a wolf), and tends to completely ignore song birds. I have seen him leave frogs alone and the only thing he has actually killed is several mice within the house. I would bet a malamute is a better choice, and i think my dog must have some malamute in him. Malamutes are known as being better around kids, tho they still might not tolerate livestock

Which brings me to my question. I have mice problems. I am also looking into chickens and maybe down the road some other animals. A rat terrier seems like the best to begin with. I have several acres fenced, but am not sure any dog is truly restrained by a fence that isn't buried. Plus they are somewhat small and he might find a way to fit through.

Any larger dogs that are good mousers? I dont want cats because im very happy with my frog population and don't want them to decimate song birds either. How can I cut down risk of an escaping animal, while solving the mouse problem. So far i just trap them, usually in kill traps but I would rather have a natural method to be rid of mice. a rat terrier seems like the best option as it could keep chipmunks and squirrels wary around my food as well. Will a rat terrier attack frogs? Will they go after birds? and particularly chickens? Would a pyrennes go after the terrier around the birds if that was the pyrennes job? would simply fencing the birds and/or having a pyrennes help solve the problem i might have in the future if i got a rat terrier now? are there any species of cat that is disinterested in frogs? how would you go about solving this problem? or is it even a problem, there are  a lot of frogs.is it simply a matter of training? largest mousing dog? etc... thanks for help

Offline cheryl1

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2256
  • Karma: 71
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2012, 02:02:55 PM »
Huskies and livestock usually don't mix. Not saying it can't work out well on occasion, but it's more likely that your husky will chase and devour whatever runs away from him.
I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

Online nelson96

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6871
  • Karma: 153
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2012, 02:21:11 PM »
Which brings me to my question. I have mice problems.

Whats a heeler?

In my experience, any terrier is usally a good mouser.
A Heeler is an Australian Cow Dog.


We own what we call a "Jackie Blue", which is half Blue Heeler and half Jack Russel Terrier.  He looks a lot like a typical Jack Russell but bigger, and acts a lot like a Blue Heeler. . . .  I don't know if we just got lucky with this mix, but we have found him to be highly intellegent and trainable.  We wanted a medium sized dog that could live in the house but be well suited for our farm and help with the livestock.  He is VERY protective of the kids and works well around the other animals (cattle, horses, chickens, rabbits, cats).
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 02:36:38 PM by nelson96 »
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline macmex

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2012, 12:49:26 PM »
Having read up to this point, I I'll have to throw in my 2 cents for that Scottish Collie. You need something which won't wander. On some homesteading and goat raising forums I've heard great things about the English Shepherd. You might also check that one out.

We have an Anatolian Shepherd and a  Great Pyrenees, which I sometimes call our “big barbarians.” We have 10 acres and are surrounded by ranching neighbors. We absolutely love these dogs. Our neighbors are all ranchers, and they all equate "big white dog” with “protects livestock.” So they are fine with our dogs' forays onto their land. Once, after we finished boarding some friends' horses, our Pyrenees disappeared for half a day. I went looking, and found him standing guard over some of the neighbor's cattle.

Both of our livestock guardian dogs killed some chickens when they were young. This seemed mainly on account of playfulness. I caught the Pyrenees when he bounced on a chicken, and reprimanded him. He never did it again. A few months latter, I found him laying down with a couple of newborn chicks climbing on him. He wouldn't move, for fear of harming them. Both dogs have been great with goats and sheep. Interestingly, our sheep seem to instinctively know a livestock guardian dog when they meet it. Our goats do not.

The Anatolian was more challenging as a pup, being much more strong willed. He killed a number of birds. He would eat them, I believe, to clean up the evidence. I kept correcting him and one day, about the time he left puppyhood behind, he simply stopped killing any of our poultry. About that time he also became exceedingly concerned with my opinion of him. I could probably get the Anatolian to do most anything on the basis of praise. Neither of our large dogs requires any physical correction. They are very sensitive.

It is my impression that the Anatolian is more trainable. But then, the Pyre does what we want him to, without any training at all. The Pyrenees is the more sensitive of the two. Our Pyre is an incurable car chaser, having been clipped at least five times. My son, who is a veterinarian, jokes that he only has two brain cells, and they can't agree. The Anatolian is very car wise. Upon occasion he'll appear to chase a car. But he never gets close to “catching one.”

Both dogs could be called wanderers. But since we neutered the Pyrenees, he seldom goes very far. The unfixed Anatolian, on the other hand, has been away as long as two days.

It has been our custom to pen our dogs during the day. But recently we've started leaving them free all of the time. They don't cause any trouble, and they do guard around the clock. We've had some trouble with winged predators getting chicks and ducklings. The other day I saw two vultures land in our back pasture. Instantly, both dogs sounded the alarm, running toward the pasture fence. The Pyre ran along the fence, barking. But the Anatolian leaped over the fence as if it wasn't even there. He chased the birds away. I went out to see why vultures would land in our field, and found that, the night before, the dogs had killed a raccoon, and left the body in the field.

Our dogs easily kill coyote and coon. Last fall they tangled with a black bear. I don't believe they seriously harmed it. But the Pyrenees had at least a cracked rib or two.

We like the Anatolian because it will guard against trespassers. Our Pyre would not, for a long time. Recently he has begun guarding, even against strange humans.

Our summers are brutally hot. The Anatolian has an advantage here because of his shorter coat. Crosses between the two breeds are exceedingly popular in our region. We always recommend obtaining a pup from someone who has working parents. Papers don't matter.

George
Tahlequah, OK

Offline Blain

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 49
  • Karma: 4
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Best dog breeds for farm
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2012, 04:44:49 AM »
My favorite breed is the Australian Cattle Dog.  Medium sized, compact, well muscled, with a good herding instinct.  One problem that I've had reported from several owners is that they can take some time to become good, useful, well behaved working companions.  Until then they are holy terrors: loud mouthed, chase things, a bit destructive.  After you've paid that price they are wonderful.

Yeah, I know, that doesn't really sell the breed that well, but I really like them.
That was the breed I first thought of.
Getting one young and solid consistant training should help with those independence tendencies.
“Debt is an ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver."