Dogs are often seen as the most important part of the farm. They help to keep the peace by warding off predators, they help to keep the livestock in line, and they make a great companion for the family. Here are some things to keep in mind before selecting a homestead dog.
1: What is the best dog for country living?
We can make some broad generalizations about this or that breed, but keep in mind that each dog is unique. Ask yourself, “What do I want my homestead dog to do on the farm?”
Most people want livestock guarding dogs for their farm and sometimes for their family as well.
Here are the 7 best homestead dog breeds:
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Great Dane
- German or Australian Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
When deciding which breed of puppy to keep on your farm, it’s critical to think about your particular dog’s needs first.
Do you want your dog to herd livestock such as cattle, sheep, or goats? Do you wish to go rabbit-hunting with a high-energy companion? Do you want a sleepy old farm dog to sit on the back porch with you as you drink coffee? Maybe you want a dog to defend you or your animals.
Maybe you want a dog who can perform all of these activities, or at least some of them! In any case, you’ll want to devote some time to finding the best solution.
2: How can you keep your dog on the farm?
Homestead dogs are generally larger and more active canines. This normally means they’ll need at least an acre to patrol and work on. To keep healthy and happy, farm dogs require lots of space and movement.
If you want a dog to assist herd animals, a herding breed like those mentioned above. However, as a pet, these breeds might be a nuisance because they require a job to keep them occupied every day. They are high-energy dogs who like working, whether it is herding, guarding, or training. Herding dogs are not apartment or city dogs; they become bored rapidly and resort to destructive behavior like ripping up bedding and gnawing. They’re merely trying to get your attention.
There are a few different methods for training your dog to stay on the farm. The most common is positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog whenever he or she obeys commands and stays put. For example, if you want your dog to stay near the livestock, give him a treat when he’s close. This method is effective but can be time consuming.
Remember: A properly trained homesteader dog will help keep your farm in order and protect your valuable livestock.
3: What are some common problems with dogs on farms?
While a proper diet can assist your homestead dog on a daily basis, you must always guarantee that your dog receives quality medical and first-aid treatment. Keep in mind that you’re training your dog for defense and farm work, both of which require a high level of danger.
Your homestead dog can and will almost certainly experience a variety of ailments, and an untreated wound or injury can quickly become life-threatening. Check to see whether you have access to on-site 24-hour veterinarian care or if you know where the nearest pet hospital is.
4: Do livestock dogs live outside?
Dog breeds that can be left alone for up to 8 hours while you’re at work are usually calm, house-trained dogs who can keep themselves entertained while you’re gone. This kind of dog is eager to learn and does not rely on their owner to keep them company throughout the day.
Labrador and Golden Retrievers are examples of homesteader breeds that can be left alone for lengthy periods of time. Naturally, when we talk about long-term periods, we mean up to 8 hours a day and not more. Most large dogs, however, need to be left outdoors with lots of space.
Of course, each dog has its unique personality, and the breed of the dog may not reflect the individual personality of your dog.
Dogs are an important part of any farm, and by following these tips, you can ensure that you choose the right breed to suite your needs and personality.