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our farm dogs

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our farm dogs

Post  hettick1 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:19 am

We have three dogs and only one would I consider 100% a farm dog. He’s an English Shepherd (a collie based American breed). I picked his breed because they are supposed to be good all around farm dogs and work well for smaller farms. I wanted a herder, but not one who was always on the go like a border collie. ES are supposed to herd, protect and hunt, and Rocket likes to herd and hunt but I haven’t seen him protect yet as he likes most people and we haven’t had serious predator problems. Some ES are good at caring for small animals and Rocket does seem affectionate towards baby lambs, but I don’t trust him around baby poultry.

He’ll be two this month and is still learning. He gets too enthusiastic with the sheep sometimes but is good at moving stubborn ewes back in their pen when they get out. Luckily, he listens to me pretty well when I call him off things too. This morning he made me mad when he went chasing rabbits instead of following me on chores. When he got back, I made him stay close and left him in the barn while I gave the sheep their hay.

Our basenji, Jet, thinks she’s a farm dog and sometimes gets to go on chores and loves a good run in the pasture, looking for rabbits. She is Rocket’s best buddy and playmate, but is our house dog and primarily my husband’s special pet and occasional show dog. This winter she has taken over the care of our bottle lamb, cleaning and sleeping with her. I think it has helped the lamb to have a warm body nearby, but the lamb ended up with joint ill, probably from Jet licking the umbilical cord.

Our third dog is sort of a failed farm dog who we adopted from the humane society for my daughter to train in 4H originally. He’s a mix of collie, lab and weimeraner, but he’s afraid of sheep and larger livestock, isn’t a very good watch dog – although he likes to bark at cats, has a history of killing poultry and is grumpy towards the other dogs in general. We’d like to find him a better home where he’s the only dog and without livestock. He is a good hunter though and kills rats, voles and groundhogs happily. Sky is a pretty dog with grayish brown merle markings , medium coat like a lab and yellowish eyes like a wiemeraner and has been through basic obedience training and even some agility training, but he needs a strong leader. His DNA test said he had some Parson’s Russell terrier in him too, but we don’t see it – other than maybe his love of killing small animals.

Heather
Creston, OH

hettick1

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