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Country Discussion Topics
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What Kind of Dog to Get???
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Karen    Posted 07-30-2001 at 09:55:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi all! We will be moving into our new homestead and want to get a dog. We want a short haired breed that is good with children and livestock and to let you know when someone -- or something-- is around who should be. We aren't interested in showing the dog--just to be a member of the family. Thanks!

fred federico    Posted 09-27-2007 at 18:35:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I want to get a dog that is not very active or needs alot of excercis. Can you recommend some breeds?
Thanks Fred

skearney    Posted 01-08-2004 at 18:20:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
i want a small dog but that would get along with a
whippet and doesn't bark alot like a chiwowa

goatlady    Posted 04-12-2002 at 20:02:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
By the time you get this you will probably have already found you a dog, but heres my two cents worth anyway. I've been a breeder of purebred dogs for 25yrs.& they are great, all different kinds of them, big ones,little ones,fat ones, etc. But even if I didn't raise reg. dogs & I was looking for a really good all around farm/kid dog, I would find a Lab.or Lab.mix puppy,raise it up to suit myself & family.And have it neutered/spayed, it will stay home & not "have" to be killed by neighbors.There are alot of wonderful dogs out there, & in the response letters I've read you got advice about some of the best.Good Luck.

Clint    Posted 08-01-2001 at 11:28:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I would suggest getting a couple of rat terriers they are good rat and snake dogs. We have two terriers and one big mut pup. We have lived in the country for the last 12 years and have never had any trouble with our dogs or the neighbors chasing livestock so I cant suggest tying them up I wouldnt have a dog if I had to keep him tied all the time. The ones that do chaseing probably arent getting any attention at home.

farmer/rancher    Posted 07-31-2001 at 21:26:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
What ever kind of dog you get KEEP IT HOME! I am a farmer & rancher and have shot dogs that were in my livestock, I dont like to do it but usualy have no choice. It seems like most people who decide to move to the country think they need a dog and never tie it up, pretty soon they cause trouble and get shot. I keep my dog tied every night and quite often during the day. I have had my own dogs shot for running and didnt like it any more than having to shoot sombody elses pet. PLEASE KEEP YOUR DOGS HOME.

Jerry    Posted 03-11-2004 at 20:36:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
australian cattle dog reds or blue easy to train
will be very protictive , most will stay in there boundries , you will never find a more loyal pet

Jerry    Posted 03-11-2004 at 20:36:13       [Reply]  [No Email]

Phyllis    Posted 08-01-2001 at 06:22:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree about keeping your dogs in your own yard. Some people out here let theirs run loose too. We worked a long time getting our fences 'escape proof' to keep ours in. The yard's closer to acreage than lot-sized, so they've got plenty of room. Besides our six, we feed five others that roam, and don't appear to have homes. One family even moved off and left an old dog I call Pedro. He's a good dog, and I try to be sure he's got something to eat everyday.

Cowboy Joe    Posted 07-31-2001 at 18:16:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
a Beagle?

Nathan(GA)    Posted 07-31-2001 at 11:35:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Karen, Whatever kind you decide on, don't pay for it. There are way too many homeless dogs around of all breeds. The vets around here put 'em down on a regular basis. I see alot of pups and kittens at the dumpsters. We had an old hound that took up here years ago. He was a good dog and lived a long time.

Ludwig    Posted 07-31-2001 at 14:58:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've always said that a dog's lifespan will tend to be inversely proportional to the cost of the animal.
AKA the more you pay the shorter the life.

Dave 2N    Posted 07-31-2001 at 07:37:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I realize that you are going to get as many answers as there are people.
We've had Austrailan Shepherds for years and find them to be everything you could want in a companion, worker, country dog. They are almost like having a person around.
Yes, mutts are good dogs but don't be too quick to jump on the "pro-mutt/anti-purebred" bandwagon.
I'd check out the Aussies, the Austrailan Cattle Dogs, the Corgis, and even the much maligned and totally misunderstood American Staffordshire Terrier. Our son has one and she is by far the smartest and sweetest dog my wife and I have ever seen in all of the years we have been involved with dogs. My wife, an experienced trainer. trained her in obedience and agility and couldn't get over the intelligence and quickness to learn. And she's just plain sweet! The problem with AmStaffs ain't the dog; more often it's what is on the other end of the leash.

ALICIA F. STEFANINI    Posted 09-27-2002 at 16:45:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hello there~

I am in search of Austrailian Kelpies-barb...
My parents adopted one about three years ago in California and I would like to find a pup. Any ideas on breeders or kennels that would know a kelpie when they saw one, my parents thought they were getting an akita(but we were pleasantly surprised)



Clover Honey    Posted 07-31-2001 at 07:14:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Karen, I got to add my vote to the many for mutts. I've worked with a lot of dogs, and mutts usually had the best tempraments and fewest health problems. Try to get a mutt who's a mix of 2 or more breeds you like the traits of...this seems to give you each breed's good traits, and neutralize any bad breed-specific tendencies. It sounds loco, but that's what I've observed.

Me and Dell think alike when it comes to cow dogs. Any of the herding breeds (mixed, of course) make wonderful farm pets. I have a blue heeler / welsh corgi mix, and she is the best dog I've ever had. Great with my neices pestering her. Heelers have a reputation as biters, but not all are.

I also agree that a rescued dog often gives you more loyalty and love than one that's always had it easy. Don't buy into the theory that there must be something wrong with a dog if someone got rid of him. The pounds and breed rescue shelters are filled with great dogs that were victims of circumstance (people moving, having kids, too busy, too stupid, lazy...oh, sorry, I got off track there!) But do take a hard look and interact with the dog a lot before you take him home - some do have problems. And most pounds WILL let you return a dog within a week or 2 if he doesn't work out.

Unless you have a lot of time and patience, an adult dog is your best bet. Puppies NEED to be trained - even if they are to live outside, you still have to teach them manners. You're never sure how they'll turn out. An adult dog is a known quantity, once you get to know each other.
Good Luck,

Kari`    Posted 11-24-2002 at 07:07:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a mutt and he is part black lab and sheperd mix and he is a good dog, but I also have a purebred chocolate lab and she is very well behaved, I can tell the difference between the two's behavior because the chocolate lab listens alot better than the black lab mix but mixed dogs are very good, they should be bought out of the millions of homeless mixed dogs out there.

Dell (WA)    Posted 07-30-2001 at 20:25:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Karen.........I'm kinda partial to the Australian Shepherd, a smart medium sized farmdog. Australian Cattle Dog aka Queensland Blue Heeler is a shorthair breed. There's a lotta good dogs and dog breeds out there and with the internet and a search program you can be really overwhelmed with breed information.

I'd like to put a plug in for the various purebred dog breed "rescue programs". There are some really dedicated people that rescue "their breed", clean 'em up, evaluate 'em, even retrain 'em. The're mostly adult dogs by now and so you'll get an idea how big there gonna be AND the're housebroke, not like puppies. AND most of 'em are "free" and greatful as #ell too. But don't be surprized if'n they tell you "that dog" is not for you, the're usually right too.

Yeah, you can rescue a mutt outta the pound, but remember the breed rescue people usually have first choice. Its a good deal for everyone........Dell

DHunter    Posted 07-30-2001 at 20:23:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Nobody said anything about the Catahoula Curr. They were originally bred to hunt wild hogs in the Catahoula swamp in Louisiana. They're great cattle dogs and make great pets. Good with kids and good guard dogs. If you haven't heard of them I would recommend that you check them out.

Marianne Barber    Posted 08-24-2004 at 20:51:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Catahoula Curr- I think that they are the best. Beautiful, smart,loyal and protective. You can't get much better than that.

Marianne Barber    Posted 08-24-2004 at 20:51:03       [Reply]  [No Email]

Tinker    Posted 07-30-2001 at 20:21:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have to agree with the majority of the answers that you've already gotten. A mixed breed is probably your best bet, and stay away from the smaller dogs. They may be loyal, but their size is a big disadvantage if they have to protect you or your livestock. Should you be troubled by coyotes or wild dogs, a large dog has a better chance of holding his own, a small dog could easily be lunch for them. Even a raccoon or groundhog can do a lot of damage to a smaller dog. If you choose to live out in the country, you have to be prepared to deal with "varmints", and small dogs just don't cut it. A chihuahua running out in the yard could suddenly find itself being carried off by a hawk. Be realistic about your choice.

Personally, I would suggest a visit to a pound, or even keeping your eyes open for a stray needing a home. Why? A dog that has always been cared for, knows no other way, and takes it for granted. A dog that has been abandoned will tend to appreciate a chance at having a home, and be more loyal and protective than a dog that has been pampered and spoiled. I speak from personal experience on this.

Good Luck!

Spence    Posted 07-30-2001 at 19:19:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our golden retreiver sounds the alarm load
and clear when someone approaches our door. He's
angry too with bare teeth and hair sticking up.
Only thing is it's all fake, as soon as
someone comes in, the tail is wagging. What they say about goldens being guard dogs is that they'll
gladly help a thief carry out the silverwear.
Natcho thinks he's human actually and hates being left out of everything. He's eye to eye with the
young ones but he just ignores the kids unless they want him to chase a ball. He jumps up on my bed in the morning and starts howling, which means get up. We have toddlers around sometimes and he ignores them. You have to watch the wagging "dust mop" tail with the toddlers.

Our black lab is smarter and a better watch dog. Tabby is also good with the kids but has to be watched more closely because of her wilder
disposition, not that she has ever hurt anyone. She's always watching the hay field from the porch and will growl if something is amiss. She likes it when the kids throw balls too and will chase after it with natcho.

Before our lab and golden, most of the animals I had on the farm were not neutered. Some pups I lost because they would run out on the highways. This is just the way it is, a statistic. You will lose some, but eventually find one that has good survival sense. But plan on loosing some.

I wouldn't bother with the biggies like rottweilers and irish wolfhounds if you have kids
around just incase. What you are looking for is an
alert barker that can show teeth when necessary.
The toy dogs of the cities and basically anything under 50lbs would probably get killed by
the neighbours dogs if you want him to be free
or not in an enclosure. Farm dogs are territorial
and a mature toy is viewed as just that "mature".
I watched one day as a chi-tzu was torn to
shreds by farm dogs. It was a relative from the city who brought her mature dog to the country for fresh air. Before I had a chance to say anything, the dog was running all over the fields
elated to have all the free running space. I could
even see the dogs on the other farms running to
the fence line waiting for the little dog as it

If you want a small dog for rat or mice control or just for the kids, raise him from a pup with a couple of the larger breeds. They will protect him and he will not stray from his buddies. Terriers are one of the best animals for rat control. We used to have one and he'd dive into a hole to check for rats and was quite pleased if someone was watching him do his job.

I have heard of neutering and that has it's
place. But a male dog that has all his privates is
a different animal, and a bit wilder and more of a survivor. He'll be a better guard dog but will tend to wander off occasionally to check out the females, or mark the boundaries of his range, but will always come back home. He can take care of himself in a scrap and will have battle scars the next morning to prove it. They may get into trouble with other farmers too, but getting shot is another statistic. You have to be especially careful around the kids with an unneutered animal. They see children as just another dog that belongs to a pecking order. Sometimes they will tend to try to put kids in his place, from his point of view.That can have horrible consequences.

Another thing, and I didn't want this to be
too long. Choose a dog for the climate. If your
in alaska a malamute, or one of the new bear breeds. A greyhound or dalmation will freeze left outside in the northern winter states. A pit bull may be a good fighter, but remember his short coat.

The best all around dog for a farm is a
mut over 50lbs. They're the best for temperment
and smart as a whip. For shelter in cold climes
or heat states, just a corner out of the elements
where he can curl up in out of the snowbanks. A
old thick rug on a dry floor. The best is a loose
plank in a dairy barn. nice and warm. They need continous supply of food in extreme cold.

Always be there when the kids are near the animals. When he brings home that
prairie dog on your porch, nice and ripe and buzzing with flies, don't forget to give him a nice pat for a job well done.


patty    Posted 11-28-2005 at 16:40:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
i am looking for a small dog easy to house break and smart and layed back but loveable what do you suggest ?

ryan    Posted 02-07-2003 at 14:33:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am looking for a medium sized dog that likes to run, swim, protect, and does not shed a lot. Is a collie/retriever mix a good idea?

Dreamweaver    Posted 07-30-2001 at 15:57:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Karen - I recommend going to the pound and adopting the one with the saddest eyes. They are always the sweetest. :-)

Burrhead    Posted 07-30-2001 at 15:31:45       [Reply]  [No Email]


F14    Posted 07-30-2001 at 14:13:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
I, too, vote for a mutt. I've had a couple of different purebreds, most recently a Rottweiler. I absolutely loved that dog to death, best dog that ever owned me, and lost him to cancer at 5 years of age. Broke my heart.

Ol' Cuss, feel free to jump in if I'm spreading old wive's tales here, but it is my distinct impression that mutts are less prone to genetic defects like hip dysplasia or deafness, and generally healthier and longer lived. The predecessor to the Rottie was a mix of Springer Spaniel, Airedale and Travelling Salesman, loved kids, guarded my flocks, tolerated cats, and lived for 15 years.

Also heartily second the pound idea, but stick with pups, and make it a reputable pound.

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-30-2001 at 15:29:02       [Reply]  [No Email]

I agree that mixed breed dogs are generally healthier in mind and body than many purebred dogs. That's "hybrid vigor" for you; good livestock farmers know what I mean by that. The more popular the purebred dog, the more wary you should be about buying one, because many breeders will be going for quantity and not quality; not only do they fail to select for good genetics, but also neglect to weed out carriers of bad traits (bad hips, eyes, skin, etc) so you get a population bearing a laundry list of genetic defects. There's lots of ethical breeders who care about their reputation but there's also those who care only about your greenbacks. Anyhow, mutts can have health problems, too, as do any animal, but they are hardy and tough. My best ever all-around dog who was a house pet, groundhog-killing farm dog, rabbit-buster, and loyal up-front truck rider all rolled into one was Lester, a mixed terrier who showed up for supper one day in 1989 and never left, who made it to 13 (my guess) before his ticker went bad last year. I sure miss him.

LazyHorse    Posted 07-30-2001 at 11:51:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have around 10 dogs here, and have had many more over the years. The wife prefers terrier types either fox or toy for pets and companionship. For good naturally working stock dogs I prefer either Great Pyrenese for sheep & goats, or Australian Shepherds for cattle & horses. Both also make excellant watch dogs and are family protective. I like mutts to if you get them as pups. I have had more trouble with Lab mixes killing fowl than any other breed. I guess this is to be expected since they are bred as bird dogs.

MrG    Posted 07-30-2001 at 11:42:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Free to good home...

Nice brown dog, sound as a ring,
He'll be 10 yrs old if he lives til next spring.
He's got three good legs and a kink in his tail,
He'll pee on your carpet and tear up you mail.
His eyes bulge out, and he's short on wind,
But he's a danged good dog for the shape he's in!

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-30-2001 at 11:29:46       [Reply]  [No Email]

Beagles have been great on my farm; they are fine pets and are not just hunting dogs. A good pet would be a beagle that a hunter wants to get rid of because it is either gun-shy or won't run rabbits. They get along fine with my stock (horses, mules, donkeys, goats; of course, the mules teach dogs to give a wide berth or get stomped) and I have one beagle that on her own has started acting as a babysitter for kid goats. They love people, especially children. However, they are not a good choice if you live near the road and you're going to let the dog run free, as hounds are notorious for following their noses across roads and NOT looking for traffic. Letting any dog of any breed run loose should take into account your proximity to the road and the amount and speed of traffic it carries. I must also plug mixed-breeds and pound dogs; there's lotsa love waiting to go home with you from those sad places, and some of my nicest pets were mixed breeds from shelters. Be sure to inquire about vaccinations, deworming, and heartworm checks. If you get a previously owned dog, ask why it was given up by the prior owner; our local shelter has owners fill out a questionnaire about an animal they are gving up for adoption, so you have some knowledge of it.

Cathy and Leela    Posted 02-22-2003 at 20:47:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
for hours i have been online searching for info on how to ensure i dont encourage the hunting instinct in my one year old pound aquired dog
she is a fox hound great dane cross i am told.. and she is more great dane than hound.
but i live in the bush in central vic Australia... and i dont want her shot if she gets out and chases sheep.
Currently i keep her on a leash when we walk in the bush and i have introduced her to sheep saying NO no no.. and well she is always pleased if they run.
Can you or anyone help with ideas or proven methods to try
cathy on behalf of leela.

Murphy    Posted 07-30-2001 at 10:53:42       [Reply]  [No Email]

We've had really good luck with our Rhodesian Ridgeback. He has a birth defect (his hair doesn't stand up on his back like it's supposed to) but he is as smart as a whip. Because of this "defect" he cannot be registered or shown so he wasn't very expensive at all. He's great with my three little ones and hasn't bothered the chickens but he definitely let's us know when someone or something is nearby. His one flaw, and this seems to be the consensus among other ridgeback owners, is that they like to dig. Another trait that is a negative in some folks eyes, is that this breed has a special taste for cats... if you catch my drift.

Phyllis    Posted 07-30-2001 at 10:15:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I would vote for a black lab, if you're looking for a particular breed. I never knew what I was missing until we got ours. But, the rest of our dogs are mutts, and are very smart and protective.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 07-30-2001 at 10:07:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Karen, around here we don't have to get a dog. Some of the cretins in the area just dump their unwanted pups out on the road, near the house. I got all 5 of mine that way. They are all mutts, but all are good dogs.
The most important thing, in my opinion, is to get them when they are puppies, if you have livestock. If you have chickens, leave the just weaned pup in the chicken coop for a few days. He will never kill chickens, and will protect them in the future. Don't trust a dog that comes to you as an adult.

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