Breed of dog?

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monkeywerkz

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What is your prefered breed of dog for help on the farm? We just got a yellow lab, purebred, 11 weeks old. We've not really had a dog before, so this will be a new experience for us.

Any thoughts on which breeds are good on the farm, and which breeds are good among livestock and other animals?

I thought I would break away from the political arguments and try posting a more lighthearted subject.

- Richard
 

Craig-TX

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Anything that’s:

Big and/or tough enough to not be cowed by varmints

Calm enough to not chase livestock, kill chickens or bark at night unless there’s a good reason

Tall enough to load up

Smart enough to not sleep behind the back wheel of the pickup, play with rattlesnakes, etc.

We’ve had good luck with blue heelers and have a Great Pyrenees that’s working out. Some of my best luck has been with the Heinz 57 variety. When it comes to dogs I think they show more hybrid vigor and F-1 promise than cattle.

Craig-TX
 
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monkeywerkz

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What is the best way to train a dog to be around livestock and chickens and not take after them? I figure just having them exposed to other animals while they are still pups would do the trick. If they grow up on the farm I imagine they should do just fine.

- Richard
 

WORANCH

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Border collie , great for moving cattle or penning them and we had a male Great Pyrenees he did a good job on stray dogs and coyotes.
 

Craig-TX

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monkeywerkz":3h80vw4e said:
What is the best way to train a dog to be around livestock and chickens and not take after them? I figure just having them exposed to other animals while they are still pups would do the trick. If they grow up on the farm I imagine they should do just fine.

- Richard

DO get him/her very young and pop them with a newspaper when they start nosing chickens or showing too much interest in the cattle. DO NOT spend much if any money in the acquisition. That will make it easier to cull if it's not working out.

Don’t forget that when they’re young and dumb a cow will roll them just because they have four paws. And the cow doesn’t care if the pup is playing at your feet when she rolls it. A cute pup can sure get you hurt.

I've never trained working dogs and can't speak to that with authority. But I've worked with them enough to know they can perform miracles.

Craig-TX
 

txag

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monkeywerkz":2stn9f9k said:
What is your prefered breed of dog for help on the farm? We just got a yellow lab, purebred, 11 weeks old. We've not really had a dog before, so this will be a new experience for us.

labs aren't really known for being farm dogs. they're better known as retrievers & hunting dogs. that's certainly not to say one couldn't be trained as i'm sure there are stories of labs working cattle.

other breeds have the herding & working cattle (or sheep) instincts bred in & the trainer then has to work to hone those instincts & teach the dog to use them on command and with restraint.

heelers (my preference), border collies & australian shepherds are all good working cattle dogs. curs are also used in our area for working those wild cows who hide out in brush where horses & cowboys can't get to them.
 

SPRINGER FARMS MURRAY GRE

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J Baxter

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We had a blue heeler/ rat terrier cross that was a dandy. She was hell on coyotes. I don't know what she would have done if she ever caught one as she only weighed about 35lbs, but she would tear out chasing them a even a distant yelp. I had a first calf heifer on the ground for eight days with calving paralysis, the dog would go down in the evenings and bed by the cow until daylight keeping everything at bay. I'll have to admit I had a tear in my eye when I buried her.

JB
 

certherfbeef

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I have an aussie and love him to death. Craig is 100% correct...a cute pup in the field will get you trampled. My dog is comming up on 2 yrs old. Started him working show cattle when he was 5 months old. Now he is slowly graduating to the replacement herd. I figgure by the time the snow flys I'll have him ready for the mature cows (they hate dogs).

I have noticed that heelers are more aggressive and faster than aussies. When my husband sends the heeler after the cows you better have gates open cause they are a coming in a hurry. Of course that may just be the difference in personalites of the 2 dogs!

Have fun w/ the puppy chosing!!!!!
 

ollie

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The best kind of dogs and horses when it comes to working cattle are the ones not seen or heard .
 

Oldtimer

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txag":1nrmyx42 said:
monkeywerkz":1nrmyx42 said:
What is your prefered breed of dog for help on the farm? We just got a yellow lab, purebred, 11 weeks old. We've not really had a dog before, so this will be a new experience for us.

labs aren't really known for being farm dogs. they're better known as retrievers & hunting dogs. that's certainly not to say one couldn't be trained as i'm sure there are stories of labs working cattle.

other breeds have the herding & working cattle (or sheep) instincts bred in & the trainer then has to work to hone those instincts & teach the dog to use them on command and with restraint.

heelers (my preference), border collies & australian shepherds are all good working cattle dogs. curs are also used in our area for working those wild cows who hide out in brush where horses & cowboys can't get to them.


I have to tell you a little story about labs-

I raise border collies and have 2 on each place to work cows with- when my daughter came home from college she brought along a beautiful chocolate lab which ended up living with us because she couldn't take him with her on her travels.

In the winter when I'm feeding cows I have the border collies trained to watch the haypen gate while I'm rolling out other bales- saves me opening and closing the gate between every 2 bales- One day while rolling out the bale, I noticed that while the door was open both border collies had jumped in the pickup and were riding with me- I looked back fully expecting the haypen to be full of cows. There layed the lab- and when the first cows approached the gate she let out a big Woof and jumped toward them, chasing them away.

I often wondered if they hadn't talked it over and decided to share the work duties for the day.
 

PASS

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I have a Blue Heeler. She has become one of my best friends. She does help if the cows are in a large pin/pasture but she is not much help once they are pinned up in my working pins. Once she is gone, i'll try the Aust. Shepard next time. They move cattle by barking, the heeler bites the cows on the feet and is very aggresive and hardheaded. Could just be my dog or my level of training experiance.
 

Michelle Pankonien

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We have a Lab, and they are great dogs, the man who does My AI, ET work has a black lab that grew up with a cow dog, and he has learned to work cattle as good as any cow dog I have seen

Consistency of training is the key as well as frequency, clicker trianing is also very good, I would suggest some basic obedience classes to start with and go from there
 

Ellie May

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Well you really have to see what works for yourself on breed wise. We have 7 dogs. All are great some don't care about the cattle and other animals but some want to play with them and be around them 24/7. We have a lab/bloodhound, his mother a lab cross, a beagle/lab crossed with ain't no tellin', a reg. purebred australian shepard with 3 of his pups, they are amix of aussie/golden retriever/border collie etc.. We've had all different kinds. Bloodhounds are good too, but kinda clumsy. That reminds me of a story don't mean to drag on but I think it's kinda funny. Well we were driving down the rode following the tractor. (our 2nd bloodhound that we had) was following just like the rest of the dogs. Well they took a short cut and went under the barbed wire fence. Well him being kinda large decided to go under there anyway. He ran under there and as a come out from under it he stepped on his ear and did a complete flip and I might add he was going pretty fast. So you could just imagine. Anyways thought I would share.
Ellie May
 

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