Guardian & Farm and Ranch Dogs
What Is A Farm/Ranch Dog?
A Farm and or Ranch Dog is one that has an active part in keeping the place safe and going. This is the dog that helps with other animals, both domestic and wild.
A Farm/Ranch Dog is the dog that watches over the place with you and for you. It stays behind when you leave to go to town to keep people and or animals that are not suppose to be there, away.
A Farm/Ranch Dog is your buddy, friend, co-worker and protector. And IF Trained and Treated Correctly....none better to be with or depend upon. No more loyal than a Farm/Ranch Dog....and they never, or rarely, ask for a day off.
And it might surprise you to know....a Farm and Ranch Dog, knows MORE ABOUT THE FARM OR RANCH, what goes on there, than the human owners who pay the bills there.
This photo is of our Farm/Ranch Dog, Raya, RIP. She was an English Shepherd and did it all as far as Farm/Ranch Dogs go.
A large portion of a Farm or Ranch Dog's Duties on a Farm or Ranch will include Moving Other Animals. Herding is very different than Moving Animals from an area they are not to be in, and Chasing Wild Life, very different than moving domestic animals.
If a dog is chasing, that is NOT herding. If a dog is chasing other domestic animals in a vicious way, that is not correct either.
The variations of HOW the dog, in it's job of moving other animals, will need to be taught to most, close to all, Farm/Ranch Dogs.
This is a photo of our Farm Pup, Tychicus, learning who belongs where.
Herding is a job done controlled by a Shepherd/Person, a dog and a flock of animals or birds. The dog takes commands given from the Shepherd of how and where to move the animals. It is almost a dance between the person, dog and herded animals. Herding is not a dog out chasing animals, it is the dog moving animals, slow and easy, to another place.
Guardian, guarding home and property and people, comes naturally to the German Shepherd Dog (GSD or GSDs). Herding and Farm Work is also an Natural Instinct for most GSDs. But of course, not for all GSDs. There is still much training that will need to be done before your GSD is considered a Herding Dog, especially if you are going to take the dog to Competition Trials.
Training a dog to do a job that they have the instilled instinct for is such a pleasure. GSDs were bred from the beginning to become Herding Dogs. In the American Kennel Club the GSD Breed is part of a Group of dogs know as the Herding Dogs. It is a category that all dogs that Herd Animals are a part of.
A Dog Herding is when a Dog moves animals, be it sheep, goats, geese, cattle, or other, usually farm type animals, into a chute or pen or where ever the shepherd or rancher wants those farm animals to go.
I can not begin to tell you how to train your dog to herd. I do not pretend that I have all training knowledge and I have never trained a dog to work other animals this way. But there are a many Books on the subject as well as Internet Information on how to train your Herding Dogs. There are also videos on the Internet that can help you SEE just how the dog is suppose to carry out it's job. But nothing is better than one herding dog learning for another well trained and fine tuned Herding Dog.
There are Classes you and your dog can take on herding, but they are hard to find and not offered in all areas. Check, again, the Internet for information near you.
BE WISE! BEWARE! MANY A GSD BREEDER WILL TELL YOU THAT THEIR DOGS HERD WHEN IN REALITY THEIR DOGS CHASE. THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE, IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THAT, ASK THE ANIMALS THEY ARE AFTER. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HERDING AND ARE THINKING OF BUYING A PUPPY FROM SUCH A PERSON, ASK TO SEE THE DOG ACTUALLY HERD, OR ASK TO SEE VIDEOS OR PHOTOS. IF THE DOG IS CHASING THE ANIMALS YOU WILL SEE THE PERSON WITH A BAT AIMED AT THE DOG (a shepherd's tool, stick with a plastic paddle on the end, usually a red or blue paddle), OR SUCH, TO KEEP THE DOG BACK FROM CATCHING THE ANIMALS. AND/OR YOU WILL SEE THE HERDED ANIMALS "RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES!", AND THE DOG IN CLOSE PURSUIT, OR MANY OTHER INSTANCES THAT WILL OR SHOULD TELL YOU THAT THIS IS NOT HERDING, IT IS CHASING!
The dog in this photo, that is herding geese, CORRECTLY, belongs to a friend of ours. He is a Collie and his name is Todd.
Many times Livestock needs to just be moved from an area they are not suppose to be in. Moving Livestock is different than Herding. Herding is slow and easy, where the dog TAKES the animals from one place to another, or is when the dog(s) 'gather' the herd together in a tighter area.
Moving Livestock is when the dog just clears the animals out of an area the Livestock is not to be in. Moving Livestock could be seen as a 'chase', but it is not. It is a simple moving. A Chase, is just that. A dog chasing animals in a full out running them off, sometimes viciously done.
Our Farm Dog Raya, an English Shepherd was what we called 'The Sheriff' here. She had self appointed rules....where our other animals could be and not be. She learned some of it from us, moving goats off the front porch, and geese off the board walk, but some of it, she just decided and enforced. Turquoise learned from her, Tychicus, photo here, learned from Turquoise, his mother, and like instinct, knows he is going to be 'The Sheriff' here.
Tychicus is 15 weeks old in this photo and is doing what Deron calls 'boxing moves'. When the goats lower their heads and come right, he goes left. When they then turn and come right, he goes left....so far, so good.
We try to keep an eye on it so that he does NOT get butted, moving the goats, and is afraid of them throughout his life...but on the other hand, we do NOT want to discourage him from 'doing the right thing'.
Usually, Turquoise is there to back him up.
One day Deron looked out the window to see our then Farm Dog, Raya, chasing off something rather odd. He watched. He grabbed the binoculars and tried to see what it was. It was not until he went out, after the animal was gone and Raya was back to the house, it all happened so quickly. Deron saw the prints.....then we learned, it was a Bob Cat.
Farm Dogs need to chase off Wild Life to keep areas safe for humans and domestic animals. Hopefully the Farm Dogs are able to Chase Off the Wild Life, not get into an entangled fight with them. But it happens. We have good friends in TN who's GSD got her ears messed up, never to be upright again, by a Coyote.
The GSD in this photo, right, is the BONIFIED WORKING FARM DOG, with what her owners call, "Badges Of Honor". She belongs to good friends of ours and her ears will never be the same, now called, her Badges of Honor, from tangling with coyotes to keep her people and goats ans other domestic animals safe near their home.
Turquoise is a WONDERFUL Wildlife and neighbors Cattle 'chaser off our property' dog!
Taking Care of Persons and Property
Taking care of us and our property is just something that most Guardian Dogs Do, all on their own. Many, if not most of the time, the owners/trainers, do not even know what all goes on.
GSD, by description of the Standard of the Breed, were bred for just this work.
I have never ever seen or heard of a GSD that needed training for protecting it's own property, the people it loves, or if raised with them, other animals the owner might have. It just comes natural for the breed. The question is, how far will the individual dog take this Guarding? Some do no more than bark from a distance, others might take it a bit too far and become a danger to people coming to visit. The training is up to the owner.
For some people "Guard Dog" means to them, vicious dogs that will attach anything or anyone that moves toward that person or their home....I guess it can mean that, but "Guardian" in the dog world means much more, or less if you will.
The Guardian Dog that most people in the Dog World think of is that dog willing to fight til death if necessary when needed, but is trusting and trained enough that it waits for the situation to escalate before becoming a vicious threat. The dog will give a warning bark, while moving between the threat and the person or property or other animals they are protecting. The dog will "posture", but when told by their owners, they will calm down and behave, most keeping an ever watchful eye on the new person or situation. Most of the time, "Guardian" refers to home, property and other animals that the owner also owns.
More crimes, as per criminals, have been avoided or stopped by a dog in the home than any other security system. If a criminal is coming to rob, and hears your dog bark, that criminal will usually leave and go to the next first home without a barking dog. It is just a fact. Let me add to that. Criminals, for the most part, are not stupid. If you dog is chained up or penned up away from your property....you will probably be robbed anyway. After all, they know right where the dog is and what it is doing.
There is no reason a Farm Dog can not also help with Chores. This is a Saint Bernard I Owned and Loved that helped out with many of the Farm Chores around our place in WI. He did everything from help me feed, he brought in firewood, and so much more. With the right training and equipment a GSD can also help around the Farm/Ranch or Home.
His name was, Montana, he had a Heart That Big. His sister Millie also helped around the place and pulled and backpacked.
I am moving cactus off our property around our fencing. I soon hope to have photos here showing my GSDs pulling a wagon full of the cactus I dug up, moving it to the fence line where I am "building my Moat". This cactus Moat will help keep my animals in and others (domestic and wild) out or off our property.
Another idea for a Farm Dog, is to learn to "Go get (fill in the name of your family members)." This could bring you help with a chore, or save your life. Your dog probably already knows your names. Yes. It is true. Dogs naturally learn the names of the family they are a part of. Our dogs even know the names of my step sons that only come and stay a few weeks each year.
To teach this is simple. Have one person in the family hold dog treats. Have another family member send the dog, such as "Go to Daddy." Then have Daddy call the dog to him and give the dog a treat. After the dog learns one person, that is you are able to send the dog to one person, start sending the dog to another person, with trips to Daddy in between. After the dog learns to go to the second (and that training should come quicker than when the dog was sent to the first person), start sending the dog to the next person. This is not just fun and entertaining, again, it could mean the difference between needing help and it arriving to move something around the farm, to saving your life.
When you live on multiple acres, when you have other animals around, your own and the wild ones, and perhaps your neighbors slip the fence often, it is good to have a dog, especially a big, smart dog, such as a GSD walking around that farm or ranch with you.
We have, in the area we live in, Rattle Snakes, Coyotes, Fox, Hawk, Bob Cats and other predators out here in NW SD. Our Farm Dog, Raya, along with our donkeys and llamas, as well as geese, kept/keeps them at bay. We pray, and did work toward, Raya teaching our Titus and Tekoa all about farm work, and now, dogs teaching dogs to be Farm/Ranch Dogs. Our neighbors are loosing lambs and calves, but at our place our free range chickens, ducks and geese as well as kittens are all kept safe.
When you have property, you never know when someone will walk in, drive in or even sneak in. Humans noses do not pick up the smell, our ears do not hear that soft walking. However, when you are out and about with a Good Dog, they will let you AND the other person know that they are there. Many times just having the dogs will keep these sort of people away from your home and property.
This photo is of our Two Black GSD, Texas Tea and Turquoise just out with me as I fed animals....they still join us each day as we care for everyone around here.
Go Fetch and More! So Much More!
A Farm Dog should be taught early to Fetch and taught to do this with a 'soft mouth'. A Farm Dog should be able to rescue a gosling, or duckling or other small or baby animal from harm. Some Farm Dogs have done this without being told to. Our dog Raya saved at least Kitten that we knew of, saw her do. We are not even sure what ALL that dog did to keep us, and our other animals safe here.
There is so much more a Farm/Ranch Dog can help with. Use your imagination to train your dog to help around the farm or home or ranch. Send your dog after tools, teach it to close doors behind you when your hands are full, to fetch a food scoop, or to greet a child at the Bus Stop.....the list goes on and on and on.
RELEASE ~ DROP IT!
Dogs should also be taught and taught young the words and action, "Release" and "Drop It". Don't over look this. A baby chick or kitten should not become a tug toy. And Farm/Ranch Dogs....sure like to bring items into the home, or their home, they just should not....horse poop comes to mind....
FUN! AND GAMES!
Don't forget to HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FARM/RANCH DOG! Get out and throw a stick or ball, take them to a pond for a swim on a hot Summer day.
Don't over look that they need to be loved on too! Pet them, talk to them, play with them! Sit down in the grass with them and just rub their ears.
Bring them in on very cold nights, bring them in out of storms! Love on them, give them treats and fun meals.
Our Working Farm/Ranch Dog
While ALL of our dogs are actually Working Ranch/Farm Dogs, Tychicus will be taking over Raya's spot of FULL TIME Farm Dog.
This is the dog that enjoys life with it's people, comes in at night (some don't), and bad weather, but for the most part, is out 'watching' over the place all the time, Full Time.
Self Taught Farm/Guardian ~ Learned By Watching
March 21, 2016
Raya (our Farm Dog's) last night on Earth was hard.
None of us slept, but Raya.
Raya normally and always, slept right next to our bed. On her last night here, Raya, slept in the living room between our desks. Deron put her there and that is where she stayed too weak to move.
Turquoise was so upset about this and when the lights went out... She paced the floor. From Raya's normal spot, next to the bed, to Raya. Then. She barked at Raya, and then came and barked at us, like Lassie, to ask us to come and see Raya was in the other room and not good. During the night, this went on every so often. The next day, after very little sleep, I found I must have slept some, because I had scratch marks across my waist. I am sure that Turquoise got a bit desperate, and tried to tell me again, to let me know that something was terribly wrong with Raya.
After Raya died, late the next morning, Turquoise "stepped up". Deron and I both noticed right away that Turquoise's voice got deeper. She is also not a "barker", but all noises outside (that we heard and did not) were, and are now, met with the "Big GSD Bark".
Turquoise also is sticking closer to us.... as if she has "Stepped Up" to take over the part of THE loving, guarding and always watching Farm Dog, all on her (Turquoise) own. Or, <laughs> maybe there is just more room on the floor now and she fits closer to us better.
One Year Later:
Turquoise has filled a spot she saw a need in. She has continued to do "Property Checks" each and every day. And while she may only be chasing off Rabbits, keeping them at bay, keeps their predators away. She, as well as Texas Tea, have/has chased off Fox that we know of too.
Turquoise has also developed that keener ear, paying attention, to every thing, keeping a watchful eye on things.
Each morning and evening, since Raya died, when Turquoise goes out to 'potty', she disappears for about 20 minutes. We live on 161 acres and she is out 'back' doing a check on our own animals and checking on property as well as chase off any other animals that are not suppose to be there. When she checks it all, she comes in and goes about the rest of her day/night.
She also had a litter of pups, Sept. 21, 2016. We kept a male, that we will train and neuter to become the Official Sheriff/Farm Dog here. His name is Tychicus Ray....Ray in honor of Raya.
Tychicus Ray ~ Our Farm Dog
We bred Titus x Turquoise so that we could keep a male pup to Neuter and become our new Farm/Ranch Dog. We added the middle name Ray, in honor of Raya, a wonderful Farm Dog we had for many years and miss terribly!
Puppies that are going to be Farm/Ranch Dogs should be allowed to, when safe, follow you around the place to get a feel for it, learn the boundaries, learn fence lines, be correctly when they chase any animals that will soon be in their care, and such.
If you go to the right to the Navigation Panel, click on Meet Tychicus, you can read about our own Farm Dog and why his dew claws were removed and all we train our Farm Dogs to do and why.
With as black as Tychicus is and the amount of brown on his legs, his legs look very short in this photo. They are not, he is correctly built.
Male dogs, that are going to be loose on a Farm/Ranch with a job, SHOULD BE NEUTERED. But do NOT do this on a young dog, let it grow correctly first.
I know that Jack London, the writer of White Fang, as well as other books, wants you to believe that male dogs go off with wolves and have beautiful babies and the world is full of good and unicorns....
THE TRUTH IS! Coyotes and Wolves are very cunning, they will lure domestic male dogs out with wild females (that is, female coyotes or wolves) that are in heat, estrus cycle...AND KILL AND EAT THE DOGS THEY LURE. I wish that were not a fact, but it is. You also will want a Farm Dog that will stay on YOUR property and help keep the predators out/away....not to be lured out into the middle of the killing machines pack.
PLEASE NOTE!: Do NOT Neuter a puppy, wait til your dog is over a year old to Neuter it. The dog NEEDS those hormones to grow correctly and healthy! Neutering to soon, that is too young, can and has lead to Hip Displyaia in adult dogs.
TRAINING A FARM/RANCH DOG
Dogs LOVE To Have A Job. If YOU do not find them a Job, If YOU do not Train them, they will find a job of their own....and you might not like the 'job' they have come up with...
Train your Farm Ranch Dog and you will have a Partner, Ranch Hand, for Life!
THEIR PAY OFF! Just Like YOU, Dogs Like To Be Paid For Working
Always, Always, ALWAYS! When you are done with a job. Before going on to the next job, or going inside. MAKE A BIG FUSS OVER THE PUP. LET HIM KNOW YOU LOVE HIM AND HE DID A GOOD JOB....even if he did not. When you are finished and heading inside or off somewhere else. Stop a minute and spend it with your pup, even if he goes inside with you, stop on the porch and make a fuss. You want your dog to WANT, to YEARN, to be with you....and to feel like he played an important part in whatever it was the two of you were doing. Having small treats in your pocket to give to the pup, now and again, as you are working and he is minding you and the job...a very good idea too!
Is Your Farm Dog A Guard Dog?
Will your Farm Ranch Dog also be a Guard Dog...that is a Watch Dog? Most are just by Nature. You will need to decide how far you will take this and act accordingly to train your puppy....either to except people coming on your property or to train the dog that other people are not welcome on your property.
If you are going to train the pup that people are not allowed on your property, then do not let people come and pet and play with your puppy...or dog. Put your dog in it's pen when people visit.
The best way to train a good Farm and or Ranch Dog....is for that pup to learn from the older dog. Just keep in mind, that pup is going to learn all the good AND the bad from the other dog. So make sure the pup is learning from a good dog...and make the corrections with the pup as soon as the bad comes out.
Puppies learn from watching. Watching You. Watching other people. Watching other animals. Mostly, from watching other dogs.
When you are out and about on your Farm/Ranch and your pup is with you, never miss the opportunity to train. When you move animals, talk to your pup. Give good behavior a "Good Dog!", and Bad Behavior a, "NO!". Let the pup know what it is you want it to do. Where you want the pup to be as you work around the place. Let the pup know when it is behaving correctly and incorrectly.
When you move animals, if you let the pup go with you, keep the pup close to you at first. Don't let the pup chase the other animals, UNLESS that is the behavior you are looking for. And BY ALL MEANS!, Don't let the other animals get the best of the pup; that is, do not let them intimate the pup or chase it.
As you are feeding other animals, make sure the pup does not eat their foods. Start training the pup not to bother their foods the first time the pup starts to bother the food, or the eating animals.
Tractors, ATVs, Snow Machines and Other Motorized Vehicles
This is where 'the water gets muddy'. Pups need to learn about moving motorized vehicles. But pups should not be around them. They do not understand how it is YOU are up on it and THEY want to be there with you. Pups, some dogs, just do not understand about the wheels either.
It is very dangerous to have your pup around the moving vehicles. Very dangerous. Accidents happen fast. And watching your pup, might put YOU in danger by not watching just what it is YOU are doing.
However. When older. You are going to want your dog around your tractor and such. So what do you do?
This is not easy to answer. I will tell you what has worked for us. Only take your pup out when you are going to train the pup with motor vehicles....AND AFTER IT KNOWS THE COMMANDS, "STOP", AND, "NO!" AND, "MOVE!" By knows the commands, what I am saying is, the pup responds to the commands correctly.
more to come on vehicle training
Taking The Farm/Ranch Dog For A Ride
Many times the Farm Dog, Ranch Dog never gets to go anywhere with the people it loves inside their vehicles. And think about this....
Has anyone ever told you that their dog hates to go for rides in the vehicle, and you know that the ONLY time they take that animal anywhere it is to the Vet for shots? Gee? I wonder why that dog hates to 'go for rides'.
Yes. Farm/Ranch Dogs usually do have more 'odor' than house dogs. But then take them places in the Farm Truck.
Let the dog have a ride now and again around the Farm or Ranch. Take them with you when you are making quick trips to town.
Dogs love to be with us and riding in vehicles is fun to most. Going and seeing and doing is fun for animals too. It breaks up the mundane in their lives just as it does ours.
more to come
The Back Of A Pick Up Truck
NO! NO! NO! NO!
Having a dog ride in the back of a Pick Up Truck is unsafe on so many levels. Having one tied up inside the back of the Pick Up Truck is non the better!
Years ago when I lived in St. Louis County MO my then husband almost had a wreck because the guy in front of him had his dog in the back of the Pick Up Truck. The dog jumped and was not only hung on the short leash it was attached to, but the guy RAN OVER HIS HANGING DOG WITH THE BACK TIRES! As he ran over the dog, it broke the dog's back and pulled the dog down from the neck. BTW, it is illegal for animals to ride in open pick up trucks in MO.
Think about how uncomfortable it is for dogs to ride it the back of pick up trucks. The wind, their eyes, their ears, their breathing. Not to mention all the stuff that the wind from the truck movements blow up off the truck floor at the dog.
A loose dog in the back of a truck can and many times, when least expected, will JUMP or FALL out. We came home one VERY cold and VERY snowy night to find a beautiful Border Collie at the Highway Gate. Deron read it's collar and called the owner....WHO HAD NO IDEA THAT THE DOG WAS NOT STILL IN THE BACK OF THE TRUCK.....AND WHAT A COLD COLD MISCIBLE RIDE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THE DOG ON THAT NIGHT!
And YOUR right....a Trained Dog will not Jump or Fall out of the back of the Pick Up Truck.....that is, UNTIL THEY DO!
A Farm Ranch Dog needs a pen. While it does not need to be gigantic, it needs to be large enough. The size will also depend on how much time the dog will spend inside of the pen.
The pen should be set up close to the house, or barn. One big reason you want it close to the house is that when you walk by it, you let the dog out to go with you. With it being close to the house you will also hear the dog's alarm at night. And. You are more likely to 'keep it clean' if it is closer to your home.
As a pup, the dog needs to be in that pen while you are home and while you are not. The dog needs to get used to the pen being 'his'. He needs to be comfortable inside of it without barking crazy. As the pup grows he will be in the pen from time to time. The pup might need to wait there for you while you are using the tractor and can not keep an eye on the dog to keep it safe.
There are many times the dog might need to be confined. As a puppy the dog needs to learn it's boundaries. It needs to feel as if it is an important part of the whole place, the people and the animals. But there are also times the dog needs to be confined to a smaller safer area.
Mud, Snow, Rain, Storms Happen. Dogs get a mess. If you have just cleaned the house or if your Farm/Ranch dog does not come inside your home, a pen might be needed.
If you are going to be gone from home with the family you might want to pen up your Farm Dog, at least while it is a pup. You do not want it getting into trouble or leaving your place.
Don't let people convince you that a pen for an animal is cruel....NON SENSE! Many times the BEST thing you can do for your dog is have it inside a pen. A dog also feels like it space, that pen, is a safe place for it to go when it feels threatened. You might want to leave the gate open on the pen when your dog is out of it.
Most Farms and Ranches have some sort of Equine. The dogs there should not only respect the Equine, but as soon as the most equine except the dog as 'theirs', they will protect it too.
Farm and Ranch dogs LOVE to go when the humans 'mount up'. You might have to teach the pup or dog how to act on the trail, or the trail drive. Don't get mad at the dog if you did not train it and it then misbehaves.
When we go out and ride our horses, we do not even think about our dogs...and they are usually right there with us. Unless. WE decided that they were not going and either penned them or left them behind in the house to wait for us.
The very first and foremost thing you should know about Donkeys, Mules and Hinnies is that they will flatten a dog, coyote, fox or sometimes even wolves, like a pancake. Like a cartoon character hit by a truck!
Many times a donkey or a few donkeys are used to keep sheep and or goats safe from these predators.
Our donkeys NEVER hurt our own dogs. BUT! We also made sure that, by quarantining the donkeys, that they knew that these dogs were OURS! (we quarantine any new animals to our place 30 days in a holding pen)
The other side of this is that once they see YOUR dog as YOUR dog, they will protect it....unless it worries it. (worries = teases or bothers it)
Many horse people think that Donkeys are Stupid.....Au Contraire! Au Contraire! Donkeys are smarter than the average animal, as far as how humans rate animals for intelligence. Horse Trainers run a Horse round and round and round and round in an arena....Donkeys will go round once or twice and that's about it. They did it. They do not see the need to get dizzy. What most horse people do not know, is that you do not train a donkey the way you do a horse.
And never ever mistreat a donkey....they rarely kick, but when they do....they do not miss, and it is a double barrel kick with both feet.
If you own a donkey you might enjoy visiting our Bible Donkeys website.
Mules and Hinnies
Mules and Hinnys are neither Horses NOR Donkeys, but they are half of each.
A Mule has a Horse for a Mother and a Donkeys for a Father. A Hinney has a Donkey for a Mother and a Horse for a Father. How can you tell them apart? Many times you can not. But if you turn them out in a pasture with both horses and donkeys, they will go and 'hang around' the one that is the type their mother was.
Mules and Hinnys do not always take to dogs. Each, like a donkey, will smash a dog, coyote, fox, and perhaps a wolf or big cat, to pancake width.
Do be sure, like with a donkey, introduce your dog/pup to them slowly.
Zebras or Ze...anything
Zebras are WILD AND VICIOUS animals. They can and have and do, in Africa, kill Lions. Personally, I nor my dogs will be around them.
Some people own Zebras, Lions and Tigers. I do not think it is a good idea, but it existed. You CAN NOT tame a Zebra. You can train it, but you can NOT tame it.
Be warned. I will just say again. I would not let my dog be anywhere around a Zebra or any hybrid thereof.
Did you know? If your dog teases or aggravates cows, and then the dog runs back to you, the cow might just 'get you'? Train Dogs Well if you are going to use them on Cattle. You will need a brave dog to run cattle with you.
GOATS, GEESE, AND OTHER DOGS WITH THE FARM DOG
Baby Goats are small creatures. They are born 'knowing everything'. That is, a baby goat is up and walking and some, 'bossing', a few minutes after their own birth.
Farm Dogs need to be gentle and kind to Baby Goats....for many reasons...more to come
Geese! Watch your Geese with your puppies and dogs. Geese are very territorial and they are usually NOT afraid of dogs.
If your puppy gets beat up by geese, it will be afraid of them all through it's life.
We have and LOVE Geese! LOVE THEM! Did you know that people that are not afraid of dogs, that is people you might not want around your place, if not afraid of dogs, ARE afraid of geese!
We call our Geese "Gangsters!", but the truth is, as much as they would love to be 'gangsters', they really love to be near and with us. We have trained them too. Yes. Trained. And we do NOT let our geese 'goose' our dogs.
This Gosling in this photo is not chasing us, she is out walking with us. She was a House Goose (we have a couple of Goose websites, check out Navigation Menu at right). Her name was Dinah and she did several tricks as well as a bit of Agility. Yes. Really.
more to come
Personally we ask people NOT to bring their dogs to our place. We have too many animals here to deal with an outside dog chasing or just being here worrying our animals.
But we own more than one dog. We have some that are indoor dogs, some that are outdoor/indoor dogs. So the Farm Dog needs to get used to dogs in the house and coming out of the house to be outdoors, loose and not loose. That does not sound like a big deal, but it could be.
more to come
LLAMAS, ALPACAS AND SHEEP
Llamas are NOT the same animal in a different size.
You need to know, above all else, that a Llama will smash a dog, coyote or fox, like a pancake!
Be sure your llamas KNOW that your dog belongs on the place before you ever take it into the llama pen with you...and especially with out you. Keep this in mind if friends ever show up to your place with their dogs in tow.
Once however the llamas know your own dogs, they will protect them as their own babies/crea.
more to come
SHEEP AND THE GUARDIAN/SHEEP DOG
Sheep. Sheep are not goats or llamas or cattle. Sheep are Sheep. Sheep, by human standards are not smart animals.
This is a photo of Baa-Baa. Baa-Baa hung out with the rest of our animals, but he was still a sheep. As you can see, our animals like to be around us, and investigate everything we did/do.
Deron and I also raised Hair Sheep. Barbadoes Black Belly Sheep for many years.
much more to say
Poisons Around The Farm/Ranch
First the obvious, Rat Poison. Rat Poison is not just poison for rats and mice. Dogs, Cats, Chickens and other Farm Animals will eat dead vermin. If the vermin died by eating poison....the other animals that eat the dead bodies might too. Farm Cats are worth their weight in GOLD! Not only will they keep rats and mice away, many also keep other vermin away from your farm animals, such as snakes, (and they all do this by keeping mice and rats away, not food for snakes, snakes go somewhere else), chipmunks, squirrels, barn birds ect. Why is it good not to have these animals/birds near or in your barn? They will get into and mess inside of your animals food....leaving germs and poop and disease behind.
Plant Poisons. Yes. The type you spray on crops and or weeds.
Truck, Tractor, Snowmobile, ATV, Chainsaw, and other motor running items. Gas, Antifreeze, old Oils, Refrigerants, and other toxins from within. We all have them around the Farm and Ranch. Be very careful when working on these items and how you dispose of the old oils and such.
Dead Animals. Yes. Dead Animals. If you have a dead cow left out in the field, and not buried, it could make your dog very sick if it ate it, or some of it, after it sat a while.
Heaps of Grains. They get moldy no matter what you do. And. Yes. Your dog sure might decide to go lay in it and eat it.
Lead. As in from your shooting range. If you target practice keep in mind that your dog, certainly your pup, might pick up and swallow those bullets laying out there. And. If you Reload, keep your parts away from your pup/dog.
Your Garden. More than one dog has stumbled into the Family Garden and eaten too much of the vegetation, needing Vet assistance.
Wood. Not really a 'poison', but a killer all the same. If you dog is a chewer, do not give the dog a wooden doghouse, or pallets in it's pen.
more coming soon
SENDING THE FARM DOG TO GET HELP
Remember the words, "What is it Lassie?". We joke about that here all the time. When our dogs are anxious about something, usually something outdoors.
But did you know that you really CAN teach your dog to 'go get _________ (fill in their names here)? It is not that hard to do either....and if you approach it like a 'game for the dog', your dog will want you to ask it to go and get someone often.
more coming soon
This is important for a GSD. This is very important for a Ranch or Farm Dog....or Rescue, Military, Police, Working Dog.
We Gun Shy Tested our puppies at 6 and at 8 weeks old. All passed.
much more to come
Why Training the Farm/Ranch Dog Tricks Is Important
ALL DOGS, ALL PUPPIES, SHOULD LEARN TO DO TRICKS. WHY!? IT NOT ONLY BUILDS THE BOND BETWEEN HUMANS AND THEIR PETS, IT BUILDS THE ANIMALS CONFIDENCE, AND TEACHES THEM TO LEARN TO LEARN AND TO LEARN TO PLEASE!
Dogs LOVE to do tricks. Dogs have a Work Ethic and WANT TO WORK FOR FOOD! Show them how they can earn a morsel or two. Teaching your dog simple tricks is not just fun. It really helps the dog learn. If you want to teach your dog to do other things....start with simple tricks.
I have a Whole Page here on this site with ideas and information about teaching dogs tricks. If you own other animals, I might have a website you could visit about training them too. Deron and I have trained all sorts of animals, from Fish, yes, Fish, Mice to Equine, that is Horses, Donkeys, Ponies... Have a look. Training your animals is fun and bonding.
Feeding Your Farm Ranch Dog
Your Farm/Ranch Dog is a Working Dog and needs to eat accordingly. However, be sure not to overfeed your working dogs, or they will not only be unhealthy, but will become lazy.
First of all. Much, Yeeeeears, Tons, of study has gone into commercial Dog Food. One is NOT as good as another, but all must meet Government Standards. Read The Labels before you buy. Just because a 'new and improved' comes out with fancy commercials and high prices, dose NOT make it a superior Dog Food.
Many times that med priced Dog Food is actually the best deal for not only the dog, but also your pocket book.
more to come
OTHER PEOPLE FEEDING YOUR FARM/RANCH DOG
There are many Schools of Thought that go with letting other people feed your Guard Dogs. We don't let people 'treat' our dogs. That is, giving our dogs a snack.
One: If your dog is taught NOT to eat food offered by strangers, they can not be poisoned by foods offered. Yes. This happens. Be it a neighbor who your dog chases their vehicle... (I strongly recommend you train your dog not to do this for their own safety as the vehicle is in motion....and just being on the roadway is not safe for your dog)....or someone trying to break into your home or barns.
Two: The person that treats your dog so that the dog is friendly with it...when they are up to no good. Yes. It happens. Someone you know. Someone you trust. They might 'buddy up' to your dog so that the dog 'knows' them, so that when you are not home, they can just help themselves to your items.
However: There might be someone that will need to feed your dog while you are away. The way we handle this is to NOT let anyone feed our dogs at all. Never really telling the dog they can not eat the foods, just not allowing it to happen. This way, should someone need to come in while we are away to feed our dogs....the poor animals will not be confused or starve!
MUCH MORE ON TRAINING FARM/RANCH TO COME
FEEDING THE FARM RANCH DOG
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 13:43:28 -0400