Farm life has long been thought of as so idyllic for dogs that we use it as a euphemism for when they pass on. That doesn’t mean that every type of dog is well-suited for life on the farm, though, as some breeds are better for the rugged farm life than others.
Those looking for a working dog that they can use around the farm should consider sturdy breeds such as Great Pyrenees, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Border Collies, and other similar breeds. When looking to purchase a working dog, it is important to work with a reputable breeder to ensure there will be no health issues down the line.
But, if you want to know more about what traits to look for in a working dog, be sure to stick around. We will cover everything you need to know about working dogs, along with five examples of the best dogs to have around your farm coming up next!
What to Look for in a Working Dog Breed?
When looking for a working dog breed, it can be helpful to look at your situation and keep the following factors in mind:
Local climate: A St. Bernard sure looks at home in the French Alps, but one on a ranch in Texas, however, and you’ll quickly find one becomes a puppy popsicle puddle. Making sure that your dog will be compatible with your climate will ensure that you get the working dog you desire instead of one that naps in the shade all day.
Temperament: As social animals, some working dogs can be gruff if not socialized properly. This is worth keeping in mind, especially if you are looking for a dog that will be a hard worker and a close companion.
Working type: Herding dogs don’t always make great security dogs, and vice-versa. This is why it’s important to know what type of work you will want your dog to do so you can get a breed that specializes in it.
The Great Pyrenees
When ranchers look for a dog to protect livestock from predators, they often opt for breeds such as the Great Pyrenees. Think that these dogs aren’t up to the task. Check out this video of the furry guardians at work to accurately demonstrate their abilities. One thing to note is that while these are great working dogs, they may not be well suited for families with small children.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Take one look at a Bernese Mountain Dog, and you would quickly bet that this is another type of breed that is well suited for personal protection. Originally from the farmlands of Switzerland, these dogs have traditionally been used to pull sleds through the snow in their native land. Besides transport, these dogs are great for security, herding, and companionship.
And while you will often see adorable little Bernese Mountain Dog puppies for sale, it is important to remember how large these dogs can become quite large, with males weighing in at 110 pounds by the time they’ve reached adulthood.
Collies can be so intelligent that they can actually get frustrated by their owner’s inability to understand them, and the Border Collie is no different in terms of intelligence. Border Collies are also specifically bred for herding farm animals such as sheep. One thing to note is that Border Collies often prefer to work and live with another doggy companion, preferably another Collie.
Old English Sheep Dog
The Old English Sheep Dog is a breed that has been beloved for its dependability as a working dog for generations. They traditionally were used to move herds over long distances, often many miles at a time, so these are some seriously hardy pups. And while they can be friendly dogs if socialized from a young age, males have been known to display an aggressive temperament.
Scotch Collies are great working dogs for those who need herding help with livestock such as sheep. As true working dogs, Scotch Collies require a high level of engagement and activity in their day-to-day lives. They also do well with regimented schedules, especially when walking and feeding.
While sometimes called rough collies, these dogs can be anything but with their owners, as they are fiercely loyal to their family and will protect it at all costs. This can give Scotch Collies a somewhat somber mood, though they enjoy daily scheduled play breaks.
Choosing the Right Working Dog Can Be Easy
If learning about the amazing dogs above has made choosing a breed more difficult, don’t worry. This is a perfectly reasonable response. Choosing a dog breed is a highly personal choice. This is why it is recommended to develop a list of five essential traits you need in a farm dog and work towards a breed from there.
Of course, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments that you may have about any of the farm dogs we have gone over today, and, as always, thank you for reading!
Featured Image by April Anderson from Pixabay