Working Sheep Dog

September 9, 2006

A working sheep dog is a great help if you have a flock of sheep.  We have a Maremma sheepdog, and she is a jewel.  She stays with her charges and keeps watch over them.

Maremma sheepdog
She is especially protective when they have lambs.  I’ve seen her stand off a pack of 3 other dogs to keep them away from her sheep.

She’s not fond of human contact, however.  It’s one of her quirks that she doesn’t like to be handled.  She will permit me to do so when she needs a new flea collar or meds, or her coat needs attention.  But she doesn’t really seem to enjoy it, and certainly doesn’t come looking for a pet.

All that doesn’t matter.  What matters is she’s a good working sheep dog, and looks after them faithfully, night and day.

From Amazon. . .


Farm Collies

August 22, 2005

farm collies

Farm collies are a great breed.  They’ve been around for years, in one variation or another.  We have an American Working Farm Collie.

He is a cross between an American Farm Collie and an old line of working Border Collies.

Instead of being focused on only one job, these dogs are supposed to be more diverse and an all-around helper on the farm.

Obviously, each dog is different, and has different strengths and weaknesses.

Of course, there are all kinds of farm collies! On the website for the American Working Farm Collie, it states that it features:

  • English Shepherds,
  • old-fashioned working collies,
  • Australian Shepherds,
  • Shetland Sheepdogs and
  • other Farm collie breeds.

It can get a little confusing, because quite often English Shepherds are also called Farm Collies.

They are considered “America’s Heritage Farm Dog” that are “working dogs, valued for their versatility, loyalty, and intelligence.” (From English Shepherd website)

So when someone says they have a farm collie, it could be a mix of some breeds, or one particular breed like the English Shepherd.

Each breed and each dog will have things that it does better, and those that maybe it doesn’t do as well. Generally speaking, however, these dogs are up to helping with many tasks on a homestead.

The bottom line is a well trained farm collie can be a HUGE asset around the farm!

German Shepherd Working Dog

June 23, 2005

One of my best friends has a German Shepherd Working Dog when she was a kid.  I’d love to have one.  They have so many good qualities.  I even like to read stories about them.

german shepherd working dog

The German Shepherd Essential Info breed

As their name suggests, German Shepherds were bred as herding dogs. As such, they were bred to work closely with people and control large moving masses. Dog herds were bred for work and need work, if you do not provide them with it, they will find their own work to do. Also higher order thinking independent at times, these dogs can solve problems with chip.

From their origins as farmers, you can expect these dogs to chase moving objects such as bicycles and cars. They also have a tendency to cover the race children in the same way they PIN on the heels of livestock. This is called the movement stimulated by pinching.

German Shepherds are very intelligent and versatile. They can be trained to be police dogs, guide dogs, guide dogs, guard dogs and so on. They can make wonderful companions. Although very easy to train German shepherds need professional assistance to at least the first two years. They need constant training sessions and daily socialization. Intensive early socialization is needed to offset the problems of shyness and sensitivity noise that is common among all breeds of livestock. It should certainly not reward cowardice or aggression in this breed. Page GSD should be sterilized first.

german-shepherd-dogGerman Shepherds have been a very popular breed for many years has led to problems related to poor breeding and overbreeding. Widespread genetic and temperament problems has left the race overflowing Berger dogs suffering health and behavioral problems, excessive shyness and aggression. German Shepherds often become more attached to their owners which leads to separation anxiety, more protective and fear of new situations.

The average size of a German shepherd is between 22-26 inches and average weight ranges from 65-100 pounds. Some, of course, can get much more than that. Most shepherds are black and tan, but some may be solid black, white or gray. These dog breeds are double sided, such as delivery in profusion. When shedding occurs, usually in spring and autumn, German Shepherds should be brushed daily. Make lasts several weeks, during which the dogs will throw an amazing amount hair.

As already mentioned, these dogs need work and which results in lots of exercise. At least two sessions per day would a minimum requirement. daily training sessions would also strongly recommended.

Due to the high volume of livestock Over the years, the behavior of German shepherds around children and other pets can be quite unpredictable. Some dogs can be fantastic around children and pets and others can be the opposite. Some of these behaviors can be attributed to inherited traits, but Early socialization and training also play an important role.

German Shepherds are prone to a wide range of health problems. Here is short list: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, spinal degeneration, autoimmune disease, thyroid dysfunction, subaortic stenosis, skin disorders and gastrointestinal problems. poor temperament has become so common that the stability, confidence and calmness Shepherd is a very pleasant surprise.

At best, German shepherds are second to none for their support and dedication. They can be trained to do almost anything what. It’s a sad situation that these good specimens are hard to find with so many unhealthy and unstable dogs there.

About the Author

For more information on the german shepherd or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.


Top Working Dogs

June 15, 2005

If you wonder what the top working dogs are, here’s an article talking about the top ten… what breeds they are, and what’s good and bad about them.

However, I’d have to say that I wouldn’t call these the top ten working dogs for a farm.  I think the list would be a little different then, because you’d want to include livestock guard dogs and herding dogs in the list.

Still, it’s interesting to see what this guy considers the top 10 working dogs. . .


The Working Dog group includes most of the guard dog breeds such as the Rottweiler and Doberman Pinscher as well as the northern sled dogs such as the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky. Most of these dogs need lots of exercise and a fair amount of living space. Many of these dogs have thick double coats and can be heavy shedders. The heavy shedding breeds include the: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, Samoyed and Siberian Husky. The top 10 most popular Working Dog breeds in the US according to the American Kennel Club 2005 registrations are discussed below and their registration rank is included in brackets.

1. Boxer

The Boxer (#7) is a large, strong and muscular dog that is energetic, good-natured and playful. Boxers are very popular because they love children and are a good dog breed for active families with children. Toddlers and young children should be supervised carefully when around young or adolescent dogs that will knock them over when they get excited. This breed needs early socialization and obedience training while they are puppies and exercise while adolescents to control their exuberance. Boxers are alert, intelligent and eager to please and can be trained to a high level for agility sports and obedience competitions. Boxers make good watchdogs and can even be trained to be guard dogs.

2. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler (#16) is a very heavy, muscular and large dog breed. A well-bred Rottweiler is calm, intelligent, confident and courageous but can be aggressive toward strangers and strange dogs. Therefore it is important that this breed be thoroughly socialized and obedience trained starting when it is a puppy and continuing through adolescence. The Rottie needs exercise and mental stimulation and makes a good obedience, agility and schutzhund competitor. Rottweilers are not suited for indoor life and enjoy being outside. A well trained Rottie does fine with older children but this breed should be restricted to people who have the time to thoroughly socialize, obedience train, and keep this dog active.

3. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher (#21) is a strong, muscular and athletic large dog. Dobermans are usually protective but also are sweet and docile family dogs. This intelligent breed needs early socialization and obedience training when it is a puppy and this should be continued through adolescence. Dobermans do fine with older children if they are raised with them. Male Dobes can be very aggressive with other male dogs and shouldn’t be trusted with small pets and strange children. Dobermans need lots of exercise and companionship and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. This breed should spend a significant amount of time at a dog training school. Dobermans make good guard dogs and good watchdogs.

4. Great Dane

The Great Dane (#24) is a very large and strong dog and is known as the gentle giant of dog breeds. The Dane is gentle, quiet, loyal and affectionate towards its family. This breed would rather lean against you for a pat, than be aggressive towards anyone. The Dane is great with family children but small children must be supervised carefully to avoid knockdown. The Dane is so large that it must be socialized and trained to behave very cautiously around children and pets. Because the Dane is so large early obedience training is essential to prevent it from exerting dominance. Young Danes, up to three years old, can be boisterous and need strict supervision. Danes make excellent watchdogs.

5. Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky (#25) is a very handsome medium to large dog breed that is playful, friendly, athletic and independent. Siberians get along well with older children but are not recommended for toddlers and small children unless raised with them from a puppy. Too many people are attracted to this handsome dog without realizing this is a working sled dog that needs a lot of physical activity. Siberians belong outside in an escape-proof large yard but get bored and destructive if they have too little exercise. Training is quite challenging and must be started when the Sibes are puppies and continued through to adulthood. Siberians don’t bark much (although they howl from time to time) and are too friendly to make good watchdogs.

6. Mastiff

The Mastiff (#33) is a gentle giant dog and one of the heaviest dog breeds. This gentle giant is a great family dog that is calm, dignified, good-natured and very fond of children. Because of its giant size, toddlers are in danger of knock-down, and should always be supervised carefully. Mastiffs need a house with a large fenced yard. This breed needs lots of companionship and should have early and on-going socialization and obedience training so that you can control the Mastiff with only voice commands. This breed is naturally protective of its home and family and must be socialized early and often with other dogs to prevent it from becoming combative. Mastiffs make good watch dogs and guard dogs.

7. Saint Bernard

The massive Saint Bernard (#37) is the most famous of all giant dog breeds and one of the best known of all dog breeds. The Saint is an intelligent, courageous, obedient and good natured dog breed. The breed is very good with children and also other pets but because of their very large size, young children and toddlers should be supervised carefully to avoid any accidents. The Saint is relatively easy to train but must be thoroughly socialized and trained while it is young and hasn’t grown too large to handle. The Saint Bernard makes a good watchdog even though it doesn’t bark much and is fairly tolerant of strangers.

8. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff (#42) is a very large dog that is a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff dog breeds. The Bullmastiff is loveable and trustworthy but also fearless and afraid of nothing. Normally this breed is mild mannered and docile but once aroused can be aggressive with other male dogs and strangers. Bullmastiffs make great family pets for families with older children but young puppies or adolescents are too exuberant to be around toddlers or small children. Bullmastiff puppies must have early socialization and obedience training that is reinforced through adulthood. This dog breed is too large to allow it to have any unruly behavior and at any sign of aggression get professional training assistance. Bullmastiffs make fantastic watch dogs and great natural guard dogs but should never receive additional guard dog training.

9. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland (#46) or Newf is one of the giant dog breeds whose teddy bear appearance gives an indication of what a wonderful family dog it is. The Newfoundland has a wonderfully sweet and gentle disposition that is reflected in his kind expression. This intelligent, gentle and good-natured giant dog is great with children and makes a terrific family dog. Toddlers should be supervised carefully as one slurp from his big tongue could knock a little one over. Newfs and all giant breeds should be socialized and obedience trained early while puppies and through adolescence. Newfs need lots of companionship and need to be involved in family activities.

10. Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog (#47) is a very handsome large dog which is outgoing, intelligent and affectionate and makes a terrific family pet. Berners love children but should be supervised with young children because they are large and can knock the toddlers over. Berners should be socialized early with small children and animals when they are puppies. Bernese are intelligent and very trainable and make good dogs for competitive obedience trials. These mountain dogs like to be outside and thrive in cold weather. Berners are fairly tolerant with strangers but still make excellent watch dogs and guard dogs.

About the Author:
Mike Mathews is a contributing writer and editor for the popular dog breed site: . He provides informative, real-world advice and tips on dog breeds, dog health , dog grooming and more. As well be sure to check out his free report on Dog Training.
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Working Australian Cattle Dog

May 14, 2005

Oz, my brother's Australian cattle dog

A working Australian Cattle Dog is a high energy dog. VERY high energy. We had one for a short time that I got from a friend. However, we didn’t have proper fencing, and we had to send him back because he was roaming around into the neighbor’s yards and trying to play with the kids. But he was so full of energy, he knocked them down and sometimes scratched them.

If we had fencing, he would have been wonderful to keep on the farm.  In the proper setting, these dogs can be a great addition.  They are hard workers and highly intelligent. 

Australian Cattle Dogs are also often refered to as: Heelers, Blue Heelers, Red Heelers, Queensland Heelers, Queensland Blue Heelers and Queensland Red Heelers.

They are a healthy breed with an average lifespan of twelve to fifteen years. They are a medium sized muscular dog that stands 17 to 20 inches (43 to 51 cm.) at the withers (shoulders). Their weight range is variant around their general build but on average falls between 30 and 50 pounds (14 to 23 kg). The Australian Cattle Dog comes in two colors: Blue or Red.

This video is a montage of still photographs that are positively stunning. They show the ACD at work.. HARD at work! And at play.  It clearly shows why they are often called “heelers”‘ as they nip at the heels of cattle to get them going in the right direction.

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