Homesteading is becoming a popular choice in modern America. People are slowly fleeing the city and settling in the countryside for a simpler life. Choosing a dog to keep you company is a key part of family ownership, but they will also do key work for you. There are many key things to consider, but there are a few important factors in making your dog friendly.
Understanding your dog’s prey is very important as this will take into account the type of animals you can keep. Likewise, your dog’s desire to stay within range of the farm will be a key factor in determining how far you can let him roam. Finally, it is important to note that these are not general recommendations. Every dog ââis an individual and will have different personalities and temperaments, which means there is no guarantee that the puppy you bring home will be a perfect fit. These are our best recommendations.
American Labradors make fantastic dogs for potential owners who live in the countryside. Their love of the outdoors combined with their happy and lucky personalities make them a great choice for the farm lifestyle.
Although they love to hunt, Labradors are an excellent family dog ââbecause they have a very low hunting impulse. This means that they are extremely unlikely to chase and injure your animals. That being said, they are very intelligent as a breed and are often able to learn to hear and help on the farm.
Their shorter coats are naturally water resistant and require very little grooming. This makes them a fantastic low maintenance dog for farm life!
While not as agile as some of the other breeds on this list, having a Mastiff on your property can be a deterrent to others.
Research shows that having an intimidating large dog around your property greatly reduces the likelihood of poaching. Providing shelter for your mastiff type dog to stay outside with your animals will make poachers think twice before entering your property.
The smell of a large dog on your property is also likely to deter natural predators such as wolves or foxes.
Despite their creepy appearance, Mastiff type dogs are often gentle, careful dogs with a lot of love to give. This makes it a good match for families with young children around!
Contrary to its name, the Australian Shepherd is actually an American breed, bred by cowboys to help them keep livestock.
These brave and intelligent puppies make a great match for those looking to return to their American roots.
If you plan to keep larger animals on your property, having a sheepdog to help you control them is a must. Australian Shepherds are fast, light and very intelligent. This quick intelligence also makes them excellent for training tricks, if you ever want to branch out and teach them to do other things!
Despite their herd instinct, Australian Shepherds can do very well with smaller animals and therefore are less likely than other breeds to injure your chickens!
Jack russel terrier
Originally raised as rats, the Jack Russell Terrier is an excellent breed for anyone looking to control pests on their farm. This small but powerful breed gained popularity and traction in England, bred as a hunting dog to help take down rats, rabbits and other small species.
These stubborn, intelligent little dogs may seem small, but their bite is way worse than their bark when it comes to rats!
If you are planning to bring home a Jack Russell Terrier, you will need to have excellent management around your farm. For example, if you are raising poultry, they will need to be behind tightly reinforced fences to deter a Jack Russell! Alternatively, putting in some great training, like an emergency shutdown, will help protect your poultry!
Despite their ferocity towards the little vermin, they are a loving and funky breed, doing very well in homes with young children. When they’re not making a lot of noise or chasing whatever they want, a Jack Russell Terrier is often found taking a nap in a sunny spot on their property.
The Great Pyrenees could be the ultimate family dog! Originally raised as herders of cattle in the Pyrenean mountains, these dogs have found new life as a homesteader.
Due to their heritage as mountain dogs, they have long, smooth double coats. Their naturally water-repellent coat requires very little maintenance beyond daily brushing and is resistant to all weather, whatever the day.
As a breed they have very little inclination to dig, so your vegetable gardens are safe. Likewise, they have little inclination to hunt, so your livestock are safe. Instead, their favorite pastime is finding a sunny spot and watching their livestock. Their naturally protective nature means they are happy to work as guard dogs, keeping everyone safe from poachers or predators.
Despite their large size, the Great Pyrenees are a naturally patient and kind dog, making them a great choice for aspiring families or homes with established dogs.
While it might seem like an odd choice, a pug can do very well on a farm. Their goofy nature can make them laugh a lot when you’re on the go on your farm.
They have a short, unadorned coat that requires very little grooming. While it’s shorter and they may need a coat in cold and / or humid weather, their naturally sunny personality means they’re happy to take it. Raised as companion dogs, these happy and lucky puppies have no desire to dig or hunt – they are happy to walk and smell the roses. Naturally playful, these dogs are generally happy to play in a field with their friends while you work.
It’s also important to note that while they don’t have a natural instinct like the Great Pyrenees or the Australian Shepherd, Pugs do have a natural desire to be close to you. This means they are unlikely to stray away from the farm and get lost!
David Boisis a carpenter, outdoor enthusiast and author with over 30 years of professional woodworking experience. He is the author of the bestseller How to build a log house and has trained over half a million people on how to build a log cabin through his blog,Log cabin hub. Read all his articles on MOTHER EARTH NEWShere.
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