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We have been here on this little farm for almost a year. Its been a huge but wonderful change from the big city life. We have since added a bull calf, a bunny, 2 full grown chickens, 3 ducklings and 27 chicks to our farm. One more thing we are thinkng of adding this summer is a dog. This dog will live outside. We have adequate shelter (barn and a shed) and 3 acres of yard, plus the pasture for this creature to run on. 5 kids that will run it until it can't anymore lol.<br><br>
Tell me about your outside dogs. Do they roam to and fro when you are outside? How much of their time is spent tied up? My thnking is of course when we leave to lock or tie the dog up, but the rest of the time train her to stay here and let her run with us outside and roam when we are in the house(which isn't often even in winter)<br><br>
Lets see pictures and stories of how a farm dog works at your house!! Oh, and the dog we are thinking of getting is a Lab mix
 

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Hi Chandi! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> Glad to hear things are going well! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> We are still out in the boonies, we also have a little flock- 20 chicks, 3 turkeys, and 2 ducks. We've got cats of course too, and 2 bunnies. In February we got our first dog. He's a puppy, he was 2.5 months old when we brought him home- purebred golden retriever and he's now 5 months old and getting pretty big! My original plan was going to likely be a lab, but we found Sawyer and it just felt right, kwim? My #1 priority was it had to be a reliable kid friendly dog- which labs and retrievers are. He spent the cold weeks inside except for going for walks or being out when we were out, cause we didn't want to leave him out as a small puppy. Now he spends most days outside and sleeps inside at night. He does not need to be tied up, he is content to roam around the property and never runs away or strays from our yard yet. I've been acquainting him with our chicks from day one and so far he is not aggressive with them or even playful, just curious, he will let them walk on him even when I am right there. The other day my ds left the duck cage open and Sawyer was in there with them, I heard them peeping and putting up a big ruckus- to my horror I saw the dog in there but realized he wasn't doing anything to them, just sniffing curiously at them with his ears up. So, so far so good on that front. He's also incredibly obedient and amazing with the kids, we never did any puppy classes, just a little training at home with rewards. He is very friendly to people we know, he seems to read me, if someone I don't know shows up he barks until I tell him to be quiet or he sees me "make friends" with them. He's just a great dog, we intend to move his bed out to the barn for nights and close him in there to keep him safe, but I'm not sure when. He's really independent for a retriever in that he doesn't need to be around us all the time, he is very happy and loves to sit out in the sun and sniff around while still getting lots of tlc and play from the kids (who are homeschooled, as you know), when he wants to come in or get attention he just yips at the front door and give a little scratch-which I think is so cute! We plan to get him fixed when he is more fully grown, around a year. If we were to buy a 2nd dog I'd probably look into either a yellow or black lab or a great pyrenese as we have coyote problems in the area and I worry about Sawyer. Take care!
 

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Hi there, we have two dogs. We have Loki who's our 'farm dog' - he runs loose and goes wherever we do and follows us around and plays with the boys, etc. DH & I got him in college (after I got pregnant and miscarried actually...), and he's a great dog. He's just a mut from the pound - we've always thought he must have collee or something in him.<br><br>
Our other dog is a Maremma Sheepdog who lives with our goats 95% of the time. We picked maremma cause' the farm where both of goats came from had them and they were just such great, beautiful dogs that my dad fell in love with <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> He's a good dog, but he's big and, kinda stupid. He tends to knock ds1 over when he's out cause' hes just not paying attention, yk? Doesn't listen all that well or seem to care most of the time. But he's great with the goats, and thats his primary job, so he's fine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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We have a mastiff. She is great! Looks intimidating to strangers- but so gentle with the kids! She doesn't have a dog house- though most of the time she can go in the machine shed. In the winter she curls up under the shrubs right by the house foundation. We have never chained or locked her up- she has always roamed free. She is not a wanderer though. She likes to just stay put.<br><br>
Labs are wanderers though. They will generally roam the countryside. Just something to think about. I wouldn't like to have a dog that I had to lock or chain up.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>iowaorganic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15395210"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Labs are wanderers though. They will generally roam the countryside. Just something to think about. I wouldn't like to have a dog that I had to lock or chain up.</div>
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Our labbie doesn't tend to wander, in fact, he's always underfoot and standing right beside you even when you are not wanting him to be.<br><br>
However, I wouldn't recommend them for farm work because they do have a strong "chase" instinct. Our nickname for our lab is "the mighty hunter." He'll kill whatever he has a chance to get and I'm afraid chickens are awful tempting.<br><br>
We have a border collie, I'd consider him our actual "farm dog." He does what he's instructed, is gentle, I trust him not to kill things, he guards the house ferociously, but is kind to strangers when we want him to be. I'd love to get a younger border collie and teach him to be more useful (Harp's pretty old) with rounding things up and working with the cows.<br><br>
We also have a coonhound. I would NOT recommend one to anyone, but my dh sure does like her. She's pretty worthless as a farm dog unless what you want is a loud, disobedient, stinky escape artist.
 

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We have a Australian Cattle Dog whom we never tie up and she doesn't wander. She's a great dog, really calm and good with our 2 year old. But everyone who has met her and has met other Australian Cattle Dog's says she's not typical!<br><br>
IME females don't wander as much as males. Although nuetering males helps.<br><br>
Growing up whenever we got a new dog, we would tie it at night and when we were gone until it got used to the place and we knew it wouldn't wander. After awhile we would hardly ever tie them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am loving all of these responses. The dog we are getting is part lab and pointer I believe. The hunting will be huge instinct for her, but she is a really good pup. She is 6 months old and they have never had a problem with her running. She has been with her littermate, runt, so I think that will be a hard separation.<br>
When my 8 year old went to put a leash on her, she calmly sat and waited for my Peyton to put it on. She doesn't bark or jump. I"m dreaming of a dog that will greet us when we go outside, but that doesn't have too be tied up all the time. I don't like that and I don't want that for any ofour animals.<br><br>
Thanks for all the responses.<br><br>
Chandi
 

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Instead of tying, please look into radio fencing. It is awesome! We have 5 acres and 2 labs. We have almost 4 acres set up w/radio fencing, and it works so well. It took me less than 2 wks to train them, 15 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. It cost WAY less than traditional fencing.<br><br>
We have a black lab named Midnight and a yellow lab named Sunshine.(the latter is mostly full-blood w/a bit of golden retriever in her). They are the best dogs in the world. Very family-friendly, but they are indoor/outdoor dogs. We just use a doggie door, but when they get locked out, they have the barn to stay in. We've only had a couple of incidences w/Sunshine trying to get a chicken. That was when we first got her, and we broke her of it right away. We've had her for 4 yrs now, and Midnight for 5. They love to stick their noses right up the chickens' butts, but never ever try to hurt them. When they go in our goat area w/us, they are much more concerned about who is getting pet more--them or the goats, lol. I have no qualms about the ducks we plan to get. We have guineas, and the worst thing they do w/them is eat the eggs they find. They aren't interested in the rabbits, although they will occasionally kill a wild one.<br><br>
ETA: our dogs and cats are all spayed or neutered. We would never have a pet-indoor or out that is not.
 

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We had a lab when I was a kid, shawnee, who was the best dog ever. We've never tied or locked our dogs up on a regular basis. My dad built a pen for shawnee when we got her years and years ago, though we primarly used it when the dogs were in heat - none of ours have ever been wander-ers, though when they were in heat we'd have other neighborhood dogs over to visit ;p and as we didn't want mut puppies we just locked our dogs up for that week. We also locked her up during deer season and when we went out canoeing - otherwise she'd swim and follow us around the frigging lake!!<br><br>
I often think about tracking down one of shawnee's great, great, great, great grandaughters someday - she had several litters of purebred puppies. She was just the best dog we've ever had. Our current farmdog, loki, is occasionally locked up in her old pen - mostly when we have people working, during deer season, etc. But otherwise he runs loose whether we're here or not... once your dog knows where 'home' is, they might very wells tick around - ours always have <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Our dog, Penuche, is 1/4 Anatolian Shepard 1/4 Pyrenees and 1/2 Burmese Mtn. Dog. I absolutely love her. But this is after a considerable portion of her her life I spent really regretting adding her to the family. When you have livestock, adding a young dog to the mix is ALWAYS a precarious and tedious time. No matter the breed. Even dogs that are specifically bred(as the bloodlines Penuche hails from are) to protect and manage livestock still have the hunting instinct. I think that there are people and dogs who get very lucky and don't have a hard time with that, but the majority of the time there are going to be losses which, on the postitive side, can be viewed a learning opportunities.<br><br>
We got Penuche when she was 12 weeks old, from a farm where she had been exclusively raised with goats... Minimal interaction with her human caretakers. We had hoped that the early interaction with livestock would translate into other species... It didn't. For a VERY LONG TIME she was an off and on chicken killer. Tying(which I promised myself I would never do) became our heartbreaking way of managing that for a long time... It was our only option. Letting hr off for any period of time ended up with multiple dead chickens. A borrowed shock collar cured her. Sounds nasty, but at that point it was a kill her or cure her situation. Ever since she has been an exemplary character. She even goes so far as to monitor other dogs that enter the space. Anybody goes after a chicken and she sees that as her license to discipline.<br><br>
I would highly recommend, even if you already have a dog picked out, that you look at a dog bred to be a livestock dog. Even with Penuche's ugliest moments, she has turned out to be a great help with the animals... I know diddly about dog training, and she has naturally began to help herb cows and pigs of her own volition. Once she knew her parameters, the chickens are absolutely safe around her... I never have to worry about their safety. Growing up on a farm with parents that raised several breeds of dogs over the years and having lots of different breeds as pets, I've had first hand experience with livestock and dogs... From tiny to huge... Breeding does make a difference. It is very hard to defeat the instincts they are bred for. Mixing breeds makes it harder. Penuche is pure stock dog blood, but I think her mixed breeds made it harder in the end for her to pick up the idea. My mom has Great Pyrenees and they had their puppy glitches, but the rate at which they caught on and became useful farm dogs was so much faster I am a big fan of Pyrenees... They are so loyal, both to their family of critters and their family of humans. My mom's dog Goober herds the grandchildren. *haha*<br><br>
Penuche is now a confirmed free-gal. The neighbors know her and love her. She can go anywhere though she chooses to stay home these days(had a bout before she was fixed), but she keeps the neighbor dogs away. In fact, if I say "get 'em" she gets 'em, by golly! If we leave, she is always sitting at the edge of the drive or in the yard waiting for us. It's the stock-dog mentality... Stay with the herd and in the herd's territory. She is an excellent guard dog... There is no doubt in my mind that she would fight to the death to save me or the babies. I just love her these days... I couldn't imagine the farm without her.<br><br>
I hate to be all "poo poo" about the dog you already have picked out, but if you want to keep poultry(the easiest target, and just as loveable and easy to become attached too as a cow or goat) you really don't want a dog that is bred to hunt. It really is a bad idea, no matter how much you think she is a great pup. Trust me... It is hard to pick up a dead chicken with a name that you held in your hand as a chick, and then look at the dog you love and hate him/her for killing it. Then what do you do? It is very hard to break them of that killing thrill once they've done it once, and NONE of the methods to do so are easy or humane... This from a person who struggled with each and everything we tried to do to save a dog most other farmers would have axed the first time she killed something. It's heart breaking. And they CAN be reformed, but it's just not pretty. I'm not trying to be a kill-joy... Just realistic. That being said... If you do stay with the current pick, make sure she never has the opportunity to kill something. That is really the only cure. No free range birds, no access to very young livestock. Let her learn that a chicken is part of the family through the fence. When she is well out of the puppy stage and every ounce of curiosity is satisfied and you know for certain how far you can trust her(and that is close to two years with most dogs, sometimes longer) only then would I think about letting her loose with the critters. I understand completely the merits of raising a dog WITH the critters, but that is for stock dogs... Hundreds of years of breeding to get to that point. Best of luck.
 

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Our dog, Penuche, is 1/4 Anatolian Shepard 1/4 Pyrenees and 1/2 Burmese Mtn. Dog. I absolutely love her. But this is after a considerable portion of her her life I spent really regretting adding her to the family. When you have livestock, adding a young dog to the mix is ALWAYS a precarious and tedious time. No matter the breed. Even dogs that are specifically bred(as the bloodlines Penuche hails from are) to protect and manage livestock still have the hunting instinct. I think that there are people and dogs who get very lucky and don't have a hard time with that, but the majority of the time there are going to be losses which, on the postitive side, can be viewed a learning opportunities.<br><br>
We got Penuche when she was 12 weeks old, from a farm where she had been exclusively raised with goats... Minimal interaction with her human caretakers. We had hoped that the early interaction with livestock would translate into other species... It didn't. For a VERY LONG TIME she was an off and on chicken killer. Tying(which I promised myself I would never do) became our heartbreaking way of managing that for a long time... It was our only option. Letting hr off for any period of time ended up with multiple dead chickens. A borrowed shock collar cured her. Sounds nasty, but at that point it was a kill her or cure her situation. Ever since she has been an exemplary character. She even goes so far as to monitor other dogs that enter the space. Anybody goes after a chicken and she sees that as her license to discipline.<br><br>
I would highly recommend, even if you already have a dog picked out, that you look at a dog bred to be a livestock dog. Even with Penuche's ugliest moments, she has turned out to be a great help with the animals... I know diddly about dog training, and she has naturally began to help herb cows and pigs of her own volition. Once she knew her parameters, the chickens are absolutely safe around her... I never have to worry about their safety. Growing up on a farm with parents that raised several breeds of dogs over the years and having lots of different breeds as pets, I've had first hand experience with livestock and dogs... From tiny to huge... Breeding does make a difference. It is very hard to defeat the instincts they are bred for. Mixing breeds makes it harder. Penuche is pure stock dog blood, but I think her mixed breeds made it harder in the end for her to pick up the idea. My mom has Great Pyrenees and they had their puppy glitches, but the rate at which they caught on and became useful farm dogs was so much faster I am a big fan of Pyrenees... They are so loyal, both to their family of critters and their family of humans. My mom's dog Goober herds the grandchildren. *haha*<br><br>
Penuche is now a confirmed free-gal. The neighbors know her and love her. She can go anywhere though she chooses to stay home these days(had a bout before she was fixed), but she keeps the neighbor dogs away. In fact, if I say "get 'em" she gets 'em, by golly! If we leave, she is always sitting at the edge of the drive or in the yard waiting for us. It's the stock-dog mentality... Stay with the herd and in the herd's territory. She is an excellent guard dog... There is no doubt in my mind that she would fight to the death to save me or the babies. I just love her these days... I couldn't imagine the farm without her.<br><br>
I hate to be all "poo poo" about the dog you already have picked out, but if you want to keep poultry(the easiest target, and just as loveable and easy to become attached too as a cow or goat) you really don't want a dog that is bred to hunt. It really is a bad idea, no matter how much you think she is a great pup. Trust me... It is hard to pick up a dead chicken with a name that you held in your hand as a chick, and then look at the dog you love and hate him/her for killing it. Then what do you do? It is very hard to break them of that killing thrill once they've done it once, and NONE of the methods to do so are easy or humane... This from a person who struggled with each and everything we tried to do to save a dog most other farmers would have axed the first time she killed something. It's heart breaking. And they CAN be reformed, but it's just not pretty. I'm not trying to be a kill-joy... Just realistic. That being said... If you do stay with the current pick, make sure she never has the opportunity to kill something. That is really the only cure. No free range birds, no access to very young livestock. Let her learn that a chicken is part of the family through the fence. When she is well out of the puppy stage and every ounce of curiosity is satisfied and you know for certain how far you can trust her(and that is close to two years with most dogs, sometimes longer) only then would I think about letting her loose with the critters. I understand completely the merits of raising a dog WITH the critters, but that is for stock dogs... Hundreds of years of breeding to get to that point. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you. You have given me a lot of think about.
 

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We have 2 farm dogs. Our male is a Great Pyrenees and the female is 3/4 Great Pyrenees and 1/4 Australian Shepherd. They are never tied up or come in the house. We have 26 acres.<br><br>
I would not recommend Pyrenees if you want to be able to tie them up or lock them up. They need to be able to guard and roam your property. They would be very unhappy tied up.<br><br>
I love both of our dogs. They are so wonderful with all our animals (chickens, lots of chicks, cats, and goats) and with my children. They are very stubborn dogs, but they know what they are supposed to do and do a great job at that.
 

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Well, Abby is home! She is so far a doll. She has had a few run ins with my ducks but is learning fast, that duck pecks hurt.<br>
She is free to roam the property ( i really HATE tying her up) but never does unless we are outside with her. She lays on our porch or next too the porch. She gets a bit gutsy outside, with us, but is really just exploring.<br>
She doesn't bark, jump or run away. Just chases the kids, is afraid of our bunny and likes to licks the calves! Swimming in the pond is a fun past time also.<br>
If someone is home when I have to run the kids to classes or do errands, she stays free. She just lays there and watches us go. Doesn't chase the car. When we get home, she waits for us to get out of the truck before coming to find us.<br><br>
Now, my next question is, she is 5 months old and doesn't know her name real well. she hasn't gotten a lot of attention wheere she came from. When we call here, its 50/50 whether or not she comes. She always greets us and follows the kids everywhere. Right now, we are calling her Abby ALL.THE.TIME. As in EVERY time we talk to her. Will she eventually know her name? When she does come to us whenw e call, we praise her and give her a treat! I am hopeful she gets the hint. How long that takes, I'm not sure. BUt When I call ABBY! I need her to come. She ran for the road ONCE, when my DH was letting a rat snake go across the street and wouldn't come to her name. Obviously that isn't allowed. Hopefully she'll start to learn.<br><br>
Where do your dogs sleep at night? Abby is tied up in the barn (occupied by one bull calf) but is miserable. wants to be under this little tree near our front door. I"m nervous about leaving her there all night.<br><br>
Chandi
 

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Our farm dog (loki), sleeps either outside... wherever he pleases (but usually in one of the dog houses, or under the house), or inside in our laundry/mud room where he has a dog bed.<br><br>
How long have you had her for now? Has she ran away before? I'd give her month or so of living at your house w/o running off before I left her loose outside. If you have a 'safe' room where you can let her into where she can't really destroy anything, maybe try letting her in at night to sleep and see how she goes. As for how long it'll take to learn her name, IDK... once again, how long have you had her for now? How long has she been known as/called Abby on a regular basis? It coul easily take a couple weeks for her to figure that sort of stuff out.<br><br>
Good luck!!
 

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I'm not sure how muchshewas called by her name. Not much Isuppose since she doesn't know her name. We brought her home last Monday afternoon, so about a week.<br><br>
She has neve run away. She is used to being either tied up (which I do not want to do) or having free run of the yard.
 

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I'd give her free reign while your home - just peak out your windows and check on here every once in a while and make sure she's still around. I probably would tie her up when you leave though, especially if you live on any sort of main road. And otherwise, I'd just keep what yoru doing up... after a few weeks let her stay outside loose when you run to town for a half hour or so, and gradually give her longer and longer outside by herself. Good luck!!
 

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YES! Thats exactly what we are doing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> She is free to run on 3 acres of yard and 30 acres of pasture (which she hasn't really explored yet) while home and if we are all gone, we tie her up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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