February 11, 2013

Homestead Dogs

What is a farm without a dog? Whether they are working dogs or just companions, I think all farms, ranches and homesteads have a dog or two or more.

Juliet is our LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog). She lives with the goats and rarely wants to leave their pen. She checks things out in the morning when I let her out of the pen so that she can eat her food in peace. One morning last week I walked into the pen to find this (please excuse the poor quality of this cell phone photo):

Yes, she killed a skunk! And it did not spray! I'm not sure how she managed to do this without consequence. She evidently broke its neck, and then she totally ignored it. She didn't brag about it or even acknowledge that it was in the pen. I'm very proud of her.

Cracker is learning how to work with Juliet, even though he is loose on our property and she is in the goat pen. When Juliet barks her alarm bark, Cracker goes out to investigate. This is how two LGDs usually work: one goes after the threat while the other stays with the livestock to guard them. Other than Cracker's lapse with the chickens last week, he has been doing a good job.

Sissy is hubby's puppy, a border collie cross. Hasn't she grown?

Sissy is a tough gal and thinks she's just as big as the others, but Cracker does tend to bowl her over and chew on her. Her border collie blood is very evident; I've never seen her back down from anything.

And then there's Pete, my English Shepherd, bought before the fire to help with the goats. He was a big help with them and was learning his job well. He loves my current little goat herd but there really isn't much for him to do with just four of them. We have fewer livestock now than we did a year ago so he doesn't have as much to do; he's now my self-appointed bodyguard, and he takes that job very seriously.

We also have Josh, our youngest daughter's dog, the only one left of the three pets that came with us when we moved to Oak Hill. Josh has always been a "house dog" but now that the other two are gone, he gets to go on evening walks with me and the other dogs.

Do you have a dog or two or more?


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  1. We've got 3 LGD's, and then the housemutts....a Great Dane and her 3 littles, the Chihuahuas.

  2. Chihuahuas and a Great Dane - that would be quite a sight! :-)

  3. I just have my Howl for now. Like your dog, she is my self-appointed body guard. She recently guarded my back against a fence aggressive Weimaraner and has also designated herself Ms Bossy and Keeper Of The Rules.

  4. Yep, Pete is also Mr. Bossy and Chief Rule Enforcer.

  5. We have Rowdy, our Anatolian Shepherd; Rosie, Anatolian/Great Pyr cros; Sophie, English Shepherd; Ruby, Anatolian/English cross; and our house dogs...Shadow, a miniature toy Schnauzer and Sassy a Japenese Chin/Pomeraian/Yorkie cross! We just lost our Great Pry, Sadie last fall! We love our dogs!!

  6. You have an English shepherd too, Marilyn! Wonderful dogs!


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