PDA

View Full Version : Looking for a farm-friendly guard dog



Punkie
Apr. 11, 2011, 06:58 PM
So I recently bought a farm in Ocala and will be living down there for the better part of the year. It's big property and quite off the beaten path and while I'll have staff around during the day, I'll be on my own at night and I'd feel better having a big dog around just in case as I'm a very little 20 something that couldn't scare off a field mouse! I would love a Bullmastiff but I understand that they have an extremely difficult time in the heat, so that's out. I have had a Rottie mix in the past and he was a WONDERFUL dog, so I would absolutely consider a purebred, but I haven't a clue how they do with horses.

I basically need a dog that is a great companion, happy to live on a farm (would live inside, but when I'm out, I'd want it out with me) but is also big and protective and good with horses. I'd love something that I could do Schutzhund work with, but it's not a must.

Any suggestions?

Xanthoria
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:01 PM
Doberman!

Bravestrom
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:28 PM
great dane - the love the heat - are very protective and very intimidating. I know my dog would lay down his life for me. He is great with the horses - in fact he was licking our brand new foal's nose today, but has total respect of the big guys.

Jaegermonster
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:35 PM
I"m the vice president of a dog rescue called The London Sanctuary. We are a 501(c)3. If you go to www.petfinder.com and put in zip code 32040, our currently listed dogs will come up.
The dog Shrek is currently being fostered at my house, he's been here for the last month or so. I pulled him off Death Row at the local kill shelter the day before he was to be pts. He is awesome with all 12 of my other dogs, no problems with the horses, and he is great with kids. He also loves water and loves to play. He is crate trained and housebroken and is the greatest dog you will ever meet. He is also big enough that no one will mess with you when he is around for sure.


I also have another dog at my farm now that is not on petfinder yet, she is a blue and white pitbull and is awesome as well. She's undergoing hw treatment so that is why she is not listed but we would be willing to take a deposit on her to hold her til she is done if someone wanted her. She is another one that was pulled at the 11th hour.

Pcostx
Apr. 11, 2011, 09:02 PM
Amen Jaegermonster!

ANYONE looking for a great rescue animal, dog, cat, bird, horse, etc. Search www.petfinder.com FIRST!

You can find anything and everything you want there.

Punkie
Apr. 11, 2011, 09:53 PM
Jaegermonster: I would love, love, love to get a pit bull (they're my favorite breed of dog) but my insurance company simply won't allow it. If they found out I had one, they'd cancel my policy :( I've also been told that if I want a guard dog that is specifically bonded to me, I have to start with a puppy (my parents are good friends with the head of the K-9 unit in their county and he's the one that told us this). But I would really like to adopt a welsh corgi as a second dog, so I will make sure to take a look on petfinder when it's time!

wendy
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:41 PM
you can get puppies off petfinder- not that I really believe one must start with a puppy to get a good bond.
You can always tell people your pittie is a "boxer mix" or something. Except I don't believe they make very good guard dogs- they are supposed to be extremely people friendly but dog aggressive.

MunchkinsMom
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:31 AM
Punkie, I am going to send you a PM - I just got an email last week from a neighbor who knows of two farm dogs that need homes, a Great Pyrenese and a German Shepard, they are currently living on a horse farm here in Ocala, and the owners are relocating to Miami and cannot take the dogs.

I hope I have the email, if I don't, I will email my neighbor and get the contact information.

camohn
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:58 AM
I know the bad ones are out there but I have only knows good/well bred Rotties and they were protective but great farm/family dogs. I had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and he was really proetective of me. The great thing about him was that on his turf (which was my truck and his yard) he was very protective but if I took him elsewhere he was very friendly. I have met plenty of other Chessies that were the same way. They are not easy dogs to train though.....very stubborn. Once trained though....he was the best. FL would be too hot for their heavy coats though.I would find a good Rottie from a reputable breeder.

MunchkinsMom
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:36 AM
You can also check the online kennel at the Marion County Animal Shelter:

http://www.petharbor.com/results.asp?searchtype=ADOPT&start=4&nopod=1&stylesheet=http://www.marioncountyfl.org/css/petharbor.css&friends=0&samaritans=1&nosuccess=1&rows=10&imght=120&imgres=thumb&view=sysadm.v_MRON&nobreedreq=1&nomax=1&nocustom=1&fontface=arial&fontsize=10&zip=34470&miles=200&shelterlist='MRON'&atype=&where=type_DOG&PAGE=1

We have a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer cross female, and she is very protective. We got her from the pound, and her only hole is that she is not good with the horses, so we don't bring her to the barn.

Zarafia
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:24 AM
PM sent :).

1ofEach
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:41 AM
I grew up with Doberman's and Rotties which have both been great farm dogs. German Sheppard is also a good choice, but I'd think you'd probably have to shave it for the FL heat. A less known breed is the Blackmouth Cur. That's my current dog and my all-time favorite dog. They do take A LOT of training and their teenage years can be exhausting, but it is all worth it. They are very intelligent and obedient dogs.

Vic_007
Apr. 12, 2011, 07:00 AM
German Shepards are great on the farm ..... If you want something a bit more serious that will protect your animals you could look into a Komondor too. They are a guardian dog used for sheep herds. I know of people who successfully used them on horse farms though, if you have boarders they need to be introduced though because they wont let strangers on property.

Vic_007
Apr. 12, 2011, 07:02 AM
ok, scratch that idea... LOL I dont think you could have a komondor in Florida... look up a pic and you'll see why.... hahaha sorry, im in canada, extreme heat does usually factor into my thinking sometimes

wireweiners
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:53 AM
For Florida, I'd suggest a Catahoula. They were bred in the south so they can deal with the heat. They are territorial and very protective of their people and their livestock. They can be dog aggressive and have a high prey drive so if you want one to get along with other dogs and cats, it's best to start with a pup or get an older dog that has been socialized to other dogs and cats. They generally get along well with horses and other livestock with a bit of training. I got a great Catahoula, Daisy, off Petfinder from a local rescue.

LauraKY
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:06 PM
I'd go with a non aggressive dog. German Shepherd or Rottie would be my first choice. Are you looking for a protection or an alarm/alert dog? Smooth coat collies (collies are the BEST farm dogs, IMO). Fine to take from a rescue (and I would, an older dog that's been on a farm would be perfect) their personalities don't change too awfully much, even if they've had some abuse.

DarkenStormy
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:12 PM
I disagree that you have to get the dog from a puppy in order to have a bond. I got my dog at the age of one, and I have had instances where he has put himself between me and a stranger with the intent to NOT let that person get within 10 feet of me.

He's very protective of his home and his yard - but an angel outside of the house. He is the first one to alert me to danger.

He's a mix - and I don't think he would ever make a good farm dog - but I feel 100% safe with him, even though I did not get him as a puppy.

LauraKY
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:34 PM
I disagree that you have to get the dog from a puppy in order to have a bond. I got my dog at the age of one, and I have had instances where he has put himself between me and a stranger with the intent to NOT let that person get within 10 feet of me.

He's very protective of his home and his yard - but an angel outside of the house. He is the first one to alert me to danger.

He's a mix - and I don't think he would ever make a good farm dog - but I feel 100% safe with him, even though I did not get him as a puppy.

Depends on the breed, IMO. As I said, a collie has a pretty consistent personality....some others don't.

We have a lab who found us at six months. He's extremely protective of my daughter (goes to work with her at an equine vet clinic), protects us in the house and protects "his" cat from our other dog. He is a bit ADHD ;) and will eat anything (as most labs do).

minuspride
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:38 PM
Please check out Chow-Chows or some mix of one. They are the best guard dogs and are very much one person dogs.
I have a Chow-Chow/Australian Cattle Dog cross. My dog guards my property with all of her heart, and lets no one get close to me without my say so.
She follows me all around our property and lays in the grass while I work. She's happy to be right by my side or where ever else I tell her to sit.
Just an all around great dog. The Cattle Dog in her kept her hair pretty short, but otherwise you can clip most of their hair off.
She was very easy to train as well...I picked up her paw one day and said "shake" and she knew it from then on. Chows are also known for not getting into things in the house...very true and very wonderful trait to have!!!

jetsmom
Apr. 12, 2011, 12:41 PM
I disagree that you have to get the dog from a puppy in order to have a bond. I got my dog at the age of one, and I have had instances where he has put himself between me and a stranger with the intent to NOT let that person get within 10 feet of me.

He's very protective of his home and his yard - but an angel outside of the house. He is the first one to alert me to danger.

He's a mix - and I don't think he would ever make a good farm dog - but I feel 100% safe with him, even though I did not get him as a puppy.

I also disagree that it needs to be a puppy. Two of the last strays I rescued were over 7 yrs old. One was basically feral after being a stray for over 3 yrs (It took me 9 months of leaving food/water beside the road everyday before he'd let me touch/catch him). He is extremely devoted to me, protective, and my shadow. If I let him out off leash, he will not leave the yard.

MunchingonHay
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:29 PM
I always found that the dogs that were adopted from a pound/shelter were more protective than dogs that 'grew up' in the house, as the pound dogs are more appreciative of a loving home. I have a pound pup, boxer/pittie/blackmouth cur and he is wonderfully loving and kind, but do not knock on the door, creep around the house or approach his momma without warning. ;)

I know if a guy that does shutzhound in our area. (near downtown Ocala) let me know if you want his info.

Jaegermonster
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:57 PM
Jaegermonster: I would love, love, love to get a pit bull (they're my favorite breed of dog) but my insurance company simply won't allow it. If they found out I had one, they'd cancel my policy :( I've also been told that if I want a guard dog that is specifically bonded to me, I have to start with a puppy (my parents are good friends with the head of the K-9 unit in their county and he's the one that told us this). But I would really like to adopt a welsh corgi as a second dog, so I will make sure to take a look on petfinder when it's time!

He is actually an AMerican Staffordshire Terrier, which is not the pit bull that so many ignorant people freak out about. There are many different breeds that unfortunately get lumped under pit bulls.

I really don't agree with the whole puppy thing, I've had several dogs that I have rescued that were so grateful they bonded to me almost immediately. Shrek sits on my feet every time I stop moving, Chynna (the other one I rescued) heels and everything and follows me everywhere.

If you're talking a "guard dog" taht is only a "guard dog" then yes maybe the puppy thing is true, but if you are talking about a dog that will be a good thing to have for security but also a good all around farm/family type dog, i have not found that to be the case, and I have worked quite closely with our K9 unit at the Sheriff's Dept I work for for a number of years.

But anyway, we do have lots of dogs available and if anyone is in the N FL/S Ga area, The London Sanctuary is having an adoption event Saturday at Petsmart at 8801 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville FL and we will have about 15 dogs of all shapes and sizes there and I think even a couple of bunnies.

Doberpei
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:26 PM
Check out Big Fluffy Dog Rescue - lots of livestock guard dog and mixes.

http://www.bigfluffydogs.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Fluffy-Dog-Rescue/28214716181?sk=info

vtdobes
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:53 PM
I'll second the Doberman :)

leilatigress
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:45 PM
I'll third the Doberman. Just watch out for the Wobblers and Hip Displaysia. Friend currently has a Catahoula and they are solid citizens but his is a bit of a dedicated digger. No idea if its prevalent of the breed but she is a great little hunter and is intimidating enough to make even the most dedicated coyote back off. We also usually had a heeler of some sort and they were fantastic for alarm dogs. They'd only bark if the situation required it and their herding skills did come in handy on occasion for the recalculate horse not wanting to go through the gate without chasing them in the pasture. I'd work with a local rescue and try a couple out before you settle with one. We fostered for many years as being around all the horses and bigger animals made the dogs nice and very athletic.

alliekat
Apr. 12, 2011, 05:08 PM
We have found our boxers to be great farm and family dogs. Our our great with children, horses, cats and even the chickens. They will let strangers know that they protect the house. Once I let someone in our home they are accepting of them. Short hair coat so less groom required. Our have always (knock on wood) been very healthy. Definitely a breed worth considering.

Silvercrown90
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:58 PM
I just got notified about these two about an hour ago. These two big kids (short-haired mastiff mixes) are looking for a Rescue, with no pull fee attached. They are in a shelter in Ohio. They have to have a commitment by April 26th, and they will be spayed/neutered before they leave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=697Y8uNhmws

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OhioDogsDatabase/attachments/folder/237299847/item/1707882864/view

Contact Shannon O'Herron, Humane Officer, if anyone is interested in helping. The Irish-marked (white stockings) brindle female reminds me of my own female.

Shannon's e-mail is shoherron@ sbcglobal.net

MunchkinsMom
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:00 PM
alliecat, those are some beautiful dogs you have there!

Punkie, I sent you a PM with the contact information on the two dogs needing a home here in Ocala. From my neighbor who notified me about them:


They are outside dogs and guard as a team, but they are also wonderful pets and good around children.

alliekat
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:04 PM
alliecat, those are some beautiful dogs you have there!

Punkie, I sent you a PM with the contact information on the two dogs needing a home here in Ocala. From my neighbor who notified me about them:

Thank you :)

birdsong
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:30 PM
Punkie, I am going to send you a PM - I just got an email last week from a neighbor who knows of two farm dogs that need homes, a Great Pyrenese and a German Shepard, they are currently living on a horse farm here in Ocala, and the owners are relocating to Miami and cannot take the dogs.

I hope I have the email, if I don't, I will email my neighbor and get the contact information.

Wonderful news! Any way you could take them BOTH? An experienced pair.

vacation1
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:29 PM
I'll be on my own at night and I'd feel better having a big dog around just in case as I'm a very little 20 something that couldn't scare off a field mouse!.. I basically need a dog that is a great companion, happy to live on a farm (would live inside, but when I'm out, I'd want it out with me) but is also big and protective and good with horses. I'd love something that I could do Schutzhund work with, but it's not a must. Any suggestions?

Just curious here - is it a good idea to do Schutzhund training with a dog who will be expected to be well-behaved while loose around various non-family members and livestock? From what I understand it isn't quite as casual as agility or obedience; you're encouraging dogs who already have enhanced guard instincts to overcome bite inhibition, with all the direct potential for trouble that entails.

Megaladon
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:36 PM
Doberman!! and I will also agree with the person that said Chow or Chow mix. Best.Farm.Dogs.Ever!!! :D

Dance_To_Oblivion
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:41 AM
I have a doberman, a dane and a boxer. When the dane is at alert and barking no one notices the other two. Which is fine because the dobie is not a barker he would be the sneak up and attack type dog. He watches and waits. The boxer will bark her head off and look quite terrifying for a runty badly bred little dog but she still takes second to the dane.

So I whole heartedly recommend a dane :) but that's just based on my experiences so ymmv!

wendy
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:57 AM
is it a good idea to do Schutzhund training with a dog who will be expected to be well-behaved while loose around various non-family members and livestock? From what I understand it isn't quite as casual as agility or obedience; you're encouraging dogs who already have enhanced guard instincts to overcome bite inhibition, with all the direct potential for trouble that entails.

I think it's fine- the most important part of Schutzhund is obedience foremost; and while the "biting" part looks like aggression it's actually just an elaborate tug game. I have heard however that Schutzhund training doesn't produce a very good actual guard dog; it's too stylized and the obedience aspect is so emphasized the dogs aren't likely to "guard" on their own. In ringsport training, and presumably in training an actual protection dog, acts of deliberate disobedience in order to guard the handler are trained for and expected.

Valentina_32926
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:07 AM
A mutt from the local humane society - our 75 lb dog is a beautiful golden color and scares the crap out of people who don't know him (think gold like retriever, head shaped like Rottie, tail like chow). :D

CDE Driver
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:14 AM
Another Boxer fan here! Best. Dog. Ever!!!

analise
Apr. 13, 2011, 12:37 PM
Jaegermonster: I would love, love, love to get a pit bull (they're my favorite breed of dog) but my insurance company simply won't allow it. If they found out I had one, they'd cancel my policy :( I've also been told that if I want a guard dog that is specifically bonded to me, I have to start with a puppy (my parents are good friends with the head of the K-9 unit in their county and he's the one that told us this). But I would really like to adopt a welsh corgi as a second dog, so I will make sure to take a look on petfinder when it's time!

If you'd seen me with my rescue dog you wouldn't believe that. We're tight. Everyone else requires some degree of suspicion. :) I think it really depends on the dog.

That said, I've heard that Great Pyrenees are good for farm work...you just have to be open to the idea that they tend to go on "rounds" about their territory. And they bark at night (stayed on a farm with a GP and she would bark all through out the night, kind of a sentinel thing, not a constant thing. Didn't bother me, but I'm a deep sleeper).

Unless your farm is in a really sketchy area, it's probably just as well to have a dog alert to strangers showing that's of enough size to deter people from wanting to get close to you without permission without going full on "must be a GUARD DOG!" route.

poniesinthenight
Apr. 13, 2011, 12:45 PM
Akbash scare the bejazzers out of most folk, and are great with stock.

Lone
Apr. 13, 2011, 02:59 PM
I disagree that you have to get the dog from a puppy in order to have a bond. I got my dog at the age of one, and I have had instances where he has put himself between me and a stranger with the intent to NOT let that person get within 10 feet of me.

I have to disagree that you need a puppy as well. I have a yellow lab from the pound that I got when he was 1 1/2, he is unbelievably bonded with me and takes his job of guarding me very seriously. On several occasions he's proved how intent he is with protecting me.

We also had two other dogs that we had when I was a kid- both were from the pound and were adopted at middle age and both guarded my brother and I very carefully.

The other benefit of a dog who is an adult is that you'd have a protective dog *now*, you wouldn't have to wait a while for the puppy to mature.

LMH
Apr. 13, 2011, 05:55 PM
I would check with your insurance before getting a Doberman or Rottie-some companies have restrictions on those breeds as well.

I have two aussies and they are da'bomb around the farm AND keep me feeling very safe.

Equino
Apr. 13, 2011, 07:25 PM
I'd go with an Aussie or Cattle Dog! They are protective of their people and their livestock, but they also won't hurt any of the farm animals or potential clients that walk about. My Aussie is VERY leery of strangers so I have to be sure to either be with him or leave him in the house when deliveries or people he doesn't know come to the farm. He also will chase the fox away from the chickens and strange dogs off the farm.

coloredcowhorse
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:15 PM
Just curious here - is it a good idea to do Schutzhund training with a dog who will be expected to be well-behaved while loose around various non-family members and livestock? From what I understand it isn't quite as casual as agility or obedience; you're encouraging dogs who already have enhanced guard instincts to overcome bite inhibition, with all the direct potential for trouble that entails.



Years back when I was raising and showing Akitas I met a Schutzhund trained Akita that was also an AKC Ch and had a Utility Dog (or possibly UTDX...can't remember). Awesome dog whose family children climbed all over him, pulled on ears, checked out his teeth and generally used him as a large stuffed toy. His commands were all taught in a language other than the one any family members used so that no one was going to inadvertantly give him a command to do something. I also saw this dog do a demo of what he was capable of....no way on gods green earth would I ever challenge that dog!! I raised Akitas, had one of the early ones with a CD (and that was considered to be quite the accomplishment by most Akita owners....they do have a stubborn streak!) and was comfortable around them but THAT dog would have scared me into turning into a puddle. Schutzhund training should be that good.

Chall
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:26 PM
Munchkins Mom sounds like a great deal, two dogs already broken to horses and farm living. You have a known factor there. And Im guessing it would less stressful to have two come in then one by itself.
Plus it would nice for them (this stuff always tugs my heart).

coloredcowhorse
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:29 PM
Looking for "hey mom there's someone here!" dog, "hey fellow get out of here before I eat you" dog or "oh crap lady get the dog off of m.....gasp" dog?

My Aussies are friendly (were well socialized to make them civilized around people who have my approval) but will sound off fiercely if someone shows up here OR if something is out of the ordinary (the night the mustangs came in and raided the hay stack for instance!). They sound pretty fierce and I'm reasonably certain that if I were acting or sounding afraid or they thought someone was actually a threat they would go for it. Otherwise they accept my word that someone is OK and then turn into lovers, might lick someone to death in that case. They don't get the hairy eyeball from the insurance company as so many other breeds do now.

Other possible big breeds that are protective and lovable at the same time would be Irish Deerhounds or Scottish Wolfhounds....both being very large, wirehaired terrier type breeds that would scare the socks off of most people but are loving and kind with their people and can easily do well with stock.

MadeYaLook
Apr. 14, 2011, 12:08 AM
I also side with the Aussies. My guy is nicknamed the "burglar alarm" because he sounds off at anyone who comes in the driveway(you have to walk by his yard to come down to the barn). Even if the person is someone he knows he still barks which is nice because I can hear him and look out the barn to see who is here. Breed standard even states that they are "aloof to strangers" which means leery but not aggressive.
He is respective of the horses but I don't allow him to be free around them not because of what he might do but I have several that would go after him with intent to kill. Great with other dogs and super with kids.
Be careful of Chow mixes-I know that there are some nice ones out there but after being involved with a shelter for 10 years-they were the ones that we had the most aggression problems with. They also are flagged by insurance companies.
Remember all breeds have their good and bad points and unfortunately the bigger the breed the shorter the lifespan(ie. Danes, Wolfhounds).
As far as "Pit" crosses they are usually wonderful dogs with people but can be aggressive to other dogs if not socialized properly. With the homeowner insurance you can get around it as suggested if it is a cross by calling it by what it is crossed with(ie. Lab mix).
Whatever you decide take your time and try to see the dog in different situations- most non-kill shelters are good to work with because their bottom line is trying to place the dog in the best possible home and the best thing about visiting them is not feeling the pressure of having to take something home to save its life.

HydroPHILE
Apr. 14, 2011, 09:26 AM
Keep in mind, OP, that if your insurance company would drop you for owning a pit bull, they will also drop you if you have a "security dog" or dog trained in protection.

Frankly, I'd go with an Australian Cattle Dog (a "heeler.") They are protective of their owner and their farm, but they are GREAT farm dogs, too. Several heelers are dumped in shelters because of their herding instinct or that they are protective over their family. A friend of mine adopted an awesome ACD whose owners took it to Animal Control because it was "nipping and bumping into their child." Friend doesn't have kids, hired a behaviorist to do a Temp Test on the dog, and, as it turns out, the ACD wasn't "nipping and bumping," it was HERDING the child. They are incredibly intelligent dogs as well as loyal.

As for pit bull versus AmStaff - to insurance companies, it doesn't matter. AmStaffs fall under the "pit bull" classification even though they're not an APBT.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Apr. 14, 2011, 02:24 PM
I must own the only doberman who hates heat as much as she hates cold.

My rescue dobe (est. age was 4-7 when we got him) had no trouble bonding with me. He is tighter with me than my female that I raised from a pup. She loves everyone and is happy anywhere she gets attention (especially if there is another, active dog there to play with).

As "alert" or barking dogs, mine are terrible unless another dog is walking by or a squirril or bunny, but as far as people go they are relatively uninterested.

Schutzund would be very useful for the bark and hold command, otherwise, more so for the obedience aspect than the actual protection-work as a free moving guard dog, imo.

Go Fish
Apr. 14, 2011, 03:01 PM
I'd go with an Aussie or Cattle Dog! They are protective of their people and their livestock, but they also won't hurt any of the farm animals or potential clients that walk about. My Aussie is VERY leery of strangers so I have to be sure to either be with him or leave him in the house when deliveries or people he doesn't know come to the farm. He also will chase the fox away from the chickens and strange dogs off the farm.

Just want to mention not to confuse "cattle dog" with "herding dog." Australian Cattle Dog or Queensland Blue Heeler, as they are sometimes known, are not dogs for everyone and require good training and a firm owner. My dad had them for years on the ranch. They are tough, no two ways about it.

Although I don't have one, I'm in love with a friend's Bouviers. Great livestock and guard dogs. They do require some coat maintenance, though. Most of the Rotties I've been around are great, too. Even if they are a big 'ol softie, they have a reputation and look scarey, to most people.

RougeEmpire
Apr. 14, 2011, 03:08 PM
I also grew up with Blue Heels. Really GREAT farm and ranch dog, not so good with kids though! Of course the way I was raised if you were told to "leave that dog alone"! You left the dog alone or you got bit and no one felt sorry for you, infact you probably got a spankin for it! They are a great tough breed that loves to work (must give them something to do!) and love to get down and dirt and are a real "blue collar" kind of dog. Its a hardy breed that can hold it's own against a coyote and skuffles with unruly livestock (or kids). They definetly have a "guard dog" attitude when it comes to people they don't know or are "suspicious" of. However if started young on basic commands they learn fast will can be "called off" with ease. There is a reason why they are a fave ranch dog for so many, it's really a multipurpose breed!

mjhco
Apr. 14, 2011, 03:11 PM
I have adopted two Australian Cattle Dogs so far. I would do it again in a heart beat.

Mollie adopted at 11. Gone now, RIP. WONDERFUL dog. Very protective immediately. Great manners.

Now Maven adopted at age 7. Still going strong. WONDERFUL dog. She was turned in by her owners because she BARKED (they kept her in an apartment...) Great deal for the both of us.

My other dog, a Schipperke I have had since a pup. Great watch dog. But I never have been successful at him being reliable off leash.

Trevelyan96
Apr. 14, 2011, 03:59 PM
My advice is to to a shelter and get anything that looks like a healthy shepherd mix and has been temperment tested. They usually make the best family dogs. They generally have a natural protective instinct but don't have high prey drives. Anything with a black muzzle for some reason is more intimidating to strangers.

My neighbors have a giant schnauzer, and her bark can be heard for miles. She's huge and intimidating when she comes running up to you, but friendly as all get out if she knows you.

littlebay
Apr. 14, 2011, 09:32 PM
Giant Schnauzers are great farm dogs...sweet, but intimidating looking. :yes: Loyal, humorous and serious about their territory, but not aggressive.

Get along well with horses. Good non- shedding wiry coat that is clipped. By your side dogs. Skansen Kennel in CA is the best breeder in the nation.

chancellor2
Apr. 15, 2011, 02:16 PM
First of all Jaegermonster, an AmStaff IS considered a pit bull type dog. Insurance companies KNOW that AmStaffs are pit bulls.

Next, if your insurance company will not allow you the dog you truly want, switch insurance companies. We did. I have my beloved Miss Sadie Grace and our insurance dropped us. We were on the Massachusetts Fair plan (which is the pool for the uninsurables). I started talking about this issue with the Liberty Mutual insurance agent who came to my place of work.
He said that Liberty Mutual does NOT discriminate against pit bull owners. They came out and met the two pit bulls that we had at the time (and the hound dog too) and immediately insured us.

It's time that responsible pit bull owners united and started demanding to NOT be discriminated against.

Additionally, the dog that is listed on Petfinder? The rescue has absolutely NO idea what breed that dog is. There is no absolutely reliable way to determine what that dog is unless you know the parents. And it does not sound like they do. Declare the dog a labrador mix because it is just as likely to be that as the AmStaff mix he is listed as.

Equino
Apr. 15, 2011, 11:05 PM
Just want to mention not to confuse "cattle dog" with "herding dog." Australian Cattle Dog or Queensland Blue Heeler, as they are sometimes known, are not dogs for everyone and require good training and a firm owner. My dad had them for years on the ranch. They are tough, no two ways about it.

The breed Australian Cattle Dogs falls into the Herding Dog Group. Not sure I get your point...???...regardless, I've known a few, and agree they can be tough dogs and require owners who are willing to put on time to train them and understand what it is that makes them tick. Most dogs from the herding group that I have known, whether it's a Sheltie, Aussie, Boarder Collie or Cattle Dog, like having a job and are not happy being solely house pets.

I've always believed it's always smart to familiar yourself to any breed before bringing one into your home, and if you want a dog to cater to a specific need, try to match up. For example, I grew up with Boxers and think they are an amazing breed. I wanted a dog that was good with people and livestock, want to stay around the farm, alert me to strangers and also want to do Agility. A Boxer could very well learn to be that sort of dog, but IMO a Sheltie and Aussie fit the bill more naturally.

saxony
Apr. 16, 2011, 12:07 AM
I fifth or sixth the Doberman. They thrive in the heat, they don't wander or chase horses, they are usually quiet but when somebody they don't know comes on the property they are LOUD and SCARY. It took my quite awhile to get used to that bark! I LOVE my Doberman - she's the perfect protection dog but really she's just a baby. And, they are also clean. You would never know I owned a dog if you walked into my house and didn't see her.

RHdobes563
Apr. 16, 2011, 12:28 AM
I'm on my sixth and seventh Dobermans. They ARE wonderful dogs, but...

My first Doberman would have been exactly what you need---loved horses, left cats alone, wouldn't wander, scarey looking and protective, but not dangerous to "approved" visitors.

However, I have one now who is similar, less friendly, scared of horses. My other Dobe will run ANYWHERE after a squirrel or other small creature, couldn't be trusted around cats. The rest of the Dobermans I have had were similar but different.

Given a choice, I might go with a PROVEN animal. In this case, the two farm dogs, GSD and Great Pyrenees, that need a home, IF they are what they are what they are said to be.

Oh, and for what it's worth, my first Doberman was adopted out of a shelter as a 2 year old and took about 20 minutes to bond. My sixth dog here is a Katrina survivor, had been through a few homes before he got to me, tried to be "alpha" when he first got here, took a few months to bond to me, but was never a wanderer, and is TOTALLY devoted to me now. Go figure.

Equino
Apr. 16, 2011, 08:02 AM
I fifth or sixth the Doberman. They thrive in the heat, they don't wander or chase horses, they are usually quiet but when somebody they don't know comes on the property they are LOUD and SCARY. It took my quite awhile to get used to that bark! I LOVE my Doberman - she's the perfect protection dog but really she's just a baby. And, they are also clean. You would never know I owned a dog if you walked into my house and didn't see her.

You're very lucky then! One of the trainers at the barn has dobbies and they are sweet, great with people, but chase the horses so have to be locked up when not supervised. My friend the vet has two who again are sweet, great with people, but dog aggressive and DESTROY her house when left alone too long. I think they are wonderful family dogs, but they aren't by nature farm dogs, so not every one will adapt to that lifestyle as easily as a breed that was bred to.

Which, again, is why I passed up on having a Boxer even though until now, it was my favorite breed ever. I know horse people who do have Boxers and they are great at the farm, but I think that's more the exception than the rule. In my experience, our Boxers sometimes were good with the other animals, sometimes not, some were dog aggressive, some chased cats, some wandered-always came back (strong recall) but didn't seem interested in STAYING at the farm. And all would let a stranger rob us blind then jump in their car and go for a ride! I just think you can get any breed and make them work in your situation, sometimes even be the ideal dog for you-I know of a Bull Mastiff who helps "herd" chickens-you have more likelihood to succeed if you go for a breed bred known for specific characteristics, who was breed for what you intend the dog to be used as. And there are breeds that were specifically bred to be farm dogs who protect their livestock/farm as the OP requested. I know someone who has an intact Goldie and when I asked her why (since she was complaining he wanders...) she said because she wants a guard dog...???

cbv
Apr. 16, 2011, 11:49 AM
For what it is worth, and with Cattle dogs it is limited to one individual, here is my experience with these two breeds.

Great danes: do not need to be aggressive or particularly protective to deter folks from coming around uninvited (or invited). Generally good farm dogs as far as relatively uninterested in horses. Very lovable and generally good around kids. We have had three and one cross. Loved them. Big goofy, loyal, loving companions.

However personally probably won't have another. Even though mine beat the mean life expectancy it was just not long enough. And I stress enough worrying about horses and colic and health issues related to being big animals that worrying about similar issues with a dog was just too much (e.g. sensitive guts, torsion, weight gain, joint problems). Mine were very healthy, came from a good breeder, were relatively small for the breed because the breeder felt they stayed healthier that way, but I worried alot.

And we had one, from the same breeder as the others, that had aggression issues (not common in his dogs and he would have taken her back). For me though the lesson was it just isn't worth it worrying about the kind of damage a big dog like that can do. I realize any breed can be aggressive but some can do more damage than others and I want a dog that deters by looks but isn't really a guard but a companion.

Now for the cattle dog -- he was a whim -- something I don't usually do. I know now from reading others experiences that they can be protective/aggressive/stubborn. But ours doesn't fit those stereotypes. He is a joy. We also have border collies and he actually has a little more drive to herd real livestock (and with the ACD it is herd by chase, the BC"s have a different, less aggressive herding style and although more obsessive about herding with the BC's it is more easily transfered to frisbees and tennis balls and they pay no attention to the horses) so we have had to be on top of that, but with a little diligence have not had many issues. But he doesn't roam about the farm unattended.

He is friendly and fine with kids and strangers but a little aloof - wags his tail and is non-threatening but doesn't cuddle and wiggle like the BC's. He does bark at strangers and strange vehicles and I think most would think twice about entering the yard or house without our saying ok. Like I said he is what i want, non-aggressive and companionable but will deter most bad guys looking for an easy target -- which is what most bad guys are looking for. The kind of dog that would deter a really seasoned and determined bad guy I probably couldn't train or handle safely and the chances I would need one are likely far less than my need for a dog family and friends can feel safe around, and I feel safe taking most anywhere.

CosMonster
Apr. 17, 2011, 12:37 PM
I have 3 Australian Cattle Dogs and 1 German Shepherd. The ACDs are very territorial and protective. Two of them are really friendly with strangers if I am comfortable, the third isn't really but isn't unfriendly either. When I'm gone they're all pretty standoffish.

The GSD is like a big teddy bear, but I wonder how it would be if someone came after me. He's very bonded to me (and was young but over a year old when we found him) and pretty protective.

I joke that the GSD is there to scare people off, but if someone's really determined it's the ACDs that would take them down. :lol:

Just a side note, wouldn't Great Pyrenees have trouble in the heat? They're kind of popular around here and really struggle when it gets above 90.

kelsey97
Apr. 17, 2011, 01:11 PM
I got a 3 yo Black Lab from the Florida Lab Rescue that is awesome! She was a puppy mill mama, basically lived her whole life pregnant and in a crate. Excellent farm dog, very protective of me, gets along with barn cats, doesn't chase horses, and never wanders off! Certain dogs, regardless of breed, have the personality and temperament to appreciate the fun life and duties of a farm dog ;)

King's Ransom
Apr. 17, 2011, 02:03 PM
The idea of needing a puppy to form a protective bond is BS. Not everybody in K-9 knows "everything." I worked in K-9 as a teenager for the local K-9 police force, just taking care of the dogs and working with the trainer. Hellooo -- you know that these dogs do not go to work until they are full-grown, right? You know that they get trained as pups and then they go to work with a police officer that never met them before, right?

You know that guide dogs and most service dogs are trained until full-grown and then assigned a human they have never met before, and they bond just fine.

That's as silly as people as people saying they want to get a foal for their child so they can grow up together! Like, that 15-year-old gelding wont' "bond" to you? Like my 20-year-old gelding didn't stand over me during a veritable stampede and save my life???

Pashaw! A good, grown dog will bond with a good new owner. Puppies are no defense whatsoever!

dalpal
Apr. 17, 2011, 04:45 PM
Just curious here - is it a good idea to do Schutzhund training with a dog who will be expected to be well-behaved while loose around various non-family members and livestock? From what I understand it isn't quite as casual as agility or obedience; you're encouraging dogs who already have enhanced guard instincts to overcome bite inhibition, with all the direct potential for trouble that entails.

Schutzhund dogs are trained to OBEY the owners commands...much more so than most dogs. (Don't personally have one, but my farrier has a kennel full of Schutzhund trained GSDs.

As for my recommendation....of course the Dalmatian. ;) Good with horses/livestock and bred to be a guard dog. My friend was laughing the other day as she told me the story about some ladies talking about a friends property in the area (it's a riding community)...don't go unannounced over to so and so's house, she has a big guard dog. Friend...what kind of dog...women..A dalmatian. She had no idea that they were guard dogs.

Mine are very friendly..but very protective. They, like all other purebred dogs have health issues...stones being the primary problem.

dalpal
Apr. 17, 2011, 04:46 PM
Keep in mind, OP, that if your insurance company would drop you for owning a pit bull, they will also drop you if you have a "security dog" or dog trained in protection.

Frankly, I'd go with an Australian Cattle Dog (a "heeler.") They are protective of their owner and their farm, but they are GREAT farm dogs, too. Several heelers are dumped in shelters because of their herding instinct or that they are protective over their family. A friend of mine adopted an awesome ACD whose owners took it to Animal Control because it was "nipping and bumping into their child." Friend doesn't have kids, hired a behaviorist to do a Temp Test on the dog, and, as it turns out, the ACD wasn't "nipping and bumping," it was HERDING the child. They are incredibly intelligent dogs as well as loyal.

As for pit bull versus AmStaff - to insurance companies, it doesn't matter. AmStaffs fall under the "pit bull" classification even though they're not an APBT.

I do love the two heelers at our barn. GREAT dogs!

Jaegermonster
Apr. 17, 2011, 04:59 PM
First of all Jaegermonster, an AmStaff IS considered a pit bull type dog. Insurance companies KNOW that AmStaffs are pit bulls.

Next, if your insurance company will not allow you the dog you truly want, switch insurance companies. We did. I have my beloved Miss Sadie Grace and our insurance dropped us. We were on the Massachusetts Fair plan (which is the pool for the uninsurables). I started talking about this issue with the Liberty Mutual insurance agent who came to my place of work.
He said that Liberty Mutual does NOT discriminate against pit bull owners. They came out and met the two pit bulls that we had at the time (and the hound dog too) and immediately insured us.

It's time that responsible pit bull owners united and started demanding to NOT be discriminated against.

Additionally, the dog that is listed on Petfinder? The rescue has absolutely NO idea what breed that dog is. There is no absolutely reliable way to determine what that dog is unless you know the parents. And it does not sound like they do. Declare the dog a labrador mix because it is just as likely to be that as the AmStaff mix he is listed as.


First of all, Chancellor,I am well aware of that. As I said, i am the vice president of the rescue to which you are referring and we specialize in bully breed rescue.

An Am Staff or some of the other "bull terrier" breeds have subtle differences in body type etc as opposed to what most people think of as a "pit bull" and what is actually used for a dog fighting, or "in the pit". Unfortunately I happen to know more about that than I would like since I investigate it.

As far as the dog listed on petfinder? That dog is listed by our rescue and is AT MY HOUSE. He was pulled from the local rescue off death row after being at the shelter for four months.
So I probably know more about him than you do, just a guess. We are very conservative in our listings of our dogs, as we do not want people to get something other than what they want, and we do not want our dogs going into homes that may not understand them. We also do not want them going out of the frying pan and into the fire, as it were. so we list them as descriptively as we can, so that folks who do not want that type of dog do not waste their time or ours.
I suggested him because he is what the OP asked for. A farm friendly guard dog. He is an amazing dog and will make someone very happy. But he is not what she wants/needs/or can have for whatever reason and that's fine.

And I agree. it is not the dog, it's shitty owners that are the problem.

chancellor2
Apr. 18, 2011, 08:54 AM
First of all, Chancellor,I am well aware of that. As I said, i am the vice president of the rescue to which you are referring and we specialize in bully breed rescue.

An Am Staff or some of the other "bull terrier" breeds have subtle differences in body type etc as opposed to what most people think of as a "pit bull" and what is actually used for a dog fighting, or "in the pit". Unfortunately I happen to know more about that than I would like since I investigate it.

As far as the dog listed on petfinder? That dog is listed by our rescue and is AT MY HOUSE. He was pulled from the local rescue off death row after being at the shelter for four months.
So I probably know more about him than you do, just a guess. We are very conservative in our listings of our dogs, as we do not want people to get something other than what they want, and we do not want our dogs going into homes that may not understand them. We also do not want them going out of the frying pan and into the fire, as it were. so we list them as descriptively as we can, so that folks who do not want that type of dog do not waste their time or ours.
I suggested him because he is what the OP asked for. A farm friendly guard dog. He is an amazing dog and will make someone very happy. But he is not what she wants/needs/or can have for whatever reason and that's fine.

And I agree. it is not the dog, it's shitty owners that are the problem.


You CANNOT possibly know what breed that dog is. You simply cannot unless you know the parents which you have already said you do not.

I actually do bully breed rescue as well. And am a proud foster failure.

I am starting to believe that we are doing some of these dogs a disservice by referring to them as pit bulls when in fact, we do not know their breeding. You can cross a Mastiff with a Labrador and get a bully looking dog which is in no way a bully.

Scarlett, my foster failure, is by all rights and acts, a pit bull.
But we have absolutely NO idea that she is really a pit bull.

Jaegermonster
Apr. 18, 2011, 01:14 PM
I never said we KNEW. We are making an educated guess at what we believe the dog to be based on his physical characteristics. As I said, we try to be fair to the animals in stating what we think they are, and of course that is in the eye of the beholder as well re the folks searching on petfinder. I couldn't care less if our president calls him a hairless crested, he's a fabulous dog and the right family will come along for him eventually.
I posted the link, the OP can look if she wants and make up her own mind. We can put whatever she wants on his paperwork if she's interested, to make the insurance company happy. I posted him because he is a proven commodity as far as being friendly, on the farm, around the horses, good with kids and getting along with other dogs.
If she's not interested, that's fine too. that means she's not supposed to be his person.

In any event, this thread isn't about what we do or don't have in our rescue and what we do or don't choose to call our dogs. It's about the OP and what she wants and needs for herself. SO that's what it needs to go back to.

If you want to continue debating with me about something that doesn't matter, feel free to carry on. You'll be doing it alone since I am about to head out of town to be with my husband who is at the bedside of his dying mother. As you were.

chancellor2
Apr. 18, 2011, 02:25 PM
Jaegermonster: I would love, love, love to get a pit bull (they're my favorite breed of dog) but my insurance company simply won't allow it. If they found out I had one, they'd cancel my policy :( I've also been told that if I want a guard dog that is specifically bonded to me, I have to start with a puppy (my parents are good friends with the head of the K-9 unit in their county and he's the one that told us this). But I would really like to adopt a welsh corgi as a second dog, so I will make sure to take a look on petfinder when it's time!

Punkie,
As I stated, there is really no reliable way to know what breed this dog is that Jaegermonster is showing you. And since she says the dog is everything you could possibly want in a farm dog, perhaps you should take a look?

AnotherRound
Apr. 18, 2011, 02:45 PM
You CANNOT possibly know what breed that dog is. You simply cannot unless you know the parents which you have already said you do not.

I actually do bully breed rescue as well. And am a proud foster failure.

I am starting to believe that we are doing some of these dogs a disservice by referring to them as pit bulls when in fact, we do not know their breeding. You can cross a Mastiff with a Labrador and get a bully looking dog which is in no way a bully.

Scarlett, my foster failure, is by all rights and acts, a pit bull.
But we have absolutely NO idea that she is really a pit bull.

Just as an interesting point, I adopted a dog from petfinder, it was a great experience, and the dog had a good start - we got her as a puppy. However, they described her breed as a pitbull/shepherd mix.

This is a yellow, shorthaired dog with mixed hairs black and yellow, and a black ridge - actual RIDGE - down her back. She bays like a hound, when following a scent, otherwise is entirely silent. She has the wrinkled brow of a ridgeback hound. In all aspects, size, proportions, whatever I could find out about them, she meets the description of a ridgeback hound. She is proably NOT a purebred ridgeback, but anything else about her fits the description of a fox hound type of hound.

I've raised german shepherds, and owned several pitbulls. Physical characteristics-wise, as well as socail attributes, there is nothing about either of those dogs in this dog. She is a hound from top to bottom, behaviour and physical characteristics wise. I've also owned retriever mixes, several rotty mixes and a chow mix.

It was interesting that they chose those two dogs as the mix for this pup, as they are the two dog types I had mentioned on my application that I had owned most recently.

I have no doubt that they had no idea what the mix was on my pup, and made up the type. Just because a place says thats the dog, doesn't mean they are right.

That's all I have to say about that.

For the OP - one dog I had and I knew the guy who bred her, and had bred several litters of this, was a Rottweiler/golden retrieve mix.

A nicer dog you never met!! A more loyal dog you never met!! A bigger, intimiadting dog, you never met! She was very protective of property, with a bark as big as she looked, but really was the kindest, nicest dog. I have no doubt she would make a good farm dog, and good property protecting dog.

Just saying, if you come across such a mix, give it a good thought.

Frankly, I love rottweilers. Any I have evern met were wonderful, personable dogs, as well as protective. They, however, bonded with their owners and respected space, as the owners taught them. Very pleasant dogs, from my experience.

chism
Apr. 18, 2011, 10:14 PM
Just as an interesting point, I adopted a dog from petfinder, it was a great experience, and the dog had a good start - we got her as a puppy. However, they described her breed as a pitbull/shepherd mix.

This is a yellow, shorthaired dog with mixed hairs black and yellow, and a black ridge - actual RIDGE - down her back. She bays like a hound, when following a scent, otherwise is entirely silent. She has the wrinkled brow of a ridgeback hound. In all aspects, size, proportions, whatever I could find out about them, she meets the description of a ridgeback hound. She is proably NOT a purebred ridgeback, but anything else about her fits the description of a fox hound type of hound.


I'd love to see pictures of your dog. It's possible she could be a cross, I don't know of any other breed that has a ridge. That said....I've owned Ridgies for the last 25 years. They're really nothing like fox hounds, I live in a rural area surrounded by woods and not one of mine has ever bayed at a thing. They tend to be quiet dogs by nature.

Nootka
Apr. 19, 2011, 01:56 PM
Rhodie Ridgebacks are great :)

I have a mix and he is the best farm/fam dog in the world. If you are interested in an older perfectly behaved dog PM me. I have to take him back to another property where there are no dogs and he has to be tied up when he is there (no fencing and no ppl- no fault of his own just my parents want the garage back and he has to move :( This kills me because he is such a good dog

http://s9.photobucket.com/albums/a94/nadanejsi/?action=view&current=AmaniDec18.jpg

http://s9.photobucket.com/albums/a94/nadanejsi/?action=view&current=AmaniDec18-1.jpg

ETA: Just saw the comments above :) Ridgies are the best. Amani has no worry of going to the shelter or anything but I just want him to be happy.

Jensentrisha@hotmail.com
Jun. 12, 2011, 05:56 PM
Are you still looking for a dog? I have an amazing black lab who is the best companion, yet still protects our home everyday/night! She is like part of our family but my daughter who is 2 was just diagnosed with an allergy/ airway disease and so we need to find a home for Bella! She is great with kids and people yet if she doesn't know them she will be as protective as they come! She loves and is perfect inside and outside, she loves playing ball, swim, hike and just being by us all day long. She will not run off far and always comes when you call her. The one place we feel would be perfect for her is a farm, please let me know if you or some other farm family could take my amazing dog, she is a joy to have around! No problems! Thanks, trisha

betsyk
Nov. 19, 2013, 11:30 AM
I got my lab at age five from the only family she had ever lived with, and she completely bonded with me. Great on the farm too. I think the older rescued dogs know you saved them and absolutely love you. However, our lab mix is also great at the barn and is never far from our side in case she needs to protect us.

fatappy
Nov. 19, 2013, 08:17 PM
I'd go with an Aussie or Cattle Dog! .

I'll second this!! Love my aussie. she's great on the farm. My favorite thing about her is she won't let herself be stolen! Australian cattle dogs I'm less fond of, but that maybe because the ones I have seen have never been disciplined and they run amuck!


oooops... didn't notice the date on this thread.

fefedog
Nov. 20, 2013, 09:17 AM
anatolian shepards are guardian dogs great with livestock horses ect. great with my kids and the horses.

LauraKY
Nov. 20, 2013, 12:45 PM
You all know this thread is 2 years old, right?