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Best short haired, medium sized, low-prey drive farm/kid dog?

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  • Best short haired, medium sized, low-prey drive farm/kid dog?

    Considering adding a 2nd dog to the family (said family consists of 2 adults, an 8 YO, 2 horses, 2 chickens, and a small herd of Hereford cattle, sheep, and a 2 year old Cane Corso) and looking for a short haired, minimal grooming required, medium sized (30-60 pounds or so?) low prey drive dog to add to the farm. Prefer to get something as a puppy/young so we can do proper socialization and obedience training. Not opposed to a rescue "mutt" type but haven't had luck finding much that seems like a good fit. Would love a 2nd Cane Corso as ours is seriously the best farm/kid dog but his breeder has retired and I know many have issues with aggression and such, plus would like something a bit smaller this time around! Not too small though as Max is a big boy at nearly 100 pounds. Low prey drive (so no herding types!) is probably my #1 must have! Any options, thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated!

  • #2
    A smaller lab?


    • #3
      I had an Australian Cattle Dog (not the Shepherd). Very high energy but also a great dog! Well, except the time I had to rescue her from a wild Buffalo. You know, cows are small compared to them ... But other than that she was awesome!!!! LOL
      If at first you don't succeed, get back on the horse and try it again!


      • #4
        BIL has a Blue Lacy



        • #5
          Originally posted by Horseman15 View Post
          I had an Australian Cattle Dog (not the Shepherd). Very high energy but also a great dog! Well, except the time I had to rescue her from a wild Buffalo. You know, cows are small compared to them ... But other than that she was awesome!!!! LOL
          Australian Cattle Dogs are herding types. They desperately need a job in life and can be a pain in the neck in they don't have one. Lots of them get dumped in Australia after their owners realise this. In Australia, they are also called Blue Heelers because they were bred to heel cattle. They are great dogs but not the type of dog that the OP is after.

          I also vote for a Labrador. Great family dogs.




          • #6
            Lab or lab mix. I just had a litter of puppies who were the best farm dogs in the making as fosters. 6 of them! Two of the boys were going to be LARGE, 39 lbs at 4 months old. They listened well, they were trainable (especially one of the boys) I really enjoyed them! I also had a lab/boxer mix 65 lbs and man he was a keeper in so many ways!! Except I already have 4 dogs Lovely easy going dog and only a year old. They have all found homes now, all up north.

            Here in the deep south we are over run with unwanted pets. In fact my rescue is taking in a litter of 9 labX puppies now, not ready to adopt out yet. Also have a young shepherd X that looks like a total sweetheart.

            Sorry, not as versed in breeds, I have not had a full blooded dog in years. All are rescues now.

            We do have a Ridgeback X that we have had since a young pup, it is my understanding they can make good family dogs when raised well. Ours is 90 lbs and has been a wonderful farm dog once we went through some puppy training. He is 12 almost 13 now.


            • #7
              we have vizslas and they make great farm dogs!
              As a breed, they are very affectionate and want to be with, preferably touching, their people All Of The Time.
              Mine are all very good with the horses. The females are generally 40/45 lbs, and while they are high energy outside, mine are total couch potatoes inside.
              The best thing is they are very short coated -- even when they get dirty, they rinse and dry in a matter of minutes, and since they are rust colored, dirt doesn't show anyway. We only bathe ours once every month or every other, and they are out being farm dogs much of every day.
              They are sensitive and easy to train, and very loyal.

              You generally will have to source through a breeder, and they are not inexpensive, but they are absolutely wonderful dogs.
              A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...



              • #8
                You want this kind of "lab mix" mutt:

                This one was advertised as a lab mix, but I think there are probably at least 4 breeds at work here. She is shorter-haired than a lab, and about 40lbs, but sweet like a lab. She will chase things that run, but otherwise leaves them alone. Can be in the yard with loose chickens, doesn't chase horses, etc. Will chase barn cats if they run, but will back right down if they stand their ground. She has caught a rabbit or ground hog or two. I got her as a rescue when she was about 1 year old. Obedience and socialization were not an issue, but she has some fear issues remaining about feeling like she's going to be hit if you make any sudden moves or lift a leg over her (she just curls into a submissive heap, no aggression).


                • #9
                  I love my labs. Generally great family dogs.

                  However an American Foxhound might fit the bill. I have a retired one. Blossom is 55 pounds. She is very short coated and doesn't shed anywhere as much as the lab. No interest in chasing my cats, great with other dogs, great with horses, ignores deer, cows. She was a retired foxhound but you might be able to get a young one or a failed one. She is very affectionate. A little vocal about food time. She actually is no longer a foxhound she is a food hound. LOVES her food and treats.
                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                  • #10
                    I have an aussie/poodle mix that is a complete joy to be around- social, sweet, quiet, silly, and just a love bug. He isn't the least bit 'herdy' about the horses or stalky toward the cats. Lovely little guy about 25 lbs.


                    • #11
                      A Foxhound or chocolate lab would be right up your alley. Both are super affectionate and loyal. Great with kids. They are high energy but low prey drive. You would need to introduce to the chickens correctly with both breeds

                      The only problem with hounds is if they catch a scent, they can be gone in a heartbeat and are very determined about following their nose to dinner or on a road trip.

                      My chocolate was every thing you describe and more. She adored my kids and was glued to them.
                      "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten


                      • #12
                        I had a female Australian Cattle dog that was super. She was a bit nippy at the heels of the horses as a youngster but grew out of it. The thing I loved about her most was she did not leave the farm ever. She took her job very seriously and would not go out the gates or perimeter fences. My neighbor and I used to walk with our dogs in the neighborhood. Ginger would "pretend" to go with us, then when we were not looking, go back to her farm. The only thing about ACD is that although they are short haired, they have a very thick undercoat.

                        My current dog is some kind of german shepherd mix. She is about 40 pounds, and also wonderful, and not a wanderer.

                        if you go to petfinder.com , and use the search function, you can find any breed or mix you want. The posts are all by rescues and fosters. They make excellent notes on the dog's personality, likes and dislikes. My last rescue dog I got on "probation" to make sure she got along with the other dogs and was a good fit on the farm. Who the heck buys from a breeder??? So many great dogs needing homes.

                        My next dog will probably be some kind of doberman mix. From a rescue, without the dang clipped ears and tail.

                        Follow Mango20's advice above too. Anything with poodle will be a great dog too.
                        Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                        • #13
                          I think the OP is smart to stay away from herding dogs if she wants a quiet family dog and wants to start with a puppy.
                          You never know what you will have in a puppy once it is grown.
                          Herding breeds tend to be more possessive and have higher numbers of aggressive dogs in them.
                          Here there are many ACDs, heelers in the shelters because of that, as mature dogs not all get along well with other dogs or are too possessive, guarding too well.
                          I have known some that the family can't have friends or kid's friends over because of the dog threatening anyone not from the family if they do more than sit around, or get close to "his" people.
                          ACDs are one of my favorite breeds, but they are not for everyone.

                          Many herding dogs tend to just be very energetic and busy minded, not really ideal for a family that wants a quiet dog that likes laying around, unless trained very well to chill out.
                          There are of course individual exceptions, but getting a puppy, you already gamble you will get what the breed temperament tells you they should be, so better start with a more laid back breed if that is what is desired.
                          Other breeds tend to be more attuned to doing things as the family does them, don't have to be entertained as much as the more busy minded ones.


                          • #14
                            Doberman. Sweet, human-focused, highly trainable, short haired, pretty, would get along fine with a Cane Corso. Most importantly, they aren't food focused.

                            I have Beagles, and have had labs -- I find them pretty challenging as farm dogs for one huge reason -- food turns them into morons. As in, they don't just eat food, they eat poop (anyone and everyone's -- rabbit, deer, horse, each others), bars of soap, spilled grain, salt blocks, your lunch if you leave it in the truck and they aren't in a super-strong kennel, food wrappers, and so on. It gets old, if you ever want to relax again. We buy Nature's Miracle in gallon jugs for cleaning up the post-party, late-night explosions and oh, have I mentioned that hounds are very, very relaxed about housebreaking? For life?

                            Cute, friendly, fun, loving -- yes. No recall. So focused on scent they run off of cliffs, into horse legs, and through dense thorny briar patches and come out bleeding and howling. I'm not sure how they're still alive. It's like living with Will Ferrell in "Elf", 24-7.

                            *to be fair to my pack, I got them for scent work and they are little Einsteins at that one thing, and it's been a blast.


                            • #15
                              I vote Pittie. Mine is sweet, gentle and looooves the grandkids. The one-year old frequently used him as a step to reach stuff, dog just sighed with soft eyes. He doesn't bother the horses, they ignore each other. He does want to get that rat in the barn tho....

                              He can 'hold it' for 13 hrs when I work. One accident when we first got him, I think we didn't know each other's signals.

                              He loves doing chores outside, accompanies me on the tractor, Green Machine. If I'm working on fence or whatever, he lies like a Sphinx, watchful and quiet, facing out from me.

                              He likes to swim in the pond, doesn't chase the Canadas. His short coat is dry by the time he trots back to the house. He does get in the horse troughs though. Does seem to hate squirrels, never caught one. Is not a chow hound, tell him leave it and your sandwich is safe. He stays in our boundaries, no fence in the front. (7 acres to roam). He patrols the pastures diligently, not sure for what, just likes to trot around I guess. And loyal?, yes he WOULD take a bullet for you haha. Got him at the pound at about 1 year old, I really think they know you rescued them.


                              • #16
                                Here's my boy, in the barn aisle


                                • #17
                                  BO has always had some labs along with some other breeds that have and have not worked out. She tried Blue Heelers three times, and while they were wonderful dogs and were pretty good about not heeling the horses, they did heel a couple of people. There have also been a couple of Border Collies and Jack Russells. Currently there is an English bulldog who is aging and slowing down, although she still likes to chase the Gator and otherwise sleeps in the grain room. We also have the coolest little terrier-looking female that came in as a foster dog and decided she would live there forever. Very energetic and jumps all over the place, but sweet and cute and everyone loves her. BO's daughter brings her well-trained Rottweiler who does quite well. Really depends on the breed and the training. But the labs do well and people visiting or coming in for lessons generally get along quite well them.
                                  Providence sometimes takes care of idiots. Agnes Morley Cleaveland in No Life for a Lady.


                                  • #18
                                    ... _. ._ .._. .._


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by clanter View Post
                                      A breed I'd never heard of, and very pretty! They look like pointers or weimaraners.


                                      • #20
                                        Don't laugh, but look into a standard poodle (no, not one of the many 'doodles'). Smart/obedient, easy to train, friendly, low shed/hypoallergenic. If you keep it in a puppy clip it doesn't look weird. Plus, you can have fun turning it into a ponydoodle #goals http://www.caninehorizons.com/The_Ponydoodle.html