A breeder’s best friend

A breeder’s best friend

If you are interested in investing in a sheep or cattle ranch, you may also be interested in investing in a canine helper to help you protect and herd your flocks or herds. You may already have a favorite breed in mind, but if you’re still not sure which breed might work best for you, I have a few suggestions.

When my husband and I started looking for a weekend getaway in the country, we zeroed in on the rolling hills in the area around Meridian, Texas, known as the “Top of the Hill Country” in Central Texas. On one of our first walks in the countryside I noticed a large white dog frolicking in the middle of a flock of sheep. I had never seen this breed before and learned from the locals that it was a Great Pyrenees, a popular cattle guard dog. The breed has been used for hundreds of years by shepherds to guard their sheep. They are nocturnal dogs, always on the lookout for any animal that might harm their herd and are aggressive if the need arises. Males usually weigh between 110-120 lbs. and the females about 80-90 lbs. They are gentle dogs with children and small animals, but fiercely protective of their flocks. If you are looking for a herding dog that is independent and loyal, but not as demanding on your time as other breeds, the Great Pyrenees is the dog for you.

The border collie, on the other hand, requires more attention. This breed is often touted as the most intelligent of all dogs. They are very energetic and require a lot of exercise. If they don’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation, they are likely to develop bad habits out of boredom. Their desire to herd can cause problems if you have small children, other dogs or cats. I’ve been told that a well-trained border collie can do the work of three people. We had neighbors on our first ranch in Bosque County a few miles from a historic Norwegian Norse settlement near Cranfills Gap who had a beautiful border collie named Callie. Our place was about a quarter of a mile down the road from her home and we could always tell when she was lonely and bored because we’d barely gotten out of the truck when she would be hopping down the road. If we were four-wheeling around the place, she would run alongside us. If he got tired, he would cross over to the other side of where he knew we would eventually show up and run with us back to the house. If she didn’t have a job, she was always there to join our activities until her owners came and brought her home. This is a great little dog, but if you don’t have the time or energy to commit to it, I suggest you get another breed. Not only will the dog get on your nerves when he misbehaves and behaves, but it is unfair to have such an energetic dog and not give him enough attention.

Another popular dog in this part of the country is the Australian Cattle Dog, the Red or Blue Heeler. This breed was developed for driving cattle long distances over rugged terrain. They are full of energy, intelligent and very protective of their owners. They are very similar to border collies and need to be kept busy so they don’t become destructive. If they are raised with cats, they will get along well. If not, they can become cat killers. If you have cats, it would be a good idea to get a Heeler puppy instead of a full grown one to avoid this problem. Like Border Collies, this breed is not meant to be stuck in the backyard and ignored (nor is any dog, in my opinion). This dog tends to be a one-person dog and is fiercely loyal and protective. He needs a lot of physical and mental exercise or he will be a very unhappy dog ​​and you will be a very unhappy owner when he rearranges your yard or house out of sheer boredom.

Again, these are just a few of the more popular breeds that I have observed at work in our breeding community. You may be perfectly happy with another breed that will suit your needs. Just be aware of the fact that all dogs, whether working dogs or pets, deserve love and proper care. If you are unable to provide these basic needs, please do not get one. There is nothing more heartbreaking to me than the look in the eyes of an abused, lonely dog. A dog raised with love, compassion and respect will return that love many times over. The dog really is “man’s best friend”.

#breeders #friend

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