|Barked: Mon Apr 23, '12 2:22pm PST |
|I think it depends on what your biggest threats are and how you would like the dog to handle them. Also, climate can play a factor - some dogs may not be able to work where it is extremely cold in the winter or extremely hot in the summer.
I live in a pretty rural area, mostly grain farms, but many farmers do have a "hobby" livestock farm where they raise a few animals. The dogs I see pretty often on farms are:
- Aussies, Border Collies, ACDs, Collies, and their mixes (I've lumped these together since many people have mixed "farm dogs" that resemble several or all of these breeds)
- Labs, goldens, GSPs, other "bird dogs" (many of our farmers are also hunters)
- small terriers
Around here, the biggest threats are people who trespass and animals who steal feed (mice, rats, raccoons, etc.). Farmers are also afraid of being sued by trespassers, so they mostly just want a dog that will stick close to home and alert them to any threats, who will bark loud enough to keep unwanted guests away, or those who can chase/kill small animals.
Some farmers do have issues with larger animals getting in (coyotes, foxes, raccoons), and they tend to either choose a larger "all-purpose" type of dog, like an old-style GSD or a Rottie, or a few have been going for the LGDs. The people who tend to have LGDs are those who generally have goats or sheep. I've seen some with Pyrs, a couple with Anatolians, and one farm with Ovcharkas.
However, in this area we do not have any predators larger than coyotes, and most of our coyotes are more likely to go after rodents or garbage, so a large dog that can eliminate threats on its own isn't really necessary. I imagine in other areas, there are bigger things to worry about (mountain lions, etc.) and so a different type of dog might be necessary.
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