Homestead Helpers and Guardians part 2

homestead helpers and guardians
A Kommondor and Pyrenees cross watching over a goat kid.
A Kommondor and Pyrenees cross watching over a goat kid.

Hey all,

So a couple of days ago, I shared part one of my series on homesteading dogs. Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about yet another breed of livestock guardian dog, and also talk a little bit about a breed that I don’t personally own yet, but is owned by several farmers and homesteaders that I know. It’s a breed that I dream of owning because of how handy that dog is and what a wonderful addition to any small homestead it makes.

The breed I’m talking about is the English Shepherd. It’s not lumped in with Livestock guardian breeds, but I’ve been told that even though it’s usually considered a herding breed and are great at doing so, , this one will also guard your livestock. Different bloodlines will have different levels of drive for herding within the breed. They are fantastic family dogs and love children as well.

Elaine Reynalds who has Cimarron English Shepherds was happy to share about her breed with me. She has working dogs that are proven. Elaine says that “English Shepherds will guard your belongings or your livestock. Many become attached to the baby livestock and are very protective of children as well. Be sure your breeder is selecting for this trait instead of just guarding your livestock!”

Here in this picture that Elaine Reynalds shared with me, Cimarron Hello Mary Lou is demonstrating how wonderful these dogs are with children.

Cimarron Hello Mary Lou the English Shepherd keeping a watchful, loving eye on a young child.
Cimarron Hello Mary Lou the English Shepherd keeping a watchful, loving eye on a young child.

If the English Shepherd is a breed you think might suit your homestead, here is Cimmaron English Shepherds’ page. I would recommend doing your research and buying from a good breeder such as Elaine.

http://www.englishshepherdhome.com/elaine/cimarron.htm

I like to see even our Anatolian shepherds come from working parents. Remember what I said last post about instinct? It’s genetic. Want a dog to protect your livestock or help herd your livestock? Your absolute best bet is to get a dog from parents that demonstrate that instinct on a regular basis.

The Anatolian shepherd is a breed that my family transitioned to because like I mentioned in the last post, the Great Pyrenees has been bred to guard larger sections of territory. They are wonderful dogs, but our homestead doesn’t cover 5 miles and so the Anatolian is the better fit for our family.

Livestock guardian dog in snow
Livestock guardian dog in snow

Anatolian’s are instinctively more inclined to stay put on a smaller homestead, and are therefore less likely to get hit by a car. It makes us happier and our dogs safer when we select a breed that suits what we are needing on the homestead.

If you are wanting or needing a homestead dog, please, please do your research! Don’t just bring home the first cute fluffy puppy that catches your eye. Make sure you know the traits of the breed of that adorable fluff ball, and know if that breed will suit your homestead. Do you know what the parents are like? Do they live and work reliably on a farm or homestead?

In the long run, and sometimes the short run, choosing your farm dogs carefully by the traits of their breeds will affect the health and happiness of your livestock, and your own satisfaction in knowing that you have a faithful dog who truly will help you out on your homestead.

Watch our website at www.homesteadingedu.com We are in the process of creating a course for selecting, raising and training your livestock guardian dog. We will be discussing the pro’s and cons of several other breeds in that course.

Until next time,

Homestead in health ya’ll!

Emily

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