Chief is an adorable puppy that loves getting kisses from his cow friends.
Most of the time when searching for the perfect farm breed, you want a dog that has a lot of energy, is responsive to training, and behaves well with animals of all sizes, and humans. Lots of dogs love living in the country, but if we want to really earn our keep, you might want to consider some of these breeds. From what they tell us, they not only love the farm life but are also pretty useful to their humans.
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1. Jack Russell Terriers
Jack Russell Terriers are high energy dogs that can be excellent pets for country living with the right training from their humans. If you have livestock, you will want to get your Jack Russell as a puppy, so you can train them to be comfortable around other animals. They need to learn not to chase or pester livestock. Early obedience training will also help to control their destructive behaviors. Since rodents are considered the prey of Jack Russells, so they can be very useful in keeping down the vermin population in a farm environment.
The rest of us dogs think Corgis look like adorable, fluffy cousins to Teddy Bears, but in reality, they are very intelligent and hardworking. They were originally bred as herding dogs and with a little training, they do it all — sheep, chickens, goats, and pigs! They’re amazing because they herd quietly, so they can keep their animals in check without scaring them or letting predators know where they are. Corgis we know say that if you hear them bark, listen up. They are trying to tell you about a predator approaching. They make great farm dogs because they are very friendly and get along with animals, adult humans, and kids.
Komondors are dogs that impress all of us — dogs and humans alike. Their coat is pretty cool and looks like a lot of cords hanging down. I got in trouble once for chewing on cords like that on my human’s furniture, but you would never do that with to a Komondor! They are pretty big dogs and can be a little scary. As country dogs, they luck out if you give them a lot of space to run. They like to herd animals, but need to be trained early, so they don’t get aggressive with them. And they love their humans, which makes them great at protecting their homes from strangers.
If you want a great dog that loves country living and is a pretty sweet, intelligent, and strong animal, you can’t go wrong with our buddy the Bernese. Their good points — they’re really loyal and can pull small carts, with or without kids inside. But they also drool sometimes in a totally adorable way. They have soft, silky hair, but they also shed, so make sure you have plenty of time to run that horrible, noisy floor sucking machine.
5. Anatolian Shepherds
We know that these dogs are great shepherds because it’s right there in their name — Anatolian Shepherds. They make great friends, but they take life pretty seriously. Anatolians have a long history of being responsible and protective farm dogs that can intimidate predators, while also being great family members. They’re pretty much hard-wired to work, so don’t expect them to slack off much. They’re happiest when you keep them busy.
While we’re talking about serious farm dogs, the Kuvasz breed has worked with royal guards and safe-guarding livestock. They have friends in high places, and I don’t just mean how big they are. Kuvaszes aren’t the most chummy of our doggy friends, but they earn their weight in dog chow by working hard all the time.
7. Australian Cattle Dogs
The name Australian Cattle Dogs is pretty descriptive for our doggy cousins from Down Under that love to herd livestock. Even their nicknames are spot on. Sometimes they’re called Blue or Red Heelers because — guess what — they are great at learning to heel with their humans (as long as those humans can keep up). These little bundles of muscles love working on a farm and their hardy constitution means they almost never call in sick.
8. Pyrenean Mountain Dogs
Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are usually known better as the Great Pyrenees because they are, well, great! They tell me that they love working in mountains, which makes them pretty impressive to me. Their size makes them good herding dogs for big animals, like those crazy cows. I hear through dog channels that they aren’t the quickest learners, but really, who cares? They’re so sweet and love their humans. I mean look at this guy — just a big ball of happy dog love.
9. Australian Shepherds
I’m a little partial to Australian Shepherds because I am one, but if you’re looking for the ultimate dog for country life, you’ve found it! We’re very cute, have beautiful eyes that look into your soul, and we really love spending time with our humans. Plus we’re super smart and love to love. Being on the farm gives us a lot of room to run and exercise, but I know it’s also important to slow down and make friends with the smallest, fluffiest members of our farm family.
10. Border Collies
I have got to give it up to my cousin, the Border Collie. It would be easy to hate on them, but they’re such all-around great dogs, that it’s impossible to not love them. And while they would never brag, I can tell you that they are thought of as the smartest dog breed. These guys are the ultimate country dog, but you better have plenty for them to do, because if they get bored you may start finding their teeth marks on your important stuff. And penning them up for too long can be a bad thing. They get so bored, they might try to gnaw through your walls.
Chances are if you are living on a farm or in the country, you’re a pretty active human and you want a dog that can keep up. If you want a lap dog who doesn’t care much about running around, get a basset hound or a bulldog! For helping you around your farmstead, you want a breed that loves the challenge of herding livestock or chickens without hurting the animals you care for. And if you need references, just let me know. I can help you make a lot of good, country farm dog friends.