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Do your dogs have an active role with helping on the farm or do they just 'hang out'? We have 7 horses, but I wouldn't necessarily say that's a 'farm'. Anyway the dogs here will follow us around some, but then go back on the porch until we let them in.
 

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10 horses, 15 cows, 2 bulls, 12 calfs, 3 goats..... Dog.... Runs around like a looney tune with no real purpose in life but to run around and chase cows. (he is not allowed to chase horses! Cows will get mad and turn around and chase him back!) No purpose other than to get into ****...
 

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My Cairns are rodent control
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The terriers are worth their weight in gold, the Shepherd is very young 7 months , her aunt was one **** of a herder and was invaluable to helping me load horses or round up loose horses, I miss her :(


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When we had cattle I did use dogs for specific purposes mostly to keep cows from going through gates while I drove through with a tractor or to keep a bull off of me when I fed. I used Endi to drive cattle too, but she enjoyed gate patrol the best. I tried to avoid chasing horses. They are pretty good with varmint control.
 

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I no longer have any cattle. I have two horses now. My dogs aren't allowed near the horses. I just lost a mare that was dog aggressive. I may start working with the dogs around the horses...but haven't decided yet.

My dogs are my eyes and ears. When I'm in the barn or arena they let me know if someone has come up to the house. They let me know when a stray dog has wondered onto our property (dangerous around the horses).

I can come home from work, see hubby's truck and not know where he is. I can ask my GSD or my Lacy "Where's Daddy?" and they'll run straight for him.

One day hubby and I were trimming trees along the fence line. I was in the back dumping limbs in the burn pile, when I heard Hondo barking and screaming (I thought he was caught in a fence or something) I raced around the barn and found my husband laying on the ground (he dropped a piece of tractor equipment on his head). He injured his head and bled horribly - but was fine after stitches. However, if it wasn't for Hondo's reaction, he could have laid there a while before I came looking for him.

Just this morning we had a couple of coyotes up at the house. The dogs were all in the house for the night. I was just getting up and going outside to the barn and let Hondo out with me. He tore out after them before I even saw them. They made it through the fence and thank God Hondo has great recall. He came back after he reached the fence.

All my dogs serve many purposes at our place. I couldn't do it without them.
 

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I'm a long way off the farm now, but when I was my dogs served very important purposes:

1) Locating mud puddles and bringing as large a 'sample' quantity as they could hold on their person for me to admire, usually using my shins as a sample collection site, ideally when I was wearing clean pants.
2) Chasing away anything I could possibly be trying to catch, especially the flighty horse I just spent twenty minutes smooth-talking into a remote corner of a thirty acre paddock.
3) Veering suddenly in front of any work vehicle I might be using at the time after hours of trotting nicely beside it, causing me to slam on the breaks and discharge vast quantities of horse feed from the buckets in the back.
4) Eating those pesky hoof trimmings and reconstituting them later in the living room for me to evaluate thoroughly.
5) Immediately tearing apart and playing in any baled hay I might have set out to put in feeders so as to encourage me to perfect my raking skills.
6) Behaving like angels around the goats for weeks until the day someone comes to look at them, at which point it's perfectly acceptable to chase one down and bowl it over causing the visiting folks to think I'm some kind of goat baiting enthusiast.
7) Enthusiastically assisting my gardening by rooting out anything decorative I'd just planted but not helping in the slightest as I pulled weeds in round pens.

Other than that it was a lot of hanging out at the barn while I was on the tractor, following me around on chores, and napping in the shade of a tree while I mowed endless fields. My labradoodle (avec very impressive beard) also had a penchant for attempting to consume any disgusting bodily production he could find so that his beard stunk for days.

When I had land-clearing goats one of my girls would herd them for me. No formal commands, but when I needed them penned for the night I'd send her out and she'd get them packed up in a jiffy.
 

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Our farm is just under 10000 acres. This year 5000 is winter crops, then some left out as fallow the rest we run 1600 ewes plus at the moment all their lambs so a bit over 3000 head at the moment.
We have a kelpie bitch who is our number one sheep dog and the GSD is her lackey;)
They have special roles when it comes to our sheep........Miley is the gatherer and then Luther helps her with the moving and keeping in a mob part. We usually move 200-500 at a time but our sheep are great and move around well. In the yards Luther is GREAT. He loves to push the sheep through the draft and block gateways etc. The sheep really respect him for his size and move well when he is with me.
It really is just a bit of fun with Luther......we have the sheep, he is willing , so we give him a go. He has a rock solid recall so we don't get into any trouble with him. The kelpie is vital to us.....they say one dog is worth 20 men in the paddock......they are right......without a good sheep dog running that many sheep is difficult.
They are pets foremost though......very spoilt.....some say Miley would be a better sheep dog if we didn't treat her like we do but I don't care.
We are shearing today so the dogs will just sit around the shed observing and the shearers and rousies will give them some of their morning tea......which I must go make.....our day is only starting over here.:)
 

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Sparra - I'm coming to visit you! I'd love to witness that!!!
 
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