Currently, I have three farm dogs. They definitely did NOT start out that way. When I bought the place, none of the dogs had ever seen a chicken, goat, horse, or any livestock for that matter. They all have quite high prey drives, and I couldn't see how this was going to work...
For the first month or so living here, the dogs went nuts. The youngest, Reckless, had never had a back yard, and the two older girls, Maggie and Boom-boom, hadn't had a back yard for about 6 years... since Boom was a puppy. They couldn't contain themselves. They were wild children. I had to mostly keep them on a leash, because they would run so far and so fast, I never could tell where they would end up! Reckless obsessed on the goats, and thought they would be great fun to chase, and he's so little, he could scoot under the fence whenever he pleased. I despaired regularly, wondering how to make them into proper farmdogs that wouldn't chase the livestock, and make my life hell.
All of a sudden, one day, they settled. Maggie and Boom were first, being older and wiser. They now just trot around the farm with me, 'helping' me plant, and feed the chickens. I never have to worry about them anymore. I am no longer worried about them leaving to go exploring- they know this is their home, and no longer want to leave. I never have to have them on a leash anymore.
Reckless has calmed alot. He is not perfect yet, but is getting close to it! He still has the occasional escapade, when he gets into the chicken coop, and almost kills a chicken, or gets into the horse and goat field. The good news is that he is no longer interested in chasing the horse and the goats, he just wants to eat poo. And, he only gets into trouble once in a while when I have not been able to spend enough time with him.
Maggie is my little helper. She is part Lab, and loves to retrieve. If I drop a tool or something, she will run over and pick it up and hand to to me. It is very cute, and she loves to feel useful!
Won’t give in to the cold
3 months ago