Y’all have met my friends’ homesteading dogs, the Anatolians and Great Pyrenees mix. Lovely beasts, capable of fighting coyotes and mountain lions, all doing a great job in rural Oklahoma. They live with the livestock, day and night. Check out their new homesteading page as they fill it with tips and classes. But some people rock a homestead in a more urban or suburban area. The amount of land and livestock is less, and the there isn’t such a great need for the guardian dogs. What choice would they make in dogs?
Maybe the correct term is urban farm. These folks lean toward poultry, horses, mini donkeys, bees, with a garden out back. And when you have a lot of land, livestock and a little time on your hands, a herding dog is perfect. Plus, they’re great candidates for the Jones Natural Chews Hooves. Hooves are long-lasting chews, good for keeping active dogs occupied. My own Australian Shepherd mixes love a good Hoof. These pups thought it was just grand. And they’re super active dogs.
I hung out in their back pasture for about an hour and I swear, they didn’t stop running after that ball, with the exception of the Border Collie, who was engaging the Hoof about half the time. Herding dogs are a great choice on an urban homestead for a few reasons.
- Herding dogs – Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, etc. – are smaller than the guardian breeds, and are more likely to live indoors at night, make better pets, as well as workers
- Herding dogs are working dogs, meaning they’ll round up livestock and children, keeping them in their assigned area, out of the road, wherever they need to be
- As working dogs, herding dogs will run and run, unlike the guardian dogs who lay around and watch for predators
- Not only will the herding dog work, it makes a great companion, agility dog, babysitter, rally dog, flyball dog … the list goes on and on
The perfect urban homesteading dogs? I think so. But know that regardless of which breed you choose as a homesteader – urban or rural – training has to happen. There’s never an instance when you can just release a grown dog in the yard or flock without training. Check out this article from Mother Earth News to learn more. Destruction happens without training, which is actually true of all dogs, including toy breeds. Ask anyone who’s lost slippers to one.
Which brings us to our last point. Good dogs need good treats. Hard working dogs need nutritious treats. Meaty treats. All natural and USA grown and produced treats. Jones Natural Chews are perfect for your hard working homesteading dogs! Here’s my list of the perfect treats for herding dogs.
- Bully Bone – it’s a bully stick tied around a meaty center bone and baked – great for dental health, as well as for keeping an active dog busy for awhile (two ingredients)
- Hoof – not a bone, but the perfect size and shape for a herding dog’s mouth, and also a great chew (one ingredient)
- Rocky’s Rollers – a soft sausage treat from Jones Natural Chews, it comes in three flavors and tears easily into small pieces, making it ideal for training – herding dogs require lots of training (ten ingredients)
- Jerkies and Taffies from Jones are also easy to snap and tear into smaller pieces, great for training (three to seven ingredients)
- Beef Knee Cap – this bone is covered in meaty bits and is sturdy for even the strongest chewers, as well as being the perfect size for a herding dog’s mouth (one ingredient)
- Stuffed bones – our Bandit’s Bone and Jampacked Jawzer are stuffed center bones that will keep the most active dog busy for a long time – hard packed with meat, a herding dog can’t resist the challenge of getting every last bit out (five to thirteen ingredients – the most of any of our treats)
It’s no secret that the herding breeds are my favorite. Well, the guardian dogs are, too. Okay, and scruffy little terriers. And giant dogs. Oh stink – I just like dogs. And I love giving them treats. If you have a question about the best treat for your dog, feel free to ask. I’ll dig a little and find out which treats are the best for your breed. I’ll ask you questions, too, like “Does your dog have any food allergies or sensitivities?” “How aggressive is your dog as a chewer?” “Has your dog ever broken a tooth chewing or gnawing on a bone?” That kind of thing. And we’ll narrow down a list for you.
Now go enter our giveaway! Tweet daily to add up points! And give your dog a Jones Natural Chew. Watch ’em smile. Naturally.
Until I write again …