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The Best Dogs for Your Off The Grid Lifestyles

Homesteading and living off the grid is a fantastically rewarding way to live. You and your family enjoy the experience of being self-sufficient, relying on each other and like-minded neighbors. You get to raise your children in a manner that works for you. You can protect them from the dangers and influences of modern society and city life. You also get to instill in them a love of and appreciation for the natural world and animals. Undoubtedly you keep animals, grow your own food, and live off of the land. To help you be efficient, for companionship, and for protection, you may be interested in getting a dog.

Dogs on farms can be useful in many ways. They offer protection from intruders and wildlife. A bark and menacing growl from a big dog can be enough to keep a curious bear way from your home. They can protect your chickens, geese, sheep, cows, and other animals from raccoons, coyotes, and even wolves. They can help you herd and organize your animals. And, of course, a dog can provide you and your family with a wonderful, loyal, and loving companion.

The Personality and Temperament of a Farm Dog

Dogs have been bred for thousands of years to perform different tasks and functions. You can find a dog breed that will do very specific things: herd livestock, guard livestock, protect the household, pull equipment, track prey, or retrieve prey. Dogs are versatile, but what if you want one or two all-around good farm dogs?

A farm dog that can play a variety of roles should be loyal, eager to work for his owners, companionable, easy going, and protective. If you can find one dog with all of these characteristics, you will have a great companion who will also make himself very useful around the homestead.

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The Best Breeds for Farm Life

If you want a dog for a specific task, you can find many breeds to fill that role. For example, an Anatolian Shepherd will protect your livestock with his life, a Border Collie will begin to herd your animals as soon as he sees them, a Viszla will help you track and find birds, and a Doberman Pinscher will protect your home and family willingly. There are also several breeds of dogs that will be game to do just about any task for you:

How to Find Your New Dog

Because you are selecting your dog for farm life, stay away from breeders who raise show dogs. There is a huge difference between a dog bred for the show ring and one bred for working, even within the same breed. Find a breeder who raises working dogs if you plan to buy a puppy.

If you are interested in rescuing a dog, and you don’t feel like you need to raise your new member of the household from puppyhood, try a breed rescue group. Nearly every breed of dog has a corresponding rescue group dedicated to finding suitable homes for dogs that have been rejected. Often, the reason these dogs are given up by their original owners is nothing to do with the dog itself. Too many people select a dog breed without knowing anything about it and only later find out it is not suitable for their lifestyle. You can help these dogs by giving one a home and a job to do. Many of these abandoned dogs are perfect for farm life.

Getting a dog for your homestead is a decision you are not likely to regret. In fact, you may find you could use more than one. Dogs provide invaluable services. They help you run your farm more efficiently and help you prevent loss of livestock. They also give you peace of mind, protection, and years of companionship.

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