Country living offers something unique that you don’t get from living in the suburbs or in the city. From raising livestock to tending the farm, there’s certainly no shortage of work to keep you occupied. Thankfully, there are some great dogs out there that not only enjoy the extra space to run around, but would also love nothing more than to help you with daily tasks around the farm. Here are some of the best dog breeds for farms:
1. Anatolian Shepherd
Although they may no longer be a common farm dog in the United States, the Anatolian Shepherd is one of the oldest dog breeds and one of the oldest herding breeds. With such a long lineage of herding and protecting sheep, it’s no surprise that one of the facts about Anatolian Shepherds is that they are fantastic livestock herders and guardians.
2. Australian Cattle Dog
One of the facts about Blue Heelers is that they are high-energy dogs. High-energy breeds like this one tend to do poorly in small homes when they aren’t given an outlet to shed off their excess energy. Put them on a farm, however, and you’ll really see where this breed starts to shine.
Australian Cattle Dogs, or Red/Blue Heelers, are incredibly intelligent and take well to training. Between their speed, strength, and courage, an Australian Cattle Dog will be more than happy to help you herd cattle, in both open and enclosed spaces.
3. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are another one of the quintessential farm dogs. They were bred in the United States and bred specifically to herd cattle across the plains of the West. Their intelligence, energy, and endurance make them a great herding dog that can handle a lot of tasks around the farm.
In addition to being one of the smartest dog breeds, they are also affectionate dogs that are eager to please their owners and enjoy spending time with them. They’ll love spending time with you around the farm and all of the mental stimulation and exercise that comes with it.
4. Border Collie
No farm dog list is complete without the quintessential herding dog – the Border Collie. Border Collies are one of the hardest working breeds and excel at herding sheep and other livestock. They’ll even help you wrangle your family members if you want them to!
One of the essential facts about Border Collies is that they are natural herders, which makes them a great fit for the farm. Between their boundless energy and incredibly sharp intellect, this breed is the perfect choice when set to task and given enough space to run.
The famous wiener dog is probably not a dog that comes to mind when you think of a farm. It’s true that they’re not known for being a herding dog, but they are excellent at reducing pests around the farm and at being watchdogs.
Dachshunds were originally bred to be hunting dogs that could track, chase, and take down vermin. They were prized for their skills at hunting badgers and being able to get to prey that burrowed underground. They could even take down larger prey if they worked in packs.
This makes them a fantastic dog breed for a farm. It’s not one of their innate strengths, but you may even be able to train them in some herding skills if you need them to. As a watchdog, their alert barking can become excessive and a nuisance, so you do want to train your dog to stop barking early on.
6. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers have a reputation for being friendly, social, and happy-go-lucky dogs. They are that, and they are also active and energetic dogs that are determined and hard workers.
Goldens can be trained to do just about anything and are eager to please their owners and help out. Not only does this make them one of the best dog breeds for farms, but they are also one of the dog breeds that work well with horses.
7. Labrador Retriever
While Labs have often taken a backseat to other working breeds and settle easily into the cushy life of a family dog, they really do make for the perfect companion on the farm. Even-keeled and well-tempered, Labrador Retrievers have a lot more energy than most people tend to give them credit for.
In fact, they are one of the most active dog breeds and experience an extended puppyhood. They will have no problem keeping up with you around the farm. Not only do they make for great hunting dogs and farm dogs, but Labs are also well-suited as a family pet. They’re known to provide great company both on and off the field.
8. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgis may be small and low to the ground, but their little legs can get them around the farm with no issue. In fact, they are one of the smallest herding breeds, but they are a talented herding breed.
They were originally bred to herd livestock and protect the farm. In addition to being smart dogs that pick up on things quickly, they are also energetic and hardworking. On top of that, they are affectionate, so they’ll be more than happy to spend time with you getting things done on the farm and then cuddle up and relax with you at the end of the day.
Although they may not be the first breed that comes to mind when you think “farm dog”, Rottweilers are actually a fantastic dog breed for farms. Not only do Rotties have a great herding and protective instinct, but they also have the energy to keep up throughout the day.
Rottweilers have a long history of being a drover’s dog. Historically, they often worked in both herding and protecting the herd. Given the extra space on a farm, this large breed makes for a great choice.
Herding dogs and protectors aren’t the only great dog breeds for farms. Take Terriers, for example, which are very high-energy and scrappy dogs. While all Terriers might not be great for herding cattle, they excel at ratting and pest control, which can help cut down on a number of uninvited pests around your home and farm.
Plus, with Terriers big and small, you can find the right size and fit for your farm. In fact, the Airedale Terrier, the largest of the Terriers, was bred specifically to be a versatile, all-around farm dog.
These are just a few of the best dog breeds for farms, but this list certainly doesn’t cover all of them. Finding the breed that fits your needs, whether it be on the farm or just at home, is a surefire way to ensure a long and happy life together.