Ranch Dogs - Page 2

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Ranch Dogs

This is a discussion on Ranch Dogs within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        03-27-2013, 12:28 AM
    Wow its great to hear everyone's experiences and opinion on different dogs.
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        03-27-2013, 07:27 AM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by MAG1723    
    My two Ranch dogs are on their last legs. They are both yellow labs. I am looking for another dog to replace them:) I am looking for a breed that is easy to train, not rare, and one that can come with me to my horse events and on the trail. What breed do you suggest? I am leaning towards an Australian shepherd. What kinds of dogs have you had good experiences with?

    This is an Australian Shepherd. I love their coloring
    Originally Posted by Phly    
    I like heelers. Red or blue. Very smart, but HAVE to have something to do. They learn fast, small, very ruggedly built, and natural around livestock.

    I have the best of both worlds here...
    Australian shepherd/Blue heeler.
    Amber & Dolly.jpg
    dolly ears.jpg

    Wife picked her up from a lady who was giving them away due to lack of income and unable to afford to raise and train them.
    FlyGap and MAG1723 like this.
        03-27-2013, 07:31 AM
    I don't think you guys have many kelpies over in America but they are AMAZING farm dogs, they go all day! But I can't go past a good Jack Russell, it's handy having a rat, rabbit, snake ect catcher.
        03-27-2013, 07:43 AM
    I owned Aussies in the past. They can be great dogs, but recently the lines I have seen where I am require a lot of socialization. They tend to bond to one person and everyone else (including significant others) can go to heck. To the point where they will only go outside to pee if their special person takes them out. That's kind of a pain at 6 am when one has the flu and can become a sore spot in relationships. If I was looking for a family dog the aussie would not be first choice. Socialization is key with any dog but heelers and aussies need a bit more. I don't think they are the kind of dogs that you can send away to find help in an emergency. They are much more likely to just stand next to you and fuss. Boarder collies are high energy but they as a general rule tend to be more happy go lucky than heelers or aussies. They want a job and focus with laser like intensity on it but they won't bite the neighbor if he stops by to borrow a cup of sugar.
        03-27-2013, 07:58 AM
    Green Broke

    My M-I-L lives with us and has a black, long haired dachshund that chases the squirrels, rabbits, snakes, ducks and actually broke into the chicken coop and killed my wife's pullets. I hate that she never gave him any discipline as he grew and now thinks he can get away with anything, until he sees me around.


    The pup is adoring attention from everyone who will give it to her. We have people coming and going here all the time with my wife doing in-home daycare so she will used to seeing several people other than us coming in the gate.

    I still haven't heard her bark,yelp or do anything more than play with the toys given her by hand. My wife and kids say they have heard her bark at the other dogs trying to play with them, but I haven't and like it. I don't want a dog that barks at the wind blowing.
        03-27-2013, 08:09 AM
    Green Broke
    Personally, I intend to get a well-bred German Shepherd with professional property guard training and a well bred blue heeler.

    German Shepherds have a soft spot in my heart, I just love the look and the intensity they can have. I want the the protection bred into it and trained, I can get it to bring the horses in myself though if need be.

    Heeler will more likely be the one used for bringing the horses in though, same as the one I know. She is the most well-trained dog I know of. She's learned how to nip at the horses without getting kicked, she's had horses turn back at her and chase her (runs circles around them lol), everything..and she does it great. Can even send the horses back out to turnout. That's what I want in a farm dog. I don't want a guard dog mixed with a farm dog, I want one of each.

    I don't think that heelers and aussies need more socialization as pups either. I know the heeler I'm talking about never aaw other dogs until she was about a year and a half..did fine with them and played. She's never bit a person, only bit one dog (attacked her first), and has never actually bitten the horses although she heels them. My dog's have more socialization than say..my aunt's mini-schnauzer got, but that's because I intend to have the best trained dogs in the area, haha.
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        03-27-2013, 08:17 AM
    If you decide on an Aussie, they are INCREDIBLY SMART. Be prepared! Our Aussie is the most level headed dog I've had. She has so much heart. We ran our 2 horses down a 2 mile field, and she kept pushing and pushing to keep up! (Even though she got left behind) She goes on trail rides with us all the time and stays close by and never tires. I wouldn't go with any other dog. As for trainability, I only trained her how to sit but she learned sit in 1 day as an extremely young pup.

    My experience with heelers is quite bad. My cousin has 2, and they chew everything up and have extreme aggression towards other animals.
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        03-27-2013, 08:35 AM
    The best ranch dog I ever had was a rat terrier/border collie. He was quick, smart, didnt herd too bad (unless you were a duck) he could run for miles, didnt bark much, but he was SUPER protective. Like, I couldnt hug my niece or he'd growl kind of aggressive. Im not sure where he's at now, but that's another story.
        03-27-2013, 09:05 AM
    I'm partial to Aussies and Border Collies. Do you have experience with herding dogs? They can be a handful for first time owners.
        03-27-2013, 10:00 AM
    Green Broke
    Also, always remember.....each breed is different within its breed. Just as ALL quarter horses aren't good at cows and all Thoroughbreds aren't Secretariat....you want to look for a breeder breeding for what you are interested in. My shepherd is fiercely protective of my children, purposely so, but not protection trained- it's just his nature. My dobie is sociable and sweet, but again, purposefully protective. I don't want people around me that I don't know and my boys know that, they will clear a path around me and keep it that way. My jack loves anyone that loves her, she's a pet, whereas the boys have a job, but she rats like noones business, is ON when you want to play and snuggles when you don't. Can't beat a jack for companionship and around the barn cleanup, but I chose her mother and father very carefully bc I don't like neurotic dogs, and jacks can be.
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