Besides being man’s best friend, dogs continue to prove to be reliable protectors, herders and guiders. Farmers have many responsibilities day-to-day, and in times where extra farmhands aren’t available, a dog is your next best companion and helper.
Dogs are integral members of farms. Almost any dog breed or mutt can be trained to assist you on the farm, whether it’s through herding livestock, warding off predators or just being there to keep you company on longer days.
If you’re considering adding a dog — or a few — to help with your agricultural needs, read through these benefits of dogs on your farm.
1. Livestock Herder
The major benefits of having a dog on the farm come when you’re able to put the dog to work. Dogs are bred for specific purposes, and you can train almost any dog to work on a farm. However, certain breeds like collies and shepherds work better as herding dogs. Whether you primarily work with livestock or have a small herd of cattle, a dog can significantly help you by herding them.
The livestock herding dogs have a specific purpose — to round up and move large livestock numbers safely and effectively at the command of your voice. Although it takes a lot of training, herding dogs can move cattle with swift movements and eye contact. This makes your job a lot easier and only requires a little bit of movement and vocal or hand commands for your dog.
2. Reliable Companion
The number one reason why people get dogs is to have a reliable companion. Farmers choose to have dogs for the same reason. Those who work in agriculture full time don’t get to leave their farms much because of all of the tasks and responsibilities of having a farm.
You might just want a dog to love, and a dog will love you back. Many studies have shown that dogs make people happier, less stressed, and more productive, all of which are positive perks on a farm. Plus, they benefit physical health because of their need for exercise.
3. Protector from Predators
Some farmers complete their chores late at night, so having a guard dog will protect you from night predators. Dogs will alert potential danger by barking. They have a keen sense of sight, smell, and hearing and can sense a threat before you can.
A dog can protect both you and your livestock, so it’s worth it to have a dog on a farm for protection alone. Besides protecting your farm from dangerous animals, a dog can alert you of potential intruders or even criminals on the run.
4. Pest Controller
There’s no need to use a chemical pest controller when you have a dog on your farm. Terrier breeds are suited specifically to chase away pests and vermin. Mice and rats have a habit of getting into feed, so you want something that will frighten them away.
Vermin carry harmful diseases and can contaminate the feed for your livestock. Additionally, they can eat through produce. Dogs can be trained to ward them off.
5. Revenue Increaser
It’s no doubt that people love dogs. When people enter a farm to purchase their fall pumpkin or get fresh, local produce in the summer, they are often first greeted by the farm dog. This establishes a relationship between the customer and the dog and can help break the ice between you and that customer.
A furry face and a wagging tail make people feel more comfortable, and they could be more inclined to support your business. Additionally, dogs make you more productive, so your yields might be higher because you’ll be more productive every day.
Man’s Best Friend and Worker
The advantages of having a dog on your farm are numerous. When selecting a dog for your farm, it’s best to choose a suitable breed for the job you want them to do. However, you can train a dog to do various tasks for your farm with time and patience.
Dogs have been in the farming industry for years, and by adopting one for your farm, your agricultural business will thrive.