Homestead Pets

The dogs resting, they work hard around the homestead.
The dogs resting, they work hard around the homestead.

Well, we got a lot of rain in the past 24 hours.  So far we have had 1.75 inches and we are due to get a little more before it is finished.  The forecast is for clearing and a run of several beautiful days at least through the weekend.  I'm expecting the garden to really take off when the sun comes out.

I thought I would share a picture of our two dogs Zoe is the shepherd and Bebe is a mix.  They are best playmates.  Zoe works in the yard with me when I am not using any of the mechanical equipment.  She is really good with the livestock.  She considers them hers so she likes spending time with them.  The chickens know she will not hurt them so they just go about their business even when she is walking through the middle of them.  Bebe on the other hand cannot go outside of her yard without being on a leash.  She became part of our family after she was full grown so we did not have a chance to acclimate her to the livestock so she thinks they are to chase not take care of.

Raising your pets with your livestock is important.  They need to learn that the livestock is not to be a play thing or something to be chased and killed but that they are to take care of them.  Different breeds will react differently to livestock.  Although the German Shepherd is not really a livestock breed Zoe is very good with ours because we raised her with them from a pup and she learned her role with them.

Because Bebe came to us as an adult dog and she is not of a breed that would naturally be a livestock guard dog we have had to limit her access to the barn and our livestock.  It is our responsibility as pet and livestock owners to make sure that we do not put either in a situation where harm could come to either.  If a pet kills livestock or gets injured by livestock because they escaped from their fenced yard or the house, ultimately that is my fault as their owner.  The pets are just acting by instinct and because they have not been taught any different.

So, as the saying goes, good fences make good neighbors.  Well, good fences also make happy pets and livestock.


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