Of all the integral parts of any working homestead there are none quite as useful and versatile as the homestead dog. The perfect homestead dog does not have to have a pedigree (he couldn’t read it if he had one), he does not have to be any particular breed although some folks prefer their favorite breed over others in fact, the only requirement is that he fulfill his duties faithfully. Some of the best homestead dogs I’ve seen came from the local shelter and were of mixed breeding.
The homestead dog provides 24/7 security for your homestead. Whether it is keeping the foxes and other varmints out of the chicken house at night while you are asleep, or keeping the coons, rabbits, and armadillos out of your garden, or warning you of larger predators, he is on duty and alert at all times. He will catch rats and mice, gophers and moles.
A good homestead dog will provide hours of companionship for you and your children as well as protecting them from any threat (including snakes and other dogs) that appear. He is just as eager to chase a stick, ball, or Frisbee, as he is to chase a rabbit out of your garden.
Care of your dog is important, as with any other asset a certain amount of maintenance is necessary to keep your dog healthy and able to do his job. A good quality dog food (table scraps are usually not sufficient although he will enjoy them greatly), clean water, and a healthy living environment. You will need to give him some protection from fleas and ticks as well as keep his shots up to date.
To have a good dependable homestead dog you will have to invest some time in training. Teach him basic manners and not to chase the chickens and cats from the start. It is always easier to teach them from the beginning than to let them develop bad habits then try to break those habits. Teach him that it is not alright to dig in your wife’s flower bed before it becomes an issue (your wife will appreciate this). If you have no experience training dogs or just want to learn more about how; Click Here!.
Remember, it is important for the well being of your dog(s) to spay and neuter them. You do not want him to go running off because of a female in heat or being the female in heat that is attracting male dogs that will fight and create an unpleasant situation for your dog, and yourself, as well as an unsafe situation for your children and other animals. You also do not want an unplanned litter of puppies.
In my opinion, a homestead is not complete without a homestead dog or 2 (we have 5 at present). A good dog will provide for you security, predator control, unlimited affection and unquestioning loyalty. All he requires in return is food, a little care, an occasional pat on the head or ear scratch. Nowhere else can you get such benefit for such a small investment.