Dogs at home & on the trail
#1
We have been dogless on our farm since last June when we had to euthanize our 11 year old Parson Russell due to a tumor on his spleen.

I am considering getting a dog to have as a pet and hiking partner on the the trails.  I list pet first because he be in the house and on the farm and with us more hours than hiking on the trail with the goats and me.  However, he will need to interact well with the goats (who are not used to dogs).

What dogs do you have and how have they worked for you?  Suggestions?
Goatberries Happen!
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#2
Our goats have done fine with the dogs, though we too are nearing the end after 14 great years. My bottle baby tries to play with English lab/husky Koko The Honorary Grandma, who just wants to give him a bath, and gets a little too rough with American lab/shepherd Bruiser The Tripod. My doe gets nervous when the dogs walk towards her but will come up and sniff them if they're laying down. I think the key has been that my dogs are very old and calm. If you get a puppy, you'd have to supervise VERY closely to make sure neither party gets hurt. You could start by letting them share a fence or taking the dog into the yard on a leash to potty.
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#3
I only have livestock guardian dogs, but they would make horrible inside pets and they eat like horses! So I don't really have any particular breed recommendations except that I would want to avoid herding breeds like Heelers and Border Collies. They are typically very intense and tend to chase anything that moves in an attempt to "herd" it. To be good with livestock they need to have a constant, demanding, and specific job. I've always been partial to Labradors and Lab crosses, but some bloodlines can be overly energetic when young and they shed a lot. If you get a small breed of dog you wont' have to worry about it harming your goats. Any large breed could potentially kill a goat if it got excited and started chasing. With small dogs you have to be more concerned that the goats might injure or kill the dog if it started to chase. I especially tend to love mutts and there are so many shelter dogs that need good homes. You may not know its breeding, but sometimes the right dog finds you at a shelter and can make the most loyal pet and obedient farm dog. You may even be able to adopt an adult dog and skip the exuberant puppy stage, which is when chasing incidents are most likely to occur. Best of luck! I hope you find exactly the dog you're looking for!
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