Dogs have the reputation of being man’s best friend for good reason. The possible benefits of having a dog on your homestead, whether it be urban or country, are virtually endless. But domestication of dogs has led to a wide array of physical and behavioral traits. Over breeding for desired traits has also led to genetic issues, for this reason a “mutt” is always preferable since it will have less health issues. For this reason, when selecting a dog that is right for you, you should consider what breed you are looking for, and search for a mutt that has that breed’s characteristics displayed. This will allow you to have a dog that has the traits you desire, and a healthy genetic code, saving you vet bills, and promoting “rescue” over “financially motivated breeding”. These are 3 breeds that have excellent traits for a homestead dog:
Probably the breed with the most undeserved bad reputation is the Pitbull. But the reality is that Pitbull owners deserve the bad reputation. A well cared for and loved Pitbull has no greater tendency to attack its owner than a Golden Retriever. That being said, when a Pitbull feels threatened, or feels that it’s owner and family are threatened, it is much more capable of offering physical protection than other breeds. With a ridiculous bit strength, high pain tolerance, and intimidating appearance a Pitbull is one of the best breeds for physical protection, which should be a consideration for a homestead in any setting.
Heelers, or Australian Cattle Dogs, are a great option for a working dog on a homestead. Heeler’s a robust breed, with high levels of intelligence and trainability. Guarding and herding come naturally to a Heeler, but with high intelligence and high energy Heelers can be trained to do whatever task you have for them. For those who want only one dog, a Heeler is a great option, they do not always get along with other dogs, but bond well with their owners.
Terriers have become a popular breed for people with small spaces, but the reality is that Terriers will do better in an open environment with room to roam. With a Terrier on your homestead, you are unlikely to have a rat problem or strangers approach without a load warning. Being a smaller breed, Terriers require less food and will have less joint issues as they age.
This is not at all the only dogs that could offer benefits on a homestead, but only a short list of some common favorites. Remember, not only are you helping out a creature that can’t help itself when you get a dog that would otherwise end up at the pound only to be euthanized, but by avoiding a dog that has been breed for sale, you are avoiding a dog that will likely have genetic issues that will lead to high vet bills and shorter life span.
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