Farm Collies

August 22, 2005

farm collies

Farm collies are a great breed.  They’ve been around for years, in one variation or another.  We have an American Working Farm Collie.

He is a cross between an American Farm Collie and an old line of working Border Collies.

Instead of being focused on only one job, these dogs are supposed to be more diverse and an all-around helper on the farm.

Obviously, each dog is different, and has different strengths and weaknesses.

Of course, there are all kinds of farm collies! On the website for the American Working Farm Collie, it states that it features:

  • English Shepherds,
  • old-fashioned working collies,
  • Australian Shepherds,
  • Shetland Sheepdogs and
  • other Farm collie breeds.

It can get a little confusing, because quite often English Shepherds are also called Farm Collies.

They are considered “America’s Heritage Farm Dog” that are “working dogs, valued for their versatility, loyalty, and intelligence.” (From English Shepherd website)

So when someone says they have a farm collie, it could be a mix of some breeds, or one particular breed like the English Shepherd.

Each breed and each dog will have things that it does better, and those that maybe it doesn’t do as well. Generally speaking, however, these dogs are up to helping with many tasks on a homestead.

The bottom line is a well trained farm collie can be a HUGE asset around the farm!

Top Working Dogs

June 15, 2005

If you wonder what the top working dogs are, here’s an article talking about the top ten… what breeds they are, and what’s good and bad about them.

26 2009_10-30 Neffie Toby

2009: Best pals Toby and Neffie.

However, I’d have to say that I wouldn’t call these the top ten working dogs for a farm.  I think the list would be a little different then, because you’d want to include livestock guard dogs and herding dogs in the list.
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Farm Dogs For Sale

January 11, 2005

Every farm needs a good farm dog.  If you’re looking for one, it’s probably a good idea to decide first just what kind of farm dog you want, although you could try a google search of “farm dogs for sale” and see what you come up with.

Decide first what you need the dog to do.  Is it just for companionship?  Or do you want it to act as a livestock guardian dog?  Do you need a dog to herd animals?  Most dog breeds are better at some things than others, so pick one that most closely matches what attributes would be most useful on your farm.

Once you choose your breed, try finding a national organization online for that breed.  Most of them have sections listing breeders, or giving you an idea where to find a dog.  You can also try a rescue dog, but if this is your first dog, I wouldn’t recommend it.  Sometimes it’s a little more difficult to re-train an older dog than start with a puppy.

Good luck with your search!

Maremma Dogs

August 22, 2003

Maremma dogs come from Italy.  They were bred to guard livestock.  They’re not as commonly known or used in the states as a Great Pyrenees, but are a great breed of dog when you can find one!

maremma dogs

Maremma Dog Breed Profile

The Maremma Sheepdog originated in the Italian Alps. It is a race that has a tremendous capacity to work in higher elevations. For many hundreds of years, the life of sheep, the shepherds and the Maremma dogs guarding the flock has been structured the seasons. From June to October the herds would be moved to the high country in the mountains of Abruzzo and from October to June they descended into the plains and the rolling pastures of the Maremma.

The work of the Maremma has always been that of a livestock protector and herding dog, being of great value for the Italian peasants as they moved with their herds of mountain goats and sheep through the pastures, not only livestock but also to protect the herd against predators. The Maremma has the ability to work independently as a protector of the herd and is distinguished by its high intelligence. Some dogs are protective remained firm and gradually became the Maremma is also known as the big white dog who frequented the fine houses of Tuscany as a companion and watchdog.

The Maremma is a large white dog with profuse and abundant coat. It might confuse the dog with the Pyrenees or the Kuvasz, extract the head of the Maremma is much larger in proportion to the body and is actually very similar to the polar bear, conical in shape and mass. In general large white dogs are dogs herds in Central Europe and the Alps, the Maremma is probably the race that this thinking is the most independent and one of the dogs considered a very protective dog, working in the dual role of guardian of the flock and Herder.

The Maremma is a large breed, standing 24 inches at the withers, with a thick layer that is all white with perhaps a shade of ivory or biscuit on the ears. The hair must be regularly maintained. The correct coat should be weather resistant, providing protection against the sun and cold, it’s a dog that should not be shaved.

The Maremma has always been around people, although its existence has been isolated, it is a race that will not do well without a man, to protect or work alongside. It’s a dog that wants to work for his master, but also can be difficult for a dog obedience commands simple, since it is a “thinker” and bored with repetition. They are extremely loyal, considered a dog of a person, devoted and protective yet proud and dignified. It’s a dog that needs a knowledgeable owner, since it is not inclined to be obedient, but is more likely to be a little stubborn and strong will.

Dogs On Farm

May 10, 2002

No farm is complete without dogs.  Here’s a couple we have:

There are all kinds of dogs on the farm.  Not just on our farm of course, but all over the world.  There are many breeds that are in the working class, including such dogs as:

  • American Farm Collie
  • Anatolian Shepherd
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Border Collie
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Komondor
  • Kuvasz
  • Old English Sheepdog


Dogs can perform many useful functions.  Besides being great companions for people, they can be general guard dogs, or they can be livestock guardian dogs.  The latter type of working dogs are meant to stay with their charges all the time, and keep them safe from predators.

On our farmstead we happen to have a farm collie and a Maremma sheepdog.  But there many other good breeds for the farm.  Decide what you need the dog to do, then go looking at different breeds to see which most closely matches you needs.

Do keep in mind, however, that just because a breed is supposed to be good at a certain thing, like herding, once in a while a particular dog does NOT have the trait mentioned for that breed.  Dogs are individuals, and while most have the breed characteristics, it’s not a 100% given that every dog of that breed will.

To find the breed that will most likely suit your needs, check out a breed selector like the one found on Animal Planet.  It can help guide you through finding dogs that meet your needs.  You choose from the various criteria, like size of the dog, length of the dog coat, and more, to aide the selection process.

Choose wisely so both you and the dog will be happy with your choice!



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