A Good Farm Dog

Lily is on patrol. She is keeping the garden free of vermin that gnaw at the butternut squash.

lily on patrol



So far, so good.

butternut squash


Do you have (or had) a good farm dog? Brag about your pup in the comments. There are few things as cheering as a good dog story (and heaven knows, what with what’s on the nightly news we could use some good dog tales.) Don’t hold back on the effusive praise!


  1. I have an outdoor cat that does an amazing job….Does that count? lol

  2. I’ve never had a dog but I have 2 cats that are reliable mousers.They eat whatever eats our carrots.They also go into our neighbours shed and catch mice and he is OK with that. ;)

  3. Cats are so useful that way. Sadly, what with the fisher cats and coyotes, farm cats around here have risky lives and need to be kept in the house at night.

  4. We don’t have dogs anymore, but we have a cat that’s an excellent mouser! What critters is Lily keeping out of your squash?

  5. I have an Australian Shepherd, Buster, who use to walk the turkeys on my sister’s Alpaca farm. These Turkeys would sit at the feeder all day and never move. We would open the pen door and Buster would ‘goose’ them with his nose to get them to move. He would do this all the way around the large chicken/turkey/duck pen. By the time they got back to the door, turkeys would be huffing and puffing, but Buster was one happy working dog.

  6. How about a llama? My llama is a great “watch” guy..he makes the most horrific sound if there is a stranger on the property…it sounds like a cross between a woman screaming in pain and a dog howling…LOL!

  7. We have two dogs: Bailey a 7-8 year old Border Collie mix and Aster a 2 year old Alaskan Malamute. Once Aster was trained to stay away from our rabbit hutches and poultry run, she helps Bailey chase away wild rabbits, rats, and scare stray dogs. They are also excellent companions for watching tv, going for hikes, and even a recent trip to the beach!

      • Yes! Any time she is excited she woo-woos. She started this on vacation wanting attention from people but inadvertently scared them. Once I let them know she was a talkative dog, they were able to relax and play with her.

  8. My Dalmatian was a great farm dog. Never had a fox or coyote problem (when I lived in Illinois) once he matured and became self confident. He stood guard all day.

  9. Our Brittany’s, Lucy and Ruby, while excellent bird dogs are very protective and non-reactive toward the chickens…which I know is unbelievable, but it’s true! They understand that these birds are not to be hunted or run down. It amazes everyone who sees it when the two pooches are relaxing in the sunshine while the hens scratch and peck all around them!
    Anyway…one day Ruby took off like a shot to the coop and within a couple minutes proudly returned with a dead weasel in her mouth! Atta girl, Ruby! Both dogs, Ruby and Lucy, diligently patrol after dark to make sure all varmints
    are not pestering the slumbering hens inside the hen-house. They are such good girls!

  10. Our Westie thinks she’s a good farm dog, but in reality, while chasing the resident woodchuck into the bushes, she creates more work for me when she comes bounding out of the woods with mud up to her belly. The other day she got shampooed with my Paul Mitchell products. Did I mention she’s also a princess?

    • ;-) Sounds like my Lulu (Boston) as she sqqquuueeezzzes her way under the shed or coop to get those pesky wabbits. (and she does catch them and will eat them if I don’t take them away from her)

  11. We had an Eskimo. Eskie’s need a job to be happy. They are use to herding and sleeping with their master. In our case Griz slept in the big barn with the chickens. He knew his job well. Before he was put in at night he always walked, on his own, the entire outside of the barn. We knew he spent the night on guard because in the morning he was exhausted! When the hens got into a spat, one bark and it was over. I miss the farm, hens and Griz who we lost 2 yrs. ago at age 12. Thought we’d be settled so I could have some hens by now but we aren’t. Maybe next year. Griz got his name when at 5 months old he took on a baby black bear who must have been over 300 lbs. The neighbor joked that he would take on a Grizzly Bear so his name change from Frosty to Grizzly.

      • Yes he did. Eskie’s are very smart dogs, very easy to train and obedient. If we laughed he wanted to be a part of it. He loved music! He did have a problem with the grandkids taking his toys. He’d wait until they put it down and then hide it.

  12. Thanks, Terry, for an up-lifting conversation following a horrific world-wide event! All the comments made me smile.

    Thank you also for your comment regarding Brittany’s; SOFT is the operative word. Over my life time I’ve known and loved so many dogs and when my then 13 year old son began the campaign to own a “bird-dog” to pheasant hunt with I resisted and resisted. Finally, after over a year of diligent research and relentless persuasive speeches; I gave in.

    These two dogs have been just wonderful; smart, intuitive, loyal, and loving but incredibly soft in nature, only needing the most gentle of corrections. Lucy’s now 10 and retired from hunting due to a torn ACL but Ruby at 7 is in her prime! Dog…(God spelled backwards) they really are LOVE.

  13. I’ve had amazing experiences with two Jack Russells. These ‘big dogs in small packages’ are almost too smart to be ‘just’ companion animals. They need a job! Ernie (Earnest Endeavor) had the classic super-friendly, confident, boisterous, very funny Jack Russell personality. Never met a stranger. His bold and dominant personality was charming but he took his territory quite seriously, and was vocal and alerted us to every visitor. His sister Annie was much shyer, completely bonded to me and quite delicate in confirmation. But it was Annie who was the superior hunter. Silent, careful and deadly. While Ernie was all bark and wiggling butt, Annie hung back, watched carefully, and quietly then went in for the kill many times. I always have bird feeders which attract rodents and all sorts of vermin. Both dogs completely ignored the birds, but no mouse, vole or chipmunk was safe. Annie would even run up tree trunks at full speed and pull squirrels right off the bark before gravity made her drop to the ground, squirrel clamped in her jaws, to be dispatched with one or two violent shakes.

    I miss those two. Tireless, so loving and devoted, and so different in temperament. Ain’t dogs grand?

    • One of the boarders at the stable just got a Jack puppy. Lucky terrier to have the smells of horses to roll in! The best behaved Jack Russells are the ones that have such a lives. Sounds like yours did.

  14. My girl Faith is half Cocker Spaniel and half Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a fantastic “farm dog” she takes her job of patrolling the yard and protectiting the chickens very seriously..

  15. I have 2 mutts! Starbucks is good at keeping away ANYTHING she barks at which is squirrels, deer, geese and even a blowing leaf! Kahlua is good at working as a “pre-wash” cycle for any dish before it goes in our dishwasher! My outdoor cat is good a catching shrews and leaving them on the front porch! My indoor kitty catches any mouse that gets by the outdoor kitty! Love them all!