If you live on a farm and are looking for a four-legged friend, you need a dog built for farm life.
The best farm dogs must protect their land and the animals they care for. They may also need to protect human workers from time to time. They must be strong enough to keep predators away, but also sensitive enough to know when a farm animal needs help.
We all know how important it is to find the right dog to suit your lifestyle and personality. If you’re a jogger, it’s probably not your best running buddy to get a bulldog.
Or if you work long hours, a Jack Russel probably won’t wait patiently until you get home. Just like humans, each breed of dog has its personality traits that you should look into.
Now you all know that there is an endless number of races around the world, so finding the right one can be an overwhelming task.
You may be wondering what those breeds are, and if you’re feeling a little lost right now, don’t worry.
This list includes 15 of the best farm dogs for performing multiple tasks that may be necessary for a farm dog. Some of these dogs are quite large, while others don’t even weigh 50 pounds.
As with any dog you adopt, you should choose a breed that suits your needs and also fits your home and your lifestyle.
Before we start talking about the different breeds, you need to consider some factors if you want to choose the right dog for your farm.
Table Of Contents
- Which Breeds Make The Best Farm Dogs?
- 15 Best Farm Dogs Breeds
Which Breeds Make The Best Farm Dogs?
If you have a small hobby farm, you may be looking for a dog breed with some specific features. A good farm dog meets the following criteria:
- Will herding and guarding the sheep and goats without being too aggressive.
- Do not chase the chickens or other small livestock.
- Rides next to the racehorses.
- Not interested in running away.
- Keep stables and feeding places free from vermin.
- Skilled and willing to guard the house.
- When the work is done, I will spend quality time with the family.
It sounds like an excellent match for your farm, right? A dog that can do all of these things is not only a great asset, but he’s probably waiting for you too. By taking the time to look around and choose your dog carefully, you can find the best dog for your backyard farm.
15 Best Farm Dogs Breeds
Whether you are looking for a working dog or just a dog that will enjoy farm life, a breeding breed or bred breeding mix is probably the best choice. In research or a non-breeding breed, several dog breeds do well on the farm.
These are the 15 best farm dog breeds that enjoy life in the country.
1. Border Collie
When you think of a farm dog, imagine a Border Collie running through the fields. You know, it’s true what they say about Border Collies, they’d first work than the breath. These dogs are the embodiment of a working dog, and if you are looking for a farm dog, this is known as a dog.
Border Collies love sheep herding, and they are the smartest dog of all breeds, maybe even smarter than you. And because they are extremely intelligent, they are incredibly obedient and grounded.
You don’t have to worry about them making irrational decisions, because that’s just not in their nature. They are not a breed to be cherished and overlooked.
Komanders are fighters. They are not afraid of predators and will fight to protect livestock. Although they will fight, these dogs feel good with them. So they will not fight until necessary.
However, they have many special features that need to be considered before deciding to bring them to your home. First, these dogs bark a lot and are very loud. Secondly, they are deemed overprotective. Which leads us to number three, because these dogs can be too protective, they risk attacking a stranger. So you should keep these things in mind.
3. Anatolian Shepherd
Although this breed from Turkey is called a (shepherd), they are not great sheepdogs. Pictured above, these dogs were traditionally used as a shepherd’s companion and as a conservationist.
Intelligent and loyal, puppies in this breed are easy to train. This robust variety does well outdoors in many climate types. They are independent, and once trained, they can make the right decisions without their master being there.
These puppies are territorial. While that is a good trait in watchdogs, care should be taken to teach them what is a threat. Anatolian Shepherds often extend their protected area beyond your borders. Fencing is recommended.
4. Australian Cattle
Also known as the Blue or Red Heeler, this dog is a great medium-sized farm dog. Because he is so active, he is certainly not for everyone. This breed was developed as a drover – an animal bred to move herds long distances. For this reason, they often get bored around a backyard farm. (One of the dog breeds used in their development was the Border Collie, a highly trainable, high energy dog that is not suitable for a home environment.)
ACDs are one of the best farm dogs if you are mainly a watchdog want to keep an eye on the place when you’re not there. They can be very territorial, and if a stranger enters your premises, they are likely to get bitten. These dogs are fine around horses, and they are intelligent enough that if they follow a heel and are kicked, they are likely to stop after one warning.
Heelers are also one of the healthiest breeds to choose for your small farm. Aside from injuries, they probably don’t need much veterinary care. Injuries happen around a farm, so you have to be prepared for that.
However, if your hobby farm is big enough to keep livestock, and you are looking for a great dog to help you every day, check out the ACD.
5. The Great Pyrenees
A wonderful breed, the Great Pyrenees, is named after the Pyrenees in southwestern Europe. In that region, they were used as a sheepdog for sheep. Now you will find that they are used as livestock farmers, whatever they can do. They are hardworking and tough dogs that like colder climates.
Although they love people and are generally very gentle and patient dogs, they have an independent side. They can stray from you for hours and patrol the borders without needing you by their side. They are protective yet calm, making them exceptional watchdogs.
However, keep in mind that they are not suitable for warm climates, so if you live in a warm place somewhere, make sure they have plenty of shade and water.
Another thing is that they drool, so it’s probably a good idea to leave some old towels around. Apart from that, they are great dogs and can perform a wide variety of tasks.
With tons of energy, Dalmatians need a lot of exercise and distraction. This makes them great for working on a farm. These fur babies are descended from the old war dogs and still retain that courage and courage.
The reason you often see this breed at fire stations and police stations is that they are intelligent and easy to train. Not only are they good watchdogs, but they are also great companions. Their stamina allows them to keep track of everything you have in mind.
Like other watchdog breeds, these four-legged family members can become aggressive and destructive if bored or left alone too much. While tough dogs thrive from the outside, make sure they get plenty of human company.
7. English Shepherd
The English Shepherd is a descendant of the same family as the Collie and Shepherds that originated in the UK. Initially, they were brought to the US for farm use, which says a lot about the breed itself. To this day, the English Shepherd instinctively uses and tends cattle.
The beauty of this breed is that it can herd many different types of farm animals, such as sheep and cows. They have excellent judgment and love to solve problems. While they like to be active, they also enjoy spending time with family and are generally very gentle and easygoing dogs.
They are reserved for new people, but over time they come to relax and feel more comfortable with people. They are not fans indoors, so if you keep them indoors for a long time, you can expect them to go a little crazy.
8. Marrema Sheepdog
Bred to protect flocks of sheep and goats in Italy, this little-known breed is seeing an increase in popularity. In their traditional role, they were protectors against wolves and would fight to the death if necessary.
The Marrema is a perfect protector for animals and people. With these playful, intelligent puppies, you can start obedience training early. With energy and determination, this breed can handle many challenges.
These dogs do not have a high tolerance for pests and rough play. People in the house should be trained in how to treat a dog properly. These fur babies are intelligent and independent. Training must start from the beginning and must be consistent.
9. Tibetan Mastiff
Do you live in a place with a lot of heat? What about a lot of colds? If so, a Tibetan Mastiff may be a good breed for the home. They are known to be very savory dogs that can withstand harsh environmental elements. They are also another breed with nocturnal habits, which means you can have your livestock grazing with them at night.
Also, these dogs adapt predators of all sizes. So don’t worry if you have predators, coyotes, or even a bear.
However, these dogs are another breed known for their stubbornness. This means they need a lot of training to overcome this.
10. Welsh Corgi
When people think of a sheepdog, they expect a decent size, but don’t be fooled by the size of the Welsh Corgi. Welsh corgis are known for being highly intelligent and determined dogs. This dog may be small, but he is a master of cattle herding. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your Corgi being kicked for being too small.
They are not ideal for long roundups due to their size, but if you just need a dog for the farm, they are a great addition to the family. They can pinch your heels because they do that to the livestock to move them in the right direction. In general, however, they are bubbly, loyal, hardworking, and energetic dogs who love the outdoors. When it comes to people, they are very protective of children and family members.
11. Bernese Mountain Dog
If you are looking for a farmer who is also easy going and gentle, this might be the breed for you. Although loyal and brave, this dog is a faithful family dog. They don’t mind wearing many different hats on the farm.
Easy to train, these high energy farm dog breeds need work. Whether it’s pulling the kids in a cart, protecting the livestock, or being a swimming buddy, it’s up to you. These hardworking dogs are energetic and durable.
Although they are a protector of livestock, they love almost all people and will not be able to protect them from poachers or robbers. Like other giant dogs, their lives don’t last long: only about eight years. They were almost extinct, so the gene pool is not diverse. Care must be taken to prevent genetic diseases.
12. Polish Tatra Sheepdog
These dogs are great for working with sheep. Herding and guarding is one of their specialties. But because of their loyal and protective personality, they are also great to keep as personal protection. And if the thought of a big, drooling dog doesn’t appeal to you, then you will love this breed because they don’t drool.
However, these dogs are very active and very intelligent. They are very loud barkers, but (with proper training) will not attack unless necessary. So they have many very positive qualities that suit some homes.
13. The Standard Schnauzer
This variety is the best choice for a backyard farm for several reasons. The Standard Schnauzer is a decent size and is not pushed around by cattle. The breed is not so large that food and healthcare costs will be a burden. They are also great family dogs, but will still protect your home from strangers and not get bored.
Standard Schnauzers were developed on the farm to have some prey drive, but not too much. Chickens and guinea fowl are safe with this breed, but rats and mice don’t stand a chance. Although they are NOT a watchdog breed, they will often take on this role and sit with the flock to see if any strange animals are coming.
They have a high training need, like most farm breeds, but keeping them active during the day is usually enough. (We all need to take a few minutes every afternoon to walk our dogs, both for bonding and health reasons, and this will prevent your standard schnauzer from getting bored.)
14. Old English Sheepdog
While you may think this dog’s hair needs to be cut out of his eyes, it’s great to protect this fur baby’s sight while on the go. Like all good shepherds, this dog can do its job. He does not stray and is not easily distracted.
This is a sensitive, loyal dog. They learn quickly and do not need hard training methods. They are friendly and loving and do well in households with children and other pets.
With a thick coat, the Old English sheepdog is not suitable for warmer climates. Speaking of fur, they shed quite a bit, and their hair needs constant attention to avoid matting. This is not a breed that can be left outside to take care of itself. These farm dog breeds need almost constant human companionship to be healthy and happy.
15. Catahoula Leopard
Originally from northern Louisiana, the Catahoula Leopard was used to herd animals and keep them in their (virtual) fence. They are brilliant and extremely organized, which is why they are an excellent herding breed. Named after the Leopard for their spotted coat and baby blue eyes, they are incredibly sturdy built and stand out with a strong and powerful look.
They love farm life because they are very energetic dogs that need a lot of exercise. They need company and attention, or they will become depressed and lonely. So you want to give them love and of course be interactive with them.
The Catahoula Leopard loves tasks and is intelligent enough to save themselves from difficult situations. Traditionally speaking, the Catahoula Leopard breed is gentle, somewhat reserved, loyal, and protective.
Now that you are aware of the best farm dog breeds for both herding and guarding livestock, you can choose the breed that best suits your lifestyle and environment. You want to make sure that you choose a breed that suits your personality because this dog will last in your life for years to come. Take the time to select a species, and, if possible, meet people with the species you are interested in.
You may have to pay a little more for a working dog, and you may be on a waiting list, but the puppy you bring home is worth it.