Welcome! It’s fabulous to have you here. 🙂
Quick – can you tell me the most cost-effective way to get security, companionship and entertainment on your farm? A dog, of course! A big, muscular farm dog! Farms (and homesteads) and dogs go together like … well, like little children and dogs. And guess what we got this week?
That’s not ideal for a dog, since they’re pack animals. People sometimes forget that a dog bonds with his people and sometimes has a lot of trouble adjusting to a new pack. (As a reader noted, this is more, or less, extreme depending on the breed. Some need a lifetime home while others can adjust fairly quickly) Our place was to be – and definitely will be – his forever home.
Ahem. We call him a black Lab. The vet says his white bib and paws say there’s Border Collie in there, and his jowls and broad chest and body sure aren’t Lab, either. More like a pit bull. He looks more like a baby black bear than he does a dog, and, truth to be told, he kind of waddles like a baby bear. So while he’s a beautiful mutt with the sweetest temperament you could ever find, we call him a black lab so as not to hurt his feelings.
Can you do me a huge favour? Take just a moment and share this post. Thanks so much!
Generally, adding a new dog to the house should involve more than “Ok.”
And, seriously, if you have any doubt when it comes to adding a new animal, take the time to talk, talk, talk and talk some more. It’s like getting a child, since a dog is going to be completely dependent on you for the next ten to fifteen years. (Maybe more!)
Talk About It
Is this going to be an indoor dog? An indoor/outdoor dog? Or will it be entirely an outdoor dog? (Only if you have the climate for it and can provide some type of housing.)
Consider Other Animals
Plan For Expenses
We took our new dog for her first “well dog” visit, picked up worming meds and a round of probiotics. $125 – no joke! While we were there, we discussed the need to have her spayed – $425. And then annual checkups. Our vet recommends that dogs are treated with a worming medicine three times a year.
Consider everything that your dog will happily eat, this is a really good idea.
Assemble Your Supplies
Yes, that’s possible. The answer is that you will have a few days of gastric upset – diarrhea and vomiting. Dogs like a predictable diet just as much as they like predictable rules. If this is the situation, ask your vet for some probiotics to keep things running smoothly.
Call The Vet
Assume that the dog has been starved, ignored and, when not ignored, beaten and abused.
Assume that the dog has had no housetraining and essentially knows nothing about living in a house.
They are the most loving, loyal, amazing animal that humans have ever managed to associate with. Dogs are pack animals who are happiest with clearly defined roles and they will die for their pack members. On a daily basis, a farm dog that is secure in her role will offer warning alarms, an excellent deterrent for most four – and two – legged threats, a playmate for children and a loving companion.
Now she sits, tail wagging madly, for affection or other treats, and her delight at quickly learning this new “trick” is quite apparent. She is going to be an asset to our little homestead for years to come.