In the next few days, we will be staying on a farm where they have horses and sheep. Bauer (16 months now) has never seen (not including animal planet) or been around them.
My last dog was by nature a farm dog, but labs????
What should I expect with a lab around farm animals, mainly horses and sheep?
lots and lots of barking
Stock up on treats and be prepared to work lots on 'watch me', 'come' and 'stay' (and don't let him off leash until you are sure he's not going to chase the livestock)
I agree..... if your dog (Lab or other) has never been around farm animals, don't just let him bound out of the car free......... he could get kicked and hurt seriously, or even killed..... horses are lethal with their feet. Most dogs just naturally will want to chase livestock. Keep him on leash...... or a long line , and keep your distance from the livestock. I'm sure there will be lots of barking too !!
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
I echo everything that has been said.
You don't know how he's going to react. Keep him under your control. And yep, he'll most likely bark...a lot.
I was raised on a farm, so all of our dogs have become accostomed to the livestock. Sam however, gets very excited when they start running, so we have to keep him in the house, or in the outside run if we are herding them.
One thing to keep in mind: in most farm/rural areas, livestock owners have the right to shoot dogs that go after livestock. Not saying that will be the case, it's just good to know.
Kim & Crew
Beautiful BC, Canada
JL Member since July 1, 2002
Fear Nothing. Live for Everything.
I agree with whats been said.
Especially the part about the farmers have the right to shoot animals who are threatening their live stock. So leash the dog for IT'S safety.
We have always had a lab or two with our horses and farm animals and they do fine.
Good Luck and have a great time!
I agree with the above precautions.
But Puff has never been raised around farm animals and yet she doesn't chase, bark at, or register any unwanted behavior around livestock. She registers some passing interest but seems to accept them as having their place and her as having hers.
So there IS the possibility of no problems but it's wise to be prepared.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I agree with the leashing, I know of a lab or two who were nearly killed by a horse.
I have had mine around Melissa's house a lot. She kept them for me when I had surgery on my leg.
She has 2 horses and at least 20 chickens. When I house sat for them a few months ago I let them off leash inside the main gated area and they didn't bother or chase the chickens at all. There is no way I would have let them near the barn though.
I foolishly assumed my first lab would be awesome around my horses because he was so great around every other animal. But when I took him out to where I kept my horses, he FLIPPED. Barking, attempting to chase, - nutso behaviors that were not his norm at all.
I had off the track thoroughbreds and they would have killed him in two seconds had he not been leashed.
And- I said this in reply to another post a few days ago- but be careful around not just your friends' farm, but other farmers as well (ie, don't let them off leash unless you know you can get them back very, very quickly even if a horse, pig, cow, bunny is there). We have several family farms and loose dogs are a huge hot button issue with us and in the communities that our farms are in. You just don't know who had a calf killed recently or a row trampled recently- and who is just trigger happy.
Be prepared for anything.
The first time Apollo saw a horse was on our move from Flagstaff, AZ to St. louis, MO. He was REALLY curious. I am glad I had him on a leash because the horse might have gotten spooked by Apollo's curiosity and he could have kicked. Apollo didnt bark or anything but he was VERY interested in what the big thing in front of us was. ALWAYS keep your dog on a leash around livestock. I wouldnt reccomend unleashing them until they've been exposed to livestock for a while. They might be fine one minute, but the next minute curiousity might take over and they could spook the livestock and get hurt. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it also killed the dog too! Keep an eye on your pupster and most importantly have fun and dont stress to much, just use common sense and be safe.
Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />
and if you have a poop eater, a farm is a load of different ones to try!