Sheepfarms could require a guard dog, to protect sheep from predators, or a herdingdog, to direct the sheep and help with general chores around the farm. Whentasked with picking out a dog to help run a sheep farm one must consider thisas well as many other aspects such as what age of dog to buy, whether aco-dependant or independent dog would be more suited, whether to purchase apurebred or mixed breed dog, and which breed or mix breed would handle theenvironment the best. Every aspect of these questions brings in the question ofwhich behaviours and physical attributes one needs to look for in the chosendog. Choosinga puppy. Behaviours. Physical. H and GWhenfaced with the aspect of choosing a dog people owning sheep farms should firstconsider what age they would like to adopt.
In general puppies are easier totrain unless you buy an already trained young adult or adult dog. This caneasily be inferred from how much easier it is to train puppies than older dogs(normally two years and up) at a training school (SOURCE). Adopting a puppy means that you can look for preferredbehaviours from the beginning and then train the puppy for other requiredbehaviours. This also means that you can search for the required physicalaspects immediately.
However, one must take into account the fact that it takestime to raise and train a puppy, which in the circumstance given might not beappropriate. Thebehavioural aspects that you should look for in a puppy range from how energeticthe dog is to how curious it is (ideally the puppy should be seen interactingwith livestock before one considers whether or not that particular puppy shouldbe purchased). Submissive behaviour is important and signs of this kind of behaviour,for example lowering of the head and tail (livestockguardians, page 52 and 53). Janet Vorwald Dohner (2017) mentions four mainbehavioural aspects in choosing a puppy namely; activity levels, prey drive, temperamentand pain threshold. The activity levels are rather complicated to look forconsidering both low levels of action and high can be beneficial to a sheepfarm especially in guard dogs; Choosinga young adult or adult.
Behaviours, physical. H and GHowever,if one is moving to a sheep farm that has already been set up and is inimmediate need of a guard or herding dog one should consider either adopting ayoung adult dog and training it, rather than having to raise a puppy, or topurchase a young adult or adult dog that has been either fully or partiallytrained. This way they already have some of the required herding or guardingbehaviours needed. However, one would still need to meet with the dogbeforehand, get a full health check with a vet before purchasing a dog andfinally take the breed of the dog into consideration. Trainability.
Physical and behaviour? Co-dependantor independent and behaviours and physical to look for in either you choose. Hand GOneneeds to also consider which way you would like to train your dog and look forphysical and behavioural traits that fit this requirement. One can train a dogto be independent, works well and effectively almost entirely without an owner,or co-dependant, requires the owner to give some sort of direction but can alsoassist in daily chores because of the relationship and proximity to the owner. Choosinga breed. Behaviour and physical.
Mixed vs Purebred. H and GThereare differences in behavioural and physical traits between mixed breed dogs andpure breed dogs and then even within types of pure and mixed breeds. Thereforewhen choosing a dog it is important to consider the dog’s breed. Choosingbased on the environment.
Behaviour and physical. Cold and dark.Onceone has come to the conclusion that a purebred dog is a better choice than amixed breed dog one can start to narrow the breeds down even further than theyhave been above by considering the need for a dog that can adapt well to thedark and cold days in ———. So one must consider the physical traitsneeded for these requirements as well as possibly some behavioural traits. Guardor Herding. Behaviour and physical.
Thefinal decision one needs to make is one that has been discussed above; namelywhether one should start with a guard or herding dog if one can only choose onebetween the two. This decision can be made by examining the physical traits butmore importantly the behaviour traits that are exhibited and trained into theindividual kinds of dogs used on sheep farms.