Dog Breed ?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Yvonne, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. Yvonne

    Yvonne Well-Known Member

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    Any one have a Cairn Terrier? I mainly want a house dog that will alert my when someone drives up. I also want a mouser for the barn and outbuildings. Will I have to worry about my chickens? I spend about 7 hours a day in my barn and surrounding area so a dog wouldn't be out there without a person present.

    We have always had Shelties or Labs who could care less about my silly birds who free range over about 10 acres.

    I trained all of these their basic commands and they stayed with me all the time but not in the way.

    We also have an overpopulation of skunks and have had rabies in our county for the past 4 years. So I don't want a dog who will hunt/chase them too.

    Can anyone shed some light on this breed.

    Yvonne
     
  2. Jaclynne

    Jaclynne Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used to have a little Cairn/Norfolk cross. Wow, what a dog! She was a rescue, so was an adult when I got her - maybe 2 years old. Penny the Wonderdog was awsome and feirce too. She was a house dog and an excellent watch dog, easily trained. They are very smart. They are also very active! We had and upstairs so she got plenty of exercise! Another thing about her - she was an excellent judge of character. This story will sound odd to some. One day Penny was with me at the local convenience store. My neice had seen us and was sitting in the car talking to me when a young woman she knew stopped to speak to her. Penny went ballistic trying to get to that woman. Very odd behavoir for her, she was usually a sweetheart. It happened again about a month later at a party we gave with a different young woman. I find out later both these women had 'visited' my now ex while I was away working.

    Hopefully, you won't need the character judging trait. But its there.

    Penny could run circles around our blue heeler - and heelers aren't slowpokes!

    She was sometimes too fearless though. Our neighbor had a big ole Chow that frightened my great niece who lived with us. Penny took a great dislike of this dog. If the Chow came around while Penny was inside she'd climb the door trying to get out. If she was out the fight was on. Can you imagine a 9 pound terrier and a 60 lb chow going at it? She would take the fight to his house too if we did not keep a close eye. Several time she came home cut up, just made her hate him worse. This was her only fault and the one that did her in too. My sister came to visit one day and let Penny out. She headed straight down the road to the neighbors and and old drunk ran over her. I'm sure she was too set on another fight to pay attention to the car.

    As far as keeping a terrier with chickens - depends on how its raised. Raise it with livestock from the beginning, should be alright.

    I love these dogs and would love to have another, but asthma's probably gonna keep that from happening.


    Life is good! :) :) :)
    Halo
     

  3. Jaclynne

    Jaclynne Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I forgot to add she was an excellent mouser too, being so fast helps.
     
  4. Marcee

    Marcee Active Member

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    I love terriers. Cairns are great. Terriers, though, are bred to fight with other dogs and be tough, so some excellent socialization and puppy obedience classes with play group would be a must. you will definitely have to watch your chickens more, as you would with any dog bred to kill rats, hunt, etc. it is in how they are raised, but also in how well bred they are. and you just can't fight instinct. i had two dogs, different litters but same parents. one has only killed chickens when with the other dog once (when in rome....) the other was a born chicken killer and wiped me out. he had to be put down after an injury, and she has never every killed one on her own. she was not raised with them, or anything. she is just the perfect "mother" and licks cats, bunnies, etc.

    by the way, i have an australian shepherd (which the other was too) and they are great dogs as well. except for some that are more inclined to herd, i have frankly found them to be more mellow as puppies than other dog, less inclined to chew things up, etc. many folks disagree. maybe i just like the aussie energy. they also have mini-aussies now....same dog, smaller package. very intelligent, love people and animals, and yet excellent guard dogs for family and live stock. this sweet one i have now doesn't really know my mom (we live far apart). my mom and aunt came to visit. i wasn't home yet, and my husband was out in the shop. they came in, my dog was cautious with them, they went into the living room, and then she blocked the door and wouldn't let them out...kept them penned, growling, until my husband showed up. after she found out they were friends, she was fine with them. aussies, as terriers, are also very very tough. my two dogs fought off a cougar together, but the one had to be put down because he had too much of his mouth torn away, but not for any other reason.

    point is, it depends upon your dog. cairns are great, sweet and tough.
     
  5. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    If you have chickens running loose, you should be worrying about them now and then again later when you get a dog. Why not pen them so that predators and pests can't get to them or their feed?
     
  6. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I have a friend who has two cairn terriers. They are nice dogs, but make sure you train them early. She got one of hers when her friend could just not deal with the puppy stage. They both turned out to be well behaved dogs in the end though.
     
  7. MARYDVM

    MARYDVM Well-Known Member

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    Any terrier would go for a skunk. They were originally bred to go to ground after vermin. Once they get a taste for hunting critters, don't expect them to just hang around without being contained by a fence. When "on a mission" they will ignore your calls and commands.
     
  8. Yvonne

    Yvonne Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for everyones input. This might not be the breed for me. I love their spunkiness but need a dog that will stop on a dime when told to. To many dangers for one that won't heed commands what with coyotes and feral pigs.

    BCR The chickens have free ranged for 17 years and the Shelties or Lab always protected them. The only ones lost were to snakes. The chickens are for grasshopper control and wouldn't be any good for that if penned up.

    I need a small dog, one that I can pick up and bathe in the laundry room sink. I'm 61 and am looking ahead for when I get unable to move around as quick and bending over bathing a dog gets to be a little to much. One that alert will alert me to strangers. Any suggestions?

    Yvonne
     
  9. Kshobbit

    Kshobbit Well-Known Member

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    May I suggest a plain ole Rat Terrier. I never saw a good one bother a chicken. They are natural ratter/mousers. They make great family pets. My dear departed Uncle Buzz had one who would catch and bring to us live baby bunnies. I know for a fact he caught and ate them all the time too.
    And good watch dog too.
    I have a Jack Russell and Jack Russell/Boston Terrier cross. My cats do a better job of mousing and ratting than those two do. They are my companions and they are good watch dogs. They still look longingly at my baby Silkies.
    My LGD Anatolian watches over everything from goats to chickens. When a friend gave me her old chickens ( I have an old chicken sanctuary) My LGD systemactically was killing these "strange" chickens. I shut them all up in the henhouse and when I finally let them ount in the yard he couldn't tell them apart. If you come into his territory (backyard and goat pastures) and mess with his critters he will attack and bite you. I have not had a single opposm in my henhouse since he came to live here. He loves me too and likes to lay around on the couch and watch tv with me.
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We've boarded dozens of little Cairns, I think they are great little dogs. Mary has it right all terriers are a bit hard headed and can be a handful. West Highland White terriers are another option. Scotties are a bit tougher but a breed worth considering all the same. Good socialization skills are a must for all of them.
     
  11. if you like em i would say go for it my son has gone through 2 of them the only cons i can give you is they are not particularly good with children and kind of short life span. The weiner dog makes a great house dog extremely inteligent quite friendly and lovable not cowardly or shy about hunting in the least. won't shed profusely.
     
  12. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    I've only known one cairn, and it was a very high energy little guy who ran up and down the fence all day, barking and digging. Terriers need a job, good training, and of course, all dogs are different. In the same breed, some are very smart and some just aren't. A dog with an excellant reputation for trainability, reliability, good with animals, etc would be a sheltie, and has the plus of being small enough to pick uI know what you mean--when our big 75 pounders needed hoisting, I needed someone to do the hoisting. The new doggie is 45 pounds, and even that may eventually be more than I can handle.
     
  13. Raised two of these super little dogs. Yorkies are tough, strong, lots of personality and make great house dogs. They are a little tough to house train, but not horribly so, females are easier than males. One of my yorkies hiked 180 miles of the PCT, they are tough.

    -Ryan
     
  14. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get a Dachshund! they are great at mouse/rat/snake/mole catching! Best watch dog we have ever had.. They are loyal, sweet and will defend their territory till death! Love to play, love kids. A little hard headed but with time you can train them to train YOU very well... :eek: Ours, a 8yr.old female wakes me up every morning at 3:00 to be fed. I have had them for 31yrs and will always have one... Be sure that you get the ones that are not overly long (long=too many have back troubles).

    They are also diggers--as are most terriers.
     
  15. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................Any breed you choose that actively intercepts your local Skunk population , will probablly , not be Spending any significant amount of time ....in your barn.....with YOU, I would thiMk .......fordy... :eek: :)
     
  16. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Loved your story!! BUT HEY.. you could get a Chihuahua (for the asthma..many say it works!) and THEN get another terrier!! :):)
     
  17. Yvonne

    Yvonne Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoyed everyones different opinions, Have found a farm raised JRT. She's asleep in her crate in the kitchen right now. Was born and raised among cats & chickens. Her previous owner said there had been no problems with mama dog having bad vices so hope she imprinted her pups.

    She was good on the hour ride home. Had a drink of water, pooped & peed when we got home. Did a little exploring in the house. Got held for little while then put on the floor in front of her crate and told to "kennel up". In she went in and scooted a corner of her blanket up for a pillow and went right to sleep. This is to good to be true! Hope she doesn't get lonesome and start crying in the middle of the night. But if she does we'll just pop her bed with us.

    Thanks again, Yvonne
     
  18. My Cairn, who is currently almost 15 years old, killed a young budgie that fluttered to the ground in front of her when she was about four years old. That was the first thing she ever killed, and I wasn't in the room when it happened or the budgie would still be alive. Still, we had a very serious "chat" right after it happened. Since then, she has never shown any inclination to touch any living thing besides mice, and I have chickens (and chicks), finches, canaries, and miniature goats.

    In fact, at one time, we were putting child gates up to keep the dogs in the kitchen area. Our AmStaff would frequently knock down the gate, so we took to placing mousetraps on top of the gate to startle her. It was quite effective. Unfortunately, one day, I left the birdcage open and my (different) budgie took a stroll, down from his cage, across the kitchen full of dogs, up the dog gate, and onto a mousetrap. He sprung the trap on one ankle, and then fell with the trap still on his leg into the living room at the bottom of the gate. He then worked his way through the mesh on the gate into the kitchen, with the trap still stuck to his leg so he couldn't go any further. I imagine he flapped on the kitchen floor for a while. That was where I found him when I got home. None of the dogs had touched him. Amazingly, he only wound up losing a couple of toes. The point is this - if a dog will not go after a fluttering, trapped budgie on the kitchen floor, it probably won't go after any domestic animal. My Cairn sure wouldn't!

    She is a great dog - relatively quiet, loving, amazing hiker, quite healthy overall, easier to housetrain than most small dogs.

    However, she is a terrier. And there is no terrier breed in the world that will reliably stop on a dime when you tell it to. It's just not the terrier way. So if you really need that quality, go for a bird dog or working dog or poodle, but leave any terrier strictly alone. If you don't really need that, then enjoy your terrier.
     
  19. Yvonne

    Yvonne Well-Known Member

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    Ma kettle we raised Shelties for over 20 years. They were the best. Our male we could just use hand signals for him to cut a horse out of the herd and he'd bring it to the gate. He was beautiful. He never barked and we never spoke when he was working. His mother saved us and the house when the coffee pot timer malfunctioned and caught on fire. I had let her became my ears and didn't even realize it till she died.

    I'm slowing down and can't get every thing done let alone take care of a shelties coat.

    Fordy, One does become immune to essence of Skunk. We live on over 200 acres with nothing but pasture, farm land and woods for neighbors. I don't know how many litters they have a year, more than rabbits it seems like.

    I do have a fond memory regarding skunks. Our stallion was tippy toeing across the pasture with his necked arched and tail flagged up over his back. Couldn't figure out this behavior when up the far side of a ditch came a mama skunk leading 3 babies with Lyle bringing up the rear. Looked like something out of a Disney movie.

    Yvonne