On my homestead, working dogs are pretty much a necessity. I have small flocks of geese, ducks, and chickens that are allowed to roam free around the property. They tend to stay pretty close to our buildings at night, but that doesn’t stop predators from sneaking up and attacking. When I hear a big commotion with lots of barking in the middle of the night, I know exactly what is going on. My dogs are earning their keep. [/memb_is_facebook_crawler]
I have 2 livestock guardian dogs, and they are both Great Pyrenees-mixes. My dogs love their lifestyle. They don’t come in the house, ever, and quite frankly they don’t want to. They love being outside where they can watch for trouble and keep an eye on their flock. But still, they are very loving and when I go outside they follow me around, lean on me, and lay down at my feet.
Great Pyrenees are well-known as one of the best livestock guardian breeds available. They have an amazing temperament, and they’re some of the sweetest, most loving animals that you’ll ever find. But when trouble comes to their doorstep, they protect their territory fiercely.
Read more: Working Your Homestead Farm Dogs
Should You Shave Your Long-Haired Dogs?
When I got my two dogs, Farm Dog and Five-Spot, the breeder who sold them to me told me not to shave their hair. I have also heard conventional wisdom to the same effect. But where we live in Texas the summers can be excruciatingly hot. Sometimes when I have seen my dogs panting heavily on a hot day, I have wondered if they might benefit from a little haircut.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I bumped into a gentleman in a local Home Depot who had with him a big, beautiful Great Pyrenees. His dog was shaved closely, and its hair was only about 1/4″ long. I was curious about his experience, so I asked him if his dog liked to be shaved.
He told me what happens during the summer when his dog hasn’t had a haircut for a while. His dog will go find the box that contains his electric clippers, and drag the whole box out into the middle of the room so that everyone knows he’s ready for a shave. That convinced me to give it a try. Check it out…
Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of “homegrown food on every table.” Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her “Grow Your Own Groceries” video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.