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For many people, there is nothing more exciting than adding a new canine member to the household. Most will focus on how that dog will fit in with their lifestyles and home, as they should. They will envision fun trips with their dog, playing fetch, and picture their kids growing up with their newest buddy.

If you’re a farmer or rancher, you need to take a few other things into consideration. For example, if you have any type of livestock or other pets, you have to think about their safety.

  • Are you looking for a “livestock guardian” or a family pet who has a job?
  • Is the dog breed you’re considering usually mellow around barnyard animals or do they want to herd or “work” them?
  • Do you want a working dog that can help out on the farm as well as act as a pet and protector for the family?
Livestock Guardian vs Herding Dog

Livestock guardians are just what the name implies – they are bred to guard the livestock. This usually means that they will be raised with, bonded with, and live outside with their adopted herd or flock. They are almost always mellow animals that are pleasant to be around, but they have an important job to do. Becoming a family pet can often make that job harder, or even impossible for them to perform. Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve and want to be loved too, they just won’t be that trip-taking, ball chasing dog from the above scenario.

Herding dogs can be “heelers” who move animals from behind or “gatherers” who circle and direct the herd. Keep in mind that the drive to move animals (and people) is in the genes of herding dogs. It can be a huge benefit OR a hindrance. It is also “always on” so it is best for these particular dogs to have some type of job or activity to do, even if it is just playing fetch with the kids or going on regular walks.

Here are 3 great dog breeds for both farm and family – including excellent herding dogs.

Border Collie

Border collies are a workaholic breed of dog that is also always ready for a hug and some playtime. This energetic, predominantly black and white beauty is known for its agility, eagerness to please, and trainability. Their intelligence makes them an excellent companion as well as a worker on the farm.

With a life expectancy of up to 17 years, these dogs have a long time to charm and entertain their humans. They are a medium-sized breed with the males weighing up to around 45 pounds and the females a few pounds lighter. They can reach heights of around 20+ inches at the shoulder.

With their high play and work drive, Border Collies excel at herding work as well as game playing with the older kids. (It is always a good idea to keep an eye on them with small children as that herding instinct doesn’t always pertain only to livestock.) These dogs are also a favorite on the agility courses due to their natural athleticism and competitive nature.

German Shepherd

One of the most popular and recognizable dog breeds in the world is the German Shepherd. On the larger side, these dogs stand up to 26 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 90 pounds. When part of a loving family, these big babies don’t realize they aren’t a lap dog so early obedience training is a must.

People usually equate German Shepherds with police or security work. Most don’t realize that herding sheep was the job they were initially bred for. Their large size combined with extremely high intelligence and natural ability made them top choices for most other jobs as well. These animals are one of the first to be considered for military, search-and-rescue, and service dog roles.

German Shepherds have a life expectancy of around 7-10 years. They are wonderful family protectors and make excellent companions. They do have longer coats that require regular brushing or grooming as they shed quite a bit.

Welsh Corgi

Even though their name is descriptive of their size and means “dwarf”, these dogs think they are giants. With huge personalities that don’t quite match their short stature, the Corgis have made an impact as both family and working dogs.

As indicated by their names/varieties of Pembroke and Cardigan, the breed comes from two different agricultural areas of Wales. They were bred as a heeler due to their short height making them perfect for nipping at the heels of cattle. Even though they have sheepdog blood in their genetic makeup, they were found to be ill-suited to herding sheep. They can be a little too rambunctious when working the flock.

The Pembroke is the more commonly found of the two types of Corgi. They stand about 12 inches at the shoulder and weigh 25-30 pounds at maturity. They are often found in the tan and white coloration, but it is not unusual to find reds and sables. Corgis make great family pets and have long been prized as companions and guardians for children.

The More You Know

Learning the habits and traits of the dog breeds you’re looking at now can save a lot of frustration and heartache in the future. Talk to people who have the dogs you’re interested in and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Finding just the right dog breed might take a little research, but it will pay off in the end with a happy new family member.

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Now Is The Perfect Time To Visit Grenada

Stretches of untouched land, white sand beaches, and crystal clear water. What more could a vacationer ask for? The high-season (January to April) is the driest and less humid, making it the perfect destination for us farm girls who love to vacation this time of year. When visiting Grenada, its unparalleled hospitality is just one of the many reasons travelers flock to this enchanting island. From the flavorful cuisine to a culture that’s rich in well-preserved history, here are 8 reasons why a trip to the Spice of the Caribbean is a must.

Step Back in Time at Dougaldston Estate

Gouyave, Grenada is home to the Dougaldston Estate – a historical spice plantation that helped Grenada earn its nickname as the Spice of the Caribbean. Although the plant is partially abandoned, visitors are able to take part in demonstrations on how the spices were processed and harvested many years ago. Depending on the time of year, attendees can touch, smell, and taste the assortment of spices, including cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg, and cloves. It’s a truly unique experience that entails taking a glimpse back into time and learning more about the industry that drives the island’s economy.

A Stunning National Park

The interior of the island is where travelers will find Grand Etang National Park. It’s world-renowned for its breathtaking scenery, from the Grand Etang Lake to its scenic hiking trails. Guided tours, such as the Concord Falls Trail, will take hikers through native plants, rainforests, and swimming areas. Located high in the mountains, those who make the trek won’t be disappointed by this national park’s gorgeous waterfalls and the serenity of being in the midst of nature.

A Relaxing Lunch with a View

After taking a stroll along the pristine L’anse Aux Epines Beach, lunch at Bash Restaurant inside the Calabash Hotels and Villas is in order. They specialize in the midday meal, thanks to the head chef who infuses traditional Grenadian ingredients into savory dishes, such as the pumpkin and goat cheese risotto and the battered butterfish burger. Diners are able to take in the views of the ocean while relaxing in this restaurant’s quiet and charming open-air lounge.

Behold the Underwater Museum

A tourist attraction that should be at the top of every traveler’s itinerary is the Underwater Sculpture Park in Moliniere Bay in the capital of St. George’s. British artist Jason deCaires Taylor created this submerged masterpiece that includes 65 sculptures surrounded by a dazzling, artificial reef. Adventure lovers can snorkel or scuba dive at the attraction to get an up-close peek at each life-size figure, while glass-bottomed boat tours are perfect for families who want to enjoy this underwater exhibit.

Enjoy a Piece of History at the Grenada National Museum

Dating back to the late 1700s, the Grenada National Museum once housed a warehouse and three hotels. Today, the museum showcases exhibits and artifacts from the African slaves who were brought to the island by the French and English, whaling and fishing keepsakes and treasures from colonial times. To make the visit truly unique, the museum puts on live performances on the second Friday of each month, complete with poetry readings, dancing and jazz concerts.

Glorious Beaches That Are Perfect for R&R

More than 45 immaculate beaches can be found on the island, and one of the most well-known just so happens to be Grand Anse Beach. Despite its popularity, this beach is far from being overcrowded, and beachgoers can rest assured that they’ll have hours of uninterrupted rest and relaxation under the sun.

Indulge in a Doubles

Doubles originated from Trinidad and Tobago, but the fried deliciousness has become a staple in Grenada, as well. The breakfast consists of a fried flatbread that’s jam-packed with spicy chickpea curry, pickled green mango, and doused with tamarind and hot pepper sauce. Just one bite will automatically set taste buds on fire.

There’s Something for Everyone at Fort Frederick

Traveling up Richmond Hill leads to Fort Frederick. It was built in the 1770s and is in still in decent condition. Visitors will be hypnotized by the sweeping, 360 degrees view of St. George’s and the Carribean Sea, but the fort itself is a sight to be seen. Well-preserved, backward facing cannons are still in place as they were hundreds of years ago to protect St George’s from potential land attacks from its enemies.

These 8 attractions and excursions are perfect for first-time and repeat travelers of the island. By following this itinerary, a trip to Grenada is guaranteed to be the most memorable and fascinating experience!

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