Many small farmers and homesteaders understand the value of heritage livestock and heirloom plants for their nonindustrial farming methods, but try to employ a "modern" show-bred animal as a farm dog. I will introduce traditional breeds and types of generalist farm dogs, and give participants guidance on acquiring a dog from an ethical source and raising her to be an asset on your farm and in your family.
Dog trainer Heather Houlahan raises goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits and produce on her small Western Pennsylvania farm. Her English Shepherd farm dogs help her with livestock management, varmint persecution and predator control, as well as working as search and rescue dogs and dog-training assistants. She breeds a litter of English Shepherd puppies every few years and usually has a foster dog from National English Shepherd Rescue staying at her Free Range Reform School for Wannabe Farm Dogs.
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