Canine Skin Problems Caused by Food Allergies

Where we live remotely in the Sangre de Cristo mountains (9,800-foot elevation), we have to be aware of our surroundings, especially when it comes to our four German Shepherd dogs. Our veterinarian is 45 miles away so we need to be familiar as laymen with ailments and conditions that may impact our fur family, including the subject of this post: skin issues caused by food allergies.

Meet Delilah, Our Black-Mouth Cur Guardian Dog

The Black Mouth Cur mountain dog is not one of the more popular breeds in the homesteading community, and yet, it used to be one of the most popular homestead dogs around. Let me introduce you to our new pup, Delilah, the Black-Mouth Cur, and tell you about the amazing abilities and history of this homestead dog breed.

Canine Homeopathic Treatments for Natural Pet Care

We live in the mountains with our four German shepherd dogs. Our nearest veterinarian is approximately 45 miles one way and so we often treat our furry family members with homeopathic remedies. These have worked for us in the past, and although I am unable to say that the natural remedies always work, these are worth giving a try.

Introducing the Farming With Carnivores Network

This blog post introduces you to the new educational website It is a collaborative effort of leading farmers, experts on guardian animals and fencing, and biologists whose work focuses on carnivores. Its purpose is to help create a farming of the future by sharing knowledge and experience with each other.

About Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock Guardian Dogs, or LGDs, have been used by shepherds and farmers for centuries. Bred and trained to instinctively protect their herd from predators, LGDs are an alternative to attempting to hunt or scare off threats to your farmyard. Read on to learn the basics for how LGDs work and tips for choosing the right livestock guardian for your homestead.

Can Dogs and Chickens Coexist?

Members of our Facebook community share the techniques they employed to make their dogs and chickens compatible companions.

Puppy Talk and How it Relates to Livestock-Guardian Dogs

Pups who are taken from their mom and littermates too soon face many potentially serious behavior issues. Equally important when we are looking to raise a good working livestock guardian dog, the older pup learns invaluable lessons from its mother on how to live and work with stock.

Before You Buy a Livestock Guardian Dog or Puppy

With the increasing use of livestock guardian dogs, we are seeing more inappropriate breeds or crossbred dogs being offered for sale as LGDs. Keeping these guidelines in mind will help you avoid the pitfalls or potential problems of LGD shopping, and will greatly increase your chances of success.

Cooling Herbal Recipes for Your Canine Companion

Dogs may have had nothing to do with the naming of the season, but they, like us, will most likely desire some respite from the heat. Here are several cooling herbal recipes for your furry friends to try at home!

Introducing a New Dog to an Existing Pack

Introducing a new dog to your existing dog or pack depending on how many you have is not always as easy as it seems. I am neither a professional dog behaviorist nor a trainer but I do observe our canine members and believe there is a proper way to bring in another fur family member so the chances of success are greatly improved.

The Amazing Instincts of Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock guardian dogs are renowned for their protective instincts. They have been bred for thousands of years to be aware, work independently and to protect their charges at all costs. But do they also break up fights between quarreling livestock?

The Basics of Making Your Own Dog Food

Why are we feeding our dogs the same exact dog food every single day? Why are we feeding our dogs overly processed food when we try to eradicate processed foods from our own diet? Here are a few basic steps to switching your homestead dog over to a more natural diet.

Man's Best Friend

The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.

Polyface Farm Summer Internship: Week Twelve

This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!

Is This Breed a Livestock Guard Dog?

Can I use a Great Dane as a LGD? Or a St. Bernard? How about a heeler and Golden crossbred? Being a LGD is not a job you can train any other breed to perform. LGDs are a specialized group of breeds.

A Granola Recipe to Feed the Masses

Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares a big-batch granola recipe that will feed your entire group—or one hungry teen.

Myths, Misconceptions and Misinformation About Livestock Guard Dogs

Experienced LGD owners can easily come up with a list of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation about their dogs. A quick glance at various LGD forums, email lists, or Facebook pages will reveal that these misconceptions are not only widespread but they are also responsible for the majority of problems new LGD owners find themselves in.

Selecting a Working Livestock Guard Dog Puppy

You’ve done your homework – examining your needs, situation, and breed preferences – and now you are ready to select your LGD. This is an expensive, long- term commitment of time and energy. This LGD will be protecting your farm and stock. Please take your time to choose your pup carefully.

More Questions To Ask Yourself Before Selecting a Livestock Guard Dog

In our last few posts, we’ve been looking at the various breeds of livestock guard dogs. But before you start looking at advertisements or litters of puppies, there are a few more questions for you to ask yourself. They are centered on two broad issues – your predator problems and your farm or homestead.

Choosing a Livestock Guard Dog Breed, Part Three

In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In Parts Two and Three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.

Choosing a Livestock Guard Dog Breed, Part Two

In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different livestock guard dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In parts two and three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.

Remote Homesteading With Dogs

Homesteading with dogs in remote mountain living. Considerations in providing a good safe homestead environment for your cherished pets.

Choosing a Livestock Guard Dog Breed: Part One

Jan Dohner explains how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors.

How Livestock Guard Dogs Work: the Question of Genetic Behaviors

In a previous post, “What is a Livestock Guard Dog?,” I described what livestock guard dogs do but it is also exceptionally important to know how they do this job. Understanding how not only helps us work with our LGDs but also explains why other breeds or crosses with non-LGD breeds are not likely to perform this same outstanding job.

Choosing a Livestock Guardian Dog

Livestock guard dogs are an attractive choice for predator control on the farm. Jan Dohner gives us an honest look at the pros and cons of choosing a Livestock guard dog versus a guard donkey or llama.

What is a Livestock Guard Dog?

Livestock guard dogs were found in a sweep of cultures from southern Europe through Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and central Asia. They worked in the company of shepherds who often spent weeks on high summer pasture or on long migratory routes.

Missing Morgan

Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.

Rethinking Dogs as Flock Tenders

Boy! Did I learn my lesson when I left our young pullets out back with our trusted dogs. I'll never do that again.

Compost: The Other Prize from the Business End of a Chicken

Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.

Jack's New Home on the Goat Farm

Stony Knolls Farm has a new dog and getting him here was a wonderful, and amazing journey that is well worth sharing! Rescue dogs are so grateful for their new homes.

Plan a doggie spa date and change a life

Adult dogs need a little help to compete with pups in the adoption game. A spa date with a groomer or in your own back yard can give that older shelter dog more than a shiny coat. It can open the door to a new life.

Dogs and Snakes

Many snakes are actually helpful around the homestead because they hunt rats, mice and other small rodents. But if you have a snake problem, a terrier can help keep them under control.

Beautiful, Rustic Dog Fence

This rustic, resourcefully sustainable dog fence fits right into the landscape. Before you install a fence, look around your place first to see what's already available.

A Year in the Round: A Few Things I've Learned

I've been living in my tipi for almost a month now. Last night, under a chorus of screech owl trills and whinnies, I spent a little time reflecting on some things I've learned about this curious way of living. Enjoy.

Bubbles With Bozwell

Taking time to just have fun and enjoy life in the face of serious living.

Photo of the Week: Great Protector

Feel protected in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week! Plus, learn more about guard dogs and Great Pyrenees dogs.

The Manure Diaries

Manure-spreading day is a big event on the farm, for everyone from the chickens to the border collies. And it's part of a wonderful seasonal cycle that's the foundation of self-reliance and sustainability.

Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dogs

Great Pyrenees have a reputation as great livestock guardian dogs, but they also protect poultry. Read what two owners of Great Pyrenees have to say about the dogs’ innate ability to protect poultry and other livestock.

Cocoa Bean Mulch Dangerous to Dogs

Beware of what you use in your garden! Cocoa bean mulch may cause serious gastrointestinal problems for dogs, if eaten in large amounts.

Friend or Wolf?

Watch Dogs That Changed the World on PBS this Sunday to learn more about where or what your beloved pet came from.

Dr. Doolittle the Diplomat

Teaching a farm dog — a livestock guard dog — which animals to protect and which animals not to isn't an easy task. Learn about the protector/protectee animal relationships at Rancho Cappuccino, and about how the Rancho guard animals are taught to protect their charges.