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The Farmers Dog


On holiday, back in the rural scene of my early career in a country, where dog’s are not as part of the family unit as in Australia for example the relapse in time where everything is laid back and slow at pace, so is the industry of animal care although we would think common scene is of the essence,

A dog is either to work feed and kenneled in a rather sad fashion of kennel and chain or a small confined 1 metre by 1 metre cage no bedding and let out to work the next day like anything on this planet creatures of habit and conditioned to the environment these dog’s don’t really care about being brushed or de matted the trough and a good roll in the grass or the smelly dead sheep is a farm dog’s cologne

farmers don’t really have the time to manicure their dog’s it’s very unusual if they need their nails clipped due to always being out on the terrain running the coat is usually thick and dense the shorter finer coats on the collies are easy self care the longer coated dog’s have a thicker guard hair, that falls away, and during the malt they matt up and can cause discomfort shaggy hind legs is believed that it keeps the dog’s warmer and keeps them waterproof well I beg to differ as one Shepherd informed me that he never grooms his bearded collies and has no intention all I can do is sow the seed of conversation that he may think a little more about how to get the best out of his breed with little effort that can make a big difference.

Colder climates dog handlers that are out in the rough weather tend to think dog’s that work well and are feed and kenneled at night the job is done, the care of kennel feed and if sick call the vet or put the dog to sleep sounds hard but that’s life for most working dog’s. on the farm

Worming tablets now and again and maybe put through the sheep dip for fleas, not all farmers have this approach but in most cases it’s usually the females working on the land will take more care in their Farm dog’s health and maintenance

A town dog is a spoilt dog getting a groomer and toys woolly bedding and a yard fully fenced and never kenneled or chained

What we should all consider that farm dog’s aren’t use to the luxuries of bedding they would only drag it out and rip it up, or pee on it, so what’s the point give them a shampoo bath and they think they smell worse than the cow paddy they just rolled in. and a brush or a clip would actually help the dog’s performance in the field after the dreaded hustle to get the dog to stay still long enough

During the early French revolution when poodles were used for sporting dogs the fancy clips, that we see in the show ring was actually done to keep the parts of the body warm and they dried faster, with regular hands on maintenance.

The coat if unattended grows thick and curly matting into like sheep’s wool, the hair around the eyes becomes built up and it must be like not washing your face for 3 months and leaving the sleep in your eyes dosnt sound very comfortable and when these dog’s need attention they swing their heads about trying to avoid you from trying to clean them up when all we are trying to do is help but the dog thinks this is annoying what are you doing to me without constant care of eyes ears and pest control other forms of disease and irritations come from lack of grooming care.

Well cared for Standard Poodle Working Dog natural coat



Why is it that a Horse gets groomed his hooves clipped and shooed they get wormed and maintained but the farm dog attitude is she”ll be right.

If farmers employed a Dog Advocate to take care of the parasite control general health check, clean ear’s parasite wash matting nothing to fancy I guarantee the farm dog’s life energy and willingness to work, would improveĀ  the vet would be less called for as well, may even reduce less frustration of yelling and chasing a dog that’s not listening losing patience while the sheep just escaped down the bank. all because dog has ear ache or is irritated by fleas.

unless injury kidney failure or other health issues a vet needs to be called Nutritional deficiencies are common in farm dogs tumors artritis are more common in older dogs once diagnosed the farmer makes the choice in most cases if the handler took better care on a small scale over a period of timeĀ  it would make all the difference.

Farmers do their best as there are only so many hours in a day and the weather has a big impact of productive time.

Grooming has been seen mostly for the residential dog and lack of education on how to maintain and care for a long coated dog that once was a cute fur ball becomes a burden. How do we change the thinking or educate people everyone is entitled to a pet surely in the future there has to be change in thinking for the health of humans as well if we have taken on the responsibility of adding a member to our pack family being a Dog Cat Ferret horse or Guinea Pig a short course of healthcare and Grooming would be on offer from the breeder maybe in a perfect world.

We have books and Youtube but let’s be realistic Farmers are not going to watch a Grooming video on how to care for a Dog let’s be real, but we can advocate the better performance and life expectancy from a little effort in grooming and care in some cases its the almighty dollar that would determine if farmers took on paying an advocate for their dogs.

A robot could not herd sheep like a dog one day we may see drones trying to do a dogs job it maybe possible but I still cannot picture a robot grooming a dog without a human operating the machinery.

One person can make a difference but it takes a nation of people to make change in society as we know it

If I had the money and the powers to do so I would ban dogs on chains and small off the ground kennel and runs with no place for the debri and unsanitary waste to fall through the grating onto the ground and left, worming the dogs is a waste of time as the cycle starts from fleas dead skin cells and rotting hair.




Proper kenneling means money spent but in the long run farm dogs are as much

as a priority as the sheep and cattle on the farm. it’s not cruelty on a farm to see a dog on a chain matted with dreadlocks but to a city person they just don’t get it but in fact it is cruel and sad that these old ways of thinking in rural parts of New Zealand is the norm. after all it’s just a dog! sad thinking but how to make the change that if farmers did have a kennel hand that took care of the dogs well being. the profits would rise.

The farmers would be healthier without realising they too should take the worm tablet, disease in humans such as internal parasites skin disorders eczema dermatitis hair lice asthma Trophozoite Giardia are caused by dogs and cats

when in contact with our farm companions roundworm lives in the ground fleas spread tapeworm sheep not so common now had hydatid tapeworms and there are Zoonosis which means passed from one species to another so humans are susceptible to the parasitic hidden world and it all comes back to grooming.

brushing stimulates hair growth and removes dead skin cells or dander grooming a long coated dog regular just like our hair is easier to maintain washing hair cleanses the hair from dust mites parasite treatment through washing can reduce parasites in dogs and humans

This post was not intended to offend or point the finger at bad dog ownership it’s just a reflection on reality as it is. It’s up to us to change and for those who don’t well it’s all about trying to make a difference towards a healthier happier society where man and his best friend can live a internally healthier life.


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A passionate Dog person with a background in Animal Care, Vet nursing, Security Dog Handling, Boarding Kennels RSPCA Volunteering, Dog training Pet sitting Dog Grooming teaching people how to groom their own dogs and now creating a website dedicated to Dog Grooming


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