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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brand new to the forums here (literally - like in the last 5 minutes!) and would like to ask some questions, meet fellow pup lovers and maybe get some advice here and there.

My husband and I live on a very large cattle ranch in the open prairies of Idaho and want to expand our little family! We've talked quite a bit as of late about getting a puppy that we could love, play with, train and have as our loyal companion for many, many years. We have no children at home and our driveway is over half a mile long so there's no cars, trucks or anything like that near the house. We're very remote but would love the idea of having a loving dog to pet, play with, go on long (very long) walks with and then in the evening, just lay around, watch the stars come out and relax.

Here's the thing.
There are about 500 head on the ranch along with our two grown cats, Ivy and Diego. They've been around dogs before but not full time so there will be some adjustment there. I'm sure any dog (with the exception of a heeler or a working cattle dog) will do just fine with the right training. Oh, we also have chickens but due to the high predatory level where we are, they're in a contained run. We would like a medium sized dog with a traditionally good temperament and one that doesn't think livestock is what's for dinner or thinks that chasing cattle or chickens is the greatest thing since sliced bread! We'd like a dog that responds well to training (is there such a thing?) and that has the ability to get along with all of the creatures that call our slice of heaven home. Oh, protection is also a good thing for us. Since we are so remote, being alerted when something 'not so nice', either human or animal comes around the house, barking or alerting to danger is seriously important. We'd like to keep the dog in the house at night but let he/she run and play during the day. I also walk for exercise (post spinal reconstruction) up to 4 miles a day and I would adore having a companion with me while I'm out and about. The heat and cold here are pretty severe during summer/winter so he/she would have to be able to handle extreme weather changes.

Okay. WOW! I didn't plan on putting that much in this first post!!
If there are any suggestions that you may have to bring our love to life, we would be so grateful! I'll be popping in here throughout the days to see what responses have been posted!

Thank you all for providing a place for advice and answers to questions that may make our dream come true! I look forward to your replies!!

IdahoFarmGal
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum!
Oh I am so jealous you get to live on a ranch!!! That is my dream!

I think all dogs respond well to training, and the more fun and positive you keep it, the more the dog should enjoy it and get better over time.

I think your best bet in regards to finding a dog that is going to accept your cats/cattle/etc is to either
1. Get a puppy. When growing up with cattle and cats and whatever and being properly socialized to them, they will accept them
2. Go through an adoption agency that is foster based. As opposed to being in a pound/shelter/kennel where the workers come in the morning and take care of multiple dogs in kennels, and go home to their lives at night, foster dogs live in a home environment. Some with kids, other dogs, cats and animals. So those fostering will really be able to get a much better feel what each dog personality is, where they are training wise, what issues have to be worked on, etc
 

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Welcome!

I am also a little jealous of your farm, although I am sure a TON of work goes into that farm.

Are there any breeds that you are looking into now? What about a shelter puppy? Do you have any shelters near you? How do you feel about Drooling? Farting? Shedding?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies!
Yes, the ranch is tons of work but it is SO worth it! The farm house is the house of our dreams and I call the kitchen either my 'play room' or my 'studio'. (Food Network kitchens cannot compare! *wink*)
What we are looking for is more than likely a puppy to raise and train from a very early age. Drooling - not really a bother but I don't want to look like I just birthed a calf either! Shedding is sort of a no-no due to the fact that we're going to want to bring him/her into the house at night. Farting?? - Well, heck! Don't we all do that to some extent??? LOL! A shelter pup would be a wonderful idea since every animal I see in those, I want to take home and love, love, love and give the best life I can to it! Breeding isn't all that important to me. Just a well natured little thing that we can love, play with, nurture and raise to be the best dog it can possibly be! With the wide open space here and all of the positive stimulation available, how could it be bad? I'm starting to realize that with the exception of a heeler or an actual working dog, any type should be fine here as long as we get it as a pup and we do right by it.
Again, thank you for your replies and your interest! I hope to post a pic of a beautiful little LoveBug sooner than later!!
 

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Hi there! I actually live VERY close to Idaho in Trail, BC. Just 11km from the border! There is a really amazing shelter in Eureka, MT called Tobacco Valley Animal Shelter. I highly recommend you look into them! Unfortunately I'm only familiar with the ones near the US/Canada border. Anyways, they often have dogs and puppies that come from high kill shelters down south. There is the one in Sandpoint called Panhandle Animal Shelter in Ponderay, ID. I know a few dogs who have come from there as well!

My old boss was a rancher and had 2 farm bred Border Collies. They are high energy when you need them to be and calm when you want them to be. My suspected sport bred BC is nuts. All the time. I'm sure you could get an amazing one, especially if you want help around the farm!
 

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This may sound really strange to some people, but I think a Lab would fit what you're looking for. Yes, even the "alerting to strange things" part. My first Lab was one of the best watch dogs I've ever known. He naturally picked up on who/what was OK and who/what wasn't. Well, except for the hunter that arrived at our house at 4AM (I grew up on a farm. We rented rooms out during hunting season, and the other guys had arrived the afternoon before). But, once my father let him know that person was supposed to be there, all was good. The Labs I've had since then have been almost the same (not quite as intense as my first).

Any dog will need to be taught not to things/critters. It's natural for dogs to chase anything that runs.
 
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