Why don't farm dogs run away?
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Thread: Why don't farm dogs run away?

  1. #1
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    Why don't farm dogs run away?

    It just occurred to me at my riding stables today that all the farms around here have dogs. And almost all of them just let the dog do whatever they want, usually just walking around, sniffing the people that come up, etc.

    I just wonder, they don't have any boundaries and they don't have fences or chains. How come they don't run away?

    These farms are all on the side of the road with huge areas of grass and land, they could very well leave if they wanted to. They just wander around the farm and go into the house when the owner does at night...

    I asked the stables' farm owner and she said she's never tried to train her dog to stay within the limits of the farm.

    Why is it that a lot of people's house dogs runs away whenever the door is open or try to get out of the fence? Why do the SPCA find lots of people's pets on the street because they've escaped?

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    Senior Member Foyerhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    Because most dogs don't get any freedom, so it's exciting and new. My dogs don't run away. I have a suburban house so I can't and would never let them roam, and their house dogs. But if I open my front door, they'll go in and out, and they don't leave my front yard. My dogs are routiney off leash and get tons of freedom, so it's not a big deal to them.
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  4. #3
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    I've had a couple of dogs that could not be persuaded to run away if you asked them to.

    One had been a stray. She had a good idea what life was like on "the outside" and she wanted no part of it - unless I went with her. She would climb over a six-foot fence, just to show us she could, and then come right back.

    The other was a similar story. We had a fenced yard, but rarely closed the gate.

    Esther could probably be trusted at this point. Molly could not.

    I think farm dogs DO run away sometimes, or at least venture out onto the highway. I've seen more than a few dead on the shoulder.

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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    I think farm dogs DO run away sometimes, or at least venture out onto the highway. I've seen more than a few dead on the shoulder.
    I've personally never seen/heard of a farm dog running away or especially into the highway unless they were being chased.

    My dog won't run away either, she just wanders around her favorite spots and then comes back to sit at the door to be let in.

    But I never see the farm owners worried about their dogs wandering around or running away. They don't even think about it!

  6. #5
    Senior Member GSDGAL's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    because farm dogs aren't couped up in houses, they have acres upon acres to roam, so it's not a big thing for them, plus they also have an exhausting job that gets rid of all their primary dog needs, so they don't feel they have to roam.

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    Senior Member HayleyMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    because farm dogs aren't couped up in houses, they have acres upon acres to roam, so it's not a big thing for them, plus they also have an exhausting job that gets rid of all their primary dog needs, so they don't feel they have to roam.
    Agreed. My dogs are farm dogs and do not roam. They have acres and acres to run. And they mostly just stay in the yard. But farm dogs DO know their boundries if they didnt they would be running away ect ect. Its also that they do have a job per-say. My dogs never need walk or exercise they pretty much do it all on their own. But I do take Teags to the dog park pretty often so she gets really socialized!

  8. #7
    Senior Member cherryhill's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    because farm dogs aren't couped up in houses, they have acres upon acres to roam, so it's not a big thing for them, plus they also have an exhausting job that gets rid of all their primary dog needs, so they don't feel they have to roam.
    totally agree with that same goes for my dogs.

    whenever i have a new pup i always let it out with a long lead and just practice calling it back so that when they get older they realize that running outside doesnt mean running away and isnt as exciting to them.

    also all my dogs go up to the barn everyday to do chores off leash, so they would never run away they have livstock to attend plus i teach my dogs to drop on command even when running full speed at something, just in case they run after a rabit or something. also all my friends that live on farms have all their dog off leash all the time, they would never run away when they know that there are sheepies to be herded my dogs are never on a leash at home. but they also love coming in the house after a good session of playing and working time

    But i have never heard of a farm dog that ran away. maybe if it didnt like it owners but thats another story in its self.



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    Senior Member pamperedpups's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    I agree with RonE. I've known and heard of plenty of farm dogs who wandered off.

  10. #9
    Senior Member GSDGAL's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    Quote Originally Posted by HayleyMarie View Post
    Agreed. My dogs are farm dogs and do not roam. They have acres and acres to run. And they mostly just stay in the yard. But farm dogs DO know their boundries if they didnt they would be running away ect ect. Its also that they do have a job per-say. My dogs never need walk or exercise they pretty much do it all on their own. But I do take Teags to the dog park pretty often so she gets really socialized!
    Yeah I agree, i live on a farm ina rural community, my dogs aren't farm dogs, but they know there boundaries. I lock them up around this season because of wild dog baits being put out and don't need the lure of meat to entice them... but from late summer to late winter my dogs are always home, and there is quite a busy highway 1/4 of a mile up the road.

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    Senior Member marsha=whitie's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    my dogs have the freedom to wonder where ever they want, and they do so. Every morning around 7:30 they take a trip down the hollers, hunting for rabbits and dead animals (ew.) They usually get back home around 10 or so, and after that they just hang out at the house. They never cross the road, but instead go wandering through my neighbors 200+ acres of farm/woods (he doesn't mind them doing so, unless they go to the house, which they don't.) They come back because they get food and love, and have warm houses to sleep in. That's why they, and every dog I've ever had, never run away.

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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    So if a dog doesn't find it exciting to run away and to gain freedom for the first time, they usually won't do it?

    The farm dogs around here don't really have a job, they're essentially a pet dog that lives in a farm space.

    The one at our stables just wanders around and does as she pleases. Not like she has to check the livestock or anything. They only have horses lol and the horses live in their own stalls.

    I'm wondering if it's just certain breeds that won't run away? For example if I kept a hound on a farm, would it stay around the farm as well? I think I've heard of one hunter that has a couple of hounds and they just hang around his house. He has a couple acres of land.

  13. #12
    Senior Member GSDGAL's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    My friend lives out on 2000 acres west nsw australia, she has two beagles and one bloodhound, as well as 5 kelpies and BC's...they are always home and the hounds do nothing except go hunting every other sunday

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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    Lots of farm dogs run away. You only see the ones that don't run away because they're still there. My aunt/uncle live in the country, and I swear I can't count how many dogs they've been through. Most "were last seen heading east on the blacktop", and then never seen again. I'm certain most were shot by the neighbors. Some of course must have been hit by cars, and some probably found a nasty coyote to tangle with. But we'll never know.

    Going by their experience, this seems to be the status quo:

    Males tend to run away, intact males of course. They've never had a neutered male so I don't know if a neutered boy would stick around or not.

    Sporting breeds run away much more often. Every Lab they've ever had has run away at a very young age. The dogs that stuck around were a GSD mix, a Poodle mix, and their current dog, a female Lab mix, but they've learned their lesson and keep her tied when they're not home. They had a Husky that stuck around a long time, but eventually he went looking for a female and never came back. They have not had a lot of dogs that died of old age......

    Females tend to disappear if they aren't spayed in time (they do spay their female dogs). I suppose they go out to find a male and something happens.

  15. #14
    Senior Member GSDGAL's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    You probably have a point. I guess in aus it's different too, because you rarely find a farm dog with no purpose...all the farm dogs are generally herding breeds, and they work their butts of rounding cattle or sheep all day...

    Baxter, Chessie, Callie, Nelson and Radha (now in new therapy training home)

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    Senior Member melgrj7's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    I have some relatives that have farms and "farm dogs", they have been through several dogs. Some stay, some run away and get hit or shot. They tend to get mostly herding breeds now because they said they stay around the best. They own many acres, have horses, have barns. They feed their dogs well, the dogs sleep inside at night. Some still run away or wander into the road and get hit.

  17. #16
    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    A while back my boyfriend and I were driving to visit his cousin in the country. They keep their dogs on their land, with wither wire fences (The wire is stretch between posts with about a 1-2 foot gap underneath so the dog could easily get through) or no fence at all. It was shocking how many flattened dogs we saw on the side of the road.

    My guess, some of them DO run away. But the kind of people that don't care enough to keep their dog safe obviously don't care if their dog gets killed, they just keep replacing them with new dogs.


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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    The farm owner currently has a GSD and a Chow/shepherd mix. I believe both are fixed. They are well loved and are family pets as well as they go in the house when the owner does and she does love them dearly and I believe she's not one that just doesn't care if the dogs run away and get them replaced.

    She said none of her dogs have ever run away but she's always had a herder or GSD or a mix of one or the other.

    A couple of other farm dogs I saw were a lab, an English Bulldog, a Cardigan Corgi and a couple of mixes, some Aussies and some GSDs. They all seemed content to stick around. I guess a lot of farm owners kind of know which breeds of dogs are useful to them and the breeds that don't generally escape.

    I just thought it was an interesting thing compared to a lot of people's dogs dashing out of the front door at the first chance they get.

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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nargle View Post
    My guess, some of them DO run away. But the kind of people that don't care enough to keep their dog safe obviously don't care if their dog gets killed, they just keep replacing them with new dogs.
    THAT's the truth anyway.

    I don't actually see a lot of dogs dead on the road. I do, however, tend to stick to the Interstate, so the only dead dogs I see are those that fell out of the back of the pickup. But on the back highways I assume there are more road-killed dogs. On the dirt roads the dogs aren't usually killed outright, so they run off somewhere to die, or go home so their owners can shoot them.

    My mom (both parents actually, but my dad does not report to us about the dogs he sees on his route) is a rural mail carrier, and she actually gave up the "real" rural route for the one that stays in/around town, because she saw too many dogs suffering. She couldn't stand it anymore. Dogs that chased the mail vehicle, but slowly got to the point that they couldn't chase anymore, until one day she didn't see them at all (she figures heartworms? I don't know what else would cause a gradual decline like that). Farmers shooting stray dogs, or their own dogs if the dog got sick/hurt or did something they didn't like. Dogs starving or injured and nobody does anything (AC does not go out in the country---they're on their own). Etc. It's pretty gruesome out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
    I just thought it was an interesting thing compared to a lot of people's dogs dashing out of the front door at the first chance they get.
    Novelty, and entertainment. If a housedog in town runs out, the owners chase him and make a big fuss. Lots of fun! If a housedog that lives in the country runs out, nobody fusses about it, so the novelty is lost. It's just no fun anymore.
    Last edited by Willowy; 11-26-2009 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  20. #19
    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    Not all dogs dash out of the front door. Basil never has. And I think a lot of it has to do with sheer luck. Sure, some breeds are more prone to chase things or get carried away following scents, but for every single dog, there's a risk. No breed is guaranteed to automatically know boundaries, and that speeding cars or poisoned meat are deadly, or that there are people that will shoot them. I wonder if people who actually care about their dogs start taking extra precaution to keep their dogs safe once they lose one.


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    Re: Why don't farm dogs run away?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nargle View Post
    I wonder if people who actually care about their dogs start taking extra precaution to keep their dogs safe once they lose one.
    There was a family a few years ago that lost their 2 dogs (a Lab and a Saint Bernard)----VERY well cared for and well loved mostly-indoor pet dogs. They just let them out to pee and never saw them again. They rented a billboard, went door-to-door to EVERYONE in the area, mailed fliers, put posters up in 4 different towns, etc. As far as I know, they never found out what happened. I haven't spoken to them, but I would guess they now have a fence or a tie-out for any dog/s they have gotten since then. I would anyway.

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