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Saturday, October 01 2011

I was at a law enforcement K9 seminar once when they got to talking about how dogs are tools in your tool box and like a well-stocked tool box, each dog should have its unique skills.  Someone mentioned using a Trailing Bloodhound as a Cadaver Dog and someone else said something I shall never forgot.

"That's like using your finest wood chisel to open a paint can."

Like a Leatherman tool, a multi-tasking dog is great, but if you have real work to be done, it's nice to have a dog that can excel at the job it was bred to do. That said, Other Half and I are blessed with two well-paying jobs and so when a dog isn't stellar, we don't trash the dog. We work around their limitations.

Here are the dogs in our tool box:

Ranger the Blue Heeler:

Cow Dog. Good for dangerous jobs because he is least likely to be killed by a cow. Not useful for anything that requires "thinking outside the box."

Lily the Border Collie:

Top Hand. Most useful stockdog. Good on cattle, sheep, & goats. Excellent for jobs that require finesse. Not good for distance work because she always "checks back" with handler.

Trace the Border Collie puppy:

Very green but has more raw talent than Top Hand Border Collie. Better at distance work now, but lacks finesse because he gets excited and forgets to listen. Is not used on cattle at all yet.

Cowboy the Rescue Border Collie:

Picked up as a rescue. Does a decent job on cattle but has no distance work or finesse whatsoever. Fortunately for him, despite the fact that he isn't a great working dog, he has excellent "suck-up" skills and Other Half loves him dearly, thus he has a Forever Home.

Briar the Livestock Guardian Dog:

Her only job is to guard the sheep & goats. Bonus is that she guards the farmyard.

Oli the Belgian Malinois:

No, she's not an ugly German Shepherd. She is a $6000 police dog who has always looked like an SPCA commercial. She is a currently working Narcotics and Patrol Dog.  She has no other job and cannot be trusted around any hooved livestock.

Ice the Black Belgian Tervuren:

Yes, she is a Terv.  She was born a black dog in a litter of brown dogs. Ice had a career as a Narcotics Dog but was too spacey to be consistent so she was re-homed with me because one of her littermates was my working Cadaver Dog (he was not spacey!) Ice has absolutely no job in our family, but we love her and are her Forever Home.

Dillon the Labrador puppy:

Bred to be a hunting dog, Dillon is the only "recreation" dog. It would have been really nice if one of the other dogs had the ability to hunt dove, ducks, and geese, but alas, not one of the herding dogs has any interest in being an accessory to murder.  (I'm just sayin' . . . )

And this, Friends & Neighbors, is why the boys don't take me hunting with them.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
If only Other Half could have been satisfied with domestic ducks and geese - they're bigger, taste just as good, you can have as many as you want and the Border Collies can herd them for you. There can even be some gun action - I shoot mine in the head with a .22 to process them. Okay, so maybe it's not so very sporting... but it's very fast and humane!
Posted by Sharon on 10/01/2011 - 07:02 PM
I think the guys enjoy dressing up in camo, hauling heavy decoys to muddy areas, and sitting in cold/icy or wet/humid/mosquito/cottonmouth snake-infested blinds. It seems to be a bonding thing for men. I don't think shooting domestic birds gives them quite the same thrill. (grin)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 10/01/2011 - 07:26 PM
Ice: "Narcotics Dog but was too spacey to be consistent so she was re-homed with me" ... Maybe she just sniffed the narcotics too deeply ... ha ha. Love your explanation page of the "tools" in your toolbox. Perhaps you could extend it to the other critters 4 and 2 legged. ;-)
Posted by Terri's Pal on 10/02/2011 - 12:02 AM
She was certified for marijuana. Unlikely to make her spacey but I have noticed she has a fondness for Cheetos and pizza.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 10/03/2011 - 03:47 PM

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