This Weeks Ag in the Classroom, Featuring Farm Dogs!Fri, 28 Aug 2020 10:04:34 CDT
Whether your kids are doing blended learning, online learning, or back in school, its always nice to have a few extra resources and fun things to do as a family! Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom has come up with some excellent daily activities you can do with your kids and family.
For this week's Ag in the Classroom we are talking about Farm Dogs. Did you know Dogs have been the companions of farmers ever since they learned that farmers would feed them if they helped with the livestock instead of eating it. Dogs have many jobs on the farm. They protect livestock from predators, help control mice and rats, and help find lost animals. There are even dogs that help farmers with disabilities do their work. Some dogs are also trained to herd sheep or cattle. Herding dogs are dogs that either have been trained in herding or belong to a breed developed for herding.
They are trained to respond to the sound of a whistle or word of command. Some herding breeds work well with any kind of animal. Others have been bred to work with specific kinds of animals. Cattle, sheep and goats are the most common farm animals with which herd dogs are used. Herding behavior is modified predatory behavior. Through selective breeding, humans have discouraged the natural inclination of dogs to prey on cattle and sheep while at the same time keeping their hunting skills. Early herding dogs were large, powerful animals that were rough with stock and difficult to control, but they displayed an instinct to gather sheep. Over the years farmers needed gentler dogs that were easier to control.
Farmers with small operations needed dogs that could also hunt game and sniff out sheep buried in snow. Because this dog would work far away from its master, it would also have to respond to the human voice, whistle and Dogs work animals in different ways. Some breeds, such as the Australian Cattle Dog, will nip at the heels of animals. These breeds are called heelers. Other breeds, like the Border Collie, get in front of the animals and use what is called strong eye to stare down the animals. They are known as “headers.” The headers, or fetching dogs, keep livestock in a group. They go to the front or head of the animals to turn or stop the animal’s movement.
Before widespread fencing of the American West, sheep were often tended by shepherds, who camped out with their flocks or took them out daily to graze. Tending of grazing flocks in unfenced areas also occurred in Midwestern and Eastern farming areas and even in urban areas. Into the early 20th century, sheep were being grazed in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park. The Sheep Meadow in Central Park in New York City came by that name due to the sheep that were grazed there from the 1860s until the 1930s.
To learn more about Farm Dogs, Dog Breeds, and more click here: You can also teach your OWN dog how to become a great farm dog by clicking here:
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And don't forget, Ag in the Classroom offers daily activities to do with your kiddos on their website, and their facebook page.
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