32 best dog breeds for life on the farm

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Farms provide essential staples and food for people across the country. Rice, wheat, and potatoes are just a few crops that grow on farms that we use in our everyday lives. Aside from the planting and growing of these crops, farmers also have the responsibility of taking care of the livestock living on the farm. 

This is where a four-legged friend can make all the difference. From rodent control to herding sheep, there are endless jobs for dogs to do on the farm. From American foxhounds to Australian cattle dogs, these breeds are more than happy to lend an extra paw around the farm.

All they ask for in return is some of the best dog food to nourish their bodies and one of the best dog beds for them to rest in after a hard day's work. Now, let's get into which breeds are best suited to life on the farm. 

32 best dog breeds for life on the farm

 1. German Shepherd

German shepherd sitting on the grass

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German shepherds are highly intelligent and like to have a job to do. They have natural protective qualities that will make them great guard dogs. They are also a high energy dog breed so will enjoy having the time to assist in herding or running around the farm. 

2. Bernese mountain dog

Bernese mountain dog standing in grass

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With large and powerful bodies, the bernese mountain dog is made for farm living. They were originally bred for farming jobs such as herding cattle, pulling carts, and guarding the farm. Their thick fluffy coats will keep them warm when temperatures drop, but keep in mind they will require regular grooming with one of the best dog brushes to stay looking their best. 

3. Australian cattle dog

Australian cattle dog

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Often called "Heelers", the Australian cattle dogs are known for being quick and agile and will nip at the heels of livestock to herd them along. Australian cattle dogs are full of energy so having jobs on the farm are perfect for them. 

4. Dutch shepherd

Dutch shepherd dog standing near cows

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The Dutch shepherd dog is all about life on the farm. Originally bred for herding, they can spend a good portion of their day doing physical tasks. They are also highly intelligent so will pick up on quick and easy tricks to teach your dog in a flash.  We would recommend some of the best dog toys to play with in their free time. 

5. Australian shepherd

Australian shepherd looking over fence

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Australian shepherds are well suited to life on the farm. They were originally used for herding in farms across the United States. As they thrive on having tons of stimulation, they are perfect for having around the farm. 

6. Jack Russell terrier

Jack Russell terrier dog sitting in the leaves

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Jack Russell terriers are just one of the terrier types. This breed in particular can be quite feisty and full of puppy energy. But don't let their playfulness fool you, they can take their jobs quite seriously, especially when it comes to catching rodents around the farm. 

 7. Border collie

Border collie sitting in front of sheep

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One of the most intelligent breeds, border collies thrive on the farm. With endless jobs for them to do and all the opportunities to burn off their energy, they were made for farm life. Originally bred for herding, they are happiest with jobs to do and are eager to learn new things.  

8. Airedale terrier

Airedale terrier standing on log

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The largest of all the terrier breeds, the airedale terrier is large and quick enough to herd livestock but it is still agile enough to keep any pesky vermin at bay. 

9. Anatolian shepherd

Anatolian sheperd dog

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Originating from Turkey, the Anatolian shepherd was bred to guard livestock. They have retained these instincts throughout the years and are still frequently used as guard dogs on farms.  

10. Australian kelpie

Australian kelpie standing with sheep

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One of the most active and energetic Australian dog breeds, the Australian kelpie will be a great addition to any farm. They have endless energy and are perfect for herding livestock. This is a hardworking breed and will do best when they have jobs to do, they will also enjoy one of the best dog puzzle toys to play with during any downtime. 

11. Scotch collie

Scotch collie standing on mountain

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Scotch collies are very versatile in the type of jobs they can do. Often used as hunting dogs as well as farm dogs, this breed is known for being highly intelligent and athletic. They need plenty of exercise and so are well suited to the open spaces on farms. 

12. Pembroke Welsh corgi

Welsh corgi running

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While they may be small in stature, the Pembroke Welsh corgi is not a breed to be messed with when it comes to herding. Originating from Wales, they were bred for herding livestock and keeping potential predators away. They are a more vocal breed, so be prepared for lots of barking. 

13. Maremma sheepdog

Maremma sheepdog sitting with sheep

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Maremma Sheepdogs have a natural protective instinct that makes them excellent guard dogs. They are typically used to protect livestock and scare off predators with their size and impressive bark. They have a waterproof double layer coat, so they are prepared for a day's work on the farm no matter what the weather. 

14. Great Pyrenees 

Great Pyrenees dog standing with sheep

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Great Pyrenees dogs are known for their majestic and calm state. While they are not typically classed as a high-energy breed, this does not mean they are low-energy dogs. Bred as guard dogs, they keep an eye on livestock and choose to preserve their energy until there is a potential threat from a predator. 

Although who would want to challenge a dog this size, we don't know!

15. English shepherd

English shepherd watching sheep

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Not one to shy away from hard work, the English shepherd is more than capable of handling any farm job thrown at them. From herding sheep to catching rodents, the English shepherd is built for farm life. 

16. Akbash

Akbash dog guarding sheep

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Akbash dogs are large and mighty. Due to their natural instincts to guard and protect, they can be wary of strangers. They are commonly used as guard dogs around the farm. 

Don't let their standoff-ish nature fool you, they are incredibly loyal to their pet parent and can be coaxed with a long lasting dog chew to munch on while they are hard at work. 

17. Kangal shepherd

Kangal shepherd dog

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Another breed hailing from Turkey, the Kangal shepherd can weigh up to 145 lbs. It is no wonder this large breed is used for protecting the farm. These dogs are very alert and are generally not very vocal. So if you hear them barking at something, it is worth checking it out. 

18. Labrador retriever 

Labrador retreiver looking over fence

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Labradors are super versatile and excel at many different tasks. They are very smart, and athletic and enjoy working alongside their humans. They need plenty of exercise, so things like herding sheep or just keeping you company while you log countless miles around the farm are just the thing for these pups. 

19. Puli

Puli dog standing on mountain

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Pulis are known for their locks and while they are gorgeous, they require a lot of care. So having one of the best dog grooming kits is a must for this breed. Their coats are waterproof to keep them comfortable while they spend the day herding livestock. 

20. Tibetan mastiff

Tibetan mastiff standing in the grass

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Hailing from the Himalayan mountains, their thick coats are built to keep them nice and toasty. Tibetan mastiffs are protectors by nature and are often used to guard livestock. 

21. Bergamasco 

Bergamasco dog standing in the grass

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A powerful sheepdog with a very distinctive coat, the bergamasco is certainly a breed worth considering for farm life. They are built to herd and protect livestock. They are very intelligent and have an independent streak, so are not always recommended for first-time dog parents. 

22. Dachshund

Dachshund standing in the grass

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Dachshunds were originally bred to kill vermin. Although they are now mostly kept as house pets, they still maintain some of these hunting instincts. It is worth having some of the best snuffle mats for dogs to provide them with something they can get their noses into.

23. Newfoundland

Newfoundland dog sitting in front of farm truck

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Newfoundland, or "Newfies" are the gentle giants of the dog world. They are excellent watchdogs and will look out for their pet parents just as much as the livestock they have been tasked with watching over. Newfies also love the water which is great because there are endless ways your dog benefits from swimming

24. Rottweiler

Rottweiler sitting in the field

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This breed may have a reputation for being aggressive, but with the right training and pet parent, rottweilers can be the perfect addition to any farm. Naturally bred to protect, they are often used as guard dogs. They are also easy to train and will enjoy the challenge of learning new tasks. 

25. Schnauzer 

Schnauzer sitting in corn field

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A breed of German descent, the schnauzer was used for guarding and herding livestock. Schnauzers enjoy moving around so being busy around the farm is just the ticket for this breed. 

26. Belgian Malinois 

Belgian malinois dogs sitting in the grass together

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Originally bred for herding, the Belgian malinois is well suited to life on the farm. They require loads of mental and physical stimulation and so will enjoy keeping busy herding and watching over other animals.

27. Dalmatian 

Dalmatian sitting the forest

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A playful breed at heart, dalmatians know when it's time to work. They were originally bred to run alongside horses and carriages, keeping them safe from other animals. They need plenty of exercise to satisfy their high-energy nature, so farm life is perfect. 

28. Vallhund

Vallhund dog

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Originally bred to herd cattle, kill rodents, and guard the home, farm life is in their blood. Vallhunds are a Swedish breed and have bucket loads of energy to drain, making jobs around the farm perfect for them. 

29. American foxhound

American foxhound looking through a bush

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All about their noses, this breed was prized among both hunters and farmers. Their ability to follow a trail is just one of the traits that make them excellent farm companions. They are also very alert, intelligent, and very sociable making them helpful partners to anyone on the farm. 

30. Greater Swiss mountain dog

Greater Swiss mountain dog sitting on the pavement

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Primarily used as guard dogs as well as for herding, this breed is a great companion to have around the farm. Greater Swiss mountain dogs are incredibly strong but are surprisingly agile and would often herd animals on mountains.

31. Rat terrier

Rat terrier dog

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As their name implies, the rat terrier was originally bred to work on farms and hunt rats. They are a small breed, but are quite muscular and very fast enabling them to put their hunting instincts to use. They are a high-energy breed, so will require plenty of time to run around.  

32. Fox terrier

Fox terrier dog

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Fox terriers were originally bred in Britain for foxhunts. They are small but mighty and have high levels of energy to burn through. They require plenty of mental stimulation as well as physical. Providing them with one of the best dog rope toys can help satisfy both of these needs.  

Alexis De Leaver
Digital & Syndication Staff Writer

Alexis has been an editorial writer for over ten years. While her most of her writing has been focused on all things lifestyle content, she has a passion for animals that she hopes shines though in her pieces.