This is a major problem where town meets country and is getting worse. Here are some basic facts based on research in Western Australia. New Zealand dogs are no different.
Access across farmland to public waterways and hunting grounds has long been a custom in New Zealand. Lately though, with the increasing awareness of sheep measles, sheep farming landowners are taking a much sterner approach to this public privilege.
Working dogs are valuable animals and often have accidents a long way from a veterinary clinic. What you do after an accident may not only save the dog's life, but it can also hasten its recovery. First aid is all about sustaining life and preventing things getting worse before you get professional help.
There are too many dogs housed in cold damp kennels and a few unfortunate dogs have no shelter at all. Animals suffer just as much in cold damp winter condition as humans do.
There are no such things as dog problems! All the problems are "dog-owner" problems. That's certainly the clear opinion of the great majority of dog experts in New Zealand and overseas.
Your dog is a good and faithful companion. Whether it is a working dog, a guard dog or a household pet, it is an intelligent animal with the potential to be a real asset on the farm.
Farm dogs are usually very intelligent animals and willing workers. They learn quickly, they can think for themselves, they are very active and they are easily bored. When they are well cared for they are sleek and glossy, bright and happy, and an invaluable asset on the farm. But they need proper attention. If they don’t get it, they’ll be thin, smelly or nervous. Sadly there are too many farm dogs in this category.
Apart from helping to keep your dog fit, regular good quality exercise will help prevent boredom and the bad habits that often go with it, like persistent barking or continual pacing.