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Homesteading Hounds: A Farmer’s Best Friend

When you’re living on a homestead, whether it is large or small, it’s a good idea to have a dog around. You’ll notice that almost all farmers have a dog or three running around – and it’s for a good reason too. Not only do dogs make great pets but homesteading hounds often have natural instincts and abilities which make them more suitable for certain jobs.

For example: Dachshunds are said to be great ratters which are a wonderful thing when you’re growing food and pesky pests keep gnawing at your tomato roots. If you have ever known someone who owns a little Dachshund you may notice little holes all over their yard and this is why it’s in their nature to dig after the moles in the ground.

Homesteading Hounds

border collie | Homesteading Hounds: A Farmers Best Friend

The dog breeds can be broke down into groups or classifications based on their instincts, abilities, and skills. On a basic homestead you’re going to want to look into these categories to find the right pup:

Herding Breeds:

Herding dogs are also known as work or stock dogs. A natural herding dog has the instinct to herd just about anything. If you’ve ever seen a border collie in the city you might notice it rounding up the little ones, herding them into the house or wherever it is they are supposed to be.

Guard Dogs:

I’m sure you can guess what the role of a guard dog is! These breeds have a natural instinct to guard and protect their humans and any animals that are a part of the family. Any dog breed is capable of looking after the family or livestock but some or better than others.

Ratters or Pest Control:

More often than not you’ll find that the better ratters and small pest control breeds are medium to small sized but they carry a huge dog’s attitude.

Breaking Down The Breeds

australian sheperd | Homesteading Hounds: A Farmers Best Friendaustralian sheperd | Homesteading Hounds: A Farmers Best Friend

The Herders

  • Australian Shepherd – The Aussie is medium in size and packed full of energy. This breed loves to work and responds very well to training. The one downside is without training they can get into a lot of mischief. The Australian Shepherd has a special water-resistant fur which requires proper grooming at least once a week. Their high energy requires them to not only require physical exercise daily but mental exercise as well.
  • Welsh Corgi – I know it’s hard to imagine a short little corgi herding cattle but their shape and size actually make them great ankle nippers. They are very intelligent and require very little grooming. The corgi is a very loyal and loving dog that is great for a small farm with a little family.
  • Icelandic Sheepdog – This is a great breed for colder climates. They are medium in size are active but not very active. The Icelandic Sheepdog is very friendly, curious, and playful so busy days are good for them. This breed has two coats of fur, one is long and the other is short. This allows them to shed the longer fur in warmer weather in order to acclimate easily. This means they are a higher maintenance breed who requires constant grooming, especially during the spring shedding.

There are many breeds that are great for herding farm animals. The German Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, and Border Collies are just a few more you might be familiar with.

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german sheperd | Homesteading Hounds: A Farmers Best Friend

german sheperd | Homesteading Hounds: A Farmers Best Friend

The Guards

  • German Shepherd – The German Shepherd is a large dog with a medium to high level of energy. This breed of Shepherd is very confident, easy to train, and eager to please. Because the German Shepherd is so loyal, loving, and smart they are great family dogs. They really are more of a multi-purpose dog because not only will they protect and guard but they will also herd the livestock and hunt the moles. Their long fur means they need to be groomed regularly.
  • Doberman Pinscher -You might think a dobie is more of a junkyard dog but they can make great guard dogs for the livestock, family, and homestead. They have a medium build but are extremely high energy. One of my favorite things about the Doberman is how alert they are. They are fairly easy to train and pretty willing to learn. They are VERY protective and VERY cautious of strangers. Their short hair means they only require minimal grooming but if you live in a colder climate you may want to reconsider your choice.
  • Giant Schnauzer – This large dog is high energy and high maintenance. They are almost as alert as the Doberman and equally protective of the farm and family. The giant schnauzer does best when their day consists of high activity, they love having a job. They also love to swim.

All of the dogs listed above can be multi-purpose, but they do better with what they know. The pest control and ratters are generally small breeds that are close to the ground such as, the Rat Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher. I personally feel it’s better to have a multi-purpose dog or two around the farm, but to each their own.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the most common homesteading hounds, here’s a list of things to consider during your selection:

Qualities, Traits, & Considerations For Homesteading Hounds:

  • Consider the climate in your area in order to provide the right environment for the breed of choice.
  • Consider the prey in your area that your dogs will be guarding the livestock from. If you have bears you can count on having two or more dogs. If you have smaller prey then there’s little less to worry about.
  • Their temperament. Are they aggressive, good with kids, etc.
  • The maintenance they need in order to stay healthy and groomed properly.
  • Consider the health issues of each breed.
  • How active they are or aren’t.
  • Consider how much and what kind of training will be required to get your dog up to par.

As I mentioned, having a dog or two on a homestead is a wonderful idea for so many reasons. The list of dog breeds is very long so I picked some of my favorite breeds and included why they make the right breeds for the job. We would love to hear what kind of fur babies you have floating around and how they fare on the farm!

Up Next: Homesteading Hacks Every Homesteader Should Know

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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