Our ranch depends greatly on working cattle dogs! In the old days, when labour was cheaper, ranchers could afford many cowboys to get the job done. Today as our ranch expands, my husband & I and his parents, look after the same land base and number of cows that 20 years ago was managed by 4 separate families!
The cow dog is becoming more and more important to our ranch, as we chase cows over more acres of land. Here in B.C., our forested ranch land can be so thick, it is tricky to get ahead of a fast moving cow going in the wrong direction. A dog who can go to the front of a herd and stop them and/or turn them is a necessity!
We lost our good dog last fall and quickly had to seek out these two dogs to help with the fall round-up. We were able to locate these two from a cowboy friend. The one (red, in the bottom picture) was a year old and was nicely started, having whistle commands going both ways. We paid $700 for her, although that was a spectacular price as trained dogs can be up to $2500 or more. It was very kind of our friend to give us such a great deal in our time of need. We also bought the fluffy puppy in the top picture (who slept in the truck throughout the entire fall round-up) , and hope she will develop into something amazing also!
So when you drive into a rancher’s yard and run over his best dog, understand that not only did you kill his best friend; you cost him a month’s salary and his arthritic knees and his horse will now take a severe pounding as he brings in his last cows, alone.