More than a cute accessory!

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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.
~Erika Fossen~

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8 thoughts on “More than a cute accessory!

  1. Hi. I just stumbled across your blog about your ranch and have to say that I admire your lifestyle. I usually don’t write comments but noticed your post about your dogs. We got a blue heeler puppy from a ranch in OK Falls 2 years ago in April, and he has proven to be an amazingly bright dog, very loving and devoted, but also difficult since he only listens to my husband and I (mostly me). We’ve had dog trainers try to help with him since he likes to guard things in the house from my kids, including their shoes! He hasn’t been great with the kids which is the problem for us. He’s great with other dogs though, including our old female lab. As much as I love this dog, if I could find a good home for him on a ranch I would consider it, since I think he would do better out in the country with a job to do. We live in North Vancouver, back onto a mountain and he gets tons of exercise, but he always wants to work. He picks up new commands and tricks so quickly and has herding in his blood. If you need or know of any other ranchers that need a good dog, please let me know.
    ~Shannon Halkett

    • 2erikas says:

      Hey Shannon, thanks for the comments. Yes, that all sounds very fitting for a cattle bred dog. They are very smart and like you said they do best when they are able to work. We have also found they do ‘zone’ into one voice as they get older and it is hard for anyone else to command them. I will put they word out there and see if I can find a home for him. So he is two and is he castrated or not? Talk to you soon. Erika Fossen

  2. Ashley says:

    Hi there. We are looking for a heeler, red or blue in BC but have had zero luck so I’ve resorted to networking. Can anyone help us out? Thank you. 🙂

    • 2erikas says:

      I am emailing you directly 🙂

    • Hi there. We are considering adopting our Blue Heeler out to the right people. I have contacted your blog in the past about our 3 yr old heeler Brody. We love him, but it’s been a constant challenge because he would be better suited to a rural life. He has adapted well to suburban life, but his instinct is to think, herd, and work. We got him as a pup from a ranch in OK Falls. He is a smart, tough little dog, and very easy to teach commands to.

      • 2erikas says:

        I’m sure there would be a rancher interested. You should consider advertising him possibly in the newspaper ‘The Western Producer’ or the magazine ‘Beef In BC’. This is where you would reach the highest number of ranchers possible looking for dog.

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