More than 76 million dogs reside in the U.S.
By Diego Flammini
Four-legged furry family members will be in the spotlight on Aug. 26 for National Dog Day.
Colleen Paige, a dog trainer and animal rescue advocate, founded the day on Aug. 26, 2004. Exactly a decade earlier, Paige’s family adopted their first dog, Sheltie.
The national day helps raise awareness about the number of dogs that need rescuing and recognizes the jobs dogs handle, from providing comfort to detecting bombs and drugs.
Dogs are significant parts of American families.
More than 48 million households owned a total of 76,811,305 dogs, the American Veterinary Medical Association reported in its 2017-2018 pet ownership and demographics sourcebook.
Of course, many dogs live on U.S. farms. These pets keep producers company throughout the day and help with work on the farm.
So, Farms.com connected with farmers who have dogs to learn about these pets and the joy they bring their families on a daily basis.
Beth Crandall and her husband Rhett, who raise cattle in Springville, Utah, may have one of the most famous dog in the U.S. farm community.
The couple’s 11-year-old Australian Shepherd, Flint, was named the 2020 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year. Flint came into Beth’s life when she was a teenager.
Flint/Beth Crandall photo
On the Crandall ranch, Flint helps with cattle herding, Beth said.
“He’s such an intuitive thinker and can evaluate the situation without us having to tell him too much,” she told Farms.com. “He can work the cattle and keep them very low stress which is very important for us to ensure the gains on our cattle remain high.”
In addition, Flint fulfills a mentorship role.
The Crandalls have added younger dogs into the mix and Flint has trained them.
The dogs “sure help to keep our labor costs down,” Crandall said. “Flint and the other dogs do jobs we might have to pay people to do, or that Rhett and I would have to do. With the dogs around, we can get more done around the farm.”
Flint is also a great family dog and loves children, Beth said.
A producer from Bunker Hill, Ill., shared some thoughts about her family’s beloved farm dog.
Bailey, a three-year-old black Labrador, lives on Polo Farms with Brittany and the rest of the Polo family. Bailey was named the state’s Favorite Farm Dog in 2020.
Bailey/Brittany Polo photo
Whenever there’s work to be done on the farm, Bailey is ready to go.
“The best thing about our family’s relationship with Bailey is that she is always by our side,” Brittany told Farms.com. “Bailey alerts our family if someone comes down our driveway and lets everyone know that this is her farm.
“Since getting Bailey, we never have to go on a ranger ride or check crops alone.”