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Killing dogs isn't a 'farm thing' - Agweek | #1 source for agriculture news, farming, markets

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  3 weeks ago  •  11 comments

By:   Carrie Knutson (Agweek)

Killing dogs isn't a 'farm thing' - Agweek | #1 source for agriculture news, farming, markets
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has faced harsh public opinion over killing a family dog, but some have supported her, saying it's a "farm thing" or "hunting dog thing." Jenny Schlecht disagrees.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Despite not living up to her cow dog potential — mostly because of inadequate training — Cocoa is still a beloved family pet and occasional helper with cattle. Here she snuggles with Reanna Schlecht. Photo taken Sept. 16, 2023.Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Opinion byJenny SchlechtApril 29, 2024 at 4:30 PM Comments Share Share this article Opinion Opinion Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the interpretation of facts ü data. The Trust Project What is this?

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem wrote about shooting a young hunting dog she professed to "hate," and, if you haven't followed the controversy, the overwhelming public opinion has been against Noem, with people grossed out and questioning the humanity of someone who could kill a puppy in that manner.

What has surprised me about the many comments on the matter has been the number of people — albeit small —who acted like this is just a "farm thing" or a "hunting dog thing" that others wouldn't understand.

Huh?

I'm not a hunter, but I've spent my whole life in and around farms. And I've had good dogs and dogs that certainly could be considered less than helpful.

Take Cocoa, for instance. She is our farm dog, an Australian Shepherd we bought, ostensibly to be a cow dog. She is both a good dog and also less than helpful.

She has terrific herding instincts. But she has a problem — her humans were pretty horrible trainers. We purchased Cocoa when I was a couple months pregnant with my second daughter and when we were working on remodeling a house. We were busy and weren't as consistent in working with Cocoa as intended. As such, she comes when calls and sits when commanded, at least much of the time.

Other than that, her cow dog work has relied largely on those mostly good instincts. What we've found over the years is that she is very helpful on pasture or in large pens. We can tell her to go get a cow that has strayed, and she'll bring it back. And she's very protective of us, our daughters and me in particular.

That protective nature, combined with her poor training, means that if we're in tight spaces with cattle, she's not only not helpful but sometimes downright in the way. Cattle often charge after her — and anyone standing next to her. And sometimes she chases things she shouldn't, because she thinks she's helping or protecting us.

Those things aren't Cocoa's fault. Her training is only as good as what her humans gave her, so she's not to blame if I take her with me in a sorting pen and a cow takes after her — and me by extension. We didn't shoot her for not being a perfect cow dog. We know why she isn't the best cow dog in the world; we are the problem.

So, Cocoa comes with us in the big spaces where she is helpful and gets locked up for the jobs at which she isn't good. She gets lots of love, because it's not her fault we were bad trainers.

It is not an indication of "toughness" or a "farm thing" to kill an animal that doesn't live up to your standards. It's a sign of laziness to not take proactive measures to fix the problem, like rehoming the dog to a more appropriate place, getting the dog better training, or, in the case of a truly vicious animal, having it humanely euthanized.

I've watched both my dad and my husband struggle when they've had to put down cattle in misery. They both have had other people — less invested and connected to their cattle — do the job for them when that's an option, not because they lack the "toughness" to do the job but because it's the opposite of their normal jobs as stewards of livestock.

Euthanizing an animal is something that happens on a farm when things don't go right. And we know that we're raising our feeder livestock to reach their full potential and be humanely killed and processed. But we strive always to do things properly.

Farm dogs are not just tools of a farm. They're often part of the family. And we're going to treat them as such, even when they fail us. Or, more accurately, when we fail them.

Jenny Schlecht is Agweek's editor. She lives on a farm and ranch in Medina, North Dakota, with her husband and two daughters. She can be reached at jschlecht@agweek.com or 701-595-0425.

Comments Share Share this article Opinion Opinion Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the interpretation of facts and data. The Trust Project What is this? Tags Tags THE SORTING PENAGRICULTURERURAL LIFEPETS Opinion by Jenny Schlecht Jenny Schlecht is the director of ag content for Agweek and serves as editor of Agweek, Sugarbeet Grower and BeanGrower. She lives on a farm and ranch near Medina, North Dakota, with her husband and two daughters. You can reach her at jschlecht@agweek.com or 701-595-0425. Conversation What To Read Next ColumnsHow to grow cucumbers on trellis4d ago · By Carrie Knutson, NDSU ExtensionColumnsDad's love for his tractor was unbreakable - even when the tractor broke5d ago · By Mychal WilmesColumnsRecognizing the good in rural people6d ago · By Ann BaileyGet Local


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JBB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

No To Noem

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago

I agree. She had other options. And to reveal this information about her past shows a lack of good judgment and simple decency.

 "It's a sign of laziness to not take proactive measures to fix the problem, like rehoming the dog to a more appropriate place, getting the dog better training, or, in the case of a truly vicious animal, having it humanely euthanized."

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.1.1  Krishna  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    3 weeks ago
And to reveal this information about her past shows a lack of good judgment and simple decency.

I wasn't surprised that a person could be so cruel to animals. (Unfortunately there are a lot of people like that).

But what did surprise me was the fact that she publicized it.

Why?

I looked for general information about her, as well as these incidents. Currently several politicians are in the running to be Trump's vice- presidential choice-- and she felt by touting her cruelty she thought that that  would increase the chances of Trump considering her as  as a running mate! 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.1.2  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @1.1.1    3 weeks ago
she felt by touting her cruelty she thought that that  would increase the chances of Trump considering her as  as a running mate! 

!!! jrSmiley_5_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
1.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Krishna @1.1.1    3 weeks ago
But what did surprise me was the fact that she publicized it. Why?

Some potential explanations:

  • Get ahead of the story.  Maybe someone learned of it and was going to do a news release.
  • Win Trump favor as one who doesn’t like dogs.
  • conversely, doesn’t want on the ticket 
  • Thoughtless decision by amateur politician.
  • Wants to demonstrate ability to make tough decisions

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.1.4  Krishna  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.1.3    3 weeks ago
But what did surprise me was the fact that she publicized it. Why?

Some potential explanations:

  • Get ahead of the story.  Maybe someone learned of it and was going to do a news release.
  • Win Trump favor as one who doesn’t like dogs.
  • conversely, doesn’t want on the ticket 
  • Thoughtless decision by amateur politician.
  • Wants to demonstrate ability to make tough decisions

Good job!

You created an excellent list!

 
 
 
goose is back
Sophomore Guide
1.2  goose is back  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago

We finally agree on something. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

PUPPIES AND GOATS AGREE

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Before this latest fiasco of the Gov she was banned from Native Ameican Reservations in South Dakota and still is. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago

I hope it's a forever ban

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
3.2  evilone  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago
Before this latest fiasco of the Gov she was banned from Native Ameican Reservations in South Dakota and still is. 

Last I counted it was 5 of the 9 tribes in SD. I was expecting more, but I don't get as much NA stuff in my news feed as I'd often like.

 
 

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