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Memory Mondays – Pet Helpers

This month’s #MemoryMondays features dogs helping around the farm. From herding or guarding livestock to protecting people from predators, controlling pests and providing companionship on often isolated farms, there are many tasks a farm dog could help with, both in the past and today. Recently, dogs have even been trained to detect clubroot in canola crops, making it easier to identify these infestations without damaging crops.

Take a look at some of the WDM’s archival photos of dogs helping around farms!

A child standing with a dog and a calf in a farmyard. The child is holding a rope that is tied to the calf. c. 1910.

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A dog running on a wheel, possibly pumping water, while another dog sits to the side, c. 1920.

Wheels like this one, as well as treadmill-style equipment, were sometimes used on farms so dogs could help with certain tasks. There were even dog-powered butter churns, though they were inefficient and never became widespread.

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Two men posing with a dog in front of a 32-110 Case steam engine, c. 1938.

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Threshing crew with two dogs sitting around a Sawyer Massey thresher during harvest, 1906.

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