Summer of 2014 we started researching to figure out what kind of dog we should get to be our future farm dog.  Our current farm dog, Tundra, was 9 at the time, and we wanted to get a puppy while Tundra was still young enough to help raise and train the pup to be as good of a farm dog as he has been.  But Tundra was just a “mutt” we had adopted and he just happened to turn out to be an excellent working farm dog.  We didn’t want to take our chances with whether or not that would work again, and thus wanted to pick a breed that already had the genetics to become what we were looking for.  As I researched different breeds I found many that wouldn’t work for such a small farm as ours, such as many of the herding breeds and LGDs.  Then I came upon a description of a working dog that’s personality sounded EXACTLY like Tundra.  We were immediately sold, and pursued finding ourselves an Old-Time Scotch Collie.  You can read more about this awesome breed at www.scotchcollie.org, and www.oldtimefarmshepherd.org.

Finley joined the farm late last fall and began his life here at Willow Creek Farm.


He has done wonderful with his training, both from humans and from Tundra.  And he is becoming quite a wonderful working farm dog.


The Scotch Collie is a heritage breed, and sadly the numbers have been decimated over time.  In the last 20 years, people are realizing what a loss that is, and are trying to restore this great breed.  When we bought Finley, we decided that if he turned out as great as we hoped he would, we would get a female Scotch Collie to be our indoor family dog and we would breed them.  At the time we already had an indoor family dog, our sweet Holly, and we figured we would wait a few years until she died before we brought in a female collie.  Sadly, we didn’t realize how short of a time Holly had left, and she passed away last January.

Finley has lived up to all our hopes and expectations….so we decided it was time to get him a “wife” …….. enter Tess, or as the kids like to refer to her when they are joking around…”Mrs. Finley.”


photo copyright 4jacres.wordpress.com

We are all excited about this start of a new adventure for our farm, as well as the addition of an indoor family dog for our family to love.  As you know we just adopted a baby boy and are trying to get the farm balanced.  So why, oh WHY, would we take on a puppy now?  Well….the puppy plans were made and deposit sent when we were told our infant adoption would probably take at least another year…and then boom,2 weeks later, our baby suddenly entered our lives – isn’t that how life always seems to go?  We discussed options, including losing our deposit and not taking the pup, but ultimately decided oldest son will be handling the daily work of raising and training Tess with me overseeing and teaching him.  He is really excited and we feel like the experience will be a great chance for him to learn how to properly raise and train a dog.

So welcome Tess to the family, and the farm!!!

5 thoughts on “Tess

    • I left a detailed comment with my opinion on your situation. Our farm dogs live inside with us for at least 3 months before they go outside to create a good bond and teach them to obey our commands (especially the recall command “come”) before they get to move outdoors and start working off-leash. When they are outside with us during that early time they are always on a leash or long line to reiterate the fact that they need to stay with us and we are their leaders. Training them in those ways has left us with awesome obedient farm dogs that we can trust off-leash to come when we ask them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great advice, both here and on my site. Thank you for taking the time! I never thought about keeping a new dog indoors for a few months. Hindsight is twenty twenty I guess…


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