Permaculture animal: Dog

Dogs are a very popular pet, being the most common pet in Australia. They can provide various services in a permaculture system, however they need good training, space to run and a sustainable source of food, so serious planning is required before deciding to add a dog to your system.


Many of the services that dogs provide stem from being able to smell and hear better than humans—they can let us know something is amiss before we can sense it for ourselves. I had a dog that would alert me to neighbour’s cattle getting through the fence, poultry out of the pen, nearby snakes and many other unexpected events, as well as visitors arriving. These abilities can also be tailored to specific circumstances; for instance dogs trained to sniff out ripe truffles.