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Guard dog for chickens

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

What kind of dog should I buy for a guard dog for my chickens.  Does the dog have to be a puppy?  Does it have to live with the chickens in the chicken pen?  I just lost 3 roos and 2 hens while we were out for the day to dogs.  I am not sure but I think it was dogs and I can't say my dog might not  have been one of them.   Althou she has never attack them  in fact she ignors them .  Their has been a stray hanging around her but I have never seen  neither of them chasing chickens. She is not in season or coming in.  We do have a neighbor that has a dog that continues to wiped out neighbors chickens. TIA

post #2 of 12

They have yet to be around chickens because I do not have chickens yet , but I've been raising American Bulldogs [ the classic type ] for a few years and for some reason every one of them absolutely ignored all birds including the Canadian geese that nest on a lake we sometimes go to . On the other hand they want to catch anything with fur and will not back down from a fight .   Because I had a huge flock of starlings or grackles that were freeloading off the outside dog bowls while the dogs looked on I eventually taught the two I have now to keep them away [ also stopped feeding outside LOL ] ....... but it took some urging to convince them that birds were trespassers and they still ignore the robbins that nest in my apple tree above their runs and the doves that drink from my rain barrel which I think is great . I don't know if ignoring feathered creatures is normal in the breed  or just the few I've had . The down side is mine have to have early socialization with strangers , cats , etc. , are very territorial with other dogs and can be dog aggressive [ its been impossible to keep two males or two females together and my present male/female pair have to be kept in seperate runs ] , and VERY hard to convince to release anything they get ahold of including trepassing dogs .  The breed is still used as a catch dog to hold wild hogs and guarding farms in southern areas and those instincts are very strong in mine even though they are several generations removed from active catch dogs .

post #3 of 12

What kind of dog should I buy for a guard dog for my chickens.


Get a puppy from a shelter, and raise it with the chickens.
Dont teach it to be friendly towards other dogs, and it will probably protect them to some degree, by protectig the territory where they are.

If your main predator problem is from dogs running loose while your chickens are free ranging, a fence would be a better solution, since there are no promises ANY dog will protect them, short of a true LGD breed.
And with a true LGD, you'd still need a fence

If your female isnt neutered, do it now before it's too late


Edited by Bear Foot Farm - 12/9/09 at 8:22am
post #4 of 12

I agree with Bear Foot , and make that an electric fence to keep your own animals in and others out . My dogs can easily go over most fences but the hotwire has taught them not to even consider it . Also , my un-spayed female that will attack strange dogs will welcome most males when in heat . A hotwire sure stops unwanted or unplanned litters ...... there are way too many of those that occur IMO . There is no good reason for all those shelters holding thousands of dogs [ and other pets too ] across our nation . I actually have stated to wonder about all of the eggs getting incubated .

post #5 of 12

In your place I would consider a dog like a border collie.  They are very smart and are naturals when it comes to all types of livestock.  And you know they have to be smart 'cause they can actually understand commands that their Australian masters give them!  lol  lol  lol

NECESSITY MAY BE THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, BUT GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.    (G. Simpkins)
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NECESSITY MAY BE THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, BUT GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.    (G. Simpkins)
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post #6 of 12

Have you ever seen a border collie hurd a chicken?  gig  Don't think my chickies would appreciate it.  D

Anyway, I have three Golden Retrievers that will run right through all my chickies and duckies to chase away a yote.  So far I have been successful whether I get them at 6 weeks or 3 years old.  The big thing is to be there in the beginning with sharp no's (usually only once or twice works) and make it very clear they are NEVER allowed to chase a chicken.

I had one dog that it took me a few months of serious scolding before he figured it out, but so far I have done this with five dogs now.  I have never lost a bird to one of my dogs.  I also had a girlfriend with many successful Labs.  She always had at least 5 on her property.  Best of luck and consistent training.  frow

Mom to 4 Golden Retrievers, 3 Muscovys, 40 chickens in a melange of a variety, two red ear sliders, a bullfrog, fish, the zoo keeps growing.  Oh, and wife to a very tolerant man.
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Mom to 4 Golden Retrievers, 3 Muscovys, 40 chickens in a melange of a variety, two red ear sliders, a bullfrog, fish, the zoo keeps growing.  Oh, and wife to a very tolerant man.
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post #7 of 12

By the way , American Bulldogs will also transport your feed and supplies for you . Here's my girl B.B. Blues hauling a load of concrete blocks .

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/44349_leg_i_sat_329.jpg

winkbig_smile

post #8 of 12

What kind of dog should I buy for a guard dog for my chickens.


NONE! Find out whose dog is killing your chickens and then take appropriate action. If it is your own dog, keep it confined...if it is a neighbor's dog send them a bill for your chickens.

Avatar is half of group of Ameraucana chicks looking out of the brooder...Nov.'11. They are much more grown up now. Also have White Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, Andalusians and an assortment of EE's. Oh, and one Australorp hen who knows she is the absolute queen here.

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Avatar is half of group of Ameraucana chicks looking out of the brooder...Nov.'11. They are much more grown up now. Also have White Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, Andalusians and an assortment of EE's. Oh, and one Australorp hen who knows she is the absolute queen here.

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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your replys.  My dog is a boarder collie and she is from a shelter.  In fact we always abopt dogs from the shelter.  She has not been spade because we  have had her only a few months and we couldn't  have her fixed because she had the worst case of heartworms when we got her, the vet wasn't sure if she would even surive the treatment.  So after some very tough months of treatments she is strong enough to be spade and the appointment has been set.  We felt pretty safe leaving her out since the very day we were suppose to pick her up from the shelter she aborted 2 pups and the shelter didn't known she was pregant since she was in very poor health. Lucy is very loveable but she seems to be very jealous of our other pets and I have seen her chase the cat when she wants our attention. Hopefully she is not the one killing chickens I would hate to get rid of her. Thanks everyone for your imfo we will be getting another dog a puppy this time.

post #10 of 12

I have a black lab and he is WONDERFUL! He lays in the yard and keeps watch for my chickens while they free range! He also sleeps by their coop at  night. When I first got chickens, something kept killing them. Then my dog killed a coon and I had no more dead chickens!

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