Hi, we are wanting to get a dog that is going to serve as a guard dog. We have one dog now, a pit bull mix that is sweet as can be but at night she barks at EVERYTHING as if the world is ending. We are wanting to get another farm dog, one that is intimidating enough to keep strangers and predators away but still not aggressive with us or the chickens. What breed do you recommend?
What dog breed is best at guarding the farm and chickens?
The aussie livestock dogs are very smart and trainable. Fox or Rat terriers are a good all around protector, smart, fast and absolutley fearless, had a friend who coon hunted with fox terriers and got more animals than the guys with the big hounds. Depending on what you're fighting a smaller dog may be your answer but the training is the key and that's on you. I've heard people raising their dog with the birds and letting them bond that way, personally I bond with the dog and it will do anything it can to please me. Right now a problem I'm fightoing is raven attacks and my dog is like me, fat & slow but he still trys and doesn't mind staying in the pasture during the day and hanging with the critters as their protector. Good luck with the dog and I hope it meets your needs
I'd recommend any breed you could train properly. If you read the threads on this subject you will find these traits are not breed specific and there isn't any one breed better than another in this capacity. Dogs bred to guard livestock are your best bet but even this may not be a success if you do not train them properly for their job or you insist on bringing them in the house to live and socialize more with the family. The best dogs for the job of guarding poultry or other livestock are those that are trained for the job and do the job more often than not.
Occasionally you have a great dog, still not breed specific, who takes to the job naturally and doesn't really require training....these are worth their weight in gold! I've had two that required no training and one that required around 20 min. total the first day....all were Labs or Lab mix dogs. Just luck of the draw and intelligent breeds, I guess.
No matter what breed you chose, you need to do a lot of background research;
Find out all about parents and grandparents
Ask for some references from the new owners of previous litters.
This should give you some idea of what are the strong and weak points of given dog line.
What other animals you have/ what exactly you need to guard?
Do you have a "big" predators or small?
My little Chihuahua is making the most rambling and its the first one to charge into woods, if she only smells something nearing by.
My Great Pyrenees is quiet, not barking, but he is still a baby.
I can see that hes got potential; the way he listen and behave.
I noticed its the Chihuahua who is teaching him some undesirable acting, such picking eggs or going pass our property lane.
So, the lesson is; make sure that your new dog wont follow the bad manners of your existing/older dog that is if you feel that your existing dog has something bad to teach.
I assure you; they learn and follow the elders very quickly!
Don't go to a breeder. Adopt.
Contrary to what you may hear, 1 in 4 dogs in shelters are pure bred. Or if you're looking for a specific type, check out Breed Rescues. You'd be amazed how many pure bred dogs wind up in shelters because of irresponsible owners/breeders. We adopted a pure-bred St. Bernard who was only 9-months-old when we got him. (Although mutts are a lot healthier, and typically live longer due to genetic variety... instead of the constant overbreeding/inbreeding of pedigreed dogs).
Plus most shelter pets come spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped (which a good deal) for a minimal adoption fee.
On top of all, you'll save a life. Need I say more?
Edited by DvanderSlik - 5/22/11 at 11:06am
I would suggest going to a good breeder of guardian stock. Any dog really has the potential to guard and there is the rareities. My dog is good around any livestock but would he protect them? No. He is the kind of dog you could feel safe around any chicken but he will not put his life on the line either for any chicken. Go with a breed that strong guardian background. Probably the number one killer of poultry is a dog and I am sure plenty will admit the family dog killed a chicken or two. Do your research and don't forget to ask questions.