We're looking into getting another dog in the early spring. Most likely it will be from a rescue/shelter or if the right dog pops up on CL. If we don't find anything we're interested in, we may persue the breeder route, but I'd rather adopt.
Another forum I am on highly recommended that I find an adult dog through a rescue since we have 3 children (7, 5, and 1) but we had a very nightmare-ish experience with adopting an adult dog a few months ago (had almost our entire flock taken out) and decided that it was in his best interest to find a new home where we didn't have to watch him (and I mean WATCH him) every time we put him out to pee. (There were a host of other issues, lest you think that one event prompted our re-homing.) He was a fabulous house/family dog, but not at all good outdoors, with chickens, or when left alone.
However, after doing quite a bit of reading on here, it seems that while adopting the *right* adult dog may work, it can be quite risky for the chickens. So, that turns me then to an adolescent dog.....something that may already be housebroken, know a few commands, etc. Still concerned about socialization. And that takes me to a puppy.
I would very much appreciate some input from other flock-owners who have experience with this. We're what I would call "advanced novice" dog owners. DH has had dogs his whole life, I have not. We currently have a 9yo labrador who is interested in the birds, but is easily re-directed and seems more interested in charging the fence to watch them scatter than actually *getting* the birds. We have 10 acres, and a large-ish fenced back yard, so we have a decent amount of space to work with.
For reference, our short-list of breeds that we're interested in include: another labrador, some sort of pit mix, pointer mix, or gsd mix, gsp mix, maybe a setter, weimaraner, or brittany, and I'm looking into english shepherds, but they have soooo much hair. The problem I see with that list, is that they are mostly all bird-hunting dogs. I'm also afraid of having a dog that's "too smart" that would become bored and in turn destructive. That took BCs and aussies out of the mix for me. GPs are too big. And hairy.