Best breed for - yep you guessed it

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by galanie, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I know there are many breeds that are great for guarding livestock as they have been bred for it for hundreds of years. But those are all huge and will suffer in our heat, plus out of my price range. Now, I know "it depends" is probably the best answer here, but I'm going to ask anyway:

    What, in your opinion, is a good medium sized breed of dog to live with my chickens and keep the danged squirrels away, plus guard the chickens? I am capable of training animals so that isn't a deterrent but I don't want a pet or a house dog. It'll only have a bit over 1/4 acre to be on but the fence is secure. It rarely freezes here but is over 100 degrees at least some every summer. Also I don't want to feed a dog the size of a horse. Or will a small goat or something do the same job? Please don't suggest geese or guineas, I don't want a noisy critter. I know a donkey will but again, too noisy.

  2. airmechreed

    airmechreed Chirping

    May 17, 2011
    Colorado Springs
    Lama? Great watch dogs a little on the bigger size but a friend has some and they chase off coyotes. I know its not a dog, but I have never heard of a Lama eating a chicken.[​IMG]
  3. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    you might look into border collies. it is hot everywhere! worse in texas, but you could shave em for the summer (the underbelly)(or give em a kiddy pool full of water) but they are great dogs for livestock, love to herd, and don't usually go for a kill (the older ones) look into a breeder trainer that would love to re home a dog that is not as sharp to win competition,
    Of course we can't expect a little ole sheep dog to guard against coyotes and such, they will bark to warn of danger, and are too smart to go out there alone, and would rather tell the shepard about it. Very trustworthy dogs, by medium, I assume you mean under 50 lbs.
  4. There is a picture of a hen and a border collie together on the Pictures and Stories of My Chickens area called "Does this border collie make my butt look big?". It is a hoot!! A border collie would definitely be at the top of the list.
  5. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    I do NOT recommend a Border Collie - my favorite breed. They need work constantly. They want to be given orders. They require interaction with a handler as well as work. A herding dog would get bored quickly in a quarter acre.

    Also, the Border Collie may herd your flock until they die of exhuastion - literally. My Colleen herded everything she could and did not allow wild birds in the yard. She was a skunk-killer. She protected our cats, ran away all others. Her work was never done. She was a great pet, but I would have met disaster if I had fenced her up with nothing to do all day.

    I suggest you look to adopt an older mutt. Older will require less exercise. Mutts tend to be healthy. Rescues tend to be eager-to-please.

    You might try to find a mix-breed with a bit of herding dog blood.

    Avoid all hunting breeds.

    Consider a little terrier or some dog bred for guard duty. My kids mixed terrier turned out to be a guard dog. We had wanted a purse-sized dog. You never know when you adopt a mutt pup. Holly was incredible though, at guarding. Nobody could get near the children. She also required no fencing but stayed at home. She trotted a circle around the house, baring a 1 inch strip of lawn, and NOTHING came inside that circle. Both she and my Border Collie even snapped bees. Bees were not allowed near the house ever.

    I personally like the companion dogs such as my own Boxer (blue-heeler mix) that is great with all my pets, stays right at home despite I live on a large farm that is not fenced, requires no fencing, is highly trainable, and would die of humiliation if he ever did anything to displease me.

    This is Akela serving as my home office security guard:

  6. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    My Morgan is a mutt I think of Border Collie and an Aussie Shepherd. He does harm the birds at all. He like to herd the birds. But one problem I have is he's learned they spend a lot of time in the run. When I'm with um I turn all of um lose to get the bugs. Morgan don't seem to understand I let them out. I go just a little way off doing yard chores and I don't hear anything I go check. Morgan has them all back in the run and him laying at the gate. I gotta teach him English and the term, 'it's ok to leave them out'. [​IMG]

    And a possum ain't got a chance with him around. Don't know about a coon and the others preds, but the possum he's got their number. 3 in a week.
  7. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    That is why I recommend talking to a breeder that actually works the dog. Younger ones can be a handful and very energetic, an older dog already settled and not into running so much, the handler would know which dog has the temperment you are looking for, and would be interested in getting the right fit for the animal as well. So much depends on the individual animal.

  8. rubydiamond

    rubydiamond In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2011
    I have two labradors.. we do keep them in at night, but one of them would prefer to be out. They are great with the chickens, kids, cats and horses, will eat anything.. are good do-ers and are perfect guard dogs.

    Both have Field Trial Champion parents but you wouldn't think so!
  9. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions! Australian Shepard crossed my mind since I like those dogs but they are herders, and people oriented from what I remember. I don't want a companion or pet for myself, only my chickens. I understand a mutt might be best, but again, you never know with a mutt what you're getting. Talking to a trainer sounds like the best route.

    Labradors always struck me as the most silly dog as pups there ever are. I don't have to patience to grow one up. Truly. I hear "don't get a herder" and "get a herder" - proof I suppose that the individual dog is really important. I'm thinking talking to a trainer might be best. Otherwise I'll end up wearing out the animal shelter getting dogs and bringing them back.

    But any more suggestions are very welcome!
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Most breeds of dog want to be a companion and pet(in the house with you)- that's why dogs are considered man's best friend.
    When I hear about the "true" Livestock guardian dogs they seem to be the exception, they prefer to stay outside with their charges (chickens, lambs, pigs, whatever). I accented "true" because there is alot of arguing over what breeds are a LSG .any other kind that does exactly the same work, is scorned upon as not a real LSG. I don't have any dogs and don't want to be dragged into that. They do what you want but they are large dogs, and need large areas to protect.They eat more, etc. etc. but I guess they don't mind if you choose to ignore them and never pet them or make friends with them.

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