Best Chicken Dog?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hipdeep, May 4, 2008.

  1. hipdeep

    hipdeep In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2008
    Hi there! I live at the end of a 1/4 mile long private road, on a lake, in MA. We have a 2 year old and 3 siamese cats. I'm looking for a dog breed that 1.) is good with kids. 2.) good with cats 3.) good with chickens 4.) will like water 5.) stick close to home without an electric fence... and dare I add 6.) not such a shedder?

    Oh wait! Not too expensive? LOL OK, that might be impossible. We were thinking Aussie Doodle but that's just silly cash.

    Whatchya think?
  2. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I think all of your requirements will be personality characteristics of a particular dog than common among all dogs of a certain breed.

    ETA Other than the shedding of course, but even that can vary from dog to dog. Any kind of 'doodle' breed is not going to have reliable breed traits, in particular the shedding. Some will shed very little, others will shed just as much as the 'other half', ie the Aussie, Lab, or Golden. IMHO i'd steer well clear of any 'doodle'. Those who raise them are typically more interested in lining their own pockets from breeding novelty mutts.
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  3. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Criteria 1,2,3,5 and 4 to some extent will be determined by quality and temperment (which varies enormously within any given breed) of the dog and the training and bonding time you put in. I have worked with many dogs that meet those criteria. The dogs are many different breeds. Most have been well-researched and carefully selected, trained, and socialized. Have fun with your choice!
  4. chickachickawhat

    chickachickawhat Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    hartford county ct
    what lake do you live on?
  5. love-my-wolves

    love-my-wolves Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    Front Royal, VA
    Where are you at? Steph
  6. farmgirlie1031

    farmgirlie1031 Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    My best dog is our Bernese Mountain Dog but they are very pricey. She loves all critters and just sits and watches the little chicks. The cats adore her. I even trusted her with little rodents when I had those as pets.

    My worst dog is my German Shepherd/Aussie Cattle Dog. She just wants to chase the cats and eat the poultry so she is on-leash at all times.
  7. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Quote:I agree with everyone else, most of your requirements are training and individual personality. Some breeds it is easier to obtain these qualities than others. Anything with Aussie in it, is going to have a ton of energy. If you don't train your Aussie well enough and put it to work doing something, this tons of energy is going to be used on long walks, chasing/herding critters and kids, or running off to frolic with other canines. Ours still does alot of these, even though she is extremely well trained. Your herding/working dogs are typically more energetic and NEED something to do, or else they'll give themselves a job(bring home friends, chase horses, chase neighbors, these are just a few our Aussie and German Shepherds like to do). Working breeds usually need to work, please keep this in mind.

    Your larger Nothern type breeds are "typically" lazier(less likely to wander) and "usually" very gentle tempered(good with kids and other animals. These breeds are characteristic of big longhaired dogs, Newfoundland, Pyrenese, Burmese, St. Bernard, etc. I can not recall how badly these dogs shed( a willing sacrifice according to all owners of these gentle giants). I love 'em. Although not a Northern type breed, ALL the Great Danes I've met(except one) have been WONDERFUL. Big, beautiful, lazy, affectionate dogs.

    If you are looking for something generally all round. A Labrador also "usually" fits alot of your standards. They are typically friendly all round and they usually stick close to their familes. They are common and usually easily obtained.

    One of the best ways to find an individual dog that suits your needs, is to check out your local animal shelters. Workers usually evaluate the dogs well and can "usually" tell you which dogs do well in certain circumstances(children, cats, water). Picking a partially or totally grown dog from the shelter, eliminates alot of variable from trying to pick the ideal dog from a litter of really cute puppies. And you save a life in the long run. Please do not buy from petstores.

    Please not I'm using "using" and "typically" quite alot here with the different breeds, because you cannot tell until you meet individual dogs, there are always exceptions. The shelter workers here do a fine job evaluating dogs, but you know how that can change from place to place.

    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  8. fushalilly

    fushalilly Songster

    Mar 9, 2008
    Rhode Island

    They are however, high maintanance, prissy, need constant attention, and need another papillon to play with. They are EXPENSIVE if not from a shelter, but they are EXCELLENT with chickens, guaranteed.
  9. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    Our black lab is great with our kids and chickens. We also had a Lab/Golden Retreiver Mix that passed away a year ago, RIP JD [​IMG] , that was great with our kids and chickens. He would let them both climb all over him and he never batted an eye. Where ever the kids were you could find JD laying there watching and making sure all was good.

    Good luck with your dog search.
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  10. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    I think a Poodle is your best answer because you can take care of all those requirement with training and they dont shed at all or get stinky! Even if you dont bath them for a couple weeks. They are water dogs, they were used for retrieving, so as long as you introduce it to the chickens when its young, you prob wont have a problem with chasing. We have a Golden Retriever and when we introduced him to our babies, he didnt even react to them and he actually did bring home a dead goose once, so he knows that his job in life is to bring home dead game, not live [​IMG] Standard and Minituare Poodles are great with kids. I think the only downside is you have to groom them every month at least because there hair gets tangled very easily and grows quickly. I have heard that some can be hyper. I think thats is really only tiny ones though. I have a Toy Poodle that I adopted, and she is a wonderful dog, she is completley relaxed not hyper at all. She was abused though. I think in a lot of cases dogs are hyper because they don't have a "job" to do. If you live in the country you should not have a problem with the dog couped up and the kid will keep him entertained. I never knew what they were like before I found her. Try to go through a rescue group, there are so many pure bred dogs that are dumped. Whatever you do, don't get any sort of terrier, they are verman hunters and they dont like water. We have a Mancester Terrier and he always chases the cats and try to eat the chickens. If you do not get a poodle any retriever would be best. Hope that helps, go to or , they have info on all breeds and contacts for rescues.
    Last edited: May 5, 2008

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