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Best Chicken Guard dog

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sarahsedaii, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. sarahsedaii

    sarahsedaii New Egg

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    Aug 6, 2012
    I have a backyard coop. I have Rhode Island Reds. 2 hens and 1 rooster. I was thinking about getting a dog to protect the chickens because we have a lot of coyotes and foxes here. What would you suggest? I was thinking Pyr, but I was hoping to get something a little smaller and wouldn't eat me out of house and home. Any help is much appreciated!
     
  2. salunra

    salunra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know you want something smaller, but I can't recommend pyrs enough. My girl is so good with the chickens. And while she is a large furry dog she is a lot less maintanence than I thought. She is quick to learn, doesn't shed nearly as much as one would think, and we go through on 40lb bag of dog food a month. Not to mention she is a super love with my kids.
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my chicken guardian in the making. He's an Anatolian Shepherd (currently 10 months old, although this photo was taken at about 8 months).


    [​IMG]


    If you do some googling, you'll read that they are an ancient livestock guardian breed from Turkey. They are extremely smart, independent thinkers, which can make them challenging household pets.

    If I had been really serious about having him be a full time livestock guardian, I would have had him live out with the chickens pretty much from the time I brought him home. The breeder I purchased him from has her puppies and their mother out with the goats, cattle or poultry at a really early age so they bond with the livestock, not with people. However, my goal was to have him as a family guardian more than a livestock guardian.

    Still, from the time he came home, (this photo taken at 10 weeks) [​IMG]

    we spent about an hour every day outside while the chickens free-ranged and he learned not to pester them when they were dirt-bathing or "play" with them. Now I put him out on a tether for about an hour or so every day while the chickens free range and he lets them walk all around him and doesn't bother them. He is on alert and will stand up and bark if he sees/hears/smells something that concerns him. The chickens run for cover when they hear him bark. It is my hope that when he is fully mature, around 24 months of age, the tether won't be necessary.

    While Anatolian Shepherds are a large breed (males usually between 110 and 150 pounds) once they have finished growing, they don't eat very much for their size (or at least so I've read...right now my puppy eats about 6 cups of premium dog food a day). They can live into their teens and have very low instances of hip displasia or other large-breed bone & joint problems.

    I wouldn't recommend one for the casual dog owner, because they are a strong and dominant breed and require consistent, firm, calm leadership, especially if you expect them to be able to go to places where there will be other dogs and lots of activity, but I've met one Anatolian Shepherd who is a service dog and rides on airplanes and even the rides at Disney World, so it can be done.
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I just got a pyr also she is 5 months old. I am also leading her around our free ranged chickens and she is doing pretty could, she still tries to chase the broilers, but stops when I say HEY. [​IMG]
     
  5. Victory Chick

    Victory Chick New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2012
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    I have a american bulldog mix. she was 3 or so when I got chicks for the first time. We just showed her the chicks and she saw us pet them. We slowly introduced them to her and now she guards them constantly. She has killed opossums racoons and ran off cats. You could leave her with them all day. She just smells their buts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  6. Victory Chick

    Victory Chick New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2012
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    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    My Coop
    [​IMG]
    My tri-color Australian Shepherd does great with my chickens. Very easy to train.
     
  8. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yuma, Arizona
    You could research English Shepherds. I don't have one myself, but I want to someday. Supposedly they'll protect the flock, herd, kill varmints, babysit, alert you to broken fences, and wash the windows on their days off.... okay, maybe not the last one.
     
  9. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    My Coop
    [​IMG] Depends on what is on the glass to lick off.
     
  10. greatblueheron

    greatblueheron Out Of The Brooder

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    Was your Aussie always good with the chickens? I just got chickens and have an older Aussie that seems way too interested in them! I guess we'll see what happens when they meet outside of the coop.
     

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