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Best dog around chickens and children?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by EeshieKing, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. EeshieKing

    EeshieKing In the Brooder

    Oct 30, 2013
    We had an incident the other night involving a raccoon and 4 of our baby chicks. We have been wanting to get the kids a puppy for a while now, but after what happened the other night, we would like to have a dog around for protection as well. I have always loved Border Collies and Australian Shepherd but I would like to get a breed that will not only protect but befriend our poultry and children. Anyone have any good suggestions for us? Thank you :)

  2. yogifink

    yogifink Songster

    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    The breed of the dog is not important, it is how you raise them.

    Introduce the pair from day one and you should have no problems.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I don't think kids and dogs go together before the kids are at least 5. and dogs and chicken are not a great match any time

    But Yogi gave you a good answer.
    If you MUST have a dog, get one from a pound and don't overthink "breed".
    The one's you named are NOT "good choices" for anything but herding

    Mutts are easier to deal with
  4. Yep, I agree with Bear Foot. We have 2 mutts that have kept us predator free this year. :)
  5. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010

    Labs seem to be nice family dogs or you could try to locate a nice rescue that may have experience with children and smaller animals. No matter what dog you choose, for every positive response you will get a negative one, so keep that in mind and go with your instinct. Good luck to you.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    We just lost one of our dogs and have been discussing what we want in a replacement. With a few exceptions, we've had pound dogs over the last 20 years and intend to go this route again. We don't want a puppy as we all work or go to school (well, honey and I will work again when I'm done with chemo!). We've also ruled out any strong herding breeds or bully breeds. Our kids are older and have been around animals all their lives, so not too worried about that. We have chickens, cats, horses and other animals as the whim takes us. I've found it hard to go wrong with a big black dog--they generally have lots of lab in them, are great family oriented dogs, and love kids. With the size of the little guy in your avatar, I'd say no to the puppy, if you have littles that young they're going to get knocked over by a puppy and that's no fun. Go for a young adult dog, look for something like a lab. I agree, breed isn't the biggest thing, it's the amount of time you can spend with them.

    I also love border collies. I tell my honey I'm going to get one when the kids are grown and I can work from home. They're so smart, they need lots of attention. At this point in my life, I need dumb dogs. Big black dumb dogs are the ticket for us now. They kill raccoons but not my cats, don't harass the chickens, don't chase the horses, and play fetch all day.
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    We always have bully breeds, great dogs to get rid of predators....

  8. Madame Leo

    Madame Leo Hatching

    Mar 26, 2013
    I have a great pyrenees. VERY sweet dog and she's very protective of my 9 month old son and the chickens. We got her as a puppy the week after we brought Ben home from the hospital so they've been growing up together. She's excellent at guarding everybody/everything.
  9. UnlabeledMama

    UnlabeledMama Chirping

    Oct 9, 2012
    Western North Carolina
    We recently got a 5 month old lab mix puppy from the Humane Society and it's going great. He's good with the kids (ages 7, 4 and 10 months) and has shown no aggression with the chickens. I am working with him.
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I do believe that a secure coop/run should be the first line of defense in predator protection. However having a good, well trained dog is a big asset. At the same time having an untrained dog who has not been taught how to behave around chickens can be your worst predator.

    We have had Aussies in the past and while they were absolutely perfect with kids and other animals they had no guarding instinct whatsoever. We have raised and trained our own ranch dogs for years and what I have found I like best is a cow dog mix, I really don't care for any purebred dog. What we have now is a Border Collie/Queensland/McNab mix. Smartest and best darn dog I've had yet. She guards the place aggressively from anything and anyone that does not belong here. I spend a LOT of time training and chicken proofing my pups right from the start and this dog has been the smartest, easiest to train yet. I also have a purebred Rottweiler who has never bothered a chicken or a cat and is of course a very good watchdog. However I feel they are a breed that requires very, very thorough training and socializing since they can really be a liability if they are not well trained and raised. Not something I'd recommend to someone without plenty of dog experience.

    While I agree that training is key over breed you should still keep in mind that some breeds naturally have a much higher prey drive then others and some have much less desire to please their humans. So while those breeds may be trainable it will require a lot more effort and you still may not turn out a chicken safe dog. That being said, there are shining examples in most any breed of dogs who are good around livestock as well as those who will never be trustworthy. It all boils down to the individual dogs temperament. All you can do is train very consistently and keep evaluating the dogs temperament to see if it's going to work out.

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