Best dog breed around chickens? UPDATE post #117 Thanks all!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by megcpat, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. megcpat

    megcpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2010
    I am, for the first time in my life, without a dog. We have small children, free ranging chickens galore and a serious fox problem. We do have a well fenced yard as well as acreage that's sort of fenced. The winters here can be tough but the summers are pretty mild. We want a dog who will, first and foremost, be great with the kids and not kill the chickens. A breed who likes to spend most of the day outside and can be left in the fenced yard if we leave for the day and watch for those darned fox. What breeds do you have and how do they work with your family and chickens?

    UPDATE: THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED US FIND OUR ANATOLIAN SHEPHERDS. POST #117 for photos. and then again post #140 (because I just can't say enough about these guys).
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  2. popcornpuppy

    popcornpuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2009
    Holland, Massachusetts
    Any breed of dog can potentially be dangerous around chickens. It's not a question of breed it's a question of training and the dog's personality. Any dog that is going to be around chickens should be trained to tolerate them. Her is a pic of my Golden Retriever. Her maternal instinct is stonger than her urge to retrieve birds. She is a good example of personality over breed.
    Btarr4 likes this.
  3. megcpat

    megcpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2010
    Wonderful photo - what a great dog! I have experience with dogs and understand your statement. I really don't want to be fighting too hard against an instinct that has been deeply bred into a breed. The closest we can get right off the bat to the breed of dog who wants to live the life we have in mind for it, the better. We just put down our beloved pit bull after having her for 12 years. She was great, sweet and loyal, but hated being away from us ever and HATED being outside in cold weather. She was a GREAT companion dog, terrible farm dog.
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I have 3 dogs.....2 big male shepherd mixes and a little female toy poodle.

    My older shepherd mix (12 yrs old) is very sweet and submissive. He is scared of everything, including my cat and the toy poodle runs the roost. He is extremely aggressive towards my chickens.

    My younger shepherd mix (2 yrs old) is very rambunctious and obnoxious. He has no manners and is so rough and crazy that I can't let him play with my old dog anymore because he just knocks him down. He has very poor "impulse control" in, he wants to do something and he does it. He doesn't try to eat him but he does chase my cat and has tossed the poodle around a time or too. He is great with my chickens!

    I think it depends more on the individual dog than anything else. Moreso than the breed. Here is my 'good' chicken dog. Keep in mind, I would never leave him alone with the chickens, but he can be offleash around them. My old shepherd mix would have to be on a leash and would be lunging and snarling and freaking out. My young shepherd mix actually ripped through a tractor in his younger days...I wasn't outside so don't know what started it.....he didn't hurt the chicken, but I didn't know if maybe it was because I caught him almost immediately afterwards. Now I think he just wanted to get into the tractor to eat the chicken poop.



    I have never brought my poodle out to see them, but I just by her size, I think she would be fine. My roosters would take her out!
  5. houndit

    houndit There is no H or F in Orpington!

    Jul 13, 2008
    Braymer Missouri
    Beagles. We had pyranese crosses. They killed our birds and rabbits. I decided never to have a dog again. Then a kind neighbor gave me a pair of beagle pups. He said they would run foxes, and I needed that really bad. They are not very fast. They could still harm chickens, but are not as likely to as some dogs. As said before all dogs can be potentially dangerous. They are small enough that they are usually unwilling to attack chickens. One of them is scared of chickens because a rooster and his hens attacked her when she was a pup. They are easy to train.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    There are many a thread on this topic in the Predators section.

    MOST dogs can be trained to leave the chickens alone - it mostly depends on how much prey drive the dog has AND how much self control the dog is willing to put out for you - aka how much control & influence you have over the dog.
    For some dogs it also depends on whether or not you are watching.

    ANY breed can kill chickens.

    Any size of dog can kill chickens too. The person who said smaller dogs were "safer" was lying through their teeth. Lots of small dogs are VERY high in prey drive!!!! JRT anyone?? (That's Jack Russell Terrier for the non-dog people)

    Some dogs don't want to be left alone. Ever. Some dogs are fine with it. All dogs are pack animals and need their family around, but some are more independent. That will be up to the INDIVIDUAL dog whether or not it will be a good outdoor/farm type dog.
  7. houndit

    houndit There is no H or F in Orpington!

    Jul 13, 2008
    Braymer Missouri
    Quote:I apologize. I said that wrong. I mean the beagles. Not all small dogs. The beagles do not chase chickens very much. One of them is scared of chickens because she was attacked by a rooster as a pup. Please forgive me for not stating that properly.
  8. Firemenlovechicks

    Firemenlovechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I don't think it is very nice to call someone a liar just because their experiences / opinions don't match yours. I don't feel like the size of the dog matters. You can have ANY size dog and train them properly and they will be fine if you start them out as puppies. (there are exceptions to this, but they aren't the rule)

    But calling someon a liar?? Come on! That's just childish and uncalled for!

    Just my 2 cents...... getting off the soapbox now, no offense intended..... it's just that I think sometime we forget that these are actual "people" that we are talking to on here and those people have feelings. No need to slam someone.

    2 people like this.
  9. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    I have had all kinds of dogs throughout my life,big,small, some with higher prey drive than others. I agree its mostly training that makes a dog "safe" around chickens.
    Right now we have a variety of dogs, including three dachshunds and a chow cross. I made it perfectly clear when I have had chickens around, that these are "moms". Thats how I taught them from the beginning, if something is "moms", its paws/teeth OFF.
    It has worked around here from kids toys to smaller prey animals. They wont even LOOK at said object.
  10. beckyschicks

    beckyschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2009
    Iron Ridge WI
    We have a Australian Kelpie and Shetland mix- Neither will look at the chickens. Both were older when we got chickens. Training helped alot. Also a good "pack" order with your dog will help. If you are top dog they will respect you and what you say. I had a lab-pit mix and I could lock her in the coop with chickens flying around and she would just lay down and sleep. Great dog and I miss her dearly. But same thing she was older when I got chickens. We adopted the sheltie-mix a couple of weeks ago and he is great with them. I still don't trust him 100% but the day we brought him home we took him down there and when he chased we yelled NO! That stopped him short and now he won't even look at them. The Kelpie is a great hunter. Will kill anything that crosses our property. Barks at hawks that fly over the yard until they leave. Seen her take out woodchucks and racoons. I trust her. She is smart and special. Training is the key. Good luck with your dog hunt. I know how hard it is to go without one.

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