can a dog guard chickens?

cowtown chick

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
53
11
43
I live in N.E. Tennessee
Hello,
We had a hen house massacre on Thanksgiving day, our neighbors bulldog was loose and I wasn't aware of it, I let my hens out in the yard for their daily excursion. The neighbors dog came into the yard and killed two of them. Does anybody use shepherd dogs to protect their flock? Is there such a thing?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,710
44,108
1,156
southern Michigan
So sorry! It takes a long time to train a dog to protect poultry, and then fighting another dog can be a loosing proposition too. Your neighbor owes you for your birds, and is responsible for keeping his dog out of your yard. Fencing! Without fencing, your dog won't stay home, and anyone's dog can visit your yard. I hope the neighbor is doing the right thing without a lot of legal prodding, but if not, definitely file a report and get things resolved some way. Mary
 

beginnergirl

Songster
May 25, 2015
350
51
116
Pacific Nortwest
Sorry for your loss. I hope as well that your neighbor will do the right thing and pay you for the loss of your birds. Do file a report if your neighbor isn't responsive.

Mary is right. It takes time to train a dog, especially without a fence. Keeping a dog long term will be more expensive and time consuming than an electric fence. People's dogs can also be predators.
 

dekel18042

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 18, 2013
2,200
317
251
Pennsylvania
So sorry! It takes a long time to train a dog to protect poultry, and then fighting another dog can be a loosing proposition too. Your neighbor owes you for your birds, and is responsible for keeping his dog out of your yard. Fencing! Without fencing, your dog won't stay home, and anyone's dog can visit your yard. I hope the neighbor is doing the right thing without a lot of legal prodding, but if not, definitely file a report and get things resolved some way. Mary

Our English Shepherd is an excellent guard for chickens. Nothing has ever been taken on his watch. Unfortunately he is getting older now but still enjoys being outside watching his kingdom..
Some breeds are easier to train than others. Some are impossible to train so watch what breed you get and to others it comes naturally.
I took the ES to work with me when he was only a puppy. I'd throw my knapsack and coat down and he would lie by it. He was friendly with everyone but more than one co worker told me they would never touch any of my things he was watching. What was ours was his to protect from an early age.
Our younger shelties are great alarm clocks, and the very youngest herds beautifully and makes sure the chickens are in. They would sound the alarm but I would never expect them to protect anything, although they are good at chasing hawks and other birds.
 

shell shocked

Songster
Aug 21, 2015
614
122
126
liverpool england
hi yer
very sorry for your loss i think its in a dogs make up to hunt but saying that a lot of dogs are
great with hens cats that are part of their every day life i was worried about my dog he is a
staffordshire bull terrier he had a look at them not interested when they do meet all he wants to do
is stick his nose up their bums the others are right you should be paid for your hens anyway i
hope it all works out
good luck
thumbsup.gif
 

cowtown chick

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
53
11
43
I live in N.E. Tennessee
my neighbor feels horrible about it and immediately said he would pay for more, even asked where he could get them, that's not an issue, they are only a couple of $$ as babies, it's just that it takes so long for them to lay. thanks for the input
 

Suzie

Crowing
12 Years
Jul 9, 2009
3,122
792
371
Auvergne
I have 4 German Shepherd Dogs and they protect my flocks....it is so much about the dedicated training that a responsible dog owner puts into the animal that gives the required results...without the training the dog can be a predator against your flock(s)..

 

shell shocked

Songster
Aug 21, 2015
614
122
126
liverpool england
hi again
your like me i got my girls young four out of seven have started to lay the smile that stuck on my face no amount of money could buy
i am not soft i came up hard like so many others who where poor but i really do feel for you not for a moment did i think keeping chickens
would mean so much to me but i see now i am not alone anyway i will not bore you any longer take care




good luck
thumbsup.gif
 

Suzie

Crowing
12 Years
Jul 9, 2009
3,122
792
371
Auvergne
hi again
your like me i got my girls young four out of seven have started to lay the smile that stuck on my face no amount of money could buy
i am not soft i came up hard like so many others who where poor but i really do feel for you not for a moment did i think keeping chickens
would mean so much to me but i see now i am not alone anyway i will not bore you any longer take care




good luck
thumbsup.gif
Your words mean so much...that smile when they first start laying eggs is so precious...I'll never forget that first egg when a chicken laid it...a miracle of nature...!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
103,559
154,194
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
my neighbor feels horrible about it and immediately said he would pay for more, even asked where he could get them, that's not an issue, they are only a couple of $$ as babies, it's just that it takes so long for them to lay. thanks for the input
This is why you need to charge the cost for birds at the age they were killed.
Chicks are only a few bucks each, but POL(point of lay) birds at about 6 months old are more like $20-30 each.

ETA: Agrees, you don't need a guard dog, you need a fence to keep other dogs out of your yard.
 
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