Can you recommend a good dog breed for my situation?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
Austin, TX
We are thinking about getting another dog and I'm not sure what breed to look for. I need a dog that gets along well with dogs, cats, and poultry. It also has to be good with children since I have three and the youngest is only 3 years old. We'd like a medium or large dog and we live on 1.3 acres. I don't want a pit bull, doberman, or any other breed that might be scary.

I realize I'm asking for a lot but I wondered if anyone here might have a recommendation or a personal experience to share. Thanks in advance for your feedback!
You might want to look into LGD breeds. They seem to fit your description fairly well. I understand your reservations about APBTs and Dobermans but I've found the local yorkies,beagles,and chihuahuas to be much scarier than the other breeds.
I've been bitten mostly by small dogs as well. I have had a few nips from various labs and golden retrievers though.
I always go for mutts, they seem (to me) to have the best temperament and tolerance. I'm a BIG fan of spaniel//lab mixes.

For a purebred...I don't have any idea what would be good with livestock. I've only had two purebreds - and Keeshond and a lab. Both were excellent with the kids, but I never had them around animals. I'm guessing a Kees would be awful with chickens.
I like that you're considering so many variables, in what you know the dog will need to get along with/around. I would select a breed that you like and want, and then go through a breed rescue. Adult dogs are the best kept secret out there, and reputable rescues know which dogs are unflappable, and which ones come unglued at cats, car rides, running kids, thunderstorms, etc. as they've had the dogs in foster homes long enough for a very thorough evaluation of temperament under various conditions and situations.

Some usually mellow breeds might be: Bernese Mountain Dog, Clumber Spaniel, English Bulldog, or an easygoing middle-aged Golden.

As far as getting along around poultry, it's as much about genetics as training, so you can have success with dogs you might not expect to have success with, or, conversely, even after being raised around the hens, some dogs' genetics get triggered too easily regardless of training. Selecting for a dog with a mellow temperament is a wise start. (Ironicly, my own German Shepherd is Czech border patrol lines, extremely intense, becomes wildly overstimulated by just the Earth turning on it's axis.... and yet is totally calm around the chickens. It took only two strong reminders to not chase, and he's absolutely mellow around them. )
We had a great experience with a Great Pyrenees. -excellent farm dog and great guardian! -was super with our young son. -sweet dog! -would recommend obtaining from a reputable breeder, and if you do have other dogs (any of which are male), I would not recommend a male Pyr. They are very, very territorial.
In general, Labs are really great family dogs that are very smart. They have lots of energy and would need obedience work to help stimulate their active minds and bodies (but that can be said for all dogs really). Their also good with kids and young kids can do unpredictable things and I think they are a very forgiving breed. Good luck
Standard Poodle! I love ours!!! We have a chocolate male that is great with birds, livestock, cats and most importantly our three young children. We are expecting our fourth child and have no reservations about how he will react to another member of our family. They are somewhat hard to locate initially but there are breeders out there! We have ours clipped in a "doodle clip" so he doesn't look like a poodle but he gets groomed a few times each year and he doesn't shed. Another major plus for us!

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