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Chicken guard dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickenchichi, May 21, 2016.

  1. chickenchichi

    chickenchichi Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    McDonough, GA
    I have two Great Pyr/Collie mixes who run our fenced in backyard. We'd love to move our chicken coop into the backyard to keep predators away, but we're a little concerned about our dogs turning hostile towards the chickens. Our girls are both very smart and easily trainable, on top of being natural protectors on their Pyr side, so I'm still optimistic. Does anyone have any guard dog stories they'd want to share?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am going the English Shepherd (Scotch Collie) and German Pointer route. Fencing also used although with exception of poultry netting only serves to distract predators and keep out dogs not mine. I employ a lot of training the typical LGD is not optimal for. Solid two years required to get dogs chicken safe. I have worked around dogs and chickens for about 40 years. Most of the dogs were actually hunting dogs. Dogs very expensive when all considered but fence plus dogs better than either alone.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I have a Maremma Dog. He is two and loves the chickens and the ducks.
    Last summer him and my Rooster chased a fox out of my pasture. Good thing for the dog or the fox would of had my Rooster.
     
  4. chickenchichi

    chickenchichi Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    McDonough, GA
    [​IMG]
    Anytime the chicks are out in their run, our dogs will come and watch them, then sit beside them for hours just looking around. I think they'll make great chicken protectors

    For the record, those cushions are only a temporary wall, we've since built an actual coop for them
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  5. Hrairoo

    Hrairoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have a great Pyrenees. He's 3 now, and has free roam of our 8 acres, day and night, chases the bear off really good. When he was younger he would chase chickens, even got a chick in his mouth, but not even in a playful or aggressive manner, just wanted to lick it and love it. (The chick died a few hours later though, probably due to stress, but it could possibly have been squished a bit too hard..)
    He is really good with the chickens now, and though he does enjoy to run through them to make them panic and fly, he does not chase them, so I have no issue. He had chased chickens a few times, but he has an electric collar (only way we could have ever gotten him to listen), and got a good big shock a few times when he did that. He now knows that chasing the chickens is bad.
    He is the only dog here, and I think that may have contributed to his success in guarding livestock without a fence.

    The farm I go to get milk got 3 pyrenees pups and put them in the field with the sheep, but they were more bonded with each other than the livestock, and did a horrible job at protecting anything. They were about a year old when they were lured away by a pack of wolves who killed and ate them.


    With pyrs it's really important that the dogs bond to the livestock and know to guard them than being bonded with their fellow dogs or be to preoccupied with the other dog(s) to do their job.
     
  6. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have two Great Pyrenees, a male and a female. The male we rehomed from a family in the city who thought he needed to be in the country. He was raised however from a pup with their backyard chickens and ducks. And according to them was good. He is 3 now and not shown a whole lot of interest in the chicks but this past week while they have been in the coop he has gone down and laid in front of the coop guarding it. I have a lot of hope that due to his early exposure and his tendency to guard the coop that he will be bullet proof. Our female was raised by us, in the city and no exposure. She hasn't shown a lot of interest either but goes down and walks the perimeter of their pen and then lays down under the tree and watches/guards. I have concerns about her because her bond is tight with us. However, she is scary smart and I instruct her at night to follow our old lab outside when he goes to potty and she does it and stays with him until he comes back in.(he would be no match if a coyote was lurking while he did his nightly "constitutional") We will get a clue as to how it might go because we have been building for the past two days, a literal pen within a pen. We had to do this because our pen is so large we only have it about halfway predator proofed but the sudden heat has made it imperative to get the chicks outside the coop. Maybe you could do something temporary around the coop just long enough to see if there is a problem and know what you need to train for. Collies are herders and I would expect the collie part to want to herd and/or play with the "squeaky" toy? I know years ago I had to rehome my Sheltie because she got into a neighbor's chickens. I sent her to my sister's house where she lived the rest of her life. I

    I think you have a good chance of being successful but if it were me I would"test the waters" first. Good luck!
     
  7. chickenchichi

    chickenchichi Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    McDonough, GA
    Oh definitely, I'm too much of a helicopter parent to put my birds in danger! They've got some growing to do first! We live in a very suburban neighborhood, but we were able to build an ample coop in a space sandwiched by our house and our dog fence. Right now our dogs are separated from them by the fence and some extra predator protection, but I'm hoping that because they will be able to observe them safely that when the chicks get old enough to go in the backyard the dogs will be more bonded to them. So far only one of our girls is causing any trouble, ironically the one with the more Pyrenees temperament.
     
  8. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    My girl as suspected did not do as well as I hoped she might. She will require work. Not unexpected but I was hopeful. My male passed as expected and on to next level. I think that he may end up being their guardian. :) I am a helicopter parent too.... I see no need to rush or put chickens in danger unnecessarily. Slow and steady wins the race....

    I don't know that it is so much a Pyrenees issue, my male is Pyrenees but my female is more bonded to us. As said by someone else .....a Pyrenees needs to bond with what it is to protect. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. uncertainty

    uncertainty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2015
    Great White North
    I have two newfie pups. They are five months old now and a lot bigger than in the February photo. I could use some advice on how to gently encourage guarding behaviour without scaring the chicks, who are still in the brooder at 19 days old. They are just pups and want to play with EVERYTHING.
     
  10. Hrairoo

    Hrairoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    My advice.... Wait till your pups have matured. That should be at least a year, took 3 for my great pyrenees... Not a quick process eh? Better safe than sorry. If a chick/en decides to flap it's wings and this excites the pups, may be all over for that bird.
     

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