Does anyone have a dog that's protective....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gritsar, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    of their flock?
    Already planning ahead to spring and worried about all the natural predators around here. I'm sure my SO remembers some things about the chickens his mom raised and how they handled predators and I'm sure I'll learn more here, but I was just wondering.
    I have an irish wolfhound mix that is very protective of other animals...especially our barn cat and she was the same way with cats I've owned in the past. She's also capable of taking down a coyote, has done so in the past. She's not allowed to roam on the property now for a number of reasons (her coyote hunting being one) but I wouldn't mind letting her sleep outside in the spring and summer if I thought she would keep an eye on things at the chicken coop for me.
  2. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    I have Great Pyrenees, which patrol the property & take out predators. The pups have to learn not to "play" with the chickens. The standard saying is that they are not reliable until they are about 2 years old. My young dogs do their job very well, but are not with the chickens, they stay out in the pasture, although my free range chickens do go out there from time to time. After a few scoldings, they have left the chickens alone.

    I also have a Blue-Heeler/Border Collie mix that lives in one of my laying hens pen. With her in there, I leave the coop door open 24/7 so they can come & go from the coop to the uncovered run at any time. I let her out every day to run & play for a couple of hours. This dog (Sadie) has raised 2 litters of pups in the same pen with chickens. All of her pups made great chicken protection dogs. Sadie was flogged by a rooster and a broody hen with chicks when she was a puppy, she never bothered a chicken after that. I started her by taking her with me into the pens every day to feed & water them.

    You may try taking your dog into the pen on a leash with you everyday for awhile & see how she reacts to the chickens. She may be wonderful, and she might not. It is sometimes easier to train a young puppy, but also sometimes the older dogs that respond to commands well, do great with just being told to leave it.

    I know there will be posts saying not to ever trust a dog with chickens, but I believe it depends on the dog and the owner. I have had dogs that I would never trust around a chicken, you just need to decide which one your dog is.

  3. We have our Aussie/Border pup and she is wonderful with our chickens. I do not worry about leaving her out with them.

    She has never chased them. She lays outside with them while they are roaming. I also have watched her chase a cat out of our yard that was stalking them. If only I can get her to help me herd them back into the coop instead of standing and watching me wagging her tail the whole time [​IMG]
  4. tarka

    tarka Hatching

    Nov 4, 2007
    We have a Leonberger and he goes bonkers if any cats come near our fence and loves the hens [​IMG]
  5. Juliechickens

    Juliechickens Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    If anyone plans on using a dog to protect their chickens,,,just make sure you introduce the dog A LOT to the birds when the dog is a pup. Daily and every chance you get bring the puppy around the birds. I didn't do that when my dogs were young and I regret it. Now my dogs want to chase the birds so I have to keep them away. Next pup I get I will spend time training with my birds.
    I'm curious which breeds would be the best bird protector for chickens? I saw the great pyrneese post and that makes sense. I know they are herding dogs so that would be a good choice if you can handle a huge dog [​IMG] Are their any other breed examples in dogs? I think I will post this message as a new topic too. Julie [​IMG]
  6. Juliechickens

    Juliechickens Songster

    Apr 7, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    Rafter/Jean,,,,I just emailed you with a question concerning Sadie. That is so smart to raise those pups with your birds. I have not thought of it. Please email me back if you will. Julie

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