Dogs besides Pyrenees and other large breeds that make good LGDs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CarolJ, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I've been reading about LGDs and Great Pyrenees. I've read threads on this forum, and I've read library books about the topic. I would really like to get a puppy and train him/her to be a guardian for my chickens, However, everything I've read about the dogs that are bred to protect livestock is that they need a tall, strong fence because they are prone to wander away.

    We have the large area - 90 acres, but a fence is not feasible around our house. What are some breeds that can be trained to be a great LGD for my chickens - but won't be prone to wander off. We already have a black lab that wanders the acreage - but doesn't go off our property. He's too attached to my husband to be a good LGD, though - although he does do some guarding of the property. He's generally indifferent towards the chickens.

    I also don't want a huge dog. I'm willing to put in the work to train the dog, and I understand that it'll take a year or more to get any dog to the point of trusting him/her with the chickens. I'd like a nice average-size dog that can be trained, will keep the chickens in the yard when they are out of their pen, and will chase off any stray raccoons, skunks, bobcats - and will want to stay close to home. Any suggestions?

  2. NC29mom

    NC29mom Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    I am also on the hunt for a good watch dog. So far, the following breeds have been suggested: Maremma and Akbash (though these are bigger breeds). Here is a link someone shared with me:

    you will get some other answers. I will be watching this thread because I am VERY interested also.
  3. angelburch

    angelburch Hatching

    Mar 28, 2011
    I recently purchased a Anatolian Shepherd. He was born out in a pasture and spent his first 10 weeks in the pasture. He is a great pup and stays near the barn watching the goats, chickens and ducks. He has no interest in "running" around or away. I got him from a reputable breeder. If you are interested in more information, please let me know.
  4. peteyfoozer

    peteyfoozer Chirping

    Jul 5, 2011
    SE Oregon
    I have a pair of Maremma's that are free to go where they need to, but we also live on 250,000 acres so there is no worries about neighbors or roads. That said, they never travel very far, they just go out to patrol and set their perimeter boundaries at night. They are slightly larger than my Golden Retriever. Most LGD's are large dogs because they have to be, to overpower predators in the event of a conflict. Depending on the predator pressure one has, more than one might even be necessary, like here.
    It would really depend on the individual dog if he would work without boundary fence or not. I'd be a little concerned about the risk to the dog. I may be wrong but I believe I have heard Pyr's tend to set the largest patrol areas.

    There is a really good list on yahoo, WorkingLGD's. You can get a lot of information there, but I am pretty sure at least electric fence will be suggested.
  5. cwalsh2

    cwalsh2 In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2011
    Hermosa South Dakota
    An Airedale in naturally protective of all the farm animals that they know are your's. Very Intelligent and eager to please their master. They usually bond to 1 person and will give their life to do anything for that person. They are also good and very protective of children. I raised Gamecocks free range with badlands on one side of my property and a creek on the other. Coon and coyote country with no fences. When she died after 12 faithful years (hit by car) it took about 3 months for the predators to find out she was gone, and I went from over 120 chickens to 2 in the next 3 months. An original mountain cur is another good breed to consider for a chicken dog. Another friend had a german shorthair pointer that was a great chicken dog. Just some more options. C Walsh
  6. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    This may sound odd but my uncle had a husky cross (lab?) that loved to lay around during the day and kill every skunk, raccoon and possum within a half mile at night. Great dog around people and all farm animals (when he wasn't covered in skunk spray). He was raised as a pup around the farm and discouraged at an early age from running the chickens ducks and geese other than some playful chasing (usually away from his food dish).

    My golden retriever pup is also quite gentle around the chickens but probably doesn't have the gumption to take on a coon. He'd probably yip at the door and tell me to get the gun though.

    Your best bet might be to adopt a mutt-puppy and raise him to coexist with the chickens and attack strange mammals. Taking him out hunting where coons are present or letting him play with a caged live-trapped one will give him a natural dislike of the critters.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

  7. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    This little pitt is my hog dog she is used as a catch dog and the best varmint remover on my place but also wonderful with all the birds
    I also have a rottweiler, akbash mix, anatolian mix , great pyrenees, lab and australian Shepard all great with birds.
  8. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    we use bull breeds, we prefer the predators not to returnwhen they come for a visit....

  9. benjoycei

    benjoycei Songster

    Mar 4, 2011
    nice looking dogs [​IMG]

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