English Shepherd as Poultry Guardian

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
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Holts Summit, Missouri
Today we acquired a male English Shepherd pup to aid with guarding free-range and confined poultry on our 18+ acre patch. He will supplement our adult female German Pointer and he replaces the adult 4.5 year-old male German Pointer recently lost. The male pointer was very versatile, smart and fast. Every effort will be made to get this new guy into a similar mindset. The female Pointer (Lucy) will have her job description broadened to train this pup. We are still in the introduction phase waiting for Lucy to show him who is boss. Pup trying to find his position in the pack as a whole. My 3.5 year old son has bested pup already but 2 year old daughter and pup have yet to work things out. Pup bit daughter twice so far and daughter tried to reciprocate. Daughter is very aggressive and terror for even adult cats. Pup need to imprint on home area before we start learning property boundaries and electric fences. Pup has been named Ben. Daughter will be nicknamed Taz.

Pup seems to be bonding very well with son although Lucy needs to be more involved.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
26,261
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Holts Summit, Missouri
As I acquired my first American Dominiques one of my suppliers in North Carolina had an English Shepherd and spoke highly of it, English Shepherd, Catahoula, and Australian Shepherd where all considered when I moved to current location about 6 years ago. I am familiar with LGD's and used hunting dogs in the past. LGD's are better suited for larger predators that stand and fight while hounds must be in greater numbers to function as pack to repel dogs but they can also take the fight beyond a fence perimeter. Since fencing used to contain stock and LGD's also excludes other dogs, smaller dogs could work. I wanted a dog more able to tolerate extreme cold which the shepherds about could do but they were pricey and not available at time of need. German Pointer was free and proved an excellent choice after a run with a couple, Now with a reboot needed on dog side I resumed search for English Shepherd and got lucky to find one in state. Wife also saw benefits provided by dog beyond use with chickens so we invested a little, Be assured a German Pointer will always be a part of my system as they are smart, fast and willing to take fight to and through fences plus they have proven the ability to recruit me.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
26,261
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Holts Summit, Missouri
Below is Ben laying about in clover patch. He is of the sable color morph which I would otherwise call brindle.





This was his first time out where we walked poultry yard perimeter and got flogged not by just one hen but rather two. Daughter almost took a little heat as well and thought everything was funny. Lucy then rolled pup presumably because it was out of line. He has trouble with heat for sure with that heavy coat. Next year we will be getting a shave.

 

scottcaddy

Crowing
9 Years
Oct 23, 2010
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Home Sweet 2 Acres, Central NC
Craigslist. Not best approach but I did check pup out before purchasing. Pup appears physically sound and in good weight for his age. He also is outgoing and holding his own even against my daughter that could probably whip a coon in a fair fight.
Good to see that the new dog can and will hold his own with your Daughter. Will he be your only replacement for Scoob?
Scott
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
26,261
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Holts Summit, Missouri
Eventually a standard LGD breed or cross of one will be acquired as I expand into goats and sheep. That animal will be bonded classically to the ruminants but be broke of harassing chickens. The ruminant herd will be moved a lot between paddocks so the larger dog will be expected to follow. Barnyard arrangement will operate only during winter to protect pasture and for partition.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
Great! One of my 'wanna have' breeds.

Looking forward to reading about your endeavors training this pup.

Especially interested in Lucy's behaviors in regards to loss of Scoob and how she evolves down the road.

Was Scoob and Lucy and will this pup be neutered?
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
Sep 19, 2009
26,261
16,995
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Holts Summit, Missouri
Scoob was intact, Lucy neutered. This dog will remain intact unless something found to be wrong. Intact dogs I suspect at more able to mark and defend boundaries with respect to Coyotes. It is easier to keep intact dogs in good weight and the additionally activity associated with that likely contributes to efficacy against Coyotes. Later LGD will likely be neutered but will have backup.


Lucy's behavior has changed big time. Her mourning period seems to be over and pup helped with that. She must be laying down new neural pathways as she swtiched into the alpha role. She rolled pup multiple times this morning. First for going beyond property boundary with latter times for running ahead and for going after chickens. Lucy's efforts will be much more effective than mine when it comes to discipline.

We took a 30 minute walk this morning around fence perimeters. Normally Lucy and Scoob could do it in about 3 minutes. Pup is still very gangly and prone to fall in holes. Pup also does not seem to understand the fun of rabbits.
 

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