Farm dog breeds

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Horsefly, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Horsefly

    Horsefly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2010
    So I know there are a lot of threads that go around about which dog breed is best guardian etc but most focus on large breeds. I am thinking of getting a dog to keep hawks away from my poultry. I have a lab now but she is not chicken safe. The yard is an acre fully fenced and the chickens are loose all day and locked in at night. Only preditors to worry with are hawks.
    That being said I don't want a dog over 40lbs. So far breeds on the list are corgie, Australian cattle dog (my favorite breed but idk if it will fit the bill), sheltie, collie. Any experiences with these breeds or other suggestions?
    The dog will live outside with the flocks and be picked up at night. I would like to get a dog from a breeder who has working dogs because I have researched that these are better. Once I settle on the best breed I may try some rescue organizations also. I know training is key but I would like start out with a breed which is more predisposed to get along with poultry.
  2. farm n louisana

    farm n louisana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2014
    Houma la
    I have a lab boxer mix toy poodle n shih tzu they all leave our chickens alone they won't chase them r anything the walk right by them but they all were raised together
  3. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    I have an ACD and he's fantastic with all of my animals, but he's been trained with them since he was a puppy and he has other jobs to do other than just watching the property. He only had a disagreement once with a dog-aggressive rooster and the rooster won lol. He's also 50lbs, so you may want to go with a female if you want something closer to 40lbs.
  4. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2011
    Great Pyrenese are known as flock and herd protectors. Maybe look into them.
  5. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2011
    Sorry, just saw where you don't want one over 40#. You could try Aussies or Cattle dogs, but I still think a Pyrenese will be your best bet.
  6. NotableNancy

    NotableNancy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2012
    How about a Corgi? Big dog in a smaller dog size. Mine chases hawks, fox, deer, raccoons but not the chickens. He's actually a little scared of the chickens [​IMG]
    Easy to train, loyal, great with kids, has a double coat of fur so loves to be outside in the cold.

  7. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Corgis and Australian cattle dogs remind me of each other in some ways. I can't speak for corgis, but can say that ACDs tend to strongly want to be with their people and not sitting outside..even with other dogs around. Our ACD is an angel with all our animals, but I've heard some say they had ACDs with very strong prey drive. We are currently raising a Catahoula to be an outdoor predator-control dog. We chose a pup that was friendly without being clingy or overly wanting of attention, and have been very pleased with our pup and other Cats we've met as outdoor dogs. I would imagine blue lacy dogs and other curs can also do well as outdoor guardians. It can be harder to find a general farm purpose Catahoula as the focus is mostly on hog hunting, but not impossible, and you have to be willing to train, train, TRAIN this breed.

    Both Cats and ACDs appreciate being kept warm. I've heard good things about poultry and bulldogs/bulldog mixes, including Catahoula bulldogs. Seen good things from standard poodles and Australian shepherds, but be mindful of epilepsy rates and all that entails (from medical bills to possible uncontrollable aggression).
  8. Csoldan

    Csoldan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2014
    Jamestown tn
    The herding breeds are probably best, they might herd the chickens but leave them alone eating wise.
    I have a large Rat terrier, he's almost 30 lbs but he has alot of prey drive. He just turned 3 and I've been working with him to leave the chickens alone but he loves to startle them by running at the fence, they don't pay any attention to him. That's a terrier for ya.
    When we do let me out he will herd them, trying to get them to go back into their run.
    We had a goat and lamb this last year and he would run with them, laying his head across their backs. When I had to catch them for deworming, he would push them into the small pen I had.
    About the hawks, just having him around has kept the hawks at bay, we have a pair that fly over every morning, but when he's out they just scream and keep going. I have two small dogs under 8 lbs each and won't trust them outside with out my big guy with them. He's very protective of them.
    Any breed that is hunting, sports, terrier is not the type you need, even poodles are retrievers. Shelties are getting smaller all the time so be careful that it's large enough to fend off a good sized hawk, but going with a puppy is probably your best bet due to growing up with the chickens as a known friend, not food. i've talked with people owning aussie shepherds and they are pleased with their abilities.
    Good luck, start with a young one, they grow up fast.
  9. Horsefly

    Horsefly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2010
    Thanks for all the feedback so far. I still can't decide on a breed but I feel getting a puppy is best. How should training go? How do you teach a dog their job is with the flock while not letting them alone with the flock till they are older. Actually how old should they be before they are left alone?
  10. peeweesfarm

    peeweesfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2013
    Willow Alaska
    Blue healer an Australian shepherd mix very good with chickens does like to heard them ,but does not try to hurt them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by