Good dogs for chicken protecting?


9 Years
Oct 19, 2010
Tuscarora, NY
So, at the moment, we are dogless and that always makes for an empty-looking yard.
I was thinking before looking for that special dog, that I would research which ones are used & trusted by folks for keeping an eye on the chickens. Oh, and not eating them! We live rural but plenty of people let their dogs run loose, so that is more of a concern that the wildlife predators. Any ideas?
After months of research I chose an Anatolian shepherd to be my Livestock guardian dog. A lot of folks use Great Pyranees with good sucess too. One thing I prefer about the Anatolians is that since they have not been an AKC breed for that long, their working instinct is pretty well intact and has not been bred out by show-only breeders or puppy mills. What ever breed you select, be sure the parents are working stock and that the pups are raised around livestock.
I use great Pyrenees............ love them ! They are great with all my animals including my birds and exotics. Not all are good for poultry, but if started out early and trained properly they can be great with them.



I start them early................






We have an Anatolian, a Cane Corso and a Border Collie - all protect the chickens and spend hours out free ranging with the birds.

The Anatolian is the most recent addition............she came as an adult, she will be 6 this july and had never been around birds. We got her because we were having a problem with the neighbors dog jumping our fence onto our property - she stopped that
just by barking at them.


I can imagine the feeling of "empty yard" . May I suggest to open your heart and your humble household to some rescued dog?
It won't be easy to find one for the job you intend him/her for.
But, at least you can try. When I was adopting my Chihuahua, I asked the Shelter if I can take her home for couple a days, without obligation to adopt and I will see how she is with the chickens...
You can do the same, I suppose....

You mentioned neighborhood dogs. For that reason, you need to look for rather big dog in size, so he can intimidate the other dogs.

There is no assurance that any breed will be good for the particular job you need him for.
You will be very lucky to find one, that just do everything you want him to do, on his own.
With some dogs, it may take little training and with some a lot of training.

There are several recommended breeds for Livestock Guarding:

Great Pyrenees
St. Bernard
Border Collie

Don't be discouraged in case if you should find some "mutt" that he won't do the great job as well!
I'd scratch Border Collie off that list. They are herders not guardians. BC's are bred with a lot of prey drive--thats the drive that keeps them following and chasing (herding) the livestock. BC's can be taught to leave livestock alone but for an active guardian the chance is unlikely that a BC will do its job year after year.
You took the word out of my mouth

People sent so admirable pictures - I love them all!
Some of them could make a Post Cards!
I have a Collie/Chow/Lab/Retriever mix that is GREAT with the chickens. She's also a great guard dog. Then we have the cattle dog-type who's also good with the birds [she'd much rather go roll around in their coop

Before that we had an otter hound type...mutt.. he was awful with the birds, he'd pick them up and pluck them [however i'm not sure he ever killed one..maybe once?] He really just thought they were toys for him to play with.

I,personally, suggest a lab mix.

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