Good small dogs for protecting flock

danceswithronin

Crowing
May 24, 2018
1,253
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Alabama
A lot of small breed dogs are either hunting dogs like terriers or lap dogs - not really great dogs around small animals typically. I have two terriers and they cannot be trusted around free range chickens whatsoever.

I think you'd be better off getting a Great Pyrenees or GP mix and raising it alongside your flock, bonding it to the flock rather than humans.

They aren't small, but then again they aren't meant to be pets. They're just supposed to be bodyguards for the flock/herd. A small dog is just as likely to be the prey of a large predator like a fox or coyote as a chicken would be.
 

PeaPod117

Chirping
Apr 14, 2019
40
48
69
United States
A lot of small breed dogs are either hunting dogs like terriers or lap dogs - not really great dogs around small animals typically. I have two terriers and they cannot be trusted around free range chickens whatsoever.

I think you'd be better off getting a Great Pyrenees or GP mix and raising it alongside your flock, bonding it to the flock rather than humans.

They aren't small, but then again they aren't meant to be pets. They're just supposed to be bodyguards for the flock/herd. A small dog is just as likely to be the prey of a large predator like a fox or coyote as a chicken would be.
Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Do you know if a black lab might be good? A friend of mine has two labs that get along great with the chickens but I’m not sure how they’d be
 

Anime2lover

Songster
Apr 17, 2019
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Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Do you know if a black lab might be good? A friend of mine has two labs that get along great with the chickens but I’m not sure how they’d be
Labs are great family dogs for sure. They are originally hunting dogs though. But they can be trained to bee good with small animals to. However, cant say ive heard of them being animals protectors, though it is possible.
 

danceswithronin

Crowing
May 24, 2018
1,253
2,775
276
Alabama
Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Do you know if a black lab might be good? A friend of mine has two labs that get along great with the chickens but I’m not sure how they’d be
Considering labs and lab mixes are some of the biggest chicken killers I've ever known growing up, I wouldn't trust a lab for this. They have too much ingrained instinct to grab birds with their mouths. Even if they don't grab the chickens in an attempt to kill them, they may hurt them badly just trying to carry them around and play with them. I would not choose any "mouthy" breed at all. No bird dogs - no labs, no pointers, no setters, etc...
 

Halfpasthen

Songster
Jan 29, 2019
107
281
113
Just wondering if there’s a smaller breed of dog that’s good for guarding chickens? I know corgis are good, but what else? I’m looking into buying a dog but also using it to guard the flock, especially since we want them to be free range in the day :)
The thing is, to get guarding behavior you need a guarding breed. There are lots of dogs of all sizes that can be socialized from a young age to do well around chickens.
And you may happen across a dog that isn't bred for guarding that does a terrific job of it.
But if you want to ensure a dog actually protects the chickens (not just tolerate) then you probably want to look into guarding breeds.

I'm not real certain on corgis. Most are not bred as working dogs anymore so are kind of...umm...silly rather than serious about the task at hand. Not to mention they are herders, not guardians. Lol they may Be just as likely to harass you chickens wanting to herd them all over.

I will comment again if I think of any breeds. I worked as a dog trainer for several years, now I groom professionally. Most smaller breeds are just not good around other small animals.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,131
22,004
906
southern Michigan
No small dog will be safe out there with coyotes or larger dogs. a guardian dog needs to be large enough to intimidate coyotes, at least, and be likely to survive an encounter.
I agree that large terriers would be very difficult! The Chessies and the German Shorthair that I raised from puppyhood learned early to ignore the chickens, but I had them at the house, not living out there with the flock.
Having an actual LGD living with the flock, or better yet, two of them, will be an expensive and long term project, and include good fencing.
Electric fencing is much easier to manage, and much less expensive!
Mary
 

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