Guard dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Cooper Gs Coop, Apr 3, 2017.

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  1. Cooper Gs Coop

    Cooper Gs Coop Out Of The Brooder

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    This is our main guard on duty lol. We have two lab/pit mixes who have been watching our chicks grow from 3 day olds. When we take the chicks outside for a field trip w the dogs, our boys just watch them and sniff them. Almost as if they're keeping an eye on them. Their tails don't wag and even my 1 1/2 yr old pup doesn't seem to be in play mode. Any experience with having Fido playing with/guarding the chickens?? This is our first year so needless to say we're a bit anxious about everything. [​IMG]
     
  2. lgdnevada

    lgdnevada Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]No guarantees here because your dog is not an actual LGD breed.

    In fact, the fact that it is part hunting breed, honestly scares me. You also don't let dogs play with chickens.

    I also would like to direct you to my website and blog - the latter is loaded with info on using LGDs correctly. http://spanishmastiff.blogspot.com

    On my website "News" page is a whole article I wrote for Backyard Poultry Magazine about correctly training LGDs to guard fowl - you need to read it, please. Best accessed from a tabletop / desktop computer, not a phone. http://www.lgdnevada.com/news---litters.html

    In fact I may just post the whole article up here in another thread so people can access it easier.

    Breed / cross breed selection is absolutely paramount for success and using the wrong dog breed can and usually does result in many dead livestock and fowl. You have every right to be anxious, please remove your dog from the fowl, read my articles - learn - absorb. It is a huge learning curve ahead. Do it right. Its good you came in and asked for help before things go south - I hope by reading my articles you can learn and realize not any dog can do this, you need to either get the right kind of dog, or find other means of predator deterrents.

    Best wishes, Brenda
     
  3. Cooper Gs Coop

    Cooper Gs Coop Out Of The Brooder

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    Well. Thank you for your opinion. However, getting rid of our current dogs, buying more dogs, or even having a "pack" for that matter is not an option for me. Not everyone has room for a pack of dogs. Furthermore, I know plenty of dogs that watch out for peoples back yard chickens that certainly aren't "lgd's". I was looking for feedback on how to train my dogs, but we'll keep doing what we've been doing as they do play outside with the chickens. Meaning, they sit and watch as the chicks jump on their paws. I attempted to read your blogs. While they might be interesting to people who want to raise lgds it was not intriguing or helpful for me since I am just a "hobby farmer" as you would say. Again, thanks for your opinion.
     
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  4. lgdnevada

    lgdnevada Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] My blog has around 14500-15,000 hits a month from people who own and use LGDs, and most of them I can assure you, don't raise them. They want to understand how to use them correctly. And/or, they want to start with the right breed of LGD and recognize the fact that there's a reason why, some breeds are classified as LGDs, and so many are not. [​IMG]

    I fully realize, not everyone is receptive to or interested in, learning how to understand and use LGDs correctly.

    Or as the old timer said, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink".

    Good luck!
     
  5. yellowherb

    yellowherb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two mid sized dogs, 1 of them is a bird dog! Neither of them harm or mess with the chickens at all and I've never taught them any different, they just don't. Show them a cat though...It's on.

    Some dogs have a higher prey drive than others and will not leave small animals or birds alone, ever. And some dogs leave them alone and may even accept them as a part of their "pack" and guard them. You do not have to have a livestock guardian dog to have dogs which will not really "guard" your chickens, but at least accept them and leave them alone. Sounds like you may have dogs you can one day trust with your chickens.

    One of my dogs is a heeler, while she doesn't round up my chickens, she carefully goes through them so as not to scare or scatter them. She even retrieved a escaped quail for me one day, not a feather harmed. One day I had a little lost chick in the backyard peeping it's head off. I caught her lowering her mouth over it and I will admit it scared me thinking she was going to gulp it down. Thinking about it longer though, it's possible she was planning on bringing the chick to me. she was lowering her open mouth very slow.

    My cat will also not harm a newborn chick. Caught the cat guarding a escapee chick the other night. Pretty sure the cat was hoping the neighbor cat was going to try since she seems to love to get hold of the neighbors cat. So really it all just boils down to the animal(s) themselves. You can train a dog not to mess with your chickens and it may leave them alone forever, but personally I'm happy having my dogs just as they are..Uninterested :) sounds as if your dogs are uninterested too.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    IMO, a dog doesn't have to be an LGD breed to protect the flock. My best flock guardian was a registered black lab that we did use for pheasant hunting. He knew the difference. In the 10 years we had him, he never once bothered a chicken. No, that's not quite accurate - he did go "chicken bowling" on occasion. (He'd run as as fast as he could through the middle of them scattering them every which way and the stop and look around like he was totally innocent.) More accurately, he never harmed a chicken. He was the "top bird" in the flock. He'd break up fights between hens or roosters and kept our place varmint free. (He was a better mouser than most cats.) My current dog has killed a few chickens, but now pretty much ignores them unless I have him by a gate to keep them in or out. As far as we know, he's part lab, part golden retriever and part Redbone coon hound. He guards my flock by eradicating potential predators. He's killed several raccoons that have wandered onto the property, plus a few other innocent bystanders such as squirrels, rabbits and a muskrat.

    It's easy to throw out the "get an LGD" suggestion, but that's not a viable option for a lot of people. I don't know LGDs, but it seems they need some special considerations that your good old farm dog or family pet doesn't need.

    [​IMG]

    My "bird dog" Dakota. I will add that no matter how good he was, I never trusted him or any other dog with tiny chicks. I'm afraid the temptation would be too great.
     
  7. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a GSD and she has been with the chicks since we got them at 3 days old. She was there for play time and every time I cleaned the brooder. She got so used to them (and protective) that she used to check on them more often than us! And wouldn't go to bed unless we checked the chicks.
    When we let them go outside she was with as well.
    Now they are in the coop. When they free range she plays fetch right along side and they both live harmoniously together.
    She has a protective instinct as well. One night I came home from work and looked out my window and saw a cat leaning up on the fencing to the run. I let her out and she always automatically goes to the coop- and when she saw the cat she instantly chased it off.
    So I think as long as they get raised around each other your dog will see them as family and not food, and it should work well. :)
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  8. lgdnevada

    lgdnevada Out Of The Brooder

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    See, I see it the other way: a non-LGD breed would take major considerations on my part to leave unsupervised around stock. I would not be able to sleep let alone trust them. And there is the key element - I notice most of you are always there when the dog is there with the chicks or chickens. Leaving them day and night alone might be a whole 'nuther experience, eh? I did see in another forum thread someone else also saying how they'd never leave their pit bull with chickens. I should go find their post and copy and post it here.

    Just saying: I'm not the only one, in other words [​IMG]

    Originally Posted by eggbert420 [​IMG]

    Pit bulls and chickens don't mix well especially if the dog is over 6 months old. Once they kill a chicken the will want to keep on killing them. I have raised bull dogs and had to make a choice between them or chickens. Now I have Great Pyrenees and catahoula hog hunting dogs. Both seem to gaurd chickens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  9. Jiffyrocks

    Jiffyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well my dog is a pet and stays inside. By when the chicks were inside she came and went as she pleased in their room. Now that they are outside, I let my dog out unsupervised and so far haven't had an issue.
     
  10. RiverStorm

    RiverStorm Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I used to have a dog that wouldn't hurt chickens. He was a Golden/Labrador Retriever mix.
     
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