Help me choose a LGD please!

StrawHatHolly

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2021
14
24
34
I need help choosing a LGD. I live on about 5 acres and have neighbors close by. I have a flock of 16 birds who free range during the day. I’ve had no problems with them at night when they are sleeping in their coop/run. It’s very predator proofed. Recently something was snatching them as the were foraging near their coop at dusk before heading up. I stopped free ranging them for a week and when I restarted I was going outside with them at the end of the day to keep an eye on them and encourage them to head to bed early and it’s been fine. Today something killed my best, “street smart” hen during the middle of the day right next to my house inside of my fenced in yard that there was only one small gate open too. We have coyotes and (massive) raccoons around my house, and occasional smaller hawks that we’ve never had problems with. The traps we’ve set around haven’t been able to catch anything, and will probably be getting bigger traps soon. It seems like my girls are really only in danger during the day so I’m thinking a LGD is my best bet. I just want something that will be with my girls when I can’t be and protect them. I was looking at an anatolian shepherd/pyrenees mix, but I’ve been reading they roam a lot and I’d like something that will stay around my house because the perimeter of my property is not fenced in. I’ve read a bunch of people praising collies for their work with chickens. I’m really worried 5 acres won’t be enough to entertain any LGD. Does anyone know what breed might be best for my situation?
 

Mtn Cur

Songster
11 Years
Apr 5, 2010
238
130
211
East, Tn
I have a 3/4 anatolian 1/4 pyrenees female roughly 10 months old. She has a high protection instinct already. She is wired different than any other dog I have ever owned. I have trained hunting dogs all my life. Without early and consistent training ANY dog you buy will be just as much danger as the predator they're hired to defend. LGD will need a fence above or underground. Do your research. They will protect the property but that means visitors will be viewed as trespassers as well
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,644
2,805
286
West Virginia
I need help choosing a LGD. I live on about 5 acres and have neighbors close by. I have a flock of 16 birds who free range during the day. I’ve had no problems with them at night when they are sleeping in their coop/run. It’s very predator proofed. Recently something was snatching them as the were foraging near their coop at dusk before heading up. I stopped free ranging them for a week and when I restarted I was going outside with them at the end of the day to keep an eye on them and encourage them to head to bed early and it’s been fine. Today something killed my best, “street smart” hen during the middle of the day right next to my house inside of my fenced in yard that there was only one small gate open too. We have coyotes and (massive) raccoons around my house, and occasional smaller hawks that we’ve never had problems with. The traps we’ve set around haven’t been able to catch anything, and will probably be getting bigger traps soon. It seems like my girls are really only in danger during the day so I’m thinking a LGD is my best bet. I just want something that will be with my girls when I can’t be and protect them. I was looking at an anatolian shepherd/pyrenees mix, but I’ve been reading they roam a lot and I’d like something that will stay around my house because the perimeter of my property is not fenced in. I’ve read a bunch of people praising collies for their work with chickens. I’m really worried 5 acres won’t be enough to entertain any LGD. Does anyone know what breed might be best for my situation?
Guardians dogs can deter predators once trained but it won't guarantee you won't suffer losses . Coyotes and other predators can attack guardian dogs too.
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
29,840
952
Germany
For the overall living conditions you describe, I think it would be much safer for your chickens and less expensive to build a big and secure run for them and use additional electric fencing. Perhaps even build a large aviary, so no aereal predator will be able to get in.

LGD breeds will roam, as it is in their genes. They do not necessarily see your property boundaries as their boundaries. So your LGD might be somewhere far away from the chickens patrolling "his" perimeters when the predator strikes.

If you still want a dog for chicken protection, I would think a Spitz breed might meet your needs much better than LGDs. But of course, the dog must be thoroughly trained to know what is expected and what the duties are.
 

StrawHatHolly

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2021
14
24
34
I was actually looking at a 8 month old 1/2 anatolian 1/2 pyrenees mix that is currently being trained as a LGD and has worked with chickens. I’m not completely against the dog wondering, I’d just rather it not roam literally miles and miles away from the house, but I know some dogs will. There are mostly just cattle and horse fields around me and a few regular houses. There is currently a LGD who lives down the run who occasionally comes around, never interested in the birds though. He normally wanders a mile away from his home and then heads back. Every once and awhile we have strays that come around which cause problems, so a dog on the property would help with that too I think. I’m definitely aware these dogs need proper training to know and do their jobs and I’m not scared of that. I’m also aware free range chickens will have casualties every now and again but right now I know something is staking out my property. Based on where and how she was found and other deaths it’s looking like a coon getting ready for winter. I had no problems with predators for the first two years I had the birds. My (for lack of a better term) idiot neighbors got chickens for fun without knowing what it takes to protect them and basically throw a cardboard box with a hole cut out of it in their open yard as a coop. Their flock was devastated in just a few nights and ever since then I’ve had problems. Assuming it came to my house after running out of food at theirs. Permanently enclosing the hens is not really an option, I really want them free range. Their coop and run is a 20x10x20 wood frame, fully enclosed with hardware cloth, and concrete along the perimeter. It’ll work for a few months while we hunt this thing down or starve it out. Part of the reason a dog is looking like a good option to me is I like the deterrent factor. I think having another animals scent on the property would help keep things from wanting to come around in the future. Also in the future we plan on adding goats and sheep to the property so that’s kind of another plus of the LGD. I hadn’t thought about any spitz breeds so I’ll definitely look into those also.
 

StrawHatHolly

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2021
14
24
34
I was actually looking at a 8 month old 1/2 anatolian 1/2 pyrenees mix that is currently being trained as a LGD and has worked with chickens. I’m not completely against the dog wondering, I’d just rather it not roam literally miles and miles away from the house, but I know some dogs will. There are mostly just cattle and horse fields around me and a few regular houses. There is currently a LGD who lives down the run who occasionally comes around, never interested in the birds though. He normally wanders a mile away from his home and then heads back. Every once and awhile we have strays that come around which cause problems, so a dog on the property would help with that too I think. I’m definitely aware these dogs need proper training to know and do their jobs and I’m not scared of that. I’m also aware free range chickens will have casualties every now and again but right now I know something is staking out my property. Based on where and how she was found and other deaths it’s looking like a coon getting ready for winter. I had no problems with predators for the first two years I had the birds. My (for lack of a better term) idiot neighbors got chickens for fun without knowing what it takes to protect them and basically throw a cardboard box with a hole cut out of it in their open yard as a coop. Their flock was devastated in just a few nights and ever since then I’ve had problems. Assuming it came to my house after running out of food at theirs. Permanently enclosing the hens is not really an option, I really want them free range. Their coop and run is a 20x10x20 wood frame, fully enclosed with hardware cloth, and concrete along the perimeter. It’ll work for a few months while we hunt this thing down or starve it out. Part of the reason a dog is looking like a good option to me is I like the deterrent factor. I think having another animals scent on the property would help keep things from wanting to come around in the future. Also in the future we plan on adding goats and sheep to the property so that’s kind of another plus of the LGD. I hadn’t thought about any spitz breeds so I’ll definitely look into those also.
@ChickensComeHome2Roost @LaFleche @Mtn Cur
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,364
42,852
1,156
southern Michigan
If your dog isn't at home, he's not protecting your birds. And if he's visiting the neighbors, he might get shot, or run over by a car, or something. You might think it's fine that your dog roams, but nobody else will!
And one dog can't be awake and aware all the time, it generally takes two dogs.
@LaFleche is 100% right, electric fencing, and a large safe run, will work, and be much less expensive than a guard dog, who will need to be fenced too.
Mary
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,842
19,674
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
The Great Pyrenees cross will be prone to bark a lot, almost continuously at night, which can be an issue for close neighbors. Any LGD can be prone to roaming, it is an individual dog issue, and some can clear fences very easily. With smaller acreage and a small flock of less than a 100 birds I would look at intermediate sized farm dogs that can have other uses, but also sleep outside on even the coldest nights. I currently use English Shepherds but have used even German Pointers although the latter has issues with low temperatures.

My older female English Shepherd can repel coyotes from immediate vicinity of house and barn, but she needs to be near foraging chickens to be effective.

My place of work uses Akbashes and English Sheepdogs which do not bark like the Great Pyrenees we used to use.

All dogs need to be watched at first and some trained to make certain they do not harm the chickens.
 

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