Help!!! need guard dog ideas

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by carlocks chicks, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. carlocks chicks

    carlocks chicks New Egg

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    OK, so last year our original guard dog passed away. Since then we have tried a few different breeds of dogs, got one as a pup and just can't seem to get a good guard dog for our flock. We live in a very small town that may as well be country although there are other homes near us. However, we still have a problem with coyotes, raccoons, stray dogs and such. We have a fenced in area for our hens but prefer to let them wander our much larger fenced in yard as much as possible. Having a guard dog guarantees no strays make their way to our yard as well as anything else that may want to cause harm to our girls. We have tried various forms of training for the dogs we tried out, I hate giving dogs up but I also really hate it when we loose one of our girls we have raised from a chick. Our new theory is to get a pup at 6 wks (our last pup was a little older when we found him) and at the same time get a few new chicks and basically raise them all together. maybe keep dog in a kennel near where baby chicks are kept and give them supervised play time so the dog sees them as they grow and maybe will become protective of them?? Then also give the dog time around our older girls and maybe he will realize he needs to protect them all???? I'm really at a loss here, I don't know what to do. Any ideas anyone might have on this theory and what breed of puppy to get when the time comes would be greatly appreciated. We are planning to do this next spring but I want to do as much research as possible to attempt to not have to loose another dog or chicken, or duck as the last case was :( Btw, if you know anyone, we have a siberian husky for sale. Great dog, horrible with birds. If we didn't love our hens and fresh eggs so much I would consider keeping him but we love our birds and unfortunately they cannot all live together. Also I should note, we cannot have any "dangerous" breeds such as pit or rottweiler. I personally don't believe in "dangerous" breeds, my insurance agent however does and threatens to raise our insurance or drop us. I would really like to get a rotty, that would be my preference, I just can't figure out how to hide him from ins. co (small town and all, ya know). Anyways, thanks in advance for any advice. I really feel like I'm at my wits end here. I wish my baby had not passed away and I didn't have to worry about this. He was a boxer. I had owned him before I met my husband and before we had chickens. When we made the decision I showed him the chicks and let him watch us through a window as we played with them so he got the idea we loved them too. He was amazing with the hens, never once gave them a cross look, they even pecked fleas from him and he just layed there. He shared his food with them and even tried to help one of the babies once when she was afraid to walk in the grass for the first time. I don't even know how to "replace" him, we loved him too much. I won't get another boxer though as we have bad winters at times and I know they really are not meant for the cold. That was one argument my husband and I had so I made him make sure the dog house was sufficiently insulated in the winter. I don't know how to start over with a new dog and the chickens :(
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Dogs are a commitment just like any other animal. Whatever breed you decide upon, obedience training is an absolute must. Your old boxer was a natural - most dogs are not and require lots of work and a certain maturity before they can be trusted unsupervised around chickens. Do NOT get another Siberian Husky or dog with a similar high prey drive.
     
  3. ChickMom5711

    ChickMom5711 Out Of The Brooder

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    You don't need a "hunting" breed. Anything need to hunt will want to hunt your ladies. Great Pyrenees are bread to protect flock. They are extra large dogs with a very mild temperament. They need to be raises with the flock from a puppy. The kennel idea is great. They are also very cold tolerant, but have a little more trouble adjusting to the heat. They are also great with children. They so a "sweep" of the property by instinct before nighttime. If you give them the room to become the protector, they will move into the roll like a champ. They also protect other livestock.
    Most "working breeds" will do. They just need to be raised around the chicks and hens.
     
  4. ChickMom5711

    ChickMom5711 Out Of The Brooder

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    Bred** haha oopsy
     
  5. ChickMom5711

    ChickMom5711 Out Of The Brooder

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    And I am so sorry about the loss of your Boxer. They are great dogs! I hope you and your family are blessed with the perfect dog for you this next time around!
     
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Like any dog suggestion you have to weigh what 'you' want and need in a dog and look at all the pros and cons and find what best suits you, then invest in the training, don't expect the dog to just rise to the job you expect...

    My grandmother had a Great Pyrenees and it was a wonderful dog, but her house always had an excess of long white dog hairs on everything... You would have to delint all your clothing every time you left the house, real bad for me as I have allergies and even though I can tolerate house dogs and cats I can't tolerate dander and hair everywhere... Also as said they don't do well in high heat, her dog would love sitting outside all spring, fall and winter long, but when the temps hit the high 80s or above he was miserable and she would usually move him indoors for most of the hot summer days... So if the dogs job is to be outside all the time and you live in a warm area that is something to consider...

    I have three Australian Cattle Dogs (Heelers) great herd protectors but they again are not for everyone, they are super active and smart, and they can be very pushy as the herding instinct is strong... We had to invest in a decent amount of training to get them where I want them, and break some of their built in herding instinct... But, as protectors they are great and won't let what they are 'protecting' out of their sight...
     
  7. ChickMom5711

    ChickMom5711 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, as you can see, everyone has their "preferred" breed. Most all dogs need grooming and shed their coat. You need to do the research into the breed that will work for your family and desired lifestyle. :)
     
  8. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would also suggest a Great Pyrenees. I have one and she does a great job in our semi rural area. I got her as a pup at about 12 wks of age. Spent time with her everyday on a short leash around the chicks and chickens. She wanted to play with them, not eat them, but that big ole puppy paw can hurt a chicken. That's why I had to keep her on a leash until she learned that was a NO. Their living quarters should be by the coop.
    They do take a while to mature to be a real guard dog, usually about 18 months they are fully mature. It was a learning process for her, but the instinct is there. I only lost two hens during her growing out period, none since. They are really smart dogs.
    They are better suited for cold climates. The other poster is right, the heat, really is hard on them. Actually, the humidity coupled with the heat is hard on them. Mine was so miserable last week I thought she was sick. Wouldn't eat and just not herself. Weather cooled and she is back to normal. If it was just a dry heat, that wouldn't be so bad. I do shave her whole underside to try to help her deal with the heat and use shedding combs regularly to eliminate the undercoat before summer sets in. That would be one drawback and if you don't have time to take care of their coat, I would look for a livestock guardian dog with a shorter coat, like an Anatolian shepard. Or an Anatolian/Pyrenees mix. They are usually cheaper. But they all take time to grow and learn. Bringing in a full grown dog and expecting it to get to work likely will not end in success. Some full grown LGD's are not raised around chickens and could end up killing them.
     

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