We've made plans to send our pet horse to a friend's home. I'm pretty sure she's one of the main reasons we've had limited problems from predators, particularly the coyotes we hear at night (can't be more than a half mile away) and occasionally see on the adjoining property. We live trap racoons, etc. during our chicken growing season and have seen a direct correlation - when the trap was set near the house and horse pen, if the horse was locked in the pen for the night, no critter in trap, if the horse was out on pasture over night, critter in trap. We also have a few heifers and thus have electric wire all around for the heifers and the horse. My question - we'd like to get a dog but I'm wondering if that would offer as much protection? I'm thinking we could train the dog to "check the chickens" and make a sweep of our property? I was raised with great, intelligent dogs on my family's farm, but they were always inside the house at night. I'm wondering about keeping a dog outside during the summer? The horse trick seems simple compared to all the issues a dog poses, but my DH and I have always wanted a dog.