Hello. I'm new and I wasn't sure whether to put this here or under "predators" forum. I'm currently in college, and I do not have plans to get chickens for YEARS, but it has interested me to have layers as pets later on in life. Being able to have a dog that would protect them and be my companion would also be great. My dream is a Belgian Sheepdog or mix (love the black coat and build, it looks like a wolf!) However, I don't know if this will all be practical when I'm finally out of college and have a steady job. Would a guard dog be worth it if... 1. I live alone 2. Average ~6-8 hr job? 3. Live in suburbia NY, possibly Long Island? (at least 1/4 acre yard) 4. Will the chickens keep the dog company while I work or is it too stressful 5. Will predators be a problem at all if I fortify the coop and run? I know training any breed of dog to not kill and guard will take a lot of time and patience. I also know leaving a dog alone for long periods of time is asking for trouble. I ALSO know that a Belgian Sheepdog isn't exactly a "beginner" dog. I am however willing to sacrifice social life to keep up with its energy level before and after work. So am I asking for way too much?