Is there anyway to train a 10 year old dog to guard?


7 Years
Sep 17, 2012
Ozark, MO
I have a Schnauzer/terrier mix pet but we have a predator again and I am wondering if any one thinks that she is too old to train to guard outside the chicken run?

She would tear my birds to bits if she could get to them so she has never been near them. She stands and stares at them like she's in a trance and can't hear me talking or calling her.

I am considering putting her out in the run at night after the chickens have been put up but sometimes they don't all go in the coop, sometimes they hide under the coop. If they were to come out while she was in the run they would be nothing but feathers by morning. If I just let her run loose in the yard she would run the neighborhood so I would need to find a way to tie her to the outside of the run but in a way so she could circle the run.

Also, she has always been an inside dog so I am not sure if I should even consider putting her through this at her age.

Any ideas? Thanks.


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Dec 12, 2013
Given all you've said about your dog (age, hunting inclination, tendency to roam), I don't think I would try to train her to guard. That sounds like a frustrating and potentially harmful (to the birds) set-up for both you and the dog. Not every dog can be a livestock guardian dog. Maybe you should check into alternative forms of predator control (electric fencing, game cams, traps, and the such).


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
First harden your coop and run against predators.

Second set a trap or two out for predator assuming it is a raccoon or opossum.

Third begin training that old dog to leave birds alone.

Fourth is bad time to switch living quarters.

Five take dog out a couple of times each night and walk it around perimeters of chicken holding facilities and yard. Be very observant of what dog does.

When predator trapped encourage dog to show interest in catch. This sets stage for dog being an alarm but you must respond or dog looses interest.

If you are real good you can encourage dog to take interest in chicken alarm calls and then basically translate for you.

Note your dog in its youth cold likely been even a large coon's nightmare but at current age without prior experience against such a large foe, I recommend dog not be pitted against raccoon in a fair fight.

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