Livestock gaurd dog


In the Brooder
11 Years
Dec 9, 2008
Middleburg, FL
I'd like to get a dog to live out in the pen with the goats and chickens. The chicken coop is going to be inside the goat pen, but full enclosed so nothing can get into it. I don't want the dog and chickens loose together because I just don't trust any dog around chickens. Anyway...actual livestock gaurdian breeds aren't readily available where I live. I did recently see an ad for great pyrenees (sp?) pups on craigslist, but they were $300 and I can't afford that especially with all the coop/fence building I've been and continue to do. Plus I just don't feel right having a dog with that kind of coat in the Florida heat. Is there a common breed of dog that might work out for me? I really just want something that won't harass/kill the goats (which shouldn't be too hard my currents dogs pretty much ignored them when I had them in the front yard, except for the lab who tried to play with them and covered the poor things in slobber), and is big enough to take on coons/possums and possibly a fox if needed. I pretty much just want an alarm system for out there. I can't put any of my dogs out there because 2 of them are tiny (JRT and Chihuhua) and the lab tries to play rough with the goats. Plus all 3 are inside dogs and would howl and raise heck if left outside at night. I know that a herding breed probably wouldn't work well because they would drive the goats crazy herding them. Any ideas? I know German Shepherds are a herding breed, but they aren't as gung-ho about it as say an Austrailian Shepherd right? I'm thinking some sort of shepherd mix that I could adopt from the animal shelter. What about a rottie? Weren't they origionally bred as livestock gaurd dogs? Any ideas would be appreciated. Also..should I maybe have 2 of them out there so they're not lonely? And should I get the dog as a puppy and have it sleep outside from the get go to get used to sleeping outside? Sorry this was so long..I just want to make a good choice. Thanks for any advice.
This is a topic that has come up over and over. The consensus is that it depends on the dog and its training/upbringing. No one breed is tried and true. What works for one owner may not work for another. One breed of dog is a great flock protector for Farmer A, the same breed of dog is a blood-thirsty chicken killer for Farmer B. That being said- try to pick a dog with a low-prey drive and an easy-going temperament.

Good luck.
Whew!! That was a lot of info/questions/decisions/...

My thoughts:

Dogs are pack animals; I want mine to know that the whole family is 'the pack'; thats me, cats, chickens and fish. (Yes fish, don't ask). You need a dog to be really well trained and that is not going to happen if it is isolated in a pen. I have a herding breed, a rough coat collie and she doesn't ever chase. She doesn't like it when the chickens split up, but doesn't do anything about it. We live in similar climates; hot. A smooth coat collie might be better for the heat.

With that said, you don't want your dog to actually get in a fight with a predator, just be a deterrant. Their very presence should help keep them safe. Good luck with your decision. Here's a picture of my collie, Patsy:
go to ur shelter and adopt dogs that are already said to be good with cats (cats are a prey species) any dog that is good with cats will learn to be good with goats easily

then u adopt a few mutts my friend has a pack of mutts on his land living with his chickens goats and cats and does not get predators

dogs will work as a pack and protect ur land

one dog by itself is pointless

adopt a few mutts from ur local shelter that have been tested with cats
My dog is a black and tan coonhound and she gets along fantastic with my goats.. she plays with them. It's alot of fun watching them playing together.

She even lets chickens roost on her back, lol
Last edited:
Beutiful dog
. I grew up with a Smooth tri-color, she was the best. Though she did chase the cat when outside

parkersmom120106 I agree with CMV, all you have to do is look at all the "my dog killed my chickens!" threads and you'll see there's a wide variety in what works and what doesn't. I have read many a time that hearding dogs aren't the best as flock protecters because, as you said, of their high prey drive. Rottweilers wouldn't do well, I think, as they are prone to the heat.
It's so hot here there is no way to leave a long haired dog outside all day. The good thing is, that a predator isn't going to be moving around much in the middle of the day either (while Patsy is enjoying the airconditioning).
Thanks for the answers ya'll. You're right it was a long post, and I have seen the question before. It just seems that inevitably people just say "Get a livestock gaurdian breed", which aren't readily availble around here. The only ones I've seen are the pyrs, and only a few of those. Thanks for the advice anyway..ya'll seem to think the same way I'm thinking. Just get a dog that has a low prey drive and teach it to get along with the goats (which I don't currently have). The chickens will be in a coop/run inside the goat pen (the pen is just over 1/3 acre), but it will be secure and predator proof in itself. I just want the dog to scare off anything that might try to break into it. Looks like I'll be checking the shelter and craigslist for some sort of large breed mixed puppy or two to raise to live outside. Thanks for the help.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom