livestock guardian dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by justmom, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. justmom

    justmom New Egg

    Jan 9, 2013
    Northwestern Missouri
    Newbie here. Anybody have any experience with livestock guardian dogs for their birds? Have a huge problem in the springtime with Raccoons and Foxes and year-round with straying dogs. Wondering if a Great Pyrenees would be the way to go.
  2. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2013
    I don't have one but from what I have seen Anatolian Shepherds OR Great Pyrenees are the best.
    ShawnIGGYmama likes this.
  3. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    We breed Newfoundlands so of course I am partial to them. But they are in the family with Great Pyrenees. With that being said Lucky will chase off everything and when the coyotes see him coming, they turn around and run. They are also very good at spotting rattlesnakes around here. This summer we were working in our pumpkin field and my little girls were playing by us. Lucky spotted a skunk out of nowhere and had it taken care of before I could even gather the girls and get them to the pickup.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    1 person likes this.
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I am currently raising a Pyr to protect the birds. He is only 4 months though. We got him at 8 weeks and he is inside with us for now and will be for a while since he's just a baby. He does bird chores with me. I have chickens and ducks, had geese which did not like him and he was very hesitant about but they went to freezer camp so no problem.

    He was raised with goats and his littermates and parents with very little human contact for the first 8 weeks. He'd never even been picked up before we got him. He is great. Has been basically housebroken since bringing him home. He completely ignores the birds. I even have 13 ducklings that go running about at no reason and he looks and moves on.

    I always (almost) keep an eye on him around the birds. He tried to "play" with one of the chickens, once. He went into a play bow and I promptly corrected him. I did accidentally lock him in the birds yard the other morning, didn't realize he was there. He just walks around but he loves their feed and eats their poop. [​IMG]

    He plays with our 5 small dogs but when we are in the birds area, he doesn't go running around jumping and being a puppy, he's all business.

    A dog can work but it takes ALOT of time (I'm expecting to have him inside until 1 yr and then only outside parttime for another 6-12 months.)

    You can also check out thats BYCs sister site. They don't have as many members and it can take a little longer to get an answer but there is alot of info there.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Great Pyrenees, Anatolian and Akbash are breeds suitable but training phase will be needed in addition to any imprinting efforts usually employed when dogs used for livestock they bred to guard (chickens not on that list). Competitence around poultry may take a year, possibly two and the full capacity to detour medium to large dogs will not be reliazed until about two. Depending upon your setup, foxes may continue to be a problem since they will still hunt in sight of a dog unless dog can actually deny fox's ability to snatch and run. Fences are usually your friend with LGD's but fox can use it as cover is birds go thru and get away from immediate vicinity of where dog can do job. Raccoons should not be problem if dogs can get to them.

    Be prepared to invest time and dog can easily be more expensive than flock is guards.
  7. oregonfarmgirl

    oregonfarmgirl New Egg

    Jan 7, 2013
    I actually have two Australian Shepherds and one Blue Heeler/Border Collie mix who are great at protecting the birds. Granted, we have had them since they were puppies so they never had any issues learning to chase the birds. They patrol around our place really well, have killed lots and lots of coyotes, racoons, skunks, snakes, etc. I do think they work so well because we have three of them. Not sure one could take on a coyote since they are usually running in groups of three or more. The LGD are good too, Great Pyr are what my friends have but they are just bigger than what I would like and don't live as long, 7 yrs is an average lifespan for giant breeds. Just some thoughts. Good luck!
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I use German Pointers (1 short-hair and 1 long-hair) which are typically used as bird dogs. Only at this time of year do coyotes in my area cooperatively pose a threat and my dogs, even smaller female, have distinct size advantage resulting in coyotes not being a problem. Red fox still biggest challenge. Coyotes know better and can not get away from my faster dogs like a fox can.
  9. justmom

    justmom New Egg

    Jan 9, 2013
    Northwestern Missouri
    Thanks, everyone, for the helpful comments. Not sure what I'll do. Last spring I went from 22 hens down to 12 in about 2 weeks due to a combination of foxes and raccoons, and lost a leghorn pullet recently (not sure what got her). Currently have a blue heeler pup coming along nicely so I guess we'll keep working with him.
  10. animals1981

    animals1981 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    I find great pry not fierce enough, anything that has been used as show dog or being bred as pets i just wont use. I prefer dogs that nothing but working dogs in their backround. With a good dog I expect to not lose 1 hen or anything. Also they should be able to dispatch predators without hurting themselves so we dont have to take them to the vet which will make it more expensive. Their kills should be clean and quick. A heeler or whatever else dog catches a coyote there is going to be some nasty nasty bites alll over your dog. WIth a good LGD you should not have that issue. Also they aren't family pets id expect them to live with the animals 24/7 not just sometimes.

    The good thing about komadors they have this thick fur that protects them from predator bites. So if a coon or something attacks them back they are well protected.


    remember tho never pet lines always working lines never show lines
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    2 people like this.

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