Recently I took a two week vacation to visit family and when I got back to my farm, my entire free range flock was gone (over 50 birds). After searching around, I found where many had been devoured by some predator. I have still not determined what kind of predator it was but bobcat, coyote, fox, raccoon and owls are all suspect, or all of the above. It is obvious that the predators can tell when we are not here for a few days and move in with force. The bottom line is four years of hard work is gone and I will have to rebuild my free range flock again. But before I do, I need to find a dog that can be left to guard the farm in my absence. I have done some googling and it seems that the general consensus is that the Great Pyrenees (GP) is the best for this task, but I don't want a horse. There is a top ten list for flock dogs, and all the breeds suggested on that list are all in 120lb range like the GP. I don't want a dog that big. I want a dog under 60 pounds. I am wondering if anyone here can recommend a smaller to medium size dog breed for this task. Here are the key qualities I am after. A dog that has a keen sense of home area and does not need fencing. A dog that has a strong shepherding instinct and will protect the flock (once trained). Any dogs come to mind?