Need dog advice.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TheLyonPride, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. TheLyonPride

    TheLyonPride Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    We had a neighbors bird dog take out a few chickens a little while back while they were free ranging (on our property) and am a bit upset over it. My husband and I decided that we need to get a dog that will be a god protector of the chickens. We have 4 young children under 5yrs. old and we need it to be good with them too, while also allowing our chickens to free range but protect them.

    We have 3.5 acres of land and we are planning on fencing the whole lot this spring. Does anybody have any suggestions of the best breed to get? We plan to get whatever we end up choosing as a puppy and raising it in the coop and pen with the chickens (with our supervision, of course). I would greatly appreciate any help on breed types that are good with kids and chickens. We are initially thinking Great Pyrenees...

    thanks, kate
  2. thomaschickens

    thomaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2012
    Washougal, WA
    My dog is the best with all kinds of farm animals and he is a pit bull/boxer mix who is now 5 years old. He was raised around chickens and pigs. When the chickens are out foraging, if they go too far, he herds them back closer to their coop. Every now and then he will gently pin one down and then clean them!!! I nearly had a heart attack the first time thinking he was going to have himself dinner, but after cleaning it he released it and no one was worse for wear [​IMG] Now the chickens rarely even run away from him lol. He also is very vigilant at letting us know if there are any unwanted animals (such as raccoons) on the property as well. I think it is a lot about how you raise the dog more than the breed itself, so I'm hoping more people will chime in to help you decide if there is a certain breed of dog that would be best for for being around chickens. We also have a black lab who could care less about the chickens lol. He lets them do whatever they want and just keeps his distance. Good luck to you!
  3. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    One thing to think about. Unless you get a LGD dog or other breed that is in-tolerant and will attack your neighbor's dog whenever he enters your yard, all that will happen is your neighbor's dog will teach YOUR dog how fun it is to "play" with the chickens.

    Are you prepared to contain and control (fenceing to keep out other dogs, etc) and to handle the consequences if your dog kills or seriously injures there? Also to handle the fact that if your dog chases their dog home they could legally shoot your dog if it entered their property?

    It's not merely a matter of "I'll get a dog and the other dogs will magically stay away" Yes, some dogs are territorial, but it's often an individual trait. With a dog that they see/meet often, most dogs are likely to be friendly. You will have to train them to keep out other dogs as well as putting up a fence to keep out other dogs and to keep your dog at home
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
  5. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    Fencing would be cheaper and more effective in the long run. If you just want a dog as a pet, almost any dog can be trained to leave full grown chickens alone.
    Small flighty chicks are another thing entirely. They are just too exciting for all but the calmest dog.

    Also, remember to report the dog in question to the authorities. A visit from the local sheriff can do wonders.
    It is the dog owners responsibility to contain their dog and make sure that it does not get loose to kill livestock and menace children.
  6. skunknchatter

    skunknchatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2007
    Northern Utah
    My dachshund herds my chickens around the yard but won't let anyone or any other dog near them. Granted he is smaller than most dogs but he doesn't seem to realize that. :)
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    A fellow BYC'er by the username of Candace69, wrote the following article regarding livestock guardian dogs that would be well worth a read for you.! More than one is needed!

    In particular, read the section regarding how many dogs you need. She strongly recommends against having a single dog guarding your flock/livestock and details the reasons why in that article.
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Great Pyrenees plus fencing is way to go. Keep pup away from dogs you need it to exclude during maturation phase. You are two years from having an effective dog in place.

    For short-term although less complete protection consider following. If I know ALL dogs causing trouble and on good terms with owner and would like to stay that way, then breaking neighbors dog of habit can help. I have done it in past but it does take some bending over backwards on your part.
  9. TheLyonPride

    TheLyonPride Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    Thank you all for the help! We are planning on fencing the whole 3.5 acres with the no climb horse fencing. And I should state. We talked to the offending dog's owner and he was completely understanding and offered to compensate and said that he would start tying up his dog more. He was completely understanding and very friendly about it. I haven't seen the dog wondering about since. We are on good terms with him and I hope to keep it that way. I just fear that now the dog has the taste of blood he will come back, or we will have similar issues with another dog. We have coyotes around as well and while I am sure the fencing won't keep them out I am hoping a dog will discourage them.

    I will definitely read that article, too! Thank you all so much for the helpful comments. It seems as though it is more the raising/training process than the breed. Though I am sure the breed does make a difference. I am hoping we don't have anymore issues as this is starting to become a little business for us. We put so much effort to having the 50 layers and then meat birds on top of that I hate to see events like the dog attack happen.

    I appreciate all your advice!
  10. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    LyonPride: I hope your chat with your neighbor is the solution, but I am sure the fence won't hurt.

    I have a similar problem, but with my own dogs, a lab and a lab mix. We just moved to a rural property from the suburbs where they were leash-walked. They have had free run of our 20 acres for the past couple of years, and then, just last year, we got the chickens. My husband insists they need to be free range, but I know the dogs will eat them if they get a chance. Lucky for me they are older and slowing down.

    cetrarchid's comment seems to suggest that you can break the dogs of this "habit". In my case, it is not actually a habit, but how do you train an older dog that was not raised around chickens to respect them?


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