Hi there! I am relatively new chicken keeper. We had 4 hens for about a year or so, but sure enough, 1 by 1 various somethings got each of them so we will be starting fresh with a better coop soon. I am also interested in investing a guard dog but am totally clueless and hoping you all can help! We live on 5 acres just on the outskirts of town but we do have coyotes, foxes, hawks, owls and the occasional stray dog... Our property is not fenced and we would prefer to keep in that way. Perhaps an underground fence could be an option but pretty costly I would think. Other factors are that we are in central Oklahoma, so we do get extremes of heat & cold. We have ducks & geese that visit regularly, a barn cat who rarely makes an appearance, and very old German shepherd mix (not sure how much longer she will be around...she doesnt mind the chickens, loves kids and animals but has separation anxiety and would not do well overnight alone - maybe if she had a companion? but she would mostly likely stress out trying to get inside to us lol). We also have 3 boys ages 4-8 would LOVE dogs. So I guess I am looking for suggestions - I have looked into the various breeds but curious on input from you all. Also, a few specific questions: 1) Could this dog be a pet also? Could it ever come inside the home or is it best not to do so? 2) Would it stay outdoors from its homecoming as a pup? solo? in a crate I assume? Or do you transition it outside once its a bit older? 3) From what I read it sound like you would give the pup limited exposure to the chickens while supervised for quite some time and maybe crating at other times next to the coop. At what point would you let the dog go uncrated overnight? I think that is it for now! Thanks for any help you all can offer!