i have a black lab and a german shepherd, the lab is so laid back the hens could walk over him(if he stayed down long enough) he walks away if they get too close, my shepherd loves my hens especially one
which i think he has a soft spot for. my only concern is that he has to be able to see all of them and if they wander too far he rounds them up but he has never tried to bite them.
they are also good guard dogs as they proved last week when a fox got into the garden and killed my 2 banties and 1 hen, the dogs made sure he will never be coming back, i was amazed how vicious they both were with the fox for such placid pets.
Definitely NOT an Australian Kelpie. My dog pinned one of my gold lace Wyandottes and then bit me as I got hold of him. The hen was not hurt and acted normally the next day.
Two of my kids were back to the farm with their dogs within the last 2 weeks. Both dogs are female Labs... one, a chocolate lab and the other a yellow. They were curious about the chickens but were called off easily and were oblivious to them the rest of the weekend.
My choice would be a Labrador Retriever even though they are bred to be bird dogs.
I would think of the three you listed, the Border Collie would be the best choice. I'm not sure about a Basset, but I think a Lab would be the worst choice. Don't get me wrong, Labs are great dogs, but I think their happy-go-lucky attitude would drive them to playing too rough with chickens. They can be smart dogs, but at the same time, they're are usually big lushes. I have heard of many people having good luck with German Shepherds. Great Pyrenes and Anotalians are best known for guarding chickens and other livestock. These dogs have had their prey instinct breed out of them, making them great protectors. Many people on this forum have them for their flock. As a matter of fact, I am getting a GP very soon for my flock.
Almost any dog can be good around chickens and other livestock. It's all in how you train them. I have a Bloodhound that could care less,I can take her into the duck run with me and all she does is sniff the ground. My neighbor has a lab and a Sheperd mix that could care less, even though they killed a few of her chickens at first. She trained them not to bother the chickens anymore. Her Sheperd goes with her into the coop.
New here and HAD to log in just to answer this question. I have a chessipeak bay retriever, he is the best with our chickens, (we've had geese and turkeys too). Doesn't even flinch if a roo goes after him. I got rid of that roo, by the way. As a retiever I was worried he would try to fetch the chickens, but he is smart and a few firm NOs the first time he showed interest in the birds and he was trained! I would not consider him any kind of protector of the birds, but he is very good at leaving them alone.
But better than any dog is our Cat. A stray that adopted us and feels she must work for a living. She got rid of all the rats that moved in shortly after the chickens came, now we have no mice, or voles. Her newest job... self apointed of course.... is to sleep in the same tree the banties spend the night in. I was so worried when my banties decided not to go into my new coop this summer. But I worry less knowing Maggie is up in that tree with them at night. She hanges out with the chickens durring the day, and knows to stay away from broody hens and moms with chicks. Maggie is the hardest working animal on my little farm!
I love my jack russell.. He is fearless and stays out near the chickens to watch them. A coon or possum will be killed quickly by him! He even runs off the foxes. These little dogs are loyal and hard working.
He is afraid of gunshot and thunder and will go hide in the coop when he hears it... One a.m. I let the chickens out and there he was sleeping in the barn with them.
I have had Bodhi for over 10 years now and will be getting a pup for him to train and take over guard duties someday...
This will be a topic of many varied suggestions, but I have a German Shepherd Dog. They are intelligent, and very trainable. When he was untrained, he killed a chicken and we began a training program immediately following. He responded very well, and can now be allowed to roam freely among all of my birds without worry. He "herds" them when they free range too close to the woods and coaxes them back to the coop area. My white leghorn, Dolly, is completely in love with him and follows him because he will snuffle and investigate things in the yard which might uncover a bug or worm much to Dolly's delight.
But please don't consider GSD if you are not willing to supply plenty of space and the required daily exercise needed to this breed. They require a "job" to be happy, a purpose in life. They are intelligent, loyal, and they shed a fantastic amount. It's best to know the pros and cons.