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Suggestions on a Great Farm Dog....Anyone ???

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by momw2cutekids, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. momw2cutekids

    momw2cutekids Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2011
    After a major attack from foxes here on our mini farm, we have been debating what the best type of defense might be and we are think probably getting a outside dog.
    We have a boxer now who lives inside and does warn us with his bark when something is out of sorts outside.....but, after a fox attacked our chicken coop and killed 19 + 1 quail it's time to start getting suggestions.

    I've been googling different types of dogs, I see Great Prys (our farm is not fenced so probably not the best right now) - I've seen Anatolian Shepherd I have no idea about them and I've been thinking collies ???? I have no idea, any other suggestions would be awesome !

    I have 2 acres, 2 boys and lots of birds and I want a dog that will stay within our limits and not run off - as well as a dog that doesn't like to eat the animals. I need a guard dog for my family as well as guard dog for our livestock !

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    There is no breed that is guaranteed to not run off. 2 acres is really not much land. Is there no way you can fence it? Letting a dog run loose is really unfair to the dog (he may get shot or hit by a car) and it's VERY unfair to neighbors who have to put up with your dog on their land. Around here, I have a zero tolerance policy for dogs on my land. I have had stock killed and maimed by loose dogs more times than I can count.
     
  3. LotsaChicken

    LotsaChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2011
    I agree you will need fencing for any dog that you choose. Both pyrs and anatolians will need a fence. Collies for sure too...they love squirrel chasing from what I hear. Maybe you could fence the perimeter of where your chickens bed down at night and let your dog stay there until you can get your whole place fenced? A dog would need to be excersized more than that, but it might would work if you were willing to put the effort and had the time. You could fence a little along each week and have it done before you know it.
     
  4. Sherry

    Sherry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2007
    Southern WV
    I got a 1/2 great Pyr and 1/4 anatolian and 1/4 maremma puppy...he's 5 months old now and I have to say I LOVE HIM! At 3 months old he growled and barked at a friend's sister and her dog. He's showing great potential.

    I got an underground electric fence, it just came today so I have no idea if it's going to work for him, but fingers crossed. I've read some sites that say the underground fence won't work for a Great Pyr others say they work great, so we'll see.
     
  5. momw2cutekids

    momw2cutekids Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2011
    We have 2 acres that are solid land for our family and animals and 5+ acres that are wooded around us. I have NO NEIGHBORS so it's not that I'm worried about the neighbors, our boxer has full run of our land and I've never had a problem in his 3yrs of him running off or anything of that sorts. IF YOU HAVE A GOOD DOG that is one of the family IT WILL NOT RUN OFF !!! I'm looking for a dog similar to him but, one that doesn't mind the elimates and would love to stay out and in with the livestock. We have a old fence in the back but because off all of the deer they have pushed the fence down, we are working on refencing that part. The front yard is not fenced and if we do get a dog it will be a electric fence in the front.

    So my question is what good dogs are there out there that love to be with the livestock ???
     
  6. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
    NJ
    did anyone nominate border collie? i don't have collies, but two chicken farmers i know swear by them. you do need acreage for the collie to run.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  7. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    Quote:your statement about a good dog not running off isn't exactly true. ALL of the LGD breeds have been developed for centuries to guard a large area. If you don't confine them, THEY will establish the boundaries of their area themselves. And I guarantee you it will NOT be the same 2 acres that you have in mind. They may decide their boundary is 2 miles down the road. This is common and very normal for ALL LGD breeds. That's why they must be in either very tall fences, or fences with electric wire.

    And even dogs that are not LGD breeds will usually establish a patrol area much larger than your 2 acres. It has nothing to do with how good a dog is or how much you make him part of your family.
     
  8. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2011
    Quote:LGDs like pyrs and anatolians were bred for LARGE areas, 7 acres is nothing to them, and pyrs in particular are known for their desire to roam. even an outstanding Pyr is likely to be off your property on a regular basis unless it's properly fenced. note the "properly" because most LGDs will readily climb fencing, and some breeds will dig under.

    I haven't owned collies, but they're a herding breed, which means they'll follow or chase stuff - so there's a good possiblity that if something has it's attention, and heads off your land, the collie will go too. also, they're not bred for protection, but for herding and that's a different set of instincts that's been tuned up... I'd never expect my border collies (herding dogs) to protect my livestock from predators, they're just not the best tool for that job.

    mind you, I'm not saying that any *individual* dog of an breed might not be able to be taught what you want them to do. but I'm a big fan of starting with a dog that's been bred for the particular job - it gives you a major head start and is more likely to meet with success and with less effort than training a non-task-specific dog.

    if what you want is a dog that will live with your livestock and protect them, LGDs are the right place to be looking - but you will need a fence.
     
  9. LotsaChicken

    LotsaChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2011
    Quote:It doesn't really matter how good the dog is. My Pyrs are wonderful dogs. It's just instinct for dogs to roam, particularly LGD's. The land that my dogs occupy is completely enclosed. I have some wooded acres in the back that are not fenced in. Last week a hunter passed through our property and left a gate open. She had wondered more than a mile away and did it in a relatively short time. We were very, very lucky that she chose to roam toward the river, instead of toward the highway, and are now posting our property and not allowing the hunters to pass through.
     
  10. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Quote:That's not at all true. My two german shepherds are velcro dogs. They stay right by my and even when we are hiking off leash in the woods they are rarely out of sight from me (and when they are I can usually still hear them and they come within a minute at most of being called). Still, I know for a fact that if I turned them loose 24/7 on a mere two acres that they would wander off. Sure, they'd come right back, but not before traveling a few miles first. It doesn't matter what breed or how "good" the dog is, the fact is you can't expect a dog to stay on 2 acres of unfenced property without wandering off. I guarantee if you left your boxer loose for 24 hours with no human supervision that he might not run away, but he would not stay on your property either.

    As for a breed that would do well with the elements, you're going to want a double coated breed as opposed to a single coated breed unless you have mild winters. This includes most herding breeds and retrievers as well as many of the working breeds. As for a breed that is "good with livestock," that depends entirely on the individual dog and training. I trust my two german shepherds to be left alone unsupervised in the backyard with the chickens, but it took hours of training to get to that point. I also know that my dogs are fully capable of chasing and killing smaller animals. They are excellent with my 3 cats in the house, but I've seen them give chase to cats outside and I have no doubt that it would end badly for the cat if they ever caught one. I've known german shepherds who could never be trusted with chickens, even with direct supervision. So you can't really trust a dog to be good with livestock based on what breed it is. Generally you'll have a greater chance of success with a breed that was developed to work livestock, but even within those breeds there are individuals that can never be trusted with other animals. Dogs are predators, livestock are prey, and it is no simple matter to channel a predator's instincts from chasing and killing prey to protecting it.
     

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