Suggestions on medium-sized "guard" dog for family and chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by goreybabe, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. goreybabe

    goreybabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2017
    Hi everyone,
    I know others have posted about guard dogs, but I'm looking for recommendations on medium sized dogs (no larger than 60 lbs) that are good family dogs as well as good watch-dogs for chickens.
    I have 25 chickens or so on 1/2 acre, so not a lot of running space for the dog. We have fox -- nothing bigger -- and our chickens go in at night.

    We are looking for suggestions on a dog that would be great with kids and chickens, easy to hike with (family dog), and be okay in a backyard (fenced) with the chickens during the day. I need to be able to pick up the dog and carry it if they get hurt or sick on a hike or randomly (thus @50-60 lbs max).

    We live in the Northeast -- coldish winters and warm, humid summers.
    Pyr's/Mastiffs are too big for my husband & he doesn't want a dog that will dig up our garden. German pointers are a possibility, but I'm wondering about other breeds you might have experience with?

    Yes, we'd be getting a pup and raising/training her with the chickens.
    Yes, I am an experienced dog owner (Aussies, Elkhounds, German shepherds).

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    English Shepherd
     
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  3. poknhope

    poknhope New Egg

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    Rough collie Mine stays in the shade on these hot days, but is out in a flash if there is a hint of a hawk or critter. Known as a nurturer , herder , and companion dog - will take in a 5k, a burger (no fries until sandwich is gone) , watch your flock, herd your kids, but NO barn or dog house for these royal pets !!!!

    Forgot to mention - a major predator is neighbor's dogs.
     
  4. goreybabe

    goreybabe Out Of The Brooder

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    I hadn't even considered collies! Thank you for the suggestion -- I'm looking in to them now. A life-long friend grew up with collies, so I'm familiar with their temperament as a family dog, but I didn't think about them as work dogs!
     
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  5. goreybabe

    goreybabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Poknhope suggested a collie breed too -- I read up on the english shepherd (collie family), which sounds ridiculously ideal. Thanks!
     
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  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Australian shepherd....I have two.....
     
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  7. PatriciafromCO

    PatriciafromCO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    as a breed I love collies, my childhood dog was a collie and I am forever indebted to a wonderful childhood because of Rusty being my best friend and watching over us. He did kill every small creature that came in the property . We didn't have chickens to need to attempt to explain to him there was a difference. 50 years ago the collies looked more like what I see being called Scottish Collies today and not what is being shown for AKC...

    Do your research and match the right dog to the right job to not put them in harms way or in danger of failing.
     
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  8. nparks

    nparks Out Of The Brooder

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    I say Australian Shepard as well. Mine is very protective of the chickens. He was already 2 when we first got them. We introduced them slowly and now he won't leave their side. I have no problem with the dog outside while the chickens free range. He is also very good with children, very protective of them as well.

    We just had some babies hatch and he watches over them! He moves around the yard with them or will lay right outside of their pen watching them.
     

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  9. goreybabe

    goreybabe Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh my gosh, those pictures are great!
    We researched English Shepherds (and some nearby-ish breeders) and it sounds like a great match. Strangely in all the research we had been doing before I posted my question here, we never came across English Shepherds... All sorts of other herding and farm dogs, yes. But there was always a concern or something that didn't fit with what we needed/dogs needed. Maybe because they aren't considered "poultry guard dogs"? But there you go.
    Thank you everyone!!!
     
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