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

goreybabe

In the Brooder
Jun 18, 2017
19
8
29
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!!!
 

poknhope

Hatching
Jun 18, 2017
2
0
5
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.
 

goreybabe

In the Brooder
Jun 18, 2017
19
8
29
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.
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!
 

PatriciafromCO

Songster
Aug 17, 2016
115
101
116
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.
 

nparks

Chirping
Jul 29, 2016
55
34
86
Australian shepherd....I have two.....
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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goreybabe

In the Brooder
Jun 18, 2017
19
8
29
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.
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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