thinking about a dog for the flock and family


Wanna-be Farmer
11 Years
Dec 16, 2008
My roommate has a husky named nikita and she lives with us and another family part time. (back when my roommate was in college his mother passed away so he needed another family to help care for her while he was in school, and now since they love her so much we share her like a child in a divorced family

Anyway Nikita is 12 years old and although she is in great health I know she is a senior and wont be with us forever.

Now here is the hard part, my ds is highly allergic to dogs, but loves them and every boy needs a dog in my opinion. His asthma can be managed and the dog would have a heated deluxe doggie house outside to live in and a big 3/4 acre fenced in yard in which to play.

I would like a farm/working dog and do not need a pure breed just a pup that will be friendly to children and chooks.

I am starting my research now, and have been looking at heelers and Anatolian Shepherd Dog but am not sure. It will take me at least 6 months to a year to make a decision but I wanted to ask opinions.

I had been thinking about laberdoodles but am afraid that the lad part would make them want to eat the chooks not protect them. I also don't want too large a dog maybe medium size since I am 5 feet tall and would be the caregiver.

I would even consider rescuing an older dog or shelter dog but around me all there are in the shelters are pit bulls so that wont work.

Are there any flock dogs that don't shed as much? not that it is a huge issue but it would be nice.

Indiana hens

11 Years
Jun 25, 2008
Pendleton, Indiana
Training a puppy to the way you want is great! My dog is 1/4 Akita and 3/4 collie. He is very smart and hates predators and leaves animals here on the farm alone unless instructed to act. Just a thought. He toatlly loves kids. Took a long time to break him from wanting to go next door to the daycare when he heard kids playing, but we did it. He loves it when kids come!


11 Years
Nov 10, 2008
Benton TN
Not sure if you you know this or not but labradoodles are 2 bird hunting breeds mixed together. Poodles are retrievers just like labs. But then again my moms neighbor has one and she is the sweetest dog and will let the parrot ride around on her back. So the mix may not have that hunting/retrieving instinct.

ETA: I have Great Danes. They know to leave our livestock alone but will chase off anything that doesn't live here. My aunt has a German Shepherd and she is a working calf/foal guardian.

Not me in the pic(handler).
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Resistance is futile
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
I have a Weim (bird dog) and a Pit...... both are great with the chickens.... And Halo (the Pit) chases all intruders away from the chickens and the coop and NEVER let FILs dogs near them!


Not saying that you should run out and adopt a pit from the pound... LOL But, I think you will find that there are no absolutes when it comes to breed/temperament ...... you might look around and find a dog with a stellar personality that may not be the right 'breed' for the job... but the right 'dog' for the job. And if you're getting a pup, you have a little more room to wiggle since you will be raising it around chickens. I probably would never have gotten a full grown bird dog with my chickens running around... but Sophie knows to leave the chickens alone because she's been raised with them... her and Halo both still chase wild birds on the property

Happy dog hunting!
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Tartan Terror
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
I have a Labradoodle who would have my chickens for dinner at the blink of an eye (and has). My neighbour has a roaming Labrador who visits and walks into my coop, completely ignoring the chickens and eats their food! Not sure if this is helpful or confusing to you
I'm sure it is all down to training at an early age though.


The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
I actually think shelties and border collies are great family dogs if you can give them the room they need to run. They can be very active dogs! Another good farm type dog is the corgi. I've never had one myself, but I've met some great ones.

We have an australian cattle dog and I don't really consider them a good family dog, but they are wonderful working dogs. They seem to attach themselves to one person and respect them the most. They also aren't great with strangers and ours has a problem with children (My brother and I were older already when we got him) Australian cattle dogs are amazing dogs, but they definitely aren't for everybody! However, even though he's not good with strangers at home, put him on a leash and he's a totally different dog. He's definitely very protective of HIS yard and house though! LOL That's not a bad thing at alla nd we actually like it, but we just have to be careful when friends and family come over. Usually we just put him in the garage until he calms down.

Sorry, I'll stop rambling! I've found that breed of dog doesn't matter all too much when it comes to an all purpose sort of farm dog. I've seen labs herding cows and I've seen shelties living in apartments. Really it just depends on the individual dog. It's great that you are doing research though! And don't rule out pitbulls! They were originally bred for working on farms and they make excellent family dogs!


10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
West Texas
I have a yellow lab. He is great with our kids and with a little patience has learned not to mess with the chickens. We also have a 14 week old german shepherd puppy. She is learning that the babies are not to play with. She comes in looks at them and goes on. Labs are wonderful family dogs and companions. they are great with kids, don't shed too much, and are good for people that have allergies. They are also easily trained since they are so intelligent. Our lab plays outfield for our boys when they play baseball. He doesn't know a stranger and everyone that comes around just loves him. He also treed a coon for us on a electric pole. He instinctively knew what to do with that. He also alerts us to snakes and keeps them contained until we get there with a shotgun. We didn't reach him these things, he just knew they didn't belong. Whatever you get, you will just need to expose the dog to the chickens right from the beginning. It's never too early to start training. Good Luck, and Happy Hunting!


13 Years
Apr 15, 2008
I have a standard poodle, and I will confess that I have loved the poodle breed to long to like all of the poodle crossing that goes on. That said, I wouldn't trust my standard poodle with any small livestock.

I was going to recommend a Great Pyrenees, but I see that you don't want a large dog.

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