What dog breed should I get?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CashNKristin, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. CashNKristin

    CashNKristin New Egg

    Jun 20, 2011
    We have a small "farm" with chickens, rabbits, and goats in Virginia. We also want to get maybe a pig and cow in the future....maybe. We have 3 kids (ages 6, 5, and 3) and our property is all fenced in. My husband doesn't want an indoor dog and we want to find a dog that will be comfortable outside year round in our barn (but still come in some in the winter possibly) that will guard our animals but love on our kids. One that we can also take hiking with us and be a part of our family too. I have been reading up on both working dogs and herding dogs. I don't want a herding dog that will stress out the chickens and nip at the kids when they are running around. I also don't want a dog that will bark constantly at night. So with all that being said.....Is there such a dog out there?
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We are thinking about that too for our next dog, only about what will be compatible with chickens. We are thinking about Border Collie. they are very intelligent. I know others have posted similar questions about what type of dog to get, if you search.
  3. CashNKristin

    CashNKristin New Egg

    Jun 20, 2011
    I have been reading the BC's will tend to nip at running kids to herd them. That's the first breed someone mentioned to me but I don't want a dog that can't behave with my kids. My kids LOVE being outside and involved in the farm life here so I need a dog that can handle that without being aggressive.
  4. oweirdo

    oweirdo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2014
    Georgetown, TX
    Great Anatolian! It's the best of Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepard. We just got sisters, they are so observant of everything. Yet gentle with kids, chicks, and goats. Keeps everything off our land. Bad side, they are a little stand offish, at least our older one is, but the younger puppy is getting to know us and the livestock.
  5. Heiko27

    Heiko27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2011
    I have a Border Collie/lab x I got at an animal shelter as a pup. 7yrs old.She is pretty good at guarding, - what I mean is she is a great watchdog for everything, will chase what small animals I like her to go after, but a bit too friendly on her turf with strange dogs sometimes, very good with the animals, very trainable, will not bark unless kenneled for too long without exercise or attention. (she is allowed free range of the yard and respects those boundries well). She is an amazing hiking companion and does great with our small children and all the livestock. Though it may be specific to her, she does not enjoy the cold unless she is out working in it. If there is one bad thing about her it is that she is too clingy, she likes to stay by the house more, or the door you come out of, lol! But she is trainable so we are working on that.
    My other dog is a Hangin Tree Cowdog- 8 months old. She was specially bred for many traits to balance all sorts of things out with other dogs (mostly different abilities to work) and I would say it was a success. She is great now loose after training her, and great with the free range poultry. She rarely barks, is not much of a watchdog - yet, she has been barking at coons at night when she is kennled now and sometimes at people. She does have a strong desire to work, but has never been nippy with our heals. She is independent minded yet not too much like a Catahoula. She is very smart and especially car smart. Great with kids but you better be prepared to work/exercise them some way to keep that energy in check. We use stock or long bike rides several times a week. She is always plotting around our property, chewing, hunting critters or digging. Short coat, bred to be weather hardy hot and cold, with a toughness not even usually found in most Border Collies to boot.
    If I didn't want more of a herding dog, I might try a full Catahoula, although they do have a strong will they can do a little of everything and what a great nose!
    Also especially with working breeds like Borders and such, there is such a wide vareity of types around now, and most are not working lines now, so on a lot of "pet" quality borders out there that you find, the herding instinct has usually been dimmed, which may work in your favor, yet you could still probably get most to herd if you wanted to - to a degree anyway.
    If you want somthing for wolves or coyotes, you might want something else because in a fight they are going to toast.
    Also not to overstate the obvious too much, but raising and training that animal closely is just as important if not more so sometimes, than genetics.
    Good luck!
  6. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    get a shelter dog and train it well.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Great Pyrenees. There are breed specific rescues and good breeders out there.. good breeders are just expensive. Shelters have them and Pyrenees crosses.
  8. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    It sounds like you want a farm dog - not so much a livestock guardian. Shepherds are very nice farm dogs and a lot of variety to choose from. German shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Australian Shepherds, English Shepherds, etc. I have seen labs, golden retrievers, standard poodles (they need regular grooming and trims), boxers, collies and even an Irish setter used successfully as farm dogs. The key is to get a puppy and train them to what you want them to do.
    You could adopt an older pup from the shelter and train them if you wanted to. Personally, I would avoid any over 9 months though. It has been my experience that older than that, they don't bond to the family as well.
    Try to avoid the high prey breeds though - like huskies. A farmer I knew got a malamute pup, raised it with the livestock, took it every where with him, trained it to leave the chickens alone and everything. The dog would sit and watch the chickens would eat its food. He was a very friendly dog - he would bark when anyone pulled into the yard and dance around the vehicle, but it was a hurry-up-get-out-of-the-car-and-pet-me dance. He just had a weakness for killing cows. When the dog was about a year and a half old, Zeus decided to start killing the dairy cows for fun.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I had basically the same criteria as you. I decided I wanted a BBD--Big Black Dog. Something that's pretty much lab-based, not really caring what else was in the mix except I didn't want anything pit bull based. I wound up with a long, tall, sweet, kinda dumb black dog who was my younger son's constant companion. Second BBD is shorter, sturdier built, more dominant, still a great farm dog. We haven't had predator problems in years and years. The boy always had someone to play with--labs with a high fetch drive are great companions for kids---and the dogs were never too interested in bothering the horses like herding dogs can be.

    Don't get hung up on "breed". With your kids, I'd say don't get a young puppy, either. I've just gone through the housebreaking thing (I swore I wouldn't have a puppy, but I'm the one who brought her home so I can't complain too much lol) and the chewing thing--skip those altogether! Search your shelters and get a younger, whatever breed dog that just melts your heart and fits with your family.

    If you're getting a dog from a shelter, don't get hung up on what breed they call it. If it's not a surrender, they just give their best guesses, and sometimes they're so far off....just look at the actual dog, not what they say it is.
  10. CGonzalez1120

    CGonzalez1120 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2014
    i used great pyraneeses two of them that were sisters were probably half bordercollie cause their markiings were black and not grey and they had spots on their legs like borders do. they werent as standoffish as our full great pyraneese was one slept with the chickens and the other with the goats. we couldnt keep them together though for they would play in between the cages and we had them on a ranch where they didnt have a barn to sleep in and we lived in the city so they grow heavy coats for the texas winter and i brushed them out very well for the texas summer. they were the best dogs i have ever had many people wanted puppies from them for their chickens when they saw that they fought offf coyotes and barked away hawks other than that they were silent dogs. today i live ina more suburban area and we have chickens in our back yard. my pitbull mix puppy helps watch the chicks and my two older hens actually like to sleep next to my hound dog.

    i guess the point im getting to is that you can get a breed that is meant to be a livestock gaurdian or comes from proven parents so they already have a certain set of instincts that you can work with or you can get pretty much any breed or mix but you have to train them EARLY and well. its better if you have a puppy and introduce them little by little to chicks and then older chickens and probably your bossiest of hens so that they know not to mess with them and just show them what you want and expect of them and what they shouldnt do and such.

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