What is the best dog to guard your flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dbounds10, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I have a 12 year old pitbull that is not allowed out when the girls are free ranging. We have only had the girls about 6 months and he has never been around chickens, think he may want to taste them!

    Anyway - When he passes we would like to have a dog that we could raise around the girls so he knows they are not food but his job. I have always had pitbulls and would like to have one again, but I want to hear what you all have.

    PS - please refrain from negativity about pitbulls, its all about owners, not the breed. [​IMG]
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    there have been people posting on here about their pits being reliable around chickens. Maybe they will notice this and chime in. I do think for all breeds it helps to start with a young pup around the chickens.
  3. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Well no one can say for sure which dog is best because every dog is different even within their own breed. I have a Golden who his entire life was trained for waterfowl retreiving and often chased crippled birds through the marsh. Now how am I going to teach him that he is not supposed to chase the chickens? Exposure to them was the best remedy,although he did try to grab them a couple times. But now they walk right past him and he doesnt even open his eyes. One even pecked him on the nose. Granted his marsh days are over at age 13+ the body is tired but desire isnt. The biggest factor is knowing your dogs personality no matter what breed. Supervised visits with the chickens with strong correction for bad behavior and positive re-enforcement for good. Even with doing everything you can with a dog there is no promise that they wont revert to their ancestral thought and one day grab one. We often forget that they were wild and hunted for a living at one time.

    About your PS,I have no problem with Pits as they like any dog can be made into a nasty thing. Pits can be absolutely wonderful dogs. I often laugh when people say that their dog is stupid,I will reply no its you that is stupid. A dogs main priority is to please you and if you dont teach him that how can the dog know.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  4. whoacowboy

    whoacowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    Town of Clayton
    We have an 8 year old yellow lab. She is a trained bird dog. It is in her blood through and through and she has quite a few awards under her belt. When we first got chickens she would "get" them. Pin them down, but not hurt intentionally. That works fine and dandy when a duck is dead. But when the chickens are alive feathers go flying and the chase continues. A few good thumps over two weeks, and no chickens permanently injured, she just stopped. She knows she can't hunt unless on command. In fact, she walks within a foot of the chickens and never even looks at them. She just keeps sniffing the ground. Her new job now is to round the chickens up when it's time for them to go in. She happily skips around and finds them, they all scuttle in and her job is done. She is so happy she has a job involving birds. I can't really say how she has learned this but all we say is "Put the chickens up." And away she goes. When the chickens aren't being herding, the don't run away from her. It's some sort of understanding between the lab and them. I don't get it but I think it's so cool. I think a breed can surprise you, with a little training and time.
  5. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Madison, CT
    Ya i think you could get away with another pit.
    Just because the one you have now can't be around these birds i wouldn't say that all pits would have that issue.
    There are some energetic ones that probably can't but if you looks at the shelters for a really mellow one they could care less about chasing animals.

    We had a really chill pitbull mix who was really friendly around other animals and children.

    So its not really "whats the best breed for flock guarding) though there are some created for that, i would say when you go to look for another dog, look at the personality not the breed :].

    Ones that respond fast to movement or get easily excited probably wouldn't be good for the job so pick a dog thats really relaxed.
    Even a relaxed dog will guard its family/pack when its needed.
  6. FarmerGrant011

    FarmerGrant011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2011
    Sugar Land, TX
    If i were you.. I wouldnt trust a dog... Just get a couple of geese... Or maybe even a muscovy pair. Dogs arent reliable. I thought I could trust my yorkie outside and she was doing fine for two weeks... Then one day I go out there and find one of my polish PULLETS DEAD. and my dog was shaking her around.. I NEARLY MURDERED THAT DOG.
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    The BEST dog to guard your flock is the one that you have consistently worked with and trained. I've seen lots of pictures Pits with chickens. I have an 8 year old lab who has never been a problem with my chickens. I'll admit, I lucked out. He was raised with them, taught immediately at 8 weeks old not to mess with them. I honestly don't think there is one breed over another that is a good guard for your chickens. There are, however, some breeds with a higher prey drive (huskies, terriers or herding-type dogs) that are harder to train (some will say impossible) to leave the chickens alone. I hope it all works out for you!
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Quote:How much time did you spend actually training your yorkie to leave the chickens alone?
  9. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    I have been working with my 2 great Danes and German Shorthair Pointer with the chickens. The Danes are 5 years old and the GSP is 9 yrs. They have never been with chickens before as this is our first chickens ( they are 19 wks). I've been working with them since getting the chicks as day olds.
    They will now go into the coop and/or run and not bother the chickens. The chickens will run under them, jump over them and the dogs have been great so far...mind you I am still with them but they are not leashed.
    When ever I go to the coop, I take them. When I say "lets let the chicks out" they run ahead to the coop. When ever I go in the run one or two will go with me, usually if two it will be the Female Dane and GSP.
    So far so good.
    Of course they aren't free in the yard, flapping wings and running around like crazy. But ,I remember when I was a kid my dad had chickens ( free ranged) and we always had a dog loose with the birds and no problems.
  10. Nikkumz

    Nikkumz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    We have a 5 year old pitbull and she LOVES the ducks and chickens...She tried to play with the goat and has nipped at him a few time but thats cuz he headbutts her to get her away from food LOL, Abbie, our pitbull, is the best dog ive ever owned and i dont think i could ever find another dog that is as good wiht my animals and children as she is.
    Bad pitbulls come from bad owners, it has nothing to do with the breed.!

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