What kind of dog should I get for my backyard?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Deebsra, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Deebsra

    Deebsra Out Of The Brooder

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    My neighbor offered me her dog today because she's moving. She's a 2.5 year Cockapoo and I brought her out back after putting my chickens in their run to see what she might do and she darted at all the sides of my run and scared all my chickens into their coop. My question (after reading a serious amount of other threads/posts) is should I get a puppy so I can train it to be around my chickens or is there a SPECIFIC kind of dog you think would be best to get? Also, how would I train the dog not to kill my chickens? I have a dog house already (courtesy of the previous owner) so I'd like a dog that can sleep outside to protect against predators at night (Opossums, cats & raccoons) We have a 9 foot fence so coyotes aren't a problem. We also have a rooster, but we can't keep him after he starts crowing [​IMG]. Such a bummer because he's really cool and helpful. He's the hearder of my 8 week old flock :)
     
  2. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you have a small, fenced backyard? Also, sounds like a more urban area? If so, I would personally suggest investing in making your coop secure rather than in a dog. A dog that is kept outside all the time either needs a large area or lots of walks. Both inside and outside dogs need socialization and training. Leaving a dog in a small area can lead to a stressed/aggressive dog, if that was the intent?
     
  3. Deebsra

    Deebsra Out Of The Brooder

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    That would be terrible. No it's not the intent. I want to leave the dog outside at night. I have 2 kids who would love to play with it and I like dogs too. We would like a pet dog, but one that could also be trained to protect my chickens if they free ranging during the day. We found an opossum the other day we had to get out of our yard, during the day... We have 6,000 sq ft back yard. It's pretty big and I have a very secure chicken coop and run. I made it myself.

    [​IMG]




    I also have 2 dog runs on either side of my house, one a normal size and one 15 x 8 feet.


    [​IMG]
    This is less then 1/4 of my back yard. I'm standing in the middle towards this side.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    While breed does have something to do with a dogs ability, or not, to get along with chickens, the most important factor is training. Training must take place every single day until the pup is an adult which is considered anywhere between 1 to 3 years depending on the size of the dog. Without proper training you are simply introducing a predator into your yard that just might kill your whole flock given the chance. It happens all the time and there are many posts in this forum about that very subject. Just consider carefully if you are willing and able to give a dog the time and training it needs.
     
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 I think when picking a dog you should take good look at your overall lifestyle and not just focus on the chickens. Some dogs are higher energy and need more exercise. Some have more grooming needs or are prone to different health problems. Some tend to be more social which is great but also makes them more needy. There are a lot of factors. Also, keep in mind that no dog is going to fit perfectly into its breed stereotypes.

    I live in an urban neighbor with a small yard. I have 4 dogs (a 60lb pit mix and 3 pugs). I also have 5 chickens. (lol. I do not recommend this number of animals in my size yard - I am a crazy person) But, everyone gets a long really well. One I got as a puppy but the other three are from shelters and I got them in various ages ranging from 6 months to 2 years +

    DAILY training and patience are the key. You also need to make sure you that are giving your dog what he needs. If he is bored and under exercised he will not be able to behave how you want him to.

    PM me if you want some training tips. I have a whole long post I can send you. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  6. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whew! Hm, it is hard to say on breed. For instance, my ACD (adopted as an adult) gets along with every pet we own and I trust 100% with, but I've heard stories from others where their cattle dog had such a high prey drive that even solid barriers would be torn through to get at the animal/s inside. I've heard similar ranges in everything from rotties to chihuahuas. ChickensRDinos has some very good advice on choosing a dog I think. :)
     
  7. Deebsra

    Deebsra Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you!!
     
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    My dogs - a lab and a golden retriever are my chicken protectors and I got chickens after I had the dogs - the dogs "raised" them as chicks and now pretty much ignore them - unless there is a predator in the area - then it's game on! Some will say, and I respect - that no dog is safe to be around chickens - I disagree. In fact, when I let mine free range the chickens boot the dogs out of their dog houses and take up residence inside! Whatever you decide - best of luck to you and Happy Holidays!
     
  9. XavCas

    XavCas Out Of The Brooder

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    I acually have a Hound x Lab, and she is good with my chickens. She is about a year, and when we adopted her she use to chase them.. but I would tell her no and she doesn't really pay attention to them anymore. She is a great dog and protector..
     
  10. alienkitties

    alienkitties New Egg

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    Hi - we have a choc. lab/australian shepherd mix. When she was young she would chase the chickens non-stop. I had to stay with her the WHOLE time when she was a puppy to discipline her IMMEDIATELY until she started behaving properly. Now, she is older, and the chickens are safe. She will sometimes herd them, which they don't like, but doesn't try to eat them anymore. The lab in her has hunting instincts, the aussie is a herder. My chickens are now safe, but she has recognized them as ours... It took her over a year of CONSTANT vigilance to get her trustworthy. While she didn't chase them constantly, you couldn't trust when she would go after them, or if she was trying to herd them or hunt them. NOW, at 3 years old, she is fine with any ADULT chicken, but not with juvenile or baby chicks. She considers baby chicks fluff snacks (although she hasn't gotten any) and the juvies I simply watch her around to make sure she doesn't hound them or scare them. Each dog will have its own traits, some are known to be good with other animals, some are NEVER to be trusted, etc... you do have to be careful with breed. Most little dogs (chihuahua's, dauchunds, terriers for intance, were ALL breed to attack and chase down small rodents/pest animals - their instinct will be to chase and KILL little birds/rodents.) Larger dogs, if you get them young, tend to be better with training for animal care/children. Australian shepherds are herding dogs, so while they aren't trying to kill animals, their instinct is to follow and hound them over and over - also, they are ACTIVE and take longer to mature. Labs are companionable, but were breed for hunting AND companionship both, so while you can train them for animal care, it can take longer because of their instinct for the hunt. Hope that helps... the main thing is patience, get a calm older dog, or a young puppy - but WATCH either and train them the whole time they are loose until you know they are trustworthy with your personal animals. They might still go for someone else's but they should start trying to protect the ones they know. : ) Best of luck!!!
     

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