Which dog breed is best to protect chickens?


12 Years
Apr 7, 2007
Memphis, TN
I was curious to know which breeds of dogs are best suited for protecting chickens? I'm sure there are so many ones who do a good job but I wanted to ask people who actually had dogs doing the job for them and their experiences with it. I know I will have to train a pup for this but I'm sure there are some breeds that just have a nak for the job. Please tell me your stories about your dogs if you will. I must get a new pup as I have hawks,owls, foxes, and who knows what in my heavy wooded lot. We have a fence but the hawks are my main problem really. What's a good breed of dog for the job? Thanks for your help! Julie


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
I won't know for sure until spring, but I think my wolfhound mix will do a good job of guarding. She is naturally protective. The breeds main purpose is for guarding flocks of sheep and other livestock and they are large enough and powerful enough to take down wolves. I plan to watch her closely for a good long time, but I'm pretty sure she'll do just fine. As for our border collie, he has a 'mental defect' and judging by his behavior with the other animals around here I'd be worried that he would harrass the chickens to death. He will be kept far away from the chickens for sure.


13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
Hi, They were just talking about dogs atacking chickens in another thread.
It is hard to say, I would go with a border collie,
I had one in the 70's that was sweet & perfect

Now I have a German Shepard. I spend a lot of time with all my animals.
I got this dog with a combination in mind of having a loving companion for the family
as well as a protector of all our other pets. So she was exposed to babies
all day long as a tiny puppy to learn restraint and soon she was eager to be with
the babies just to watch them and look to me for my aproval.
POLY - will not leave an animal un attended for even a moment. she is always
with in sight of them if not with in inches. We show her every new baby the day it is born.
She goes with me to gather eggs and watches every hatch we have.
This summer I threw an old egg about 30 feet into the field because I did not know how old it was,
the next day poly came to the door with that egg in her nouth she carefully laid it on the carpet She was so proud of her self and I was to.



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12 Years
Oct 27, 2007
omgoogness. that dog is so sweet.

i took in a stray that was a cattle herding dog. all i can say is that herding is a differnet instinct that protecting! i don't let her around them as i think she could herd them to death.


12 Years
Oct 5, 2007
Great Pyranees were bred to protect herds and flocks or livestock but I have heard it does take alot of training to get one to do its job. If i do become a farmer when I grow up I am sure I will have a couple to protect flocks or dairy sheep Goats + free range chickens.



12 Years
Oct 20, 2007
Eastern CT
We have the following breeds: Lab/Doberman mix, Australian Shepherd, pug. We also used to have Lab/German Shepherd mix, and Golden Retriever. We've never had an attack on our chickens. The Lab/Shepherd mix had the most difficult time adjusting to the chickens, but he did. None of the others have ever bothered them, except for our current pug chasing them for sport. That never lasts long and they don't take him seriously. We have also had a chicken occasionally get under the fence between us and our next door neighbors. They have three German Shepherds. The dogs have never given the chickens a hard time!
I know that Great Pyrenees are used for protecting livestock, but I don't know anyone who has used one for that purpose. I would definitely NOT want to take a chance with a spaniel since I've seen them attack wild song birds at a feeder at a friend's house.
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12 Years
Mar 25, 2007
I have a Pyr puppy for this purpose. Training him is a slow process, because Pyrs are famously stubborn--he'll be absolutely perfect one day, then the next day we'll go into the barn and he'll chase a rooster he feels is getting uppity. Pyrs don't get to be real mature adults till they are almost 2 years old, and he is going to need trained and re-trained until he has grown out of his playful puppy behavior. He's about 20 weeks old now, and he is just now figuring out when it is permissible to play, when I want him to chill out and settle down, etc. even though he's had a regular schedule for two months.

That said, they are pretty smart dogs. He did basic obedience and housebreaking in record time. When he is older and his joints have matured, I'm going to train him to pull a cart so I don't have to haul that darn wheelbarrow all over the property. If you have kids, or if you're not a very big person, you can use them for skijorning in the winter--they tow you on a sled or skis. They aren't good for mushing because they aren't really distance runners, but for just messing around in the snow they are lots of fun. They are decent guard dogs in that they won't bite a robber, but they will bark, growl and look very intimidating.

I would not have one around very young children. A Pyr puppy is big enough to knock over a small child accidentally. And when they are going through their puppy nipping stage, it's like having a medium-size dog really snapping at you. Not good for kids.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jan 26, 2007
BC, Washington Border
In the end I truly believe it comes down to the training and temperment of the dog more than the breed.

My shepherd was raised with me hand feeding baby parrots. I totally trust him.

2 pit lab crosses. Both rescue dogs and both are good with the chickens and animals after a year of frustration and intense training. A lot of issues had to be worked out with them as both where severly beaten by previous owners.

A sheperd ridgeback cross that was also a rescue. Good from day one with animals. Chickens can roost on her and she doesn't care.


Life is a Journey
12 Years
Jul 8, 2007
Woodville, MS
Hi F&F - great GSD. I too have a GSD, Rex, who has guarded the chicks since they were babies eventhough he was a 4-yr old adult when we got them. Shepherds are just naturally, well...shepherds. Visit my personal pages for pics of Rex and his flock. They free range our woods and property all day; we have an open run and open coop where they stay at night; and we've never lost a bird - it's been 7 months.

My vote is German Shepherd Dog.


In the Brooder
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
What a beautiful shepherd. I dont really think it matters on what type of dog. I think they just need to be taught. I had 2 kennel Rotties that had never been socialized or ever been outside a kennel. They both came to live in my house at the ages of 5 and 6. They were awesome dogs and learned very well how to adapt to a home environment. It took time, but they were great with my cats and my chickens. Its all about training and patience.

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