Which dogs are better with chickens, males or females? What breeds?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hoosierhen, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. hoosierhen

    hoosierhen Songster

    Sep 26, 2007
    I am thinking ahead a little, about the possibility of getting a dog to guard my chickens, (and possibly some goats) from predators. Is one sex more reliable than the other for this purpose? Also, I have read about several different breeds that are good for this, and was leaning toward a German Shepard or Great Pyranese. Does anyone have a breed recommendation? It gets really cold here, so a dog that can be outside for extended periods of time without suffering from the cold would be needed. I have a Boxer and a terrier right now, they like to be out for short periods of time, but much prefer the couch in weather like we're having now!
  2. BantyChickMom

    BantyChickMom Songster

    Sep 25, 2007
    Henderson, NC
    I don't know that I would trust any breed of dog with my chickens behind my back, but if there is such a breed, I think it would be one of the herding breeds, bred in them to herd the animals and not eat them.
    If it works out with a herding dog you may not even need a rooster for protection or for getting the girls in the coop at night. [​IMG]
  3. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    My beagle homer "male obviously" is 100% fine with chickens. He is actually scared of them where mollie my chow/lab mix is not so good and has to be supervised
  4. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    I have a red heeler mix, she's pretty good at keeping away the nasties and will even chase hawks. [​IMG]
  5. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    I would stay away from terriers, but ALL will have to be supervised, I trust mine and one is a bird dog(LAB), but she was raised with the chickens so she sees them as hers, chases squirels, ground hogs, possums,etc... so she could easily kill chickens, but chooses not to.
  6. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    I have 4 dogs - 3 boxers and a beagle/basset mix :

    Wally ( boxer ) is scared to death of the chickens when face to face with them but will bark he dang fool head off at them from the window inside the house

    Daisy ( boxer ) can not be trusted she loves to chase things like cats,birds,rabbits so chasing a chicken would be right up her alley

    Abbey ( boxer ) she is still a young dog so would most likey chase them out of fun

    Dixie ( B/B mix ) I took her into the chicken run on a leash she showed interest in the chickens but did not bark at them - she was much more interested in all the smells and finding poop ! but I dont know if I would trust her in there off the leash - she also likes to chase cats,rabbits

    I think if you want a dog to protect the flock start them as very very young pups around older chickens that way if the pup starts to get a little to playful a quick peck to the nose would teach them to behave

    good luck

  7. I believe this has been covered in several other posts. I my opinion, most dogs can be trained to live with chickens (I have 4). To protect the birds I would suggest a guard dog breed either meant to guard property or better yet livestock. Google LGD.

  8. Ang

    Ang Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    West Central Illinois
    I would say that it does depend on the individual dog but some breeds tend to be better than others. I wouldn't trust any terrier near chickens but I am sure there are individuals that do just fine around them. I would also lean toward a herding breed. A Pyrenees is on my list of wants at the moment.
  9. Henrietta23

    Henrietta23 Songster

    Oct 20, 2007
    Eastern CT
    Over the years I've had 6 dogs with my chickens. All were neutered males. Our lab/shepherd mix was awful to the first two hens but chickens were brand new to him and us. After the first summer he was fine with them. Our Golden Retriever and our first pug ignored the hens. This was the same Golden who swam after a duck on Seneca Lake in NY and my cousin almost had to go after him with a boat!
    Our current dogs are fine with the hens. We have a lab/doberman mix, an Australian Shepherd and another pug. This pug, who wasn't neutered until after a few months of living here, constantly chases the hens in a playful way. They have no trouble getting away from him.
    We have three German Shpeherds next door to us. My Sasha got under the fence a number of times this fall and spent the day with the Shepherds (2 females and a male). We were very lucky that the dogs must have gotten used to seeing the birds through the fence and did no harm. The Newfoundland on the other side of us visits and doesn't bother the hens either.
    Don't know if there is any help in there or not. Just my personal experiences.
  10. hoosierhen

    hoosierhen Songster

    Sep 26, 2007
    Thanks for your input. I DO NOT trust my terrier or Boxer with the chickens and they are only allowed near the fence when supervised. They have been curious about them since they were day old chicks, but they were not raised near them, and I suspect would chase/kill them if given the chance.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: