Will English Mastiffs guard livestock/chickens?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by redhen, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Hi..I am going to be getting an English Mastiff pup in a few weeks...and i have been thinking (ever since i lost my Polish hen the other day to a predator)..that i would like to have a dog that i can trust in my yard during the daytime with my chickens and also sometimes my goats...could i trust him with them if i train him to be around them safely?..will he chase off any predators?..such as 'coons, fisher cats, foxes, and even coy dogs?..i would have him in my house at night...because my chickens and goats are locked up in barns/coops at night anyways....but..i'd like to have him in my yard with them during the daytime(weather permitting of course)...i know Mastiffs are guard dogs...but are they "livestock" guardians as well?...thanks for any help with this, Wendy
     
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I would think it would protect whatever it was trained to, but it would definitely need to be taught that catching chickens is a big NO NO! [​IMG]
     
  3. fdnick

    fdnick Master Chicken Hoarder

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    Spokane, Wa.
    Our African Mastiffs are great with all the critters, Horses, Alpacas, Sheep, Chickens & Turkeys.. BUT.. you need to raise them with them, our son came to visit and it took us a couple days to get his dog to quit chasing the chickens.. ours have been out and about on the farm since puppyhood and we have never had any issues [​IMG]
    you should do fine... [​IMG]
    Denna
     
  4. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Any dog, regardless of breed, may guard, but that does not mean the dog will or even has any interest in guarding anything. It depends more on what you do with your puppy as far as conditioning and training goes. EM's tend to be lazy dogs as they mature (though not always the case).

    EMs are not livestock guardians by breed trait and are barely guardians of the home any more. More of a visual deterrent. So Im not sure how your dog might turn out in this capacity--but who knows? Nothing is set in stone when it comes to animals and your pup may turn out to be just what you need. BTW--congrats and I expect lots of pics [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. texasreb

    texasreb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My South African Mastiff is a great livestock guardian.
     
  6. fdnick

    fdnick Master Chicken Hoarder

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    [​IMG] same here our Boerboels not only protect the livestock but I dare anyone to try to come thru our driveway gates without us there..... [​IMG]
    Denna
     
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Wow!..thanks for all the responses!...would anyone have a tried and true method to train a young pup to never go after a chicken or goat or pig or cat..or....LOL..you get the idea...
    My Saints and Dane are safe around my cats...but..i wouldnt trust them with chickens....i didnt have chickens when they were pups so i lost that advantage...so, any methods, please?...thanks, Wendy
     
  8. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Boerboels and EMs are completely different as breed type and temperament, you cannot compare them.
     
  9. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an English mastiff and he is not so great with critters. If they give chase he WILL chase. I have two cats, bunnies and toddlers and he is constantly trying to chance the cats, the bunnies, and the kids. The mastiff breed was meant to deture humans and not so much critters like raccoons. They are not the most agile or fastest of breeds.
    Mastiffs are very strong willed and are not retrievers or shepards. They don't take direction well and are known the be stubborn and strong willed. They take a lot of work and require strong willed owner.
    I would never teach a mastiff to be protective. They are naturally but it is a fine line between protective and aggressive. Any large breed dog is usually put down for aggressivness and/ or over protectiveness. These traits are often accepted in smaller breed dogs but make large breed dogs dangerous.
    Aside from my warnings, I love my mastiff. He is a valued member of my family. He just requires a bit of work and some careful watching.
     
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:Hi..ooh..i would not teach him or ANY other dog either to be protective..i know...i NEVER, ever want a dog to protect me...to many problems can arise from that behavior....i dont ever let my dogs display that type of behavoir.......but, thaks for bringing that up..because i feel very strongly about that also!....but..what i would like from him would be a kind of "deterrant" for predators..and maybe not let a predator near the chickens......but..i would need him to be safe around them!......even unsupervised..say..i am in the house..and he is in the yard with the birds...is is possible?..or am i thinking crazy..as usual...[​IMG]...
     

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