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  1. #1
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    Default What breed of dog is good with Horses, Chickens, cats and other pets?

    We already have four dogs, 3 little yappers and a border collie mix. However we have a problem with foxes eating our chickens and my husband is convinced we can find a dog to protect the chickens and chase the fox away. I'm not so sure. The border collie will chase the fox if I tell her to but she has to be kenneled when we are not home because she will kill chickens if no one is looking. To be fair they go into her kennel and eat her food right in front of her but still....My husband seems to think the answer is a Jack Russell Terrier, I'm positive that is NOT the answer. Any suggestions on which breed of dog will be best? He wants a dog that wants to stay on our property (5.5 acres) watch out for predators, not bother the horses, cats or other dogs and not eat our chickens. Is there such a pillar of dogdom out there?



  2. #2
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    Standard Poodle - best dogs in the house and on a farm. Seriously. Great for ground hog control too.



  3. #3
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    I will probably be deemed insane for this, but I agree with your husband =O. I think that most any breed of dog will chase and a kill a chicken if given the chance, you just have to train them not to.

    My JRT chased the chickens when he first saw them, but he has quickly learned that they belong on the farm and they do not need him to chase them. I let him out for long periods of time now with the chickens free ranging and he ignores them for the most part. There is one hen that likes to peck him so she follows him everywhere pecking him on the head until he starts barking at her, then she leaves him alone.

    Funny story from the other day. Tanner (JRT) was outside taking care of business and when he was done, he did his leaf throwing peel out. I guess the chickens thought he had found something to eat and was scratching because they all came running at him as fast as they could. When he saw them, a look of sheer terror came across his face..lol. He wasn't scared of them per se, but wasn't sure if he was allowed to be in the middle of all of them I think, so he ran to the house as fast as he could..lol.

    Just edited to add that I agree on the Standard Poodles being fantastic farm/everything dogs. My first dog was a Standard.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  4. #4
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    Jun. 4, 2001
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    Many breeds and mix breeds can do this but just there are just as many that have a very strong prey drive which might be hard or nearly impossible to overcome. It greatly depends on the individual dog. A friend has one JRT which is fine aorund the chickens. Her other JRT is not at all nor every will be.
    I have a catahoula/husky mix that was just born with barn sense. Has an uncanny understanding as to what encompasses to his family and what does not.
    "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."



  5. #5
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Western South Dakota
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    I'd go for a Pembrooke Welsh Corgi. They are good at keeping bad critters out of your yard but too lazy to roam much . Good with the critters that are supposed to be in the yard . We raised them for years and they are really good "big" dogs in a small package.



  6. #6
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    The best farm dog is a well trained one.

    Or at least one that knows the command, "Leave It!" and "Drop It!"

    I partial to hound breeds, myself. But they can be a challenge in a farm setting (they follow their noses and go bye bye)

    I've never had any problem with my dogs going after livestock of any sort. But they know that messing with the animals is an anathema. My chickens free range and the dogs don't even look at them. Not even as chicks (though the beagle does get a very rapacious look on her face)

    Whatever breed or mutt you choose, just work on recall and obedience.

    (I do love standard poodles - what an absolutely terrific breed.)



  7. #7
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    JSwan beat me to it and I agree.

    The best breed of chicken dog is a well trained dog.
    That is a very rare breed, because most dogs kind of train themselves and, well, dogs really are not smart enough to know without being taught what they need to do, so they end only partially trained, not dependable.

    We trained border collies to work cattle, so we know that confining and training is imperative to have a reliably trained dog, no matter what you intend to do with that dog.

    If you have dogs that run around entertaining themselves, they won't learn to work FOR you and listen to you, especially when the chips are down, as in running chickens.

    I say, get the dog you want and then, confine and train and proof your training, before you can trust any dog.



  8. #8
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    Agree with LCW and JSwan... a Standard Poodle.
    Because an SP is probably one of the easiest by far breeds to get well trained. And a they are pretty protective against fox and coyote. (and badgers and raccoons, etc)
    But they're not known cat chasers or chicken eaters...unless the chicken comes from your oven.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  9. #9
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    ditto the TRAINED dog. Any dog of any breed can be good with other animals if trained; just as any dog of any breed can eat chickens and cats and chase horses if not trained.
    Build a better chicken coop and forget about trying to outwit foxes with dogs. Foxes are super-smart.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 9, 2001
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    Have you looked into livestock protection dogs? While most often used for sheep, they can be trained to guard just about anything.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Susta...tion-Dogs.aspx

    http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/compani.../guarddogs.htm

    Livestock raisers in Europe and Asia have, for thousands of years, employed various breeds of dogs to deter both two-and four-legged predators. Several of these canine varieties have come down through the centuries unspoiled by irresponsible breeders or dog show fanciers (who have bred defects into many types).

    The guard dogs are often referred to as "shepherds", but they don't actually herd livestock in the manner of Border collies or Belgian sheepdogs.

    Instead, these animals have more "maternal" and protective instincts, and will allow their charges to wander freely ... as long as they remain in sight and out of trouble.
    A friend of mine had a Great Pyrenees for her small horse farm. Every morning he'd make his trip around the perimeter of the farm, making sure everything was OK. Then he'd plop down on top of the highest point and hang out all day, keeping watch. He even knew which cats were "his" and which were strays. He wouldn't kill the strays, just chase them off.



  11. #11
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    Thank for the responses so far. I KNOW you have to properly train a dog to leave the chickens alone. The chickens have a job to do so they have to be free range. They scratch through and spread the manure to keep parasites down, they eat bugs and ticks. I haven't seen a tick in years even though I live in Central Georgia and fecal counts are always low so they are doing a great job. Eggs are just a side bonus . I'm looking for a dog whose natural instincts won't be working against me though. I'm intrigued by the GP story, they are just so damned BIG! Standard Poodle? I wouldn't have thought of it...wonder what my husband will say...he seems to have his heart set on a JRT.



  12. #12
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    Labs - or my Chessie is fabulous at that. I do have to tell her once that something is okay. The only beast I ever had an issue with her getting too focused on was a goat, but she never harmed it and I worked with her to lose that focus.

    The big issue is if you are willing/able to leave your dog out all night every night. We brought ours in, and the fox or coyote or whatever it was killed my pet rooster and both of his hens - broke my heart.

    Here were all 3 of my dogs (corgi, chessie and lab/hound mix) with the chickens - I sure miss them. RIP Joe, Carmella and Bianca...
    http://s74.photobucket.com/albums/i2...ter/?start=all



  13. #13
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    the best farm dog i had was a beagle lab mix, she did not wander and she didn't killanything that was a kitty, everything i didn't want killed was a kitty, if i told her leave the kitty alone she did, even if it was a bunny, although she did look at me a few times and said are you sure this is a kitty, she was a obedience trained and delta certified therapy dog
    she was a varmint killing machine and i did lend her out to friends if they had groundhog issues but she never killed a kitty
    i would look for a dog who wants to stay around you and not wander off, they generally feel protective about "their" family and don't kill other animals in their domain



  14. #14
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    Too funny yellow-horse! I had a lab once and his code word was toy. If anything new came in that he was unsure of, I just told him it was a toy and he would be fine with it. Of course his actual toys were then known by other names- ball, foot, rope, etc. My dad even taught him to get beer out of the cooler using the toy method..lol. Show him a can of something, tell him it was a toy. Show him cooler with "toys" in it, tell him to go get the toy. It worked just fine.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  15. #15
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    The chickens have a job to do so they have to be free range.
    even at night? no one around here, to the fullest extent of my knowledge, has ever managed to keep chickens alive without locking them up securely at night due to the predators (fox). Can you run a couple geese with them during the day to protect them then lock them up at night?

    I believe the livestock guarding dogs have a tendency to wander. You'll need a fence.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacetrackReject View Post
    If anything new came in that he was unsure of, I just told him it was a toy and he would be fine with it. .
    My code phrase is: Go git that bunny.

    I swear it's like flipping a switch. I utter the magic phrase and the beagle lights up like a Christmas Tree.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    My code phrase is: Go git that bunny.

    I swear it's like flipping a switch. I utter the magic phrase and the beagle lights up like a Christmas Tree.

    Ok, I wasn't going to confess, but I guess I will now. My JRT's magic words are "Get the kitty!". And no, he doesn't get them. He loves to play with them, but I can have him in Tractor Supply, going ballistic(bouncing), and say "get the kitty" and he freezes and starts looking for the door because, as we all know, kitties are outside (at least at my house =)). The people at the feed store think it's hilarious and start with "get the kitty" as soon as we walk in. Apparently another JRT that goes in there likes "kill the rat".
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  18. #18
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    I'd say any dog can learn to be a good dog with smaller animals.

    Except Siberians--we used to breed them and race them and DANG they were predators through and through! Wouldn't trust one with a critter smaller than a bull, and one of mine even had a go at one of THOSE once.

    My lab is wonderful with all the farm animals: lets the kitties sleep with her, adores the chickens (NOT mutual) and even puts up with Bonnie's dog obsession and lets the mare slurp her from head to toe.
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  19. #19
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    Thank for the responses so far. I KNOW you have to properly train a dog to leave the chickens alone. .....
    do you? but you already have a dog who eats chickens, what happened to the training? why do you think the new dog will turn out any different?

    [/quote] I'm looking for a dog whose natural instincts won't be working against me though.[/quote]
    don't you have one? BC mix? BC= easily trained dog used to work not eat livestock.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    even at night? no one around here, to the fullest extent of my knowledge, has ever managed to keep chickens alive without locking them up securely at night due to the predators (fox). Can you run a couple geese with them during the day to protect them then lock them up at night?

    I believe the livestock guarding dogs have a tendency to wander. You'll need a fence.
    Actually, my chickens roost high in a tree at night but I've never lost one at night. I do, however, have a pair of foxes that hunt in the morning (I usually see them around 8 or 9ish) and in the early evening (usually about an hour before dark). I've had geese before but they all disappeared too (fox or bobcat we're not sure). We have 5 strand electric horse fencing all the way around and I had my husband install 2' tall chicken wire next to it so the foxes couldn't just run under the wires and to keep the chickens from going into the hedgerow on the other side of the fence. The chicken wire doesn't go the whole perimeter of the property though (couldn't convince hubby to spend a few more weekends on the project). It would probably be cheaper in the long run than a dog though .

    This past Saturday morning my husband got up earlier than me and saw the fox in our back yard trying to catch our youngest rooster less than 20' from the house! The border collie was still in her kennel but barked furiously and Mr. Fox went away hungry...that time. He's a bold bastard! I came home one evening last week and found my husband in the back pasture picking up pecans...the fox was sitting there watching him from the back corner of the property, probably only a couple hundred feet away. My border collie will chase him off the property when I tell her to "go git 'im" but once he is under the fence she feels she has done her job and comes to me for approval. I've actually seen the damn fox come back under the fence behind her follow her back into the pasture!



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