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The best friendly non-herding poultry guard dog

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  • The best friendly non-herding poultry guard dog

    OK. We're losing guineas left and right to predators so we are considering to get a guardian dog of some type. Any one has any suggestions? This dog will live outside on our 15 acre land, with necessary protection from the elements of course. Here are some criteria:

    1. I don't want them to chase my horses around so herding dogs are out.

    2. They need to be tolerant of "normal" strangers such as FedEx guys while we are not present. Our house is situated at the very back edge of the property and the FedEx and UPS guys drive into our property to leave our packages at the door. I need the dog to allow them to do their job.

    3. Low maintenance. No daily grooming to add to my list of chore please.

    4. Somehow independent. I want this dog to be a working dog, not a needy pet.

    Any ideas? Thanks.

  • #2
    Great Pyrenees-we have one and love him. Google the breed for a better idea of what i am talking about- also .. we get ours clipped in june(live in Northeast) which makes his coat easily managed. They shed dirt unlike any dog I have seen. He will be black from mud at night and white in the am with no rain...

    Comment


    • #3
      Our alpaca neighbors have Akbash. They are bred to live with and guard the heard but are people friendly. They also have guineas that live protected by her. Another that I know several horse people have are Anatolian shepherds (except I do know one that hasn't a clue that he should be stopping the fox from taking the chickens )
      Epona Farm
      Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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      • #4
        It can be any breed of dog, even a crossbred from a shelter, as long as the dog knows that all animals, including fowl are "his/hers" and not to be messed with.

        Best protectiors of my bantam chickens when I was a child were my father's two Llewellyn Setters, father and son, who once they learned that they were not to retrieve all the bantams, guarded them from other predators, including the opossums who in rainy weather attempted to eat my bantams in their tree roost beside the feed building. Those dogs would climb the fence up into the tree to get at the possum while I held the flashlight for my father to dispatch him.

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        • #5
          Mini-donkey!!!
          If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....

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          • #6
            I doubt that anything can protect gineas.
            They will roam and get high on trees and hawks and owls did ours in more than coyotes or bobcats did.

            Gineas and other such fowl are only completely protected if you confine them, at least at night.
            So, what you need is a herding dog that rounds them up for you every evening, one that can also fly to get those that insist on getting high up in the trees.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by jubilee43 View Post
              Great Pyrenees-we have one and love him. Google the breed for a better idea of what i am talking about- also .. we get ours clipped in june(live in Northeast) which makes his coat easily managed. They shed dirt unlike any dog I have seen. He will be black from mud at night and white in the am with no rain...
              I thought Great Pyrenees were aggressive toward stangers? Now I don't know anything about Great Pyrenees except for the very short research I have done on internet....

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by horsetales View Post
                Our alpaca neighbors have Akbash. They are bred to live with and guard the heard but are people friendly. They also have guineas that live protected by her. Another that I know several horse people have are Anatolian shepherds (except I do know one that hasn't a clue that he should be stopping the fox from taking the chickens )
                Do you know wheter Akbas is friendly toward "normal" strangers like mailman? I initially ruled Akbash out because I thought these guard dogs were very protective, which can mean aggressive toward stangers? Now granted the little I know about Akbas has been the very short research I have done on web....

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                  It can be any breed of dog, even a crossbred from a shelter, as long as the dog knows that all animals, including fowl are "his/hers" and not to be messed with.

                  Best protectiors of my bantam chickens when I was a child were my father's two Llewellyn Setters, father and son, who once they learned that they were not to retrieve all the bantams, guarded them from other predators, including the opossums who in rainy weather attempted to eat my bantams in their tree roost beside the feed building. Those dogs would climb the fence up into the tree to get at the possum while I held the flashlight for my father to dispatch him.
                  cloudyandcallie, do you know whether your father had to train those two Llewellyn Setters?

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                    I doubt that anything can protect gineas.
                    They will roam and get high on trees and hawks and owls did ours in more than coyotes or bobcats did.

                    Gineas and other such fowl are only completely protected if you confine them, at least at night.
                    So, what you need is a herding dog that rounds them up for you every evening, one that can also fly to get those that insist on getting high up in the trees.

                    Oh Bluey,

                    I forgot to mention that my guineas are trained to come back into their coop at night and we lock the coop every evening so owls should not be problem. I don't know how big a prey a hawk can carry. Our guineas are just as big or bigger than the hawks we see around here. I am convinced that there are loose wild dogs, coyotes, or foxes looking for free meals in my yard

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                      Do you know wheter Akbas is friendly toward "normal" strangers like mailman? I initially ruled Akbash out because I thought these guard dogs were very protective, which can mean aggressive toward stangers? Now granted the little I know about Akbas has been the very short research I have done on web....
                      I know theirs is very people friendly. They had gotten her at about 9 months of age and had lived out with the herd. They had no problem working with her. Since she was out with the Alpacas, I didn't actually meet her until about 18 months when I showed up help them out and feed for them. She greeted me with wagging tail. They told me they are not supposed to be bred for people aggression. They have moved her to a pen near the house and whenever we pull up shes at the gate wagging. Also, her Mom is a Home shopping Network order aholic and they have never had an issue with UPS and I know lately she has learned to escape the fields and is often roaming the yard.
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                      • #12
                        Good that you keep the gineas in at night.
                        We didn't, they roosted in the cottonwoods with the wild turkeys and we felt like the old song, we had one less every day.

                        The local feed store here has a great pyrenees and that dog sees people come and go all day long, without giving anyone any trouble.
                        I think that akabash are supposed to be a little more territorial and protective.

                        I would guess that, as so much with dogs, dogs tend to be what we make of them.

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                        • #13
                          I have a Great Pyrenees, He's an awesome dog, He was guarding 4 chickens and a couple of goats when he came to me, he now guards my place, when I got him, he was very depressed with in a day of having nothing to guard, I put two of the minis in with and he totally came out of his shell. He does bark a lot, but NOTHING goes unnoticed by him, Once he knows the various vehicles that are supposed to come and go, he doesn't bark at them ie the neighbors. He will bark at my car but once I say hello he's fine. If you do get one, make sure their handle able, mine was a rescue, and I can't do much more than pet him, leashes and collars are out of the question he was obviously mishandled in the past. He is totally awesome with my kids ages 3and almost 5, don't let them cry he will sniff them from head to toe to try to figure out whats wrong.
                          I just wish I could handle him a bit more, I've tried and he won't let me and its really not worth getting bit over.

                          Karen

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                          • #14
                            I think any good natured family dog is going to cut down on predation by virtue of the increased activity in the yard.

                            I've never had any problems with my dogs chasing livestock, and I do have one hunting dog (retired), and one herding dog mutt (never was a working dog though). My previous dogs were Basset Hounds, and one was bred to hunt - though he never hunted). None of them every looked twice at any of my livestock. Good souls, all of them.

                            I've lost two hens to hawks, but other than that have had no predation. Like your poultry, mine put themselves to bed (in their coop) when the sun goes down.

                            Whatever type or breed of dog you decide on, I think the key is always going to be training. The instinct to guard/herd/hunt may be naturally present, but unless you work diligently to train the dog, that instinct may go awry.

                            cloudyncallie's father's dogs are a good example. Dogs that you'd think would want to mess with poultry, because of their breeding, but were obviously beautifully trained and excellent partners.

                            (From her previous posts I'm pretty sure his dogs were his hunting dogs)
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                              cloudyandcallie, do you know whether your father had to train those two Llewellyn Setters?
                              He trained them from puppyhood on quail and dove, since one was my "brother" and his son was also my "brother", confusing to a small kid. But once the father dog was taught not to retrieve my first 2 bantams "Henry" and "Henrietta" (named after family friends), both dogs got right into the spirit of protecting them, so when my 20 or some bantams started screaming for help, we cut on flood lights, 2 dogs ran outside (they slept in my parents' bed) and the hunt was on. The dogs knew when the gun came out, something was going to get shot, and they knew when the bantams screamed for help, it was a possum who was going to die.

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                              • #16
                                I'm just loving the image of the poor banty being retrieved by the dog.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                                  I'm just loving the image of the poor banty being retrieved by the dog.
                                  NOt a pretty scene! Henry and Henrietta came full grown from my grandparents in SC. Dan the dog catches Henrietta, my other grandfather, who lived with us, chases him with the hoe, my father gets Henrietta out of Dan's mouth with a one inch tear in her skin on breast(bad dog, supposed to not do that but he was about 6 months old then). Mother takes medicine and needle and thread and at the dining room table sews up hen.
                                  Henry and Henrietta then produce a long line of named bantam chickens for possums to covet, and for Dan and his son born a few years later, to protect.

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                                  • #18
                                    I love love love my Mastiff/lab cross. She is a great guard dog with the agility of a lab but big enough to scare off predators. has a great big bark but doesn't use it unless necessary. She doesn't have a herding instinct whatsoever which is good because my horse has been known to hurt dogs who try it
                                    Kansas girl trying her hand at Area 8

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                                    • #19
                                      Get a donkey. Standard size would be best.

                                      A friend of mine, who has a yard full of GSD's and rescue dogs, was having coyote problems and losing guineas, so we gave her our donkey. They let him patrol the perimeter of the property at night for a few weeks, and she stopped losing poultry. Years later, she still has both poultry and the donkey.
                                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                                      http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Chief2 View Post
                                        Get a donkey. Standard size would be best.

                                        A friend of mine, who has a yard full of GSD's and rescue dogs, was having coyote problems and losing guineas, so we gave her our donkey. They let him patrol the perimeter of the property at night for a few weeks, and she stopped losing poultry. Years later, she still has both poultry and the donkey.
                                        Are you saying that they let the donkey roam free everywhere? How exactly does it work? If we are to keep the donkey in the pasture, it would be useless for our guineas in the yard right?

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