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Discussion Starter #1
I run a small hobby farm in the country. I'd like to get a dog to keep on the property as a part-time protector, full-time friend/companion. Not sure I want a livestock guardian as I don't think they would fulfill the requirements of the companion part. (From what I've read, anyway.) Don't really want a herder, either, as they would get bored while I'm at work and for lack of things to herd. I don't want my birds herded, just protected. :rolleyes: Any good breeds out there that won't cost thousands of dollars to purchase that I should look into? I should probably mention that my poultry are free-range and I want a dog that can be trusted around them.
 

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Your best bets are going to be Livestock guard breeds or herding breeds. Depending on how much grooming you want to do a rough or smooth collie might work out well. But with any dog it will take training to leave the poultry alone.
 

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I don't see why a livestock guardian dog wouldn't make a fine companion. How much grooming are you willing to do? How much shedding are you willing to put up with? Lastly, what kind of weather will the dog be expected to tolerate?
 

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Ok, did anybody else completely misinterpret the title of the post?
 

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Frankly my first choice would be a livestock guard dog breed. There's no reason it could not be a companion as well as a guard. It just probably won't be like a Golden Retriever but will be more independent, which is what you want if the dog's to stay with the poultry most of the time. Be sure and check out the link that Rosemaryninja gave you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's just that, from the websites I've read, you aren't really supposed to interact much with LGD's that are intended for working or they will become more bonded to you than the animals they are supposed to protect. Maybe this isn't true?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No, I've never heard that anywhere.

By the way, found this article too... thought it might be useful.
http://www.anatoliandog.org/poultry.htm

That article was great, thank you. Anatolians were actually a breed I looked at couple of years ago.

Quick question: I read somewhere that APBTs used to be farm dogs. Still true? How would one of those handle being on a farm these days?
 

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Just fine, if you didn't expect it to be loose with the poultry. :p

*mails you an excellent with poultry smooth collie*
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just fine, if you didn't expect it to be loose with the poultry. :p

*mails you an excellent with poultry smooth collie*
Ha! I hope you didn't use FedEx! *laughs*

Okay, so I found in the paper a guy selling anatolian/pyrenees mix pups. I know they are both LGDs, but are crosses still worth paying a purebred price, or should I expect some kind of reduction?
 

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Go to the local pound rather than paying thousands. You can save a life and save money at the same time. You can find herding breeds fairly easily (they're high energy and tend to be given up because of that) and their instincts leave them inclined to not harm animals. Even if this isn't the case, they tend to learn very quickly what you want of them. Go save a rescue dog.
 

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Actually, if the parents are working LGDs, that's a great cross. If they're NOT workign dogs, avoid like the plague. In general, going rate is $50 or so for 'normal' type of LGD farm pups with no hip testing on the parents.

This is an example of a performance/purpose-bred cross that isn't a breed in and of itself- it's a terminal cross.
 

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Don't depend on an Australian Shepherd with poultry. I saw a dog in rescue because he wouldn't let the poultry alone on the farm he lived on.

They are good dogs for larger farm animals, cattle, et al., but not so much with poultry, apparently.....at least in this Aussie's particular case.

I have no idea how they are, in general, with chickens and such.
 

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Be careful who you get a pup from. I would definitely get a puppy from working lines only. Seeing as you will be expecting this dog to do some actual, serious work, it's not worth it to buy a puppy and realise later it has little instinct.
 

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Avoid the traditional bird hunting breeds. They tend to have a very "special" relationship with birds. Not that there aren't some individuals who are fine around poultry, but they would have a pretty high incidence of failure to control their impulses around chickens and ducks.

My Golden would--if allowed--catch and deliver chickens to me. Some few might get a bit frayed around the edges. Left to his own devices long enough, I have no doubt he would learn to enjoy killing them. I can walk him at heel around a barnyard, but there's no mistaking the indications that his head would explode if I pushed the issue beyond his endurance. OTOH, my two Rotties took to herding the first domestic geese they ever laid eyes upon. They were city dogs so they were operating on pure instinct, but it was as if they'd been doing it their whole lives. There was not a feather out of place when they were done.
 

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If you need the dog to guard immediately what you really need is an adult LGD that has been raised and bonded to poultry similar to what you currently have. I'm not sure how it would work with poultry but I know with sheep they'll sometimes bring in an LGD and a few sheep it's already bonded with. Then when the new flock accepts the dog the sheep are removed.

If you're getting a puppy it should be raised with the flock and it's bonding should be primarily to them. But it should also have bonding to you and have some basic obedience training so that you can easily handle the dog when you need to. It's on large cattle and sheep ranches that the dogs have very little bonding to people because they are often working with the herd/flock a long way from most human contact. On small farms the dogs are bonded to the people as well as the animals they guard because they're around them on a daily basis.
 
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