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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about getting a dog (about a year old). My nerves can't handle a puppy. I don't know what breed I should get or if I should settle for a mutt or a mix. What breed do you guys think would be best for me? I want one that doesn't have a LOT of energy. Medium-sized. Medium fur, too. He/she would be a strictly outdoor dog. We have chickens, so we'd need one that wouldn't bother them. I run off and on (usually about a mile) so I'd like one that'd run with me. Probably the biggest thing would be the barking. We'd want a dog that doesn't bark a lot.

Thanks in advance.
 

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No shade, but based on this post I wouldn't recommend a dog to you at this time. To be happy, outdoor dogs generally need a "job" (for example, a livestock guardian dog being responsible for a herd of sheep) and/or the company of other dogs. Typically even a mild-mannered dog that is left outdoors is also going to bark, because there are lots of things to bark at outdoors. It doesn't sound like a dog would suit your current circumstances nor would your current circumstances suit a dog.

Why do you want a dog?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, he would have a job. He'd be my pet, best friend, and he could always protect the chickens if he wanted to. My grandparents have an outdoor dog. He's a little thing. He doesn't bark unless someone pulls into the driveway.

I just recently lost all of my cats. I loved them all equally but one was my baby. He was everything to me. I'm not looking to replace him. I just want a furry friend. I want to try dogs again because they are playful and joyful. Dogs are literally happy all the time. Cats, not so much. I need joy in my life.

Thank you for replying.
 

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Would you make your human best friend sleep out in the yard? Why could the dog not be indoors with you when you are indoors?

There is a big exception to the idea of dogs being happy all the time - dogs are social creatures. They are generally not happy when alone. Chickens really don't count.
 

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Some things to consider:

Even livestock guardian breeds need to be taught how to interact appropriately with livestock, and often poultry is more difficult than larger animals for them to learn how to work with. Expect that you'll need to spend some time closely supervising your dog's interactions with the chickens, and that it may be some time before you can be sure that they can be loose together safely. Even if you luck out and find a dog who's already socialized and calm around chickens, you don't want to rush introductions because the dog might react differently to your chickens than the ones it's familiar with.

How much time do you spend outside on your property? If you're an outdoorsy person who spends much of your day in your yard/garden or doing activities you can bring a dog along for, you'll likely be much more successful keeping a happy outside dog than if you're only out an hour or so a day. Companion breeds that form strong bonds with their owners are going to have a harder time adapting to an outdoor lifestyle, as we've selected them to have a strong desire to be with us, so this is especially true for them.

Boredom is one of the main reasons for barking, especially with outdoor dogs. You can't assume that they'll entertain and exercise themselves, even when they have lots of space. How much of your outdoor time are you able to commit to playing with a dog, doing training or brain games to keep them mentally stimulated, and ensuring that they have an enriching environment? This will go a long ways towards curbing problem behaviors like barking, digging, or attempting to escape the property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Would you make your human best friend sleep out in the yard? Why could the dog not be indoors with you when you are indoors?

There is a big exception to the idea of dogs being happy all the time - dogs are social creatures. They are generally not happy when alone. Chickens really don't count.
:LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL: My parents would never allow a dog inside. If I were in charge, that might be different. I'm pretty sure it's illegal and just cruel to make a human sleep outside.
Some things to consider:

Even livestock guardian breeds need to be taught how to interact appropriately with livestock, and often poultry is more difficult than larger animals for them to learn how to work with. Expect that you'll need to spend some time closely supervising your dog's interactions with the chickens, and that it may be some time before you can be sure that they can be loose together safely. Even if you luck out and find a dog who's already socialized and calm around chickens, you don't want to rush introductions because the dog might react differently to your chickens than the ones it's familiar with.

How much time do you spend outside on your property? If you're an outdoorsy person who spends much of your day in your yard/garden or doing activities you can bring a dog along for, you'll likely be much more successful keeping a happy outside dog than if you're only out an hour or so a day. Companion breeds that form strong bonds with their owners are going to have a harder time adapting to an outdoor lifestyle, as we've selected them to have a strong desire to be with us, so this is especially true for them.

Boredom is one of the main reasons for barking, especially with outdoor dogs. You can't assume that they'll entertain and exercise themselves, even when they have lots of space. How much of your outdoor time are you able to commit to playing with a dog, doing training or brain games to keep them mentally stimulated, and ensuring that they have an enriching environment? This will go a long ways towards curbing problem behaviors like barking, digging, or attempting to escape the property.
A lot of people around here have dogs and chickens so, hopefully, it won't be too difficult to find a dog who's accustom to chickens. Chickens come and go. They don't really bond.

I have been spending more time outside lately. Maybe an hour a day. If I had someone out there to keep me company, I'd stay out longer. I'd adopt a dog who was born and raised outside that couldn't/wouldn't stay inside if he could.

Thank you for replying.
 

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It's less about the dog and chickens bonding and more that your chickens, not being used to dogs, might act differently than chickens who are used to dogs, doing things like running, flapping, and making a lot of noise. This can lead to a dog seeing them as prey, even if it hasn't had that reaction to chickens who behave calmly. And once a dog knows it's fun to kill chickens, it can be an extremely difficult behavior to stop, so taking precautions from day one can be super important until you know that everyone is used to each other.
 

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I think your requirements are going to be difficult to meet. First, because many shelters and rescues will not adopt to families who plan to keep the dog outside. Some will, I'm sure, but they will likely require that you have adequate shelter and means to confine the dog when you can't supervise. That leaves you with a) purchasing a puppy which you don't want or b) a private rehome, which may also reject the notion of keeping the dog outside.

My first suggestion would be a livestock guardian breed, as they are bred to work without the direct supervision of humans and are the least likely to be negatively affected by limited human interaction. But, you must consider a few things with them:

1. They need lots of space. They're bred to roam, so if you live next to a busy road or have neighbors nearby, that may not be a good option unless your entire property is fenced.

2. Some are not kind to strangers, even the ones you want on your property, such as delivery people, the people who come to read water/electric meters, or your guests.

3. They are not always kind to strange dogs.

4. They are not likely to go running with you or even actively seek out your company, so it kind of defeats your purpose of getting a dog.

I have seen companion type dogs do okay outside, BUT that was on farms where there was someone outside 90% of the day. When I was growing up, we had a huge Lab/Golden mix and a BC/Aussie mix who were technically outside dogs, but we farmed, so there was pretty much always someone outside. They were either walking around with us, riding in a tractor, or sleeping in the shop while something was getting repaired. We also had livestock that the herder helped with. They slept in the garage (and sometimes the house, too). They would absolutely get into trouble when life happened and we couldn't spend as much time with them, occasionally running off if we were dumb enough to leave them alone, digging holes, or finding porcupines to harass.

Unless you're also spending 90% or your day outside, I would discourage you from getting a companion type dog that is bred to work closely with humans because it won't end well and neither of you will be happy. The dog will absolutely get bored and bark, dig holes, chase the chickens, destroy stuff, run off, probably get hit by a car, or be shot. It's just not worth it. I know it seems like dogs would be fine with living outside since many of us are gone for 8 hours a day at work anyway, but dogs thrive from even passive interaction with us, like sleeping in the same room, being near us as we go about our chores, etc. It always seems to breed issues when dogs bred to work closely with their humans have to live outside.

Despite the advice you've been given, I know you're going to do what you want to do. So, if you do go ahead and decide to get your dog, some further suggestions:

1. Have a secure area to confine the dog, like a run or kennel that is dig proof and climb proof, if you don't have a fully fenced yard. This protects the dog from any predators that wander through, and you might also consider locking it with a padlock so human predators can't steal it.

2. You will need to provide adequate shelter, as well as shade. If you have brutal winters, an insulated dog house is a must.

3. Do not plop the dog outside and expect it to know what to do. It will have no concept of your property line. It will run if left to it's own devices. That's another reason to have a kennel or fully fenced yard.

4. Don't expect it to immediately behave around the chickens, regardless of breed or history with other chickens. It will need to be trained. It can be done, of course, and will likely be easier with a dog who has been introduced to chickens, but dogs don't generalize well. The dog will need to be confined, or the chickens will need to remain in their run until you're positive the dog won't massacre the chickens. And, some dogs can never be trusted.

5. Carve out time to fully interact with the dog, just it and you. Training, exercise, whatever, it will need your full attention.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's less about the dog and chickens bonding and more that your chickens, not being used to dogs, might act differently than chickens who are used to dogs, doing things like running, flapping, and making a lot of noise. This can lead to a dog seeing them as prey, even if it hasn't had that reaction to chickens who behave calmly. And once a dog knows it's fun to kill chickens, it can be an extremely difficult behavior to stop, so taking precautions from day one can be super important until you know that everyone is used to each other.
Oh, I was talking about if I got a dog who was accustom to chickens, he likely wouldn't act differently around mine because chickens aren't like dogs or cats like form a special bond with each other. No chicken behaves calmly about anything. They squawk and flap their wings if I go out there.
I think your requirements are going to be difficult to meet. First, because many shelters and rescues will not adopt to families who plan to keep the dog outside. Some will, I'm sure, but they will likely require that you have adequate shelter and means to confine the dog when you can't supervise. That leaves you with a) purchasing a puppy which you don't want or b) a private rehome, which may also reject the notion of keeping the dog outside.

My first suggestion would be a livestock guardian breed, as they are bred to work without the direct supervision of humans and are the least likely to be negatively affected by limited human interaction. But, you must consider a few things with them:

1. They need lots of space. They're bred to roam, so if you live next to a busy road or have neighbors nearby, that may not be a good option unless your entire property is fenced.

2. Some are not kind to strangers, even the ones you want on your property, such as delivery people, the people who come to read water/electric meters, or your guests.

3. They are not always kind to strange dogs.

4. They are not likely to go running with you or even actively seek out your company, so it kind of defeats your purpose of getting a dog.

I have seen companion type dogs do okay outside, BUT that was on farms where there was someone outside 90% of the day. When I was growing up, we had a huge Lab/Golden mix and a BC/Aussie mix who were technically outside dogs, but we farmed, so there was pretty much always someone outside. They were either walking around with us, riding in a tractor, or sleeping in the shop while something was getting repaired. We also had livestock that the herder helped with. They slept in the garage (and sometimes the house, too). They would absolutely get into trouble when life happened and we couldn't spend as much time with them, occasionally running off if we were dumb enough to leave them alone, digging holes, or finding porcupines to harass.

Unless you're also spending 90% or your day outside, I would discourage you from getting a companion type dog that is bred to work closely with humans because it won't end well and neither of you will be happy. The dog will absolutely get bored and bark, dig holes, chase the chickens, destroy stuff, run off, probably get hit by a car, or be shot. It's just not worth it. I know it seems like dogs would be fine with living outside since many of us are gone for 8 hours a day at work anyway, but dogs thrive from even passive interaction with us, like sleeping in the same room, being near us as we go about our chores, etc. It always seems to breed issues when dogs bred to work closely with their humans have to live outside.

Despite the advice you've been given, I know you're going to do what you want to do. So, if you do go ahead and decide to get your dog, some further suggestions:

1. Have a secure area to confine the dog, like a run or kennel that is dig proof and climb proof, if you don't have a fully fenced yard. This protects the dog from any predators that wander through, and you might also consider locking it with a padlock so human predators can't steal it.

2. You will need to provide adequate shelter, as well as shade. If you have brutal winters, an insulated dog house is a must.

3. Do not plop the dog outside and expect it to know what to do. It will have no concept of your property line. It will run if left to it's own devices. That's another reason to have a kennel or fully fenced yard.

4. Don't expect it to immediately behave around the chickens, regardless of breed or history with other chickens. It will need to be trained. It can be done, of course, and will likely be easier with a dog who has been introduced to chickens, but dogs don't generalize well. The dog will need to be confined, or the chickens will need to remain in their run until you're positive the dog won't massacre the chickens. And, some dogs can never be trusted.

5. Carve out time to fully interact with the dog, just it and you. Training, exercise, whatever, it will need your full attention.

Good luck.
We have three acres. As I said before, I had two puppies before. I wouldn't have adopted them if I lived in the city with no yard and cars everywhere.

I don't want them to take kindly to other dogs.

Okay, ya know what? Never mind.
 

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Never mind is good.

Anyone at the mercy of parents who don't want a dog in the house needs to wait until they have their own place and can make their own decisions.
 

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My mother-in-law's chickens completely ignore the dogs, actually, so that's not my experience at all. We still don't allow our dogs to be loose with them when they're out of their fenced run unsupervised, though, because our dogs aren't super used to chickens and we don't want to risk anyone getting hurt (including our dogs - the rooster is a big fella and could do some serious damage protecting his flock, especially since we have smaller dogs). It's important to ask what would happen to the dog if it does kill a chicken, or multiple chickens. It'd be awful to have to rehome - or worse, euthanize - a dog you've bonded to because it hasn't learned how to control very natural predatory instincts.

If you're really set on this, I would say breed is less important than finding a dog who is already living outdoors, doesn't display problem behavior like barking, and is well behaved around poultry. I'd actually look for an adult dog, say three years and up, rather than a one-year-old. That's still an adolescent dog and that can be a demanding and difficult life stage prone to getting into trouble, in some cases worse than a puppy. Make sure you know your local laws around keeping an outdoor dog, too. The bare minimum is usually free access to shelter and water, but some areas have stricter requirements than this and you definitely have to meet those legal standards. Doing otherwise is, legally, neglect and you or your parents can be persecuted for it.

I appreciate you're in a difficult situation with not being allowed to have a dog indoors, we just really care about dogs here and unfortunately many outdoor dogs aren't given the kind of attention and stimulation they need. I want you to be prepared for the work and responsibility so you can have that loving and happy companionship and bond you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
t'd be awful to have to rehome - or worse, euthanize - a dog you've bonded to because it hasn't learned how to control very natural predatory instincts.
It feels like shit to lose an animal you've bonded with.
Never mind is good.

Anyone at the mercy of parents who don't want a dog in the house needs to wait until they have their own place and can make their own decisions.
You're damn right, it is.

I completely understand why they don't want a dog in the house. A dog can be very happy outside. My cat was like my emotional support animal and now he's gone. Life has been tough without him. He was everything to me. Whenever I was feeling like shit, he'd come and sit in my lap for hours.
If you're really set on this, I would say breed is less important than finding a dog who is already living outdoors, doesn't display problem behavior like barking, and is well behaved around poultry. I'd actually look for an adult dog, say three years and up, rather than a one-year-old. That's still an adolescent dog and that can be a demanding and difficult life stage prone to getting into trouble, in some cases worse than a puppy. Make sure you know your local laws around keeping an outdoor dog, too. The bare minimum is usually free access to shelter and water, but some areas have stricter requirements than this and you definitely have to meet those legal standards. Doing otherwise is, legally, neglect and you or your parents can be persecuted for it.
Thank you.
 

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:LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL: My parents would never allow a dog inside. If I were in charge, that might be different. I'm pretty sure it's illegal and just cruel to make a human sleep outside.
Typical companion type dogs are mentally similar (emotional range and intelligence) to a toddler or three year old child. I encourage you to let your own words about cruelty sink in.

As I said before, I had two puppies before.
What happened to the puppies?
 

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You asked what breed of dog you should get but I think it doesn't come down to breed, given your situation. It comes down to type. You should drive around your area until you find a miserable emaciated flea-ridden dog dog chained up somewhere in the hot sun. Then offer the owner some cash to buy it off him. Get the dog to the vet and nurse it back to health. Now you have a dog that will at least be in a better situation at your place just by being fed enough and getting one meager hour per day socializing, rather than depriving some other dog of a chance at being bought or adopted by someone who will let it be family.
 

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I just want to clarify so it doesn't seem like I'm trying to pick on you, or am just someone who's, like, super sentimental about the doggy-woggies or something. My dogs aren't my babies and I don't treat them like babies, I treat them like dogs. But dogs have different needs than other pets or farm animals. I encourage you do do some reading into the evolutionary history of dogs, and of modern studies of dog cognition. Dogs are our earliest domesticated animal. We've been working and living together closely for tens of thousands of years. We've literally co-evolved. For that entire time, we've been selecting for the dogs most able to bond with humans, most able to communicate with humans, most eager to follow our direction. We have also infantilized them to a degree that we have not done to most other domesticated animals - most dog breeds have highly neotenous traits, making them basically lifelong juveniles in some important mental and physical aspects, and so more closely bonded to a caregiver. Imaging and chemical analysis has confirmed that we have also bred dogs to have emotional reactions very similar to human emotional reactions in terms of brain activity, hormones, and neurotransmitters.

All this is to say, we have created animals whose entire raison d'etre is to connect with others (specifically, people or other dogs). Denying them this contact constitutes failure to meet their basic needs. It's like denying an orca open ocean in which to roam. They need it for their mental and physical well-being.

There ARE types of dogs and breeds of dogs, such as primitive landrace dogs, that tend to be much less psychosocially integrated with humans. But if you're looking for a dog that will fill that role your cat did, be your best friend and comfort you, those dogs aren't it. If you want a dog that cares for you, you need to accept that it will care for you all the time, intensely, not just when it's convenient for you.

Why not get another cat? Or, if you want an outside pet, I'd recommend getting a type of pet that thrives on being an outside pet but is still friendly and personable, like a pair of hand-tame little goats. Do your research on habitat, feed, care and vetting, of course!
 

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I'm thinking about getting a dog (about a year old). My nerves can't handle a puppy. I don't know what breed I should get or if I should settle for a mutt or a mix. What breed do you guys think would be best for me? I want one that doesn't have a LOT of energy. Medium-sized. Medium fur, too. He/she would be a strictly outdoor dog. We have chickens, so we'd need one that wouldn't bother them. I run off and on (usually about a mile) so I'd like one that'd run with me. Probably the biggest thing would be the barking. We'd want a dog that doesn't bark a lot.

Thanks in advance.
This question is much too complicated for my simple mind. But if I had to take a wild guess, I think ideally a dog like the Clampetts family dog, Old Duke would be a perfect fit for you. Well almost perfect, you may have to lower your standards in the running department.
 
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