1 vote

Best Farm Dog? - A good protector of Rabbits & Chickens

& just a good overall watchdog. Looking into getting a pair of Ridge Backs. Anyone have experience with owning one of these dogs or have a recommendation?

If your gonna have chickens you should have rabbits also - dam tasty them rabbits & the pelt is useful

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I've had a ridgeback...But we have Great Pyrenees now..

but she was just a spoiled house dog. Was great at protecting the yard and the other animals but I never had her around anything as small as rabbits and chickens. Awesome dog though!

We now have a pair of Great Pyrenees and they are the absolute best, great watchdogs, great with ALL other animals, and awesome with the family and kids. The only problem is our Oklahoma heat...I've made a sand box that I water down for them to dig in and thinking about running a couple of misters somewhere. They just look like dead dogs in the shade during the day, but as soon as the sun goes down they are up and playing guardian of the world again. They are great guard dogs but I haven't ever had a Great Pyr that I thought would actually bite a person.

They also follow my 3 year old around like a nanny. We live a ways from the road but when she is out front they are always between her and the road. Great dogs.

I'll never be without a Lab (or 2 or 3!)

My personal experiences have been with Doberman (good dog - short life span-UGH), shepards (about as good as dobes, but...) border colliers (too head strong), poodles (much better than you'd think), huskies (ehh), jack russells (good dogs), airdales (ehh), Weimaraners (a bit flighty) and mutts. Every Lab dog or Lab mutt that I have known has been a great dog. I have 2 female lab mutts and 1 male lab. You'll likely never see me without seeing my dogs. They "handle" coyotees, avoid bears, sound alarms for rattle snakes. In extreme situations, they remind me that I have the guns. As long as you don't train them to be obnoxious (play fetch, etc) Labs are head and shoulders above every dog I have ever been around. Most of my friends have dogs, and because I like the neighbors and their dogs, my dogs get along famously with my friends AND their dogs - irrespective of sex. None of my Labs have a mean bone in their body, but nothing fucks with them... My smallest female Lab mutt controls 5 or six coyote packs - many of my friends actually BELIVE that she drives me home after I've had 1 or 10 too many! She actually cannot drive, but ... Unless ruined by their owners, labs are near perfect dogs (my smalles Lab mutt IS a perrfect dog). I had doberman for most of my life. Good dogs, but the breeding resulted in short life spans, so I got a yellow lab puppy. I lost her to tumors at age 14 (My Dobes were dying at 4 -7 years old). I serioulsy doubt that I'll ever have a dog that isn't at least part Lab. (I actually believe lab mutts are the best, altough my yellow lqb was pure and she was close to perfect, and my current male is pure and I cannot find much wrong with him he's 3 and very new to me (was my Dad's dog, but due to health issues, my dad could no longer take care of him). I threw him in a car (suv) and drove him 1500 miles and 5900 ft in elevation change. He fell in love with my girl mutts and his freedom (the nearest public road is 6 miles away, and on our private roads, dogs have the right of way).

I am frankly amazed that every dog lover doesn't have at least one Lab.

Ron Paul - Hope for America

Ron Paul - Hope for America

"a bit flighty"

is taking it easy on the "Grey Ghost"...LOL beautiful dogs and fun...but crazy..like advanced adhd on steroids. :O)

Australian Shepherd.

They herd anything and everything. Very gentle and protective. Great with kids.

best dog for your needs?

why not one that's bred exactly for what you need?

a South African Boerboel,

we have one and she's amazing, best guard dog and great with the family and family pets! (cats, gerbils, small dogs, and ferrets!)

they have low rates of hip dysplacia, and live twice as long as other mastives (they are a mastive breed and will normaly be 120-170lbs, females smaller than males) a breed standard is protection with out agression, I doubt you'll find something better than the South African Boerboel.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato


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Canaan Dog

Do some research on this dog!
Because it is not over-bred it doesn't have any diseases that come along with other dogs (German Sheperd's = hip dysplyasia Pugs= respitory ect.)

Sorry about my spelling...I can't find my glasses so I can't see what the hell I'm typing and I'm sure I misspelled tons.

But anyway, check out this dog.

The greatest livestock protection animal ever bred....

The Turkish Kangal. No one, I mean no one...nothing... will screw with your chickens and rabbits as the Kangal sees them as his purview and his alone...

Difficult to get but loyal to the extreme. Warning....this dog NEEDS livestock to protect or he will get mischievous.


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"...there is no doubt that it (socialism) could not possibly have affected us so widely and so deeply as it has, had it not been heavily financed". - B. Carroll Reece


Sled Dog. That's the best Farm Dog I've seen.

I've always grown up with

I've always grown up with chickens and all types of farm animals... from chickens to emus. We've always had dogs and they all ate our chickens.

I've had
Australian Shepherd
Germarn Shepherd
fox hounds

and they all ate our chickens, and our miniature fox terriers attacked and killed our sheep (the attacked them in packs)

I really think that if your gonna have a dog around chickens the best way to train him not to eat your chickens is to put them in a cage (as a puppy) with a chicken with chicks n have the chicken beat the crap out of him. that way he will learn not to mess with them

Murrieta, Ca

I love my german shepards.

I love my german shepards.

"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny."
-Thomas Jefferson

I am more concerned about the return of my money than the return on my money. --Mark Twain

Shameless plug for German Shepards!

I love mine too (Have had 2) Great dog - bright - responsible -agile.

It can't be...can it?

It can't be...can it?

Basset Hound!

Mofo is like a free alarm.

Javi S.

My Homeland Security....

My triple threat...
Buddy the Leonberger, Bebe Great pyrenees, and marina the Border collie.


interesting choice. the

interesting choice.

the rhodesian ridgeback originated in zimbabwe. that country is going through hell and hyperinflation. i like the choice because the similarities seem peotic...

Got a sheltie mix bitch. Smart as hell. Rough and ready or

careful and gentle.

Loves to work.

World's Greatest Business

"The Number one reason people lose money is the FEAR of losing money." Sir John Templeton

Of Heelers and Borzois

I love this thread! I had a whole pack of borzois, or Russian Wolfhounds. They were pretty worthless as guard dogs because they loved and welcomed everyone, but they were intimidating to those who didn't know their nature. So one night when everyone else's home on my block was burglarized, I noticed that my motion detector light was triggered, but that was all. The thief took one look at the seven towering dogs circulating through the dog door, in and out of the yard and house, and passed us over like the children of Israel with blood on their doorjambs. My borzois were serious predators. They are used for coyote control in Wyoming, and mine brought down a deer in my backyard. But herders they are not. Some of them got along just fine with my poultry, nurturing even, others would kill them.

Then one day I found a puppy of the one breed I never wanted, a Red Heeler, in my yard, lost. It was the weekend, animal control wasn't open, he was unusually sweet and affectionate for his belligerant breed, and nine years later, he's still here. Here on the bed, in fact. His name is Trotsky, because he was a working breed in the midst of my Russian aristocrats, the borzois; he's red; and he foments violence and upheaval continually. I recently took up poultry again, after having earlier given them up because of the borzoi taste for chicken sushi. Trotsky killed four out of six chickens before we established that he was not to be killing them. But in true Heeler fashion, he was so smart and sneaky with the disposal of the bodies, I didn't realize that it was him that was killing the chickens until I caught him with number 5 in his mouth. Then we had to establish that not only is he not allowed to kill our chickens, he is not allowed to kill chickens visiting from our neighbors' house either. He descriminates. I got more chickens, optimistic about Trotsky's steep learning curve.

Now it's all purring along, Trotsky and my one remaining old borzoi, Teeny Tiny, are peacefully coexisting with the chickens. They have worked out a system of reciprocity, but unfortunately it excludes me. Every morning I throw out the uneaten dog food to the chickens, who love it. It goes uneaten, I suspect, because certain dogs are gorging on eggs all day. I can't seem to find where my free range chickens are laying their eggs, but Trotsky gets fatter by the day. Now you might say that I should admit defeat, but night before last four chickens were stolen out of my neighbors' coop in the middle of the night, but mine were undisturbed. It might just have to do with the fact that guarding my chickens are a hound three feet tall at the shoulder and a snapping, biting little piranha named Trotsky. My neighbors' chickens are guarded by two dogs that top out at 8 inches. So you have to admit that I have reason for hope.....

The thief took one look at

The thief took one look at the seven towering dogs circulating through the dog door, in and out of the yard and house, and passed us over like the children of Israel with blood on their doorjambs.

that was funny! good for you.

"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny."
-Thomas Jefferson

I am more concerned about the return of my money than the return on my money. --Mark Twain

Aren't we all works in progress?

I admire your perseverence.

I have a Ridgeback....

Excellent breed of dog. Good (gentle) around toddlers but can be protective of the house. They do tend to like to wander around and do need quite a bit of "living space".
They At first splash of Eden we race down to the sea,
standing there on Freedom's Shore....

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

I had a Husky-Shepard mix

The best watch dog and most intelligent dog I ever owned.

He would run the woods scarring up small animals to chase and wouldn't hesitate to jump in a river for the fun of it.

He could and would while playing throw a football body block at your knees from behind and knock you down hard. I'm #225 and he got me many a time.

This guy loved running and could run like the wind and would run up a high angled fallen tree and try climbing a tree in pursuit.

Good outdoor dog. Too much hair shedding for indoors.

Played too rough for kids. Accidentally dangerous.

Ridgeback's are versital dogs!

Ridgeback's are intelligent, they can heard, be a protecter, a watch dog and are very independent. In their first few years of life they have some serious energy to burn and that energy can become destructive if they don't have a job to do and plenty of room to run. They don't shed too bad, but the hairs do have this ability to weave in and out of fabrics and can be a real pain to get out of the couch and clothes. If you plan on leaving the dogs outside all the time and you live in an area that gets below freezing for over 30 to 60 days, you need to make sure there's room for them in the house, their short coat and limited undercoat makes for bad insulation. These dogs were created in Africa and weren't designed for Minnesota winters. If your in a northernish state and you want to leave the dogs out at all times, you might want to look at German Shepherds. Otherwise Ridgebacks are awesome, awesome dogs.


This page has a nice quick history and some good care information on Ridgebacks.

My friend

has a Ridgeback in fact this is their second. Big dog, calm and quiet but need discipline and training from the beginning. Pure breds cost a lot and there are strings attached. The breeder wants the dog shown to get points and gets to breed the dog once or twice I forget, before you can have them spayed or neutered.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

The best watchdog I've had

The best watchdog I've had is the German Shepard. The best dog I've had around the farm, believe it or not, is a Corgi. Smartest dog I've ever seen. For the bigger stock I would get a donkey. They are great for keeping dogs and coyotes out of the pasture.


Good call

on the donkey. I always forget about them when it comes to livestock guarding.

Keep a Llama in with your sheep!

They will protect them from Coyotes and such.

Animals on Guard from the Jan/Feb issue of Grit -

For dogs, they mention Maremma Sheepdog, Anatolian Shepherd, Akbash, Komondor, and Great Pyrenees. The article tells a little about each dog. They also mention llamas and donkeys.

A breed not too many are familiar with

is the Akbash, a livestock guardian dog that originated in central Turkey and is sometimes referred to as the Anatolian Shepherd.



Primarily used to protect sheep, these dogs will protect any creatures that they understand to be part of their tribe. They are amazingly smart, strong, large and fast. I had the good fortune and great privilege to live with a female Akbash for eight years. A former sheep guardian dog, she ended up with us a a result of a rescue situation. We did not keep livestock of any kind but she looked after us and at least 3 or 4 cats until her last days. No fetching or dog tricks for these magnificent creatures, they're all business (and love). I hope to have one (or more) in my life again soon.

When I grew up, one of the

When I grew up, one of the ‘bad’ things that happened, was a kid getting mauled by an Anatolian, for play fighting with his owners’ kid. No barking, or supposedly even growling; he just locked down on the kid, did his ‘job’ and then laid back down, dutifully waiting for the next threat to ‘his’ kid to materialize.

Those things are big and strong; bred to protect livestock against wolfs and (pre firearm) edged weapon wielding human poachers. And people on those Anatolian plains aren’t exactly known for being of the weak and frail kind. Farmers who need a real working / herding / guard dog seem to love them, though; which makes sense, as that’s what they’re bred for. And I’ve also been told that if well bred and reared, and owned by someone responsible who knows his stuff, they can easily be introduced to new members of the ‘flock’, and will protect them as well.

These LGDs

are not on the planet to be household pets. They generally don't bark or growl. They prefer a high vantage point from which to observe. They live to protect their "flock". Everything you say above is correct. The unfortunate incidents involving humans usually result from the dog being put in the wrong situation. They should never be "owned" by an average American family looking for a pet/watchdog. I have had to abstain from entertaining the notion of having another Akbash, even as a rescue, until my living situation is better suited for them (land, lots of land). I'm hoping that I'll have another chance in this lifetime.