(DOGS/FARM ANIMALS) Chickens are vulnerable to predators, and if you are raising them, you must take adequate measures to ensure they are protected.
One of the best ways to do so is to adopt a guard dog, and luckily there are many livestock guard dog breeds you can choose from. They are harsh on predators and extremely gentle with chickens. They stay with livestock around the clock and anticipate an attack or threat, thereby avoiding it even when you are not present.
But which guard dog is the best? There are quite a few, and we have mentioned the best of them in the list below.
Tibetan Mastiffs are large dogs that can withstand harsh climates with ease. This means they are ideal if you live in hot or cold weather conditions. Moreover, their size enables them to take on any type of predators including coyotes and large birds. Another characteristic that makes them a great dog breed to protect chickens is that they are nocturnal. Thus, they can protect your livestock during the night as well as throughout the day.
But one thing you must remember is Tibetan Mastiffs are stubborn and need a good amount of rigorous training right from the beginning.
Another large dog, the Akbash is extremely friendly and jovial. This breed loves playing and has a calm temperament. However, this does not mean that they will befriend just anyone. They have the uncanny ability to understand who may cause harm and immediately take on a protective stance. Their friendliness is mostly limited to their guardians and the chickens they’re protecting. Their large size keeps many predators away.
If you are planning to adopt an Akbash, we recommend you choose a puppy that you can train from day one.
Strong and calm at the same time, Pyrenean Mastiffs are known for their loyalty to both their human and animal companions. They need rigorous training and socialization from a young age in order to be able to warm up to others. Even though these dogs are friendly with other dogs, pets, and humans, poorly-trained Mastiffs can turn against their humans if they sense threats.
In threatening situations, these dogs have been known to put their life at stake to protect their humans as well as chickens.
You will not have to worry about letting your chickens roam freely if you adopt a Maremma Sheepdog. These dogs are specifically known to protect free-range chickens from winged and ground predators alike.
If you have large acreage and enough space for this sheepdog, he/she will prove to be a valuable asset. These dogs are gentle, loving, and extremely loyal.
The Komondor is one of the largest dogs in the world. Thanks to their unique white coat, they can blend in well with sheep, but that doesn’t mean they only protect sheep! They are also known to handle chickens and other farm animals with just as much ease.
You must keep in mind, though, that the Komondor tends to get overprotective at times and may be a threat to strangers who mean no harm. However, you can prevent this behavior with diligent training.
Agile, quick, and sharp, the Anatolian Shepherd is super intelligent. This means that you don’t have to worry about teaching them how to protect the chicken yard. On the downside, they can be quite stubborn because they are very independent dogs. They may not listen to your commands when they decide their way of thinking may be the right way. Proper training will help curb this behavior greatly.
With sharp hearing and eyesight, Anatolian Shepherds are always able to be attentive of any potential threats.
Kuvasz dogs are highly intelligent and have great senses of humor. They are not only jovial, but they are also very loyal. These dogs are very independent and can evaluate their surroundings and detect threats very efficiently. They have a very loud bark and are usually on the offense as opposed to defense. They proactively protect livestock without the need for instruction.
Predominantly a guard dog, the Kangal has the ability to protect chickens, sheep, and other livestock against large predators such as jackals and wolves. You can also adopt them for home protection because they are very good with kids and other pets. They are also extremely loyal and protective.
The Kangal may not be as large as other guard dogs, but they are agile, quick, and excellent guardians.
Depending on the acreage of your farm as well as grooming and other care factors, we urge you to think carefully before choosing the right guard dog. This will ensure that you, your farm animals, and your other pets are happy and safe. Bad choices can cause distress, and we are sure you wouldn’t want to put yourself or your dog through that. Dogs are among the best creatures on the planet, and they can be your saviors when trained correctly.