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#66876 - 03/02/06 10:07 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
picky_chicky

I didn't mean to give the impression that Australian shepherds couldnít be used with chickens.

Chickens are all the livestock I have now and my Aussie helps me pen them up sometimes when I need help. I trust her unsupervised day or night with them.

The point I was trying to make was that each dog is an individual even within a given breed. Different lines within a given breed will work in different ways. Some are workaholics and can't be trusted alone with stock and some can be.

Find some breeders of what ever breed your interested in and ask them in depth questions.

But even if you get the perfect dog it must reliably mind you. That is it must come when called EVERY TIME & stay & sit or down at the very least.

Karen
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Karen

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#66877 - 03/03/06 12:36 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Anonymous
Unregistered


Karen: Thats good! Do you know how to pick out a puppy that would be good with chickens(maybe in the way they act, aggression) so I could get a dog that would be good with chickens? I know what you mean about training it to sit stay, etc. Thank you Karen for clearing that up. smile

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#66878 - 03/03/06 04:05 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
picky_chicky,

check your Private Message. Thats the Icon of two people next to the envelope.
Karen
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#66879 - 03/06/06 05:06 AM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Simon V. Online   content
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 04/16/05
Posts: 197
Loc: Australia
Blue heelers are just, generically, cattle dogs here and they do have dingo bred into them by Thomas Hall in the 1840's. The Australian Shepperd isn't even from Australia - they just thought that because it was so good at herding it must have been Australian as is Australian Cattle Dog (blue and red heelers) and the Kelpie. Aust. Shepperds weren't even recognised as a breed in Australia until 1994.

If you are talking about Australian Cattledogs forget putting them with chickens. Blue heeler next door killed my beautiful rhode island red roo last year just as he was reaching man-hood. I was at the Sydney Royal Easter show last year and saw an Australian Shepperd obedience show and they were very trainable but I would visit this website:

http://norcalaussierescue.com/aboutAussies.htm

it mentions that one of the reasons they get Aust. Shepperds handed in or rescued is because they kill small livestock like chickens because they are not kept separate.

If I wanted a livestock guard dog I'd get a Maremma.

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#66880 - 03/06/06 10:00 AM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Hello Picky Chicky:

It has been my experience that herding dogs and guardian dogs are two different things. And while guardian dogs are becoming more popular in our area, they are always used with larger livestock, like goats, sheep, cattle, etc. In this capacity they guard against ground attacks by larger predators, like coyotes.

When I let my chickens out, while the occasional coyote might nab one ( easily, we are surrounded by bush) the bigger threat comes from the sky, hawks,owls and eagles. I am not so sure that one dog on the ground can do much to fend off aerial attacks when the flock is spread hither and yon free ranging.

When many chicken people want a dog that is good with chickens, what they mean is a dog that will ignore the chickens utterly. For the most part your dog either wants to ignore them (good) or can't ignore them and wants to romp or chomp them (bad). I know there will be people who have dogs that lick the chickens. If ours try that we shriek, " No chicken lickin!" and give them heck.

To my way of thinking, chickens are a high risk critter. Many wild animals find chickens an easy target, and losses are to be expected. Their greatest safety is provided by the kind of night shelter you give them. A field raised Maremma, raised in the company of livestock could arrive at your house, look at your chickens and sit on the porch waiting for you to put him in with the goats.

I have had many dogs and my aim has been to teach them to LEAVE THE CHICKENS ALONE! Then I do not expect them to 'guard' the chickens. Although dogs being dogs, when a coyote saunters into the yard, they'll do what dogs do....give chase. And when picking out a puppy there is no way to tell what his opinion of chickens will be. But with a puppy at least you have the chance to teach him what his opinion will be. As for the best breed......as others have said, each is an individual. Just pick a breed and pup that look like vegetarians. Good luck :p

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#66881 - 03/06/06 10:12 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Anonymous
Unregistered


My younger brother is interested in Australian Shepards and Border Collies. He wants to get a Dog this year and both those breeds are on his list. He looks the looks of both of the breeds but he doesn't seem to understand that their personality isn't really something that we want here. Now I don't know very much about either of the breeds so what I am about to post may or may not be true about them. But if its to my understanding then both Australian Shepards and Border Collies will chase cars if given the chance. They are herding dogs so it would only make sense that chasing cars might give them a thrill. We don't want a dog that will chase cars because we already lost one to that (yes, I know that almost any breed of dog can be a car chaser but these two breeds seem more likely to do so). The landlord and other farmers in our area also raise cattle and I'm assuming that a Australian Shepard or Border Collie would be tempted to chase and herd them. I doubt that the landlord would be pleased with a dog chasing his meat steers. And finally my fear of him wanting one of these breeds of Dogs is that I have both Chickens and Goats. My small flock of chickens are pets and I do not want to loose a single one of them due to my brothers Dog. And I do not want a dog that will attempt to herd or chase my Goats. Not only could the dog chase them to death, but next year I will also have pregnant Does and newborn kids that would be threatened by a such a dog. My Cats are also a worry at this point but I don't know how Australian Shepards and Border Collies react towards cats.

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#66882 - 03/06/06 10:16 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Anonymous
Unregistered


P.S. like Uno said, what you want is a Guardian Dog not a Herder Dog. I think that you would be more interested in Great Pyrenees's then Australian Shephards and Border Collies. But even the Guardian Dogs won't always protect the chickens. They don't quite bond with chickens as well as they do with Goats, Cows, Horses, etc.

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#66883 - 03/07/06 09:41 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
How a dog turn out depends on many things. If a child is not taught manners it will not be very pleasant to be around. If a dog is not obedience trained it will be a nuisance. If a dog is not kept under control (this means a fenced yard or a leash & collar or obedience training) it has the potential to be a nuisance.

That said years ago we were out in the country and the dogs ran free day & night. They didn't chase cars, bikes or people. But I was always watchful.

Now we have neighbors all around and lots of traffic on our road. We have a fenced back yard for the dogs (one at this time) and she isn't allowed to roam.

Karen
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Karen

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#66884 - 03/11/06 04:04 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Anonymous
Unregistered


All "herding" dogs must be given "jobs" of some sort or they become destructive and a pain in the a**. I had an Australian Cattle dog and he was GREAT with MY chickens because he was introduced properly and knew they were part of the family. Would have never trusted him with any others. Now have an Australian Kelpie which is a great help getting the chooks in. I find them a little less high strung then the border collies, but it is all about personal preference.
We live on a property so I have a number of working dogs to choose from.

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#66885 - 03/11/06 05:54 PM Re: Looking into Aussies as a farm dog
Rog Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 775
Loc: Missouri
How good a dog is depends on the dogs mind and how good the trainer is. Good trainers understand how each dog thinks after awhile. And trains that dog to it`s ability. Dumb dog , not much ability but can be usefull at some things. Smart dog , lots of ability and can do lots of diverse things. There is no simple answer. I have a show bred Dalmation now. To big for show. She will kill a possum and tree a coon. Dig up a mole , catch a mouse and eat it. A wild bird gets in the coop she`ll try to catch it. But she protects my bantams. Even the chicks. Let a chick holler and she is out there looking to see what is bothering it. Any breed of dog will work. If it`s the right dog and has the right trainer. Just my thoughts. Rog
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Fast Trucks , Fast Horses , Fast Women and Slow Chickens

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