5 Best Dog Breeds for Chickens

Regular readers want to discover which dog breeds are most likely to get along with poultry. Let me tell you something: dogs and chickens may either get along wonderfully or terribly.

In all truthfulness, there are a lot of variables at play when determining the level of compatibility between these species, such as breed, owner, capacity to teach, personality traits, etc.

Some canine breeds, however, have earned renown for their role as chicken guardians.

As a service to our readers, the staff here at typesofchicken.com compiled information on the finest dog breeds for keeping chickens safe.

1. The Akbash

Akbash - best farm dogs for protection
via Wikipedia.org

Natural giants with Turkish roots, The Akbash are as smart as they are able to identify friends from foes just by looking at them.

Curious about Akbash personality traits?

They have a peaceful demeanor and seem to take pleasure in lounging around in the tranquil environment of your land and being nice with you and your chickens.

Highly perceptive, they will protect your hens from any number of potential attackers.

The Akbash Dog, with its long legs and white coat, may be somewhat intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with its normally calm behavior.

A dog’s influence on your flock

Raising them with your hens is ideal, as it is with any dog.

The introduction of an Akbash puppy to your flock will help the hens adjust to and trust the new addition.

2. The Komondor

Best Guard Dog Breeds For Your Chickens & Poultry
via Wikipedia.org

The Komondor, a dog with a hefty build that hails from Hungary, is among the biggest breeds of canine in the world.

The Komondor’s long, white coat helps it blend in with a herd of sheep nearly seamlessly.

Are you curious about Komondor’s personality?

This breed has a propensity to become overprotective and attack strangers. Even after careful grooming, a Komondor’s natural hair will turn “greasy” and tangled, giving the animal a filthy appearance to onlookers.

A dog’s influence on your flock

As we’ve already established, the dog and the chickens will get along better if they’re introduced to each other while they’re young.

If you introduce a large, intimidating dog to your flock of Komondors, the hens may start pecking at it in panic.

However, if you take the time to train a competent Komondor to protect your flock, you will never have to worry about any danger again.

3. The Tibetian Mastiff

Best Guard Dog Breeds For Your Chickens & Poultry
via Wikipedia.org

The Tibetian Mastiff gets its name not from its resemblance to the Mastiff but from its massive size.

Curious in the temperament of Tibetian Mastiffs?

When properly prepared, though, they may be effective guard dogs.

Because of their size and innate predatory tendencies, they pose a serious danger to any animal that would attempt to harm your chickens.

One distinguishing feature of this species is its nocturnal activity.

The Dog’s effect on your flock

Do not attempt to train this Dog unless you are confident in your ability to do so successfully.

Training your Tibetian Mastiff around your chickens is an absolute must.

But the time and money you invest in this Dog will be well worth it because of how secure you will feel having it around at night when it is most active.

4. The Pyrenean Mastiff

The Pyrenean Mastiff

In contrast to the Tibetian Mastiff, the Pyrenean is one of the Mastiffs all over the world.

You can trust this dog breed, which has a white coat with black or grey markings, to keep your family and poultry safe.

Do you want to learn more about the temperament of a Pyrenean Mastiff?

Training a Pyrenean Mastiff, a breed known for its tolerance with the flock and with those close to its owners, should begin while the dog is still a puppy.

This is critical information to have before bringing home a Pyrenean Mastiff of your own.

The Dog’s effect on your flock

In general, Pyrenean Mastiffs are quite tolerant pets.

Due to this, they are a top choice among chicken breeds to add to your coop.

The little Pyrenean Mastiff will be able to mingle with your hens and satisfy their natural curiosity.

The Pyrenean Mastiff is known for its patience and tolerance, but it doesn’t make him a weak guard dog.

5. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Best Guard Dog Breeds For Your Chickens & Poultry
via Wikipedia.org

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, in contrast to the Mastiff, was originally bred to serve as a guard dog.

This facilitates their adjustment to the surroundings of your poultry.

Want to know more about Pyrenean Mountain Dog temperament?

They’re also great with children and mild pets.

This breed, like the Tibetian Mastiff, is well-known for being alert and awake at all hours of the night, which may be quite useful if you’re having trouble with more versatile predators like foxes and hyenas.

The Dog’s effect on your flock

This is the kind of dog you’d want guarding your chickens.

Incredible, but true: I once saw a Pyrenean Mountain Dog romping about with a brood of eight chickens, six pullets, and two clucky roosters.

If you have a healthy flock and decide to add a pup of this kind, you will have a wonderful experience rearing both animals together.

How to train a dog to live with chickens?

When they are young, you need to educate them that the flock is NOT a food source but rather THEIRS to guard and that it is THEIR responsibility to do so.

They will share their beds with them and watch after them as if they were their own children.

A guy that I know was one of the first people in Colorado to import a pair of Akbash to the state.

When he let them out in the morning for their potty break, they instead ran off into the woods, with one of them venturing deeper into the wilderness than the other. Soon after, he became aware of a terrible struggle, quickly grabbed his shotgun, and dashed out the door to see one of the dogs pulling a mountain lion toward him up the road.

Together, they went on the hunt and killed the lion.

Both dogs were fine, and none of his chickens were hurt. Make sure your dog has a microchip, because Pyrs can wonder if they are bored.

How can I prevent my dogs from attacking the chickens?

Make sure your chickens are safe and get your dog a shock collar.

You can teach him to not attack or even ignore the chickens. And you might not even need to shock him. If you press the button, the device will make a beeping sound, which I use to discipline my dogs.

This has been a great success. I never tie them up or use leashes.

We’ve been literally walking for two years with no issues. My pets now enjoy a degree of independence they never had before.

Do you agree with our enumeration? Please let us know what you think about this post in the comments or by sending an email to support@typesofchicken.com.

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5 Best Guard Dog Breeds For Your Chickens & Poultry
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23 thoughts on “5 Best Dog Breeds for Chickens”

  1. The one thing in common with all of the breeds listed was the comment “trained”. ALL dogs, if trained properly can be a “guard dog” of some sort. We have been most successful with our “pound puppies”. Mostly mixed breed rescue dogs that were taught from day one that the chickens were NOT food and WERE to be protected. I can confidently let my girls free-range with my “mutts” in attendance and know they will NOT be harmed by dog or predator.

      1. Lots of patience and time! 🙂 We started with the dogs on the leash during feeding time and free-range time. Introduced them to the chickens gradually so they learned first not to hurt them. Then we progressed on to guarding them. Again, patience and time. For us it has been well worth the effort in the long run. I can leave the hens to free range with the dogs in attendance. They have protected them well on several occasions.

    1. Cheryl U Richardson

      I am hopeful that we (my son, his two teen daughters and I) will be moving before year’s end to North GA to homestead on about 8 acres. We have been looking and planning for almost a year now. But these things take time. I totally agree with your comment!! We have not had dogs in 3-5 years and this bothers me with regard to farm animals. Could you suggest a website, or an individual or some other training site? I have a cat and two ferrets who will of course remain indoors, and we are wanting a couple of good farm dogs, and a few cats for the mice, etc. The dogs will be our eyes and ears for the horses, chickens, ducks. There are black bear, mountain lions and other prey that are common to North GA, so we will need help in training them. So glad you are living your dream!! God Bless!

  2. My hound mix is great with our girls, yes the husky is not. I simply get the dogs in for an hour or so and let the girls out to wander.

  3. What an irresponsible article! These are NOT breeds for a novice or casual dog owner. They were bred to protect large numbers of grazers in wide open spaces not chickens in a coup or on a few acres. Bred to work as a pack, to aggressively protect their flock and make decisions on their own does NOT create dogs who eagerly will do your bidding. The time, skills, training and socialization needed to make these dogs an asset rather than a liability (as in potentially lethal) is a LOT more than most potential owners are willing or able to provide.

    To get the best dog for the job it pays to think about what is needed first. What kind of predators is common in your area? Are there children present? A lot of visitors? Do you want an all around farm dog or a firece protector? From Rat Terrier to Australian Shepherd to Hovawart there are many breeds that make excellent additons to a farm stead.

    Whatever your choice find a breeder whose dogs are actually doing the job you want your dog to do. Be honest about your expectations, go with the pup the breeder suggests and you’ll set yourself up for success. Avoid breeders who just want to make a quick sale and resist the urge to “rescue” a puppy or dog from a bad situation. If you don’t like what you see contact the proper authorities. If you want more than just a yard dog stay away from mutts, no telling what you’ll get unless it’s a cross of two purebreds bred for similar tasks.

    1. Jibin Babu Abraham

      My problem is sone free ranging dogs pariah pack of pariah may be 3 or 4 no boundary seperation they easily attack silently and also wild cat and fox …

  4. Martha Ebrecht

    I had Komondors for years with my cattle. They are the best. They can think for themselves and solve problems. Also very loyal and brave. They may not be easy to find, but is is certainly worth the effort. Check with sheep or goat farmers. State sponsored Market bulletins are a good place to start.

    1. Cheryl U Richardson

      thank you. I intend to have also a few sheep and Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Komondors I have heard are wonderful

  5. This would be more beneficial if you listed dogs that are common in the United States. Also, for a dog to be a good protector of my flock it must first be good with my family. I don’t want a massive dog that’s going to consume 100s of pounds of food per month and can easily crush my 2 year old daughter. :-\

  6. Larry R. Lingefelt

    The Catahoula Cur is one of the best with children & chickens Or any other animal with just a little training . they are very smart dogs . they do not need any training with children if they are raised with them they will protect them from anything .

    1. Larry R Lingefelt, I have to Catahoulas and both do very well with our chickens, goats and sheep. We also have our children, our partners children and many friends and family with children who stop by the farm on a regular basis and our dogs do very well with everyone.

      I think the key with catahoulas is to actually have work for them to do. They are very active and very vigilant and can be known to nip and bite when they are scared or unsure unless well trained and actively worked. At least, that is my experience.

  7. I agree, best to get a healthy pup….herding mix, and allow it to grow up with chicks and hens. I got chickens AFTER the dog was already 3 and had some tragedies with killed poultry because the dog hadn’t been raised with them. He was a PB Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)…a fabulous dog, 100% with kids, dogs, cats, people….just not chickens. Can’t blame the dog.

  8. James Firimonte

    I have a dog that is part retriever and shapei. At night he flushes out small predators like coons and possums that are a big threat, plus he is a reliable guard dog. He interacts with my chickens while they are out free ranging. Best dog that I ever had.

  9. Bradley Dehart

    I raised a jack russell,rat terrier mix in the coop with grown hens and she does well. She doesn’t harm chickens and she chases varmints away.

  10. Believe me Huskies are NOT to be trusted. Mine is a loving dog but I cannot let my chooks into the house garden or she will (and has) eaten a chook. Solution: make sure they are separated at all times.

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