Whether you have a large flock of chickens or a few in a backyard coop, keeping them protected from predators like foxes and coyotes is essential.
A well-trained livestock guard dog will protect your chickens and keep them from wandering too far from their safe zone.
Dogs also make excellent chicken companions.
When you get a dog, it is essential to have a slow introduction process and monitor its behavior around chickens to ensure your flock is safe.
Keep reading for our list of the 20 best farm dog breeds to have around your chickens.
The Komondor is a Hungarian sheepdog with very long white hair, which is very similar in appearance to a mop.
These dogs are huge and muscular, and they generally have a friendly, docile temperament.
However, the Komondor may be aggressive to strangers without proper socialization.
The Komondor needs to be adequately trained and introduced to the hen at a young age for the best results.
Komondors are commonly used to herd and protect sheep, but they will do well with chickens with the proper training.
This big dog is vigilant, and it will be able to protect chickens from a variety of large predators.
The Maremma Sheepdog has white fur and grows to be a larger dog, weighing between 70 and 80 pounds on average.
This dog is affectionate and is usually trained to guard flocks against predators.
These traits mean the Maremma will get along well with chickens and not attack them.
These dogs need plenty of space to thrive because of their large size.
Since they are so large, training the Maremma may seem complicated, but they are fast learners, and they will adapt quickly to basic obedience commands.
The Pyrenean Mastiff is a tall, large breed of dog known for its calm temperament and loyalty towards protecting the flock.
If these dogs are not adequately trained, they may even attack the owner if they sense any danger to the chickens.
The Pyrenean Mastiff must be socialized appropriately with the owner and the flock, and they need to have strict training at a very young age.
Despite their large size, these dogs are very agile, and they will easily protect the chickens against foxes and coyotes.
The Pyrenean Mastiff has a thick white coat with a darker-colored face mask.
The Anatolian Shepherd is a large dog breed with a thick undercoat, and their fur is usually white with fawn markings.
This dog breed comes from a warm, dry climate, and because of their thick fur, they will do well in both hot and cold weather.
Anatolian Shepherds are known for their intelligence and agility, and despite their large size, they can outrun most predators.
Since the Anatolian Shepherd is so intelligent, it tends to be a more independent animal.
This dog will need to be socialized and trained while young to learn proper obedience.
Because of the more difficult training process, the Anatolian Shepherd is not recommended for owners who do not have experience with the breed.
Kangals are brilliant dogs, and they learn quickly, so they are easily trained.
Their intelligence and excellent stamina make the Kangal one of the most popular farm dog breeds.
This breed has a docile temperament and is also known for being loyal.
The Kangal has a slender body, which allows it to run fast and respond quickly when danger is present.
Its calm demeanor makes the Kangal content to find a spot to perch and watch over the chickens for hours.
The Akbash is a Turkish dog breed with a white double coat and a lean, muscular body.
This dog breed is extremely loyal and protective, and they are known to bark loudly whenever they sense danger.
The Akbash is slightly aggressive, so it may take extra time and patience during training to make the dog obedient.
Despite its aggressive nature, the Akbash has a very low prey drive, so it is safe to guard your chickens.
These larger dogs need plenty of space to thrive, but they do not need a lot of exercise to stay healthy.
The Kuvasz is a large Hungarian dog breed with a white or cream double coat, well-suited for colder climates.
These dogs tend to be noisy, and they will bark loudly if the flock is in danger.
The Kuvasz is very intelligent, so it will learn quickly, but it may require some patience when it comes to training.
Kuvasz dogs have a friendly personality and a docile temperament, making them get along easily with children and other animals.
The Kuvasz needs a lot of consistency with training and exercise, but the dog will be very obedient and loyal once it is appropriately trained.
The Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is one of the oldest dog breeds, and it originated in Asia.
The most notable characteristics of this breed are its large size, long white fur, and the dewclaws present on each hind leg.
Great Pyrenees dogs have affectionate personalities and work very well with small animals.
The Great Pyrenees is also an intelligent, confident, independent animal and is very easily trained.
These dogs have a lot of energy, but they will be very gentle toward your chickens.
Polish Tatra Sheepdog
The Polish Tatra Sheepdog, also known as the Tatra Mountains Sheepdog, is a rare farm dog breed in the United States but is found throughout areas of Poland.
This dog breed is large and has a thick coat of white fur, making the animal suitable for colder mountain climates.
The Polish Tatra Sheepdog tends to be aggressive and territorial, but once properly trained, it will be excellent at guarding your flock of chickens.
These dogs are noisy and will bark loudly to scare away predators.
The Spanish Mastiff originated in Spain, and it is a very large and gentle dog breed.
This breed has excellent vision, is highly alert, and has a deep bark to keep predators away from your chickens.
This dog breed needs a lot of space to exercise due to its larger size.
Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdogs are commonly used for herding sheep and other large animals, but they also do well with chickens because they have a very low prey drive.
These large, fluffy dogs have a very gentle and friendly disposition, and they get along well with other farm animals.
They will not chase your chickens, and they are easily trained to respond to your commands.
Old English Sheepdogs require extra maintenance because their long coat needs to be groomed regularly.
In addition to working as farm dogs, many people keep Old English Sheepdogs as pets.
The Maltese is one of the smallest dogs on this list, but their low prey drive means they will be very friendly to your chickens.
They will not be able to ward off larger predators like coyotes, but they will bark loudly to alert you of any danger to the flock.
A smaller dog is also ideal if you have a backyard chicken coop since they do not require a lot of outdoor space.
Maltese dogs are easy to train, and they also make excellent pets since they do not shed very much.
The Japanese Chin is another tiny dog breed with a playful nature and docile temperament, and it will do well with your chickens.
These dogs are very calm and have a low prey drive, so they will not chase your chickens or cause them any harm.
The Japanese Chin is very playful and easily trained, making it a good companion for your chickens.
The Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is a gigantic dog breed with a docile temperament.
They have a very thick coat, making it easy for them to handle colder climates.
Tibetan Mastiffs tend to be very stubborn, so training them may be difficult.
However, these dogs have a natural protective instinct, and their large size means they can defend your chickens against larger predators.
The Tibetan Mastiff is a nocturnal animal, so they will do very well when protecting your chickens at night.
The Bichon Frise is a very small dog breed, so it is suitable if you do not have a lot of space.
This breed is easily trained, and its low prey drive means it will not have a desire to harm your chickens.
The Bichon Frise is ideal if you have a small backyard flock, and it also makes a good house pet.
The Border Collie is a very popular farm dog, and it is often used to herd livestock such as sheep, goats, and chickens.
These dogs are highly intelligent and respond well to training since they are instinctively protective.
Once you have introduced the Border Collie to your chicken flock, the dog will do very well to protect them from predators.
Border Collies will also herd your chickens, ensuring they do not stray from their designated area and making it easier to get them all into their coop at night.
The Welsh Corgi is a smaller dog breed, but it has excellent natural herding instincts.
Its small stature makes it unsuitable for fending off large predators, but it will be able to keep your chickens from straying too far from their safe area.
The Welsh Corgi does so well at herding it may stress your chickens out by herding them too much.
However, your Welsh Corgi will get along well with your chickens with proper training and supervision since the dog has a low prey drive.
The Puli is a medium-sized Hungarian dog breed with long, corded hair, and it is very similar in appearance to the Komondor, except it is smaller.
Their corded locks make the coat waterproof, making them excellent for guarding chickens if you live in an area with a lot of rainfall.
The Puli is very loyal and full of energy, so it needs more outdoor space to run around and exercise.
Puli dogs are intelligent, but they tend to be stubborn, so training will take extra time and patience.
The standard Collie is not used for herding as much as the Border Collie, but its natural protective instincts make it an excellent choice for guarding your chickens.
The Collie is also considered one of the smartest dogs in the world.
This breed is somewhat challenging to train due to its independent nature, but its intelligence makes the dog a quick learner.
Collies are medium-sized dogs, and their slender frame allows them to move very quickly.
The Collie is also an alert dog, and it will bark at the first sign of danger.
The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as a Sheltie, is closely related to the Collie.
Because of their close relation, Shetland Sheepdogs share the intelligence and appearance of a Collie, only smaller.
Shetland Sheepdogs are also very agile and alert, and with proper training, they will do very well at guarding your chickens.
Factors To Help You Pick The Right Dog For Chickens
When choosing a farm dog for your chickens, there are a couple of factors to consider.
To keep your chickens safe, you will need to find a dog with a low prey drive.
Dogs with a high prey drive will hunt your chickens no matter how trained they are.
Choosing the wrong dog breed could result in dead chickens.
Some common dog breeds with a strong prey drive include:
- German Shepherd
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Siberian Husky
- Yorkshire Terrier
Avoid these dog breeds to prevent any harm to your chicken flock.
Labradors are also not recommended since they are bird dogs and could become aggressive towards your chickens.
Another factor to consider is the size of your flock and outdoor space.
A smaller dog may not be able to defend your chickens against larger predators, but it will alert you of any danger and is ideal for a small backyard farm.
A large dog will be able to guard your chickens against almost any type of predator, but it needs a lot of outdoor space to exercise and stay healthy.