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  • dogs and hens

    Hi all. So we want to get a dog to take us out for walks, keep us warm at night on the sofa, guard the hens from foxes, catch the rats, make friends with the cats! Terriers will chase and dig, working dogs will round them up....any suggestions what we should consider as the ideal dog? I want a small to medium dog, and not a dirty shaggy-coat one - after all it's going to share my house! Oh and no yapping!

  • #2
    I'm not really a doggy person, but had a friend who was in a similar situation.
    She looked into cross poodle breeds.
    There are loads to choose from so might be worth looking into each cross breed?

    https://thehappypuppysite.com/poodle-mixes/

    https://thehappypuppysite.com/small-poodle-mixes/

    (Oh....and nope, she didn't get anything in the end, but only because of a major change in her personal circumstances)
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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    • #3
      You may well decide to go down another route of course?!
      "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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      • #4
        That's a long list! I'm not sure there's one dog that's a good fit for all your requirements. What is the higher priorities?

        I have a poodle and a cocker spaniel. They are both great in different ways. The spaniel will chase foxes (and deer, and pheasants) but I don't trust her around my chickens. The poodle couldn't care less about the chickens and loves to play. The spaniel needs a lot of walking, the poodle is a couch potato. They are both great companion dogs.

        Dwell simply ~ love richly

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        • #5
          Well, we had a limited selection of breeds while growing up as kids... and when I had a family I plumped for a collie. They are friendly, easy to train, don’t yap. Did run rings around the chickens and also need lots of walking. When he went VC pointed out a lovely smooth haired collie ( fur balls on the floor) - he didn’t have a long life but was the best friend I’ve ever had. On the back of that I had another smooth haired collie, he doesn’t round up, hardly barks, wouldn’t chase a rat - ever! So even within breeds you may not tick off all those boxes.
          When we were kids we had terriers and spaniels. The terriers will manage your rats...but are all yappy, not sure you’ll Find any other dog that is a tatter other than a terrier though? (IMO)
          Then we’ve had Spaniels, hair is everywhere! Any dog brought up with cats will usually tolerate them.
          I wouldn’t leave any dog outside with chickens loose unless supervised.
          Last edited by Scarlet; 08-11-2018, 10:52 AM.

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          • #6
            Best advice is get a Heinz 57 from a rescue centre. Go tell them what you are looking for and why. By sounds of it a smooth haired medium sized dog.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mrsbusy View Post
              Hi all. So we want to get a dog to take us out for walks, keep us warm at night on the sofa, guard the hens from foxes, catch the rats, make friends with the cats! Terriers will chase and dig, working dogs will round them up....any suggestions what we should consider as the ideal dog? I want a small to medium dog, and not a dirty shaggy-coat one - after all it's going to share my house! Oh and no yapping!
              Two of mine with a chook!
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              The dogs take us for walks, keep us warm on the sofa, watch the hens but don't chase them, chase off intruders, chase rats, catch moles and mice, don't have cats to be friends with, small to medium size, don't "yap" but bark when the doorbell rings or there are strangers around, don't moult but do get dirty as any dog who plays outdoors will.........

              Breed? Who knows. All I know is Bess (the white one) is supposed to be a Cavachon (from a rescue) and the pups are hers.

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              • #8
                breeds can give you a clue of what to expect, but the behaviour of a dog s often what you make it from a very young age so take breed as a very rough guide beyond what the purpose of the breed is.

                I personally am a border collie man having had them all my life, one or two have been very highly strung ,bordering on neurotic but thinking back that could have been my fault. as a young bachelor I probably just didn't pay them enough attention. I have also had the odd couch potato.

                collies won't hunt rats but will certainly chase them, my current dog quite happily sees off the grey squirrels, stoats and weasels that try to enter his garden. yet out of the garden doesn't tear off after everything that moves, although bolting roe deer may require a little verbal urging.

                all dogs will find mud if it is there to be found, they do shed hair everywhere but do give great cuddles and the finest companionship.

                I think the best advice is to get it young and make the effort to train and shape it in to what you want

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                • #9
                  Cat for rodents, dog for everything else. Agree with SelkirkAlex about dogs. A mongrel pup might serve you just as well as a 'named' breed.

                  I'm guessing if it's keeping you warm on the sofa, you're treating it as an indoors dog. But if you're hoping it will deter foxes and you expect it to spend long hours outdoors, that will make a difference to the coat it will need to have. And if you really do want it to keep foxes away, it will need to be a barker.
                  Last edited by Snoop Puss; 08-11-2018, 03:49 PM.
                  Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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                  • #10
                    You could always get one or two of Asil chickens for controlling rats. They are allegedly capable of killing snakes so a rat shouldn't be much of a problem for them either!
                    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/G...l/BRKAsil.html

                    Dwell simply ~ love richly

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scarlet View Post
                      Well, we had a limited selection of breeds while growing up as kids... and when I had a family I plumped for a collie. They are friendly, easy to train, don’t yap. Did run rings around the chickens and also need lots of walking. When he went VC pointed out a lovely smooth haired collie ( fur balls on the floor) - he didn’t have a long life but was the best friend I’ve ever had. On the back of that I had another smooth haired collie, he doesn’t round up, hardly barks, wouldn’t chase a rat - ever! So even within breeds you may not tick off all those boxes.
                      When we were kids we had terriers and spaniels. The terriers will manage your rats...but are all yappy, not sure you’ll Find any other dog that is a tatter other than a terrier though? (IMO)
                      Then we’ve had Spaniels, hair is everywhere! Any dog brought up with cats will usually tolerate them.
                      I wouldn’t leave any dog outside with chickens loose unless supervised.
                      Hi Scarlet - thanks for your reply - the smooth collie is on the short list and I had an appointment booked to go and see a pup; then the breeder called me back to say that she advised against the breed because the dog would want to round up the hens - not chase or kill, just herd them, so we put that breed on hold. Then we also like the welsh springer and there is a breeder about 3 miles from us with a litter planned for the New Year which is very convenient; that breeder said her dogs will chase anything with feathers!! I would be very happy with a mixed breed - what I used to call mongrel - I often have my daughters dog who is a 57 variety and she is super. But it is difficult to find puppies and the rescue centres - so far - have been a nightmare - i.e must have another dog to keep it company, can't be left on its own, no cats, no other pets, must visit the rescue centre numerous occasions to build up a rapport etc etc. Anything that looks like my kind of dog is homed already. So I was very interested that you have had a smooth and that option is still there for us -again the breeder has a possible litter in the new year.
                      Last edited by mrsbusy; 10-11-2018, 11:58 AM. Reason: typo

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                      • #12
                        Wow - interesting breed I've not heard of them before. (Referring to the Asill hens.)
                        Last edited by mrsbusy; 10-11-2018, 11:39 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Snoop Puss View Post
                          Cat for rodents, dog for everything else. Agree with SelkirkAlex about dogs. A mongrel pup might serve you just as well as a 'named' breed.

                          I'm guessing if it's keeping you warm on the sofa, you're treating it as an indoors dog. But if you're hoping it will deter foxes and you expect it to spend long hours outdoors, that will make a difference to the coat it will need to have. And if you really do want it to keep foxes away, it will need to be a barker.
                          Yes don't expect the dog to stay outside at night at all. Would be very happy with a mongrel if I could find the right one. And one of my cats is good with rats although they are not always dead when he brings them in! Which is interesting. I have put measures in place to deter the rats like only garden waste in the open compost bin - kitchen veggie waste in the darlek bins with mesh under the bins to stop the rats digging under, and the hen house has rat proof mesh floor and ceiling, and no food left out overnight, which has helped greatly.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 4Shoes View Post
                            Best advice is get a Heinz 57 from a rescue centre. Go tell them what you are looking for and why. By sounds of it a smooth haired medium sized dog.
                            Yes agree or from someone who has got a litter of these sorts of dogs - difficult to get anywhere with the rescue centres near me - easier to adopt a child! (Only joking)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SelkirkAlex View Post
                              breeds can give you a clue of what to expect, but the behaviour of a dog s often what you make it from a very young age so take breed as a very rough guide beyond what the purpose of the breed is.

                              I personally am a border collie man having had them all my life, one or two have been very highly strung ,bordering on neurotic but thinking back that could have been my fault. as a young bachelor I probably just didn't pay them enough attention. I have also had the odd couch potato.

                              collies won't hunt rats but will certainly chase them, my current dog quite happily sees off the grey squirrels, stoats and weasels that try to enter his garden. yet out of the garden doesn't tear off after everything that moves, although bolting roe deer may require a little verbal urging.

                              all dogs will find mud if it is there to be found, they do shed hair everywhere but do give great cuddles and the finest companionship.

                              I think the best advice is to get it young and make the effort to train and shape it in to what you want
                              Yes agree - love the border collies - I go to dog agility with my daughters dog and there are several border collies - some are daft and some are really good! I want a pup from about 8 weeks really then I know I can teach it - there are plenty of puppy classes round here to help me and the agility folk are wonderful.

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