How strange, I have been thinking off and on about this despite not knowing very much about dogs, and scanned down the forum this morning and suddenly an image of a Puli popped into my head (I was actually thinking about Poodles first), opened the thread and found someone else had got there before me. And then realised how old the thread was!
I have very limited experience with gaurd dogs, so I can't really help you there, but have had considerable experience having dogs around to help keep varmints out of the chickens and other critters on the farmstead. We've had everything from Heinz 57 mutts to some highly pedigreed dogs, some were exceptional some weren't worth the food they ate. The key to our success is to find a dog that wants to please you, then make that dog your constant companion until he old enough to fend off the boogey man outside by himself, even then when your outside the dog needs to be your shadow, he has to understand that the entire farmstead is yours and everything on it is under his care. Now it's a lot more complex than that but at the same time it's that simple. Research traits of dog breeds, very important learn the body language of dogs, watch the dog whisperer he's very good at pointing out doggy body language, if you know what the dog has on its mind it makes training so much easier. I noticed you could be leaning toward a jrt, most I've dealt with made very good barnyard dogs, one of the drawbacks to terriers is some of them have more heart than good sense, which means they're not afraid of much and can be difficult to call off before leaving your property, I've known people who have lost them to coyotes because of it. IMO they seem to do better working in a team of 2-3. If you want any other info I'll be happy to answer as best I can.
Shawn Bell wrote:We had to cage our Jack Russell, apparently they are bred for hunting. She took out two of our laying hens.
A friend of mine has 3 Jack Russels as "guardian" dogs. They do not specifically guard the hens, but they are so
agressive towards the wild animals that foxes etc. do not come close to the farm anymore.
One of the dogs is the mother of the other two, and in gereral they do not attack the hens.
However the dogs siblings sometimes come for a visit, and if one of them starts going after a hen,
the others (expect the mother) quickly join in.
So far no hen has been killed, but one of the Jacks is almost always in the penalty-box.
I assume it they would live on the farm year-round and be trained to not chase the hens it should work out.
But keep in mind that each of those has their own character, so you may run into a Jack Russel that
cannot be trained to be friendly, but i think the chance is rather low.
That being said, if you want a small dog to chase away predators, my first choice would be a jack russel,
but it takes a lot of work and patience.
If feeding costs are a issue, i would consider a Tornjak, which is a breed that has been used as LGD in the balkans
for so long, that it is adapted to a more carbonhydrate based diet, more similar to what humans eat.
In my opinion, you shouldn't even consider a small dog ror that job. Predators won't see them as anything other than a meal. That would really suck for the poor dog.
Great pyranese are excellent for what you want a dog for.
I would also suggest an australian shepherd, but aussies need to be with their human family a lot and wouldn't be very happy living outside. Aussies are super smart, quick as can be, and have a lot of guarding instinct. They do need a strong human leader and need to be taught at least basic obedience, or else their bossiness will get out of hand lol! Their herding instinct is already in them. They average about 50 or so pounds but they can weigh as little as 40 pounds. Again, they have a very strong need to be with their human pack members all the time.
M James wrote:In my opinion, you shouldn't even consider a small dog ror that job. Predators won't see them as anything other than a meal. That would really suck for the poor dog.
That depends on the predators. I agree that if you are in wolf-country you need larger dogs.
In the above setting with the jack russels, there are no wolves.
Very rarely a bear. Mostly fox. And jack russels were specifically bred to hunt foxes.
And even a bear would be chased off by a pack of jack russels, those little dogs are really vicious.