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Hello everyone,

I am planning on buying a dog in the future, but my needs for this one are a bit specific and I'm having trouble researching all the different breeds.

I need a (preferably large/"giant") dog that will work in a horse ranch by protecting the animals (horses and chickens) from theft and predators. However, he can't be too aggressive because I plan on having a good amount of traffic at this ranch and this dog should be capable of being a good family dog as well. The climate has hot summers and cold winters.

I am an avid runner and plan on being strict with training, so exercise needs and lack of trainability are factors but not problems.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm currently considering German Shepherds and Great Pyrenees.

Thanks everyone!
 

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Great Pyrenees would be your best bet. German Shepherds can be really unreliable in how they are with farm animals. Some are great and some chase and kill. Pyrenees live to protect their territory, but aren't overly aggressive. A lot of farms around here have them, and they are very good at their job but sweet and friendly as well.
 

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Most LGDs could work for you but more important than the breed is finding a good breeder. Ask around for personal recommendations. German shepherds are a great example of a breed that in theory should be a good fit but has suffered brutally the effects of poor breeding.

Another thing to keep in mind is that dogs are much more effective fending of both human and animal threats when working together.

A friend here keeps 3 Fila Brasilieros to defend his horse farm against mainly human predators and I know several people who keep Neapolitans as live stock guardians. In fact Neapolitans seem to be the most popular choice around here which means there is a very well developed market and breeders regularly show dogs at the same events where bulls and other livestock are being exhibited.

IMO a proven working pedigree is much more important than just the breed description.
 

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I would say a Great Pyrenees would be your best bet. Maybe a Kuvasz too. Like it was also said GSDs aren't always the best at jobs like this due to unpredictability in personality and health. You might even be able to attempt an Anatolian Shepherd, but I would feel more comfortable with guests and kids around a GP.
 

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Great Pyrenees would be a great option, or maybe something like the Kangal. I would highly suggest the Kuvasz but they're known for being a challenge to train, unless you like challenges then I would go for it.
Aside from my extra suggestions, I'd go with Great Pyrenees over German Shepherd. Also like someone else mentioned, there's power in numbers.
 

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German Shepherds, if properly introduced are the best, natural guardians for all your animals on your farm.......including your family.....BUT, natural protectors would not be good for intruders......lol, as they see them....
 

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I suggest Maremmas.......
 

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I would agree with GP as several people have mentioned. I think they are the most well-suited to bond with livestock, but as @Esand mentioned I think looking for a good working pedigree and proven stock is equally as important.
 
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