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Hi!, i live in a semirural area in Kenya, we have a big compound where we are about to start raising chickens. We decided to buy a local dog to ¨guard¨ the compound.

So the idea is to keep the dog inside a specific area during the day and to let her (yes, is a she) roam free during the night. We dont want her attacking, as with many people we just want her to bark and both alert us/scare the intruder when necessary.

That being said, i have never owned a dog in my life and i cant help to want to pet her/play with her a lot. Is this gonna make a difference? or will her ¨guarding¨ abilities be as good even thou she gets more love than most guard dogs usually do.

pd, Since we are in a rural area and the legislation is still a little behind in the country, lawsuits are not likely, and locals are usually aware of that fact. (although we dont anyone bitten).
 

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That kind of 'guarding', barks/alerts when strangers arrive, is pretty normal. I've never had a dog that didn't bark when something unusual was going on.
You could train and socialize like any pet dog, maybe much more, if you buy a dog that is prone to aggression, because you really don't want an aggressive dog, just a dog that acts like a dog.
It's illegal to let dogs roam free where I live--I can't even imagine letting a dog roam free, but if your dog is roaming free, you need to be SURE he's not aggressive, as there are all sorts of innocent reasons people and pets might be out there sharing the same space in the night. Dogs are not always great judges of character, nor should they be expected to be.
A pet dog will bark too, so yes, you can play with and pet your dog.
 

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You've come to a great place and I suggest prior to getting the dog you read up on everything from health and nutrition to training. You want to put time and effort in at the beginning, to make sure she does not develop a fondness for eating or killing chickens.
 

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You've come to a great place and I suggest prior to getting the dog you read up on everything from health and nutrition to training. You want to put time and effort in at the beginning, to make sure she does not develop a fondness for eating or killing chickens.
& that too....what kind of dog? Breed matters. And age, and experience too if she's an adult already.
I've never been to Kenya so the 'world' you live in is very different from mine--and so, very interesting. Hope to hear more.
 

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I agree with others- breed, age, and prior experience do REALLY matter when wanting something so specific out of a dog.

Yes, most dogs- especially those that were bred with the purpose of guarding or protecting property, livestock, or people- are going to bark at and probably posture at intruders that they do not know. It is good that you live in an area where lawsuits aren't so much a thing, and good that you understand that having a dog that actually does bite may not be super desirable.

If I wanted a dog that wouldn't necessarily bite, but would guard and be intimidating, I would probably get a puppy out of a typical guarding/protection breed that is a little on the less intense side. A lot of the more intense guardian breeds when bred from true working lines, like some of the livestock guardians (Boerboels, Kangals, Caucasian Ovcharka, etc), or some of the intense all purpose farm dogs/hunting dogs also bred to do some protection/guarding (Dogo Argentinos, Cane Corsos, some of the other Molossor type dogs still being working-line-bred) or even the working shepherd breeds like Dutch, German, and Belgian Shepherds, may still- or even be likely to- bite an intruder even when very well socialized and never trained in bite work/protection or to be aggressive, simply because that is how they are hard wired to be.

If she is from a breed that is bred to do protection and/or guard things, property, livestock, or people, then I would be sure to socialize her the same you would a pet dog. Make sure she meets strangers and understands not all strangers are bad. When people come over because they've been invited, have them wait for you to let them in (I'm assuming by the phrase "compound" there is some kind of fence/gate/containment) and then introduce them to her by having her leashed or contained so she CAN'T bite them, give her treats yourself and have the other people toss her treats, if she likes treats. If not, give her whatever she finds exciting in exchange for being calm. Treat her like you would any pet you had, save for letting her sleep in the house at night.

If you are looking for her to protect the livestock themselves, then this is all terrible advice- that requires a very different rearing system and can be very hard to make stick when the livestock in question is poultry, since very few breeds have been developed to protect the poultry itself and not just the property its on.
 

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Yes breed matters - the greatest thing you want in a guard is pure confidence - confidence that they don't need to attack. That's powerful.

My friend has 2 dobies - family dogs - very loyal. But you walk in that back yard uninvited, you get stared down by 2 dogs - they don't bark, they don't attack - they don't need to.
 

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That being said, i have never owned a dog in my life and i cant help to want to pet her/play with her a lot. Is this gonna make a difference?).
In most cases no. Depends a bit on the dog though. Are you worried more about human or animal predators.

As for how to interact with guard dogs. I recommend kisses.

 
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