I run a small hobby farm in the country. I'd like to get a dog to keep on the property as a part-time protector, full-time friend/companion. Not sure I want a livestock guardian as I don't think they would fulfill the requirements of the companion part. (From what I've read, anyway.) Don't really want a herder, either, as they would get bored while I'm at work and for lack of things to herd. I don't want my birds herded, just protected.
Any good breeds out there that won't cost thousands of dollars to purchase that I should look into? I should probably mention that my poultry are free-range and I want a dog that can be trusted around them.