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hunting dogs and chickens?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Does anyone on here have hunting dogs and chickens? I have a four year old English springer spaniel that has been a trained bird Hunter since he was a pup. My chicks are still in the brooding box but I'm afraid of what might happen once they go into the back yard. I'm planning a build on a pretty large coop so I don't need to let them out with the dogs but I would really love to let them free range without the risk of my hunting dog going after them. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks!
post #2 of 6

You just need to socialize the dog to the chicks, I own a RedBone CoonHound which isn't a bird dog by any means... but she has a huge prey drive for all animals under her size. I went through the same steps when introducing cats/kittens. First you need to have some form of control until the dog will operate under your rules when it comes to the chickens. I started will bulletproofing my "wait" "leave it" and "gentle" commands, I use "gentle" when I introduce her to children, new animals and when handing her food to tell her to move slowly and careful of my fingers. I had adult hens before any chicks, chicks are a huge advantage for you, let your dog sniff them  through a kennel or on a leash that is tied up (this will help lowering the curiosity) and gradually your dogs will be less concerned about the chicks over time. When the chicks are old enough to move outside you may choose to teach your dog how to behave around the chickens when they are loose, leash you dog and run him/her through commands to improve the focus and lower the excitement, I just taught my dog to completely ignore the chickens, not to be friendly or watch over them, just ignore them like they don't exist. So you will start telling the dog to leave it every time you pass a chicken, the dog may still react when the birds flap around or make noise so just keeping working on "leave it" until it goes away.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Good advise. Thank you. His entire life I've promoted his hunting of birds so I'm sure it'll be a challenge but it can be done.
post #4 of 6
We have a chocolate lab. She started to chase the chickens at first but we scolded her and made her aware that she shouldn't be doing it. She now mingles in with our hens, and just kinda sniffs at our 2 week old chicks! She's a pretty good mild mannered dog tho.
post #5 of 6
I have a German Shorthaired Pointer. He was professionally hunt trained and is a super motivated hunter. I have found the trick with him is teaching him "mine" and "his". He knows the difference between things that are mine (meaning he is not allowed to touch or sniff them without permission or supervision)and his (things he can play with whenever he wants). He LOVES "my" ducklings! He used to bring them his toys when they cried and was a great babysitter when they were loose in the house or yard. It just took some persistence to teach him the rules around the ducklings. The first rule was that he had to be sitting or laying down to sniff the ducks (so they wouldn't be stepped on). It was super easy from there because he knew he needed to be calm to see the ducks. Last week there was a hawk in the duck pen while my ducks were free ranging. Ace bolted out the door (faster than me) and chased the huge hawk away. He saved my favorite duck who the hawk was standing on top of! While we were inside cleaning wounds and keeping the duck calm Ace sat on my lap and snuggled the little duck (the duck actually snuggled up to him too).
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmick View Post

Does anyone on here have hunting dogs and chickens? I have a four year old English springer spaniel that has been a trained bird Hunter since he was a pup. My chicks are still in the brooding box but I'm afraid of what might happen once they go into the back yard. I'm planning a build on a pretty large coop so I don't need to let them out with the dogs but I would really love to let them free range without the risk of my hunting dog going after them. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks!

I would just make a large run for them, or free-range and keep the dogs inside.

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

Reply
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