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Dog breeds that are good with chickens?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Eventually i want to get a dog. I have had beagles, beagle german shepherd mixes,chihuahua italian greyhound mixes and shih tzus. All have been bad with chickens! Does it help if you get them when they're young? I know all dogs are different but what are some breeds that are usually good with chickens or could easily be trained to be good with them? Thanks smile.png
post #2 of 9
I have a female beagle and a male chocolate lab. Both were adults when I got my first chicks. The beagle wants to mother every baby she sees regardless of species and the lab doesnt have a mean bone in his body (aside from chasing chipmunks). I showed both dogs the babies every few days as they grew. They know the chickens belong here. They all share the backyard and my chickens free-range amongst them. I have brought adult birds home since those first chicks and never had an issue. Maybe just lucky!
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.
Dalai Lama
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Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.
Dalai Lama
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post #3 of 9

I have found that most dog breeds will be good around chickens, once you've trained them to be.   I've got a Great Dane, Boxer mix, and a Pit mix, all of which are very good around my girls, the goose and duck too.  When our Pit mix was a little puppy not so much.  He learned fast, once he realized they were not toys!  It just takes a bit of training, I have found.   Good luck in what ever breed you choose.

mom of 8 kids,  3 dogs,  10 cats, 11 hens, 1 goose, 1 duck  and the most loving, patient hubby, who puts up with me!!

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mom of 8 kids,  3 dogs,  10 cats, 11 hens, 1 goose, 1 duck  and the most loving, patient hubby, who puts up with me!!

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post #4 of 9

I have a springier spaniel mix this is fine with the chickens. He will walk in the coop with me no problem. My golden retriever mix on the other hand is a chicken killer (We got her when she was 2). She killed the neighbors pet rooster and has gone after ours several times. We now have it where if you are watching her and tell her "no" she will not attack but I would never completely trust her alone with them just because has has killed before and has a very strong chase instinct. 


Edited by jessicaw12 - 6/8/16 at 11:52am
post #5 of 9

If you were to get a dog at the shelter, you could bring one of your chickens in a carrier and let prospective dogs meet it and see how each reacts.   Not a guarantee, but a good start anyway.   Most shelters are glad to accommodate meetings between future 'siblings' and have a special room for this purpose.

I had a lab mix that would never think of chasing our chickens.   What he was mixed with, I don't know.  

post #6 of 9

I have a Newfoundland and had a West Highland Terrier with my flock and they were both excellent. My Newfie was fully grown but still young when I got my first pullets and has always been great with them and very protective of them, including curling up beside the brooder when they were tiny.  The Westie joined the family when he was nearly 9 years old.  During his first encounter with them, one of my girls flapped her wings and it terrified him and he ran away and hid.  Then I got a couple more pullets that were in the house briefly before they were old enough to go outside and he used to watch them with curiosity and lay beside their brooder. The only time both dogs went after one of the flock members was when I had a young cockerel who was attacking a pullet.  The dogs chased him off and spent the rest of the day guarding the girls from him. I give a lot of credit to my Newfie for being a great guide to the Westie and helping to teach the ways of living harmoniously with them. 

 

It really depends on the dog and how well it's trained and I'd say the chickens too. Dogs instinctively chase and when you have birds that are fearful and flighty or overly aggressive birds with a fearful dog, it can be a disastrous combination. 

 

Never ever introduce an untrained dog to any flock. 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
How do you train them not to chase chickens?
post #8 of 9

Basic obedience training is a must.  If they can't follow the basics EVERY time you give them a command then they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near them.  Training isn't something to rush either and ALWAYS have them on a leash.  Some dogs are never trustworthy to earn being around them off leash and some do very well but that leash is a training tool.  Give it a tug and redirect the dog's attention if they're too focused on the birds. 

 

My newfie (and every dog I had prior to him) was trained to sit and stay especially at meal times until I gave the "okay" for them to eat.  They were/are not allowed to rush at their bowl. When you control their food, you get their respect. It's a process.  Some dogs are naturally protective and thrive when they have the job of looking over livestock. Others take a lot more work.   

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnigan View Post

Eventually i want to get a dog. I have had beagles, beagle german shepherd mixes,chihuahua italian greyhound mixes and shih tzus. All have been bad with chickens! Does it help if you get them when they're young? I know all dogs are different but what are some breeds that are usually good with chickens or could easily be trained to be good with them? Thanks smile.png


As a rule of thumb, stay away from sight hounds. The motion of the chickens can trigger a predator response in the dog. And certain northern breeds will never be trustworthy, along with some of the active vermin killing terriers.

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