Acclimating Pet Dogs? Can it be done?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cynikal, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. cynikal

    cynikal Hatching

    Oct 18, 2011
    We have a King Cav Spanial (1.5 year old) and she really wants the chicks (1 week old). i have been trying to just let her look and slowly get her use to the idea of chickens but she goes APE____!!! after a couple minutes. today she busted in didn't do any damage but scared the little chicks. the dog is normally laid back and never jumpy, but the chickens bring something out in her! will the dog learn once the chickens get bigger and can defend themselves a little or is there a method to train a dog that they are not food?


  2. We have a Golden Retriever and a Coton de Tulear and both are great with our chickens. Well, the Coton is afraid of them mostly. The Golden wanted to go after them initially because she was attracted to their skittery movements but we just told her NO and she obeyed. Maybe keep the dog on a leash around them at the beginning until it learns to stay when the chickens are around?
  3. SpringChick

    SpringChick Hatching

    Apr 21, 2011
    I have an 11.5 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and she too is bird crazy. As a matter of fact she ate my sister's parakeet on Thanksgiving 2 years ago! My sister lets her birds fly free in her home office and forgot to pull the door shut. Well my cav smelled those birds, pushed the door open and the sweetest one 'Dove' met her death that morning. I have two hens and make sure my cav is under lock and key when they are out. I have taken her out on a leash when they've been out and she has somewhat adjusted to them but if they run she gets all excited. I don't trust her with them. Spaniels are bird dogs. Good luck.
  4. guinea fowl galore

    guinea fowl galore Songster

    May 12, 2009
    I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel too and he is exactly the same. I will NEVER trust him around chickens. EVER.
    And I don't think you should trust yours either. You just have to work with it. While the chickens are out, the dogs locked up and vice versa.
    They were bred to hunt quail after all, so you cant expect them to act anyway other.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  5. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Songster

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    I have a Pom mix, he is very mellow, did not get the yappy of the Pom. He is very good around the chickens, even when they were chicks. Our other dog is a Chiu/Jack Russell mix. Introduced her to the chickens when she was 7 weeks old, the chickens were about 15 weeks. She startled them at first, but the next day she just laid down with them & they thought she was a chicken too. She would dig a hole, they moved her out of the way & used it for a dust bath. She had a piece of lettuce in her mouth, they took it out of her mouth.Now she is 4 months old & loves to run around the yard with the other dog, and will sometimes scatter the hens. This puts our Roo into defender mode, and he will chase the dogs. Gave a good peck to out mellow dog, so now Marty stays clear of our Roo. Sophie has the happy go lucky attitude, and wants to play with our Roo when he is in defender mode. I tell her, when he gets you & you cry, I will not feel sorry for you.

    Now our Silkies are a different matter all together, Marty can't quite figure out what they are, but when they roam the kitchen (yes they are spoiled), he will watch them and tilt his head when the chirp and peep, but he will stay at my feet. I usually have Sophie outside when the Silkies are out, just for precautions.

    I would say, just keep them locked up safe, and when they are bigger, keep trying to introduce her to them. Once they get big enough to defend themselves, and you are there to supervise, see how she reacts. All it may take is a good peck from one of them to snap her out of her mode. Mine I know I can trust with my chickens, because I know my chickens will beat the tar out of my dogs.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    It can be done and there are many methods to try if you have the time and patience. You have to be consistent and the dog needs to be already used to following your commands. Breed doesn't really matter....all my Labs were wonderful around chickens.
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

    Nov 10, 2010
    Here are some of my suggestions:
    - make sure the dog has been exercised and is somewhat tired before exposure to the chickens. This will allow the dog to focus on you and your commands better.
    - always have the dog on a leash during the chicken training so you can control it
    - teach the dog basic commands: sit, come, down, stay, wait and LEAVE IT. The heel command is good because it teaches the dog to focus on you while on leash.
    - work with the dog to ignore the chickens - don't make a fuss about him "MEETING" the chickens. you want him to ignore them. He can glance in their direction, but do not let him focus in on them. Keep his attention on you.

    Your dog is young enough that he will learn - as long as you and your family are consistant with the training. ALWAYS tire the dog out before you try to train. play fetch, along walk, running around at the dog park.
    1 person likes this.

  8. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    what i did with mine- and they were proven bird killers, had them tied near the pen at first, and once they began ignoring the birds, began walking each of them when i free ranged the birds, watching their reactions- telling them no when they showed aggression, it took awhile, not over nite, and now i can let them out around the birds, no problem- each dog will be different- i have a friend with a jack russel that would sit on the ground with him leashed, when he got to excited would get his attention with a treat, again, after alot of exposure he settled down and is safe with them- really, time and patience
    1 person likes this.
  9. You know, I wonder if that's true that the breed doesn't matter. From the anecdotal evidence here, it sounds like King Charles Cavalier spaniels are not inclined to behave around chickens. What about terriers? Labs and Goldens may be easier because they're just so "whatevs" about everything.
  10. ldemmert

    ldemmert In the Brooder

    Our rescue Brittany came to us as a pet duck-killer. He proved it the first week we had him but that was operator error. After that DH sat with him with food (lots of treats of the best kind) while I played with the chickens 10' away. When the dog paid attention to DH and not the birds, he (the dog) got a treat and lots of praise. 6 weeks of this and I moved closer. Every night we did this for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong while. Now, the dog won't even look at the birds as he walks on a leash through the flock. We still don't trust him off leash, however, but that's another story.
    Our other Brittany was begun as a falconry dog with hawks and has never once looked harshly at my hens. He seems to know they are mine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by