Advice for family dog running chickens

neo71665

Songster
Mar 22, 2020
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Arkansas
As somebody that has owned many beagles I'm gonna tell you trying to train a hunting dog to not hunt is not gonna happen. You might curb it while you are around but as soon as your back is turned what it was bred to do is gonna come back out.

You can either get a different dog or make sure the dog can't get to the chickens.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
1,093
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Georgia
You can either get a different dog or make sure the dog can't get to the chickens.
I agree. It isn't fair to expect them to change the drives that were intentionally bred into them by humans over the centuries.

Though disagree with the suggestion to just get another dog. The beagle was there first, when people make a commitment to a companion animal tossing them aside because "the new pets are more fun than the old pet" isn't right. Coming up with a schedule and method to ensure the dog/birds stay apart is not difficult.
 

neo71665

Songster
Mar 22, 2020
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Arkansas
I agree. It isn't fair to expect them to change the drives that were intentionally bred into them by humans over the centuries.

Though disagree with the suggestion to just get another dog. The beagle was there first, when people make a commitment to a companion animal tossing them aside because "the new pets are more fun than the old pet" isn't right. Coming up with a schedule and method to ensure the dog/birds stay apart is not difficult.
Yeah part of that commitment is also ensuring the animals you keep are happy and live an enriched life. Keeping a hunting dog locked or leashed up isn't that. Having one chasing and stressing your chickens doesn't work either.

Too many people buy pets and never take in the considerations and requirements of the breed. If they can't supply the requirements then they have no place owning it. So yeah get rid of the dog, make sure it can't get to the chickens, OR get rid of the chickens
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
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Georgia
Yeah part of that commitment is also ensuring the animals you keep are happy and live an enriched life. Keeping a hunting dog locked or leashed up isn't that. Having one chasing and stressing your chickens doesn't work either.

Too many people buy pets and never take in the considerations and requirements of the breed. If they can't supply the requirements then they have no place owning it. So yeah get rid of the dog, make sure it can't get to the chickens, OR get rid of the chickens
As I said, dumping the old pet because it doesn't get along with the new pets is not right. It is one of the reasons over a million shelter dogs are killed each year.

People do it all the time and while I can't stop them I sure as heck won't make them feel justified/okay about their decision by telling them it is "responsible" thing to do. Chaining or penning the dog up 24/7 is also not a good solution, the birds should be safely penned up instead.
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
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Georgia
Also for the op -- if possible make sure the birds have a large run with only a small portion facing the yard area where the dog goes. If the birds are in a small pen it is easy to scare them which becomes a game since they react.

If their run is large or shaped so they can they can get away from the dog on the other side of the fence that keeps the birds calm and discourages the dog from bothering them in their pen. You could also use shade cloth or a tarp to create more privacy for the birds.

Using an apron around the bottom of the fence so the dog can't dig under is also a good idea and of course leaving the dog outside the chicken run for hours while you run errands or go to work is courting disaster as something will eventually happen.
 
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Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
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Northwest Indiana
Also for the op -- if possible make sure the birds have a large run with only a small portion facing the yard area where the dog goes. If the birds are in a small pen it is easy to scare them which becomes a game since they react.

If their run is large or shaped so they can they can get away from the dog on the other side of the fence that keeps the birds calm and discourages the dog from bothering them in their pen. You could also use shade cloth or a tarp to create more privacy for the birds.

Using an apron around the bottom of the fence so the dog can't dig under is also a good idea and of course leaving the dog outside the chicken run for hours while you run errands or go to work is courting disaster as something will eventually happen.
This is a solid idea. It also might be good to get a chicken tractor that way they can be moved around to range instead of being free range.

I agree that getting rid of a family pet to accomodate another animal is not fair. A family pet is a member of your family. You wouldnt get rid of your sister because your new dog jumps and bites at her...you'd train the dog not to do that...and if you couldnt train it not to you would leash it when she is there.
 

FloorCandy

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
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:welcome :frow My brother had a beagle and he wouldn't listen to my bother. My brother put a shock collar on him. He took let him out and the dog ignored him so first he used the tone and no results, then he used the vibrate and still no results and finally gave him a shock. He said he only had to use the shock once and from then on when he used the other functions on the collar the dog responded positively. Good luck...
A shock collar can begin negative behaviors in a soft dog and can scar them mentally for life, use with extreme caution, with the help of someone experienced in training with one, after ALL other method have been tried. You don’t know how it will affect them, dogs don’t have highly developed reasoning skills, you could end up with the dog making an incorrect connection, like every time I see a chicken I get shocked, kill the chicken, or every time I see a fence I get shocked, so the dog is afraid of the fence and won’t go in the yard. Smart dogs know the controller, even if you use it in a pocket or behind your back, so they will search for the controller and break it if they can, or they only listen if they know you have the controller. There are methods for starting slowly so they don’t have any idea the shock comes from the collar and not some crazy unknown force like dog Zeus zapping them from the sky.
 

OneHappyRooster

Free Ranging
Apr 5, 2020
6,099
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Orpington-Land
The 'Leave it' command is a very useful one. My collie cross was very easy to train, fortunately. She did almost get a few of the birds.
They are eager to please.

It can be done, and I don't believe it's cruel to train a beagle not to chase chickens, he just needs to funnel that enthusiasm elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the fencing can save you a lot of stress.
 

FloorCandy

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
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The 'Leave it' command is a very useful one. My collie cross was very easy to train, fortunately. She did almost get a few of the birds.
They are eager to please.

It can be done, and I don't believe it's cruel to train a beagle not to chase chickens, he just needs to funnel that enthusiasm elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the fencing can save you a lot of stress.
I agree!
Ive always been told you shouldn’t take a dog into the field unless they have an unshakable recall and leave it command. Obviously people are out there training beagles for hunting, drug sniffing, cadaver searches, missing people etc, it can be done.
 

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