Are Dogs Always Predators to Chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JatCat, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. JatCat

    JatCat Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2016
    Western Pennsylvania
    I have a Cavalier Spaniel/Cocker Spaniel mix and he's generally great with other "prey animals" (we have 2 rats and a rabbit, and the most he does is get low on the floor with his butt up in the air, ready to play), but would chickens trigger something in him that would make him snap at them? The only time he ever got aggressive with any of my animals was when my clueless kitten tried to steal his food, and my dog took a bit of fur off of the cat's ear. (The kitten still hasn't learned his lesson) A few summers ago, my neighbors let me bring one of their chickens over to my yard for a bit. The dog was fine, only he was persistent in sniffing the chicken. I guess the chicken got a little spooked, but my dog quickly stopped advancing when it was necessary.

    What do you think? Can dogs be compatible with chickens? Or would supervision be needed at all times?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Dogs are predators, and chickens are dinner. Many dogs will learn to be good around chickens, but they must be taught, because it won't be automatic. Caveliers are small and very sweet, with a low prey drive, so it should be a lot easier to do the training, but it must happen. On leash supervision! Don't just let them interact and hope for the best. Mary
     
  3. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My dogs Co exist very happily with my flock. They all have free range of my farm yard and for the most part completely ignore each other.
    Now my farm cats decimated my flock because I put them outside too young. But the dogs have never killed one, even after a neighbors dog came into the yard and killed a hen, my dogs still ignore the birds.
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Not all dogs fall into the same bag. Mine do not bother my chickens at all. my cats also do not bother the chickens ether. You would have to watch your dog and see how he reacts to them for a while, before becoming comfortable.
    Here are pix of my fighters. [​IMG]
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    The avatar shows my cats in harmony..
    A neighbors dog is from a different disposition, and mauled one of my hens last year. (he now keeps a closer watch on his dog, not loose any more)
    WISHING YOU BEST and [​IMG]
     
  5. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do think breeds play a big part in how aggressive they are (Of course there are exceptions) bird dogs, hunting dogs, that were bred to see prey as prey are much more aggressive then a farm dog, bred to protect and herd.
    I would watch and then not worry if your dog shows no aggression. There are ways to train a dog if it does, but I doubt you have anything to worry about.
     
  6. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your dogs can live in harmony with your chickens, but you have to be proactive about correcting negative behavior right from the beginning. Don't introduce the dog to the chickens and wait to see if there's a problem and then try to correct it after the fact. As soon as a dog shows interest, step between the dog and chickens and tell the dog "no" either with your voice or whatever noise/gesture your dogs understand means "no." Make it clear from the beginning that the chickens are yours and not there for their amusement. (This only works if your dog understands "no." If he's been coddled with no discipline, then all you can do is hope for the best.) You'll have to be extra vigilant at first and stay on top of monitoring their behavior until you're satisfied that the dogs are leaving the chickens alone all the time and not just when you're looking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  7. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a full blooded duck dog Lab and a pit mix and they are all best friends.

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  8. yellowherb

    yellowherb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have both a herd dog and a bird dog, Blue Heeler and English springer spaniel. Both do fantastic with the chickens (and other pets). The spaniel completely ignores the chickens but the Heeler treats them as if they are "family" and she's gentle around them. She can be running across the yard but will stop and walk through the middle of the flock so she doesn't' spook them. She even makes a effort to look away from the chickens, no eye contact, as she walks through the middle of the flock.

    I've even had a case of a coturnix quail getting loose and flying across the yard. The heeler chased it as if I had thrown a tennis ball. I thought for sure the quail would be killed, but she grabbed the quail and brought it back to me, barely a wet feather. She watches the free range chicken chicks but I think that's guarding, she makes no move to chase or scare them.

    I've never lost a chicken to the dogs or the cat.

    I did make a introduction to the dogs with chicks. I wanted them to know the chicks are family too and should not be bothered. I've never had to correct the dogs though other than saying the spaniels name when she scatters the chickens by running through them. Springers can be excitable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  9. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Also have Blue Heeler,

    she is good with the chickens and always has been:
    [​IMG]
    She will help me round them up when needed, and gets a bit excited if they are giving distress calls. When she puts her face near if I hold a chick for her inspection, it is to sniff not to snap.
    It isn't as much any type of hunger, as it is the excitement of thinking that the fast moving thing is a toy for some dogs -- so making sure that the dog is calm with the chickens in paramont.
    [​IMG]
    Here is an interesting link for people who want to introduce dogs to chickens:
    http://canterlc.com/StopChickenKillerDogs/site/pages/home/
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  10. yellowherb

    yellowherb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, your heeler is beautiful! Mine is the shorter haired version with a lot less white and no blue eyes :( She's still a great dog though and terrifies people to the point they will not open my gate and come inside the yard.

    She goes with me in the evenings to round up the chicks to put back in the shed under the light, but hasn't learned yet she can help herd them in. I think she's just missing most of that herding instinct.

    This is what she does best.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016

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