Are Dogs Always Predators to Chickens?

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

  1. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Your dog is beautiful! [​IMG]

    The one lighter one was a bit scruffy in that picture, because I think she had just taken a swim in the stock watering tank and then rolled in the dirt to dry off. The coat on yours is so glossy. Some people have trained heelers to be really mean and vicious -- parlaying on their heeling instinct.. Everyone who comes here for the first time - and the folks working on a construction project were very cautious...and everyone asks me if she will bite them.

    Love your dog - thanks for posting! -- since it is dogs & chickens -- and yours is good with chickens - as is mine, then I don't think we hijacted the thread. [​IMG]
  2. outlawfarmer

    outlawfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2010
    New Hampshire
    My own 2 dogs are poodle mix and Bichon and love birds. My 5 year old fell off bike and skinned knee today. She was walking towards me crying and bleeding from knee. Then big pit bull with balls flapping charged towards her out of woods. I yelled and it changed course to chase my birds. It tried to eat one and I had enough. Quick reach into bedroom and a couple 20g let loose into the top of the woodland (away from the dog and kids) and yelling at it saved the day. Half hour later addict comes looking for a dog. I explained what happened but my kids and me didn't scare it at all. By state law I could have dropped him. Hard pressed to do that over a few chickens though.
  3. owlflights

    owlflights Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2015
    SE Iowa
    Our two dogs never had to be even a little trained when it came to the chickens. I can absolutely trust them to be alone outside with the chickens. It's not like they're best friends, they just don't bother each other. Though, I do suspect it has a lot to do with the breeds. The two dogs are an Australian Shepherd and an Australian Cattle Dog, and also my late German Shepherd was very good with the chickens as well. On the other hand pest control dogs like terriers and dachshunds have much more prey drive and are much harder to train to be around chickens.
    To have a better outcome, I would recommend exposing the dog to the chicks as soon as you get them and let him be a part of the chickens life.
  4. csneill

    csneill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2015
    Northeast Nebraska
    I have a question related to this- we have a 12 year old mini daschund. Last spring we started with a small flock of chickens & started free ranging them late last summer. We never had a problem with the dog being out- has free run of the yard and never bothered any of the birds. At some point in the fall, he killed a couple hens but at the time we thought it was a couple of stray cats that that had adopted our place. We rehomed the cats & then I finally figured out it was the dog killing the chickens & he also got a couple of our ducks. We started tying the dog up during the day when the chickens are out (now that it's spring & they're free ranging again). Yesterday I untied the dog shortly before the chickens went to bed & he killed another hen & was working on another- luckily we caught him in time & she's OK. My question is- is it too late to retrain a 12 year old dog who obviously enjoys the hunt & kill of my hens? :-( Is it fair to have to tie up an old dog for all day who is used to being free to run our property all day? Do I need to rehome him? My family wants me to get rid of the dog but it's hard since we've had him for so long. I have a family that is interested in taking him for his 'retirement years'. But it's just not an easy decision. Any opinions will be greatly accepted.
  5. yellowherb

    yellowherb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2015
    @csneill Since it's already killed chickens I think the odds of retraining it at 12years old are slim. My neighbors had a daschund and I would watch him grabbing their peking ducks and drag them around the yard and chase their chicken flock. It seems harder for the little hunting dogs to control themselves than it does for the larger dogs.

    @outlawfarmer I hope this decision not to drop the dog does not come back to bite you. Especially as his original target was your child. With a gun in my hand I would have been hard pressed not to shoot the dog. I can't stand pit bulls. My daughter has been bitten too many times by pits and pit mixes roaming our neighborhood and if I found one on my property, it's owner would be digging a hole.
    1 person likes this.
  6. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    There is a trick to teaching dogs to avoid chickens, but it is a bit ghastly. You tie one of the chickens your dog killed to the dog. The chicken rots on the dogs neck and the smell of it disgusts your dog so much he never nears another chicken. I have heard of many using this with success, though I personally have never used it.
  7. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Have heard also that this is an old wives tale. People used to do gruesome things to dogs --- such as that. Here is a link to a more scientific approach that understands the dog.

    csneil, don't know if this would help in your situation -- because the behavior has gone on for a long time -- however, it may be worth a try to keep your dog...otherwise, as you say - a hard set of choices to make. Good luck with it.

    Regarding strays that come on y/our land and harm or attempt to harm y/our chickens. Probably SSS (shoot, shovel, and shut up) is one of the best approaches IMO.

    Was just thinking of this yesterday when I heard barking near the back of my woods, and infront of the woods are the chicken enclosures. The dog owner should be responsible for their animal. a stray dog on my land is a predator, just like a coyote IMO. You don't know if it has rabies, or is the sweetest family pet ever seen -- but you have the right to protect your own livestock in most jurisdictions as far as I know.

    ETA - oops forgot the link
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  8. csneill

    csneill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2015
    Northeast Nebraska
    Any stray dog- especially a pitbull that even looked at my kid would have to go. I have nothing against the breed- just Bad owners!
    As far as my daschund goes- I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I still wouldn't trust him even if I trained him for months & tied a dead chicken to his neck for a year. Daschunds are so darn stubborn and he would probably be right back after them. So is it cruel & unusual to tie him up all day or would it be better to rehome him at this point. I'm struggling for the right answer!
  9. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Any chance for a chain link kennel or other pen for the dog? Thinking maybe the best of both worlds could happen somehow.....If he had enough toys, kiddie pool etc, it could be more like a spa than a prison. Hard dilemma. Good luck with it.

    Funny when you talked about the dog being stubborn.... there is a saying in our family --- "stubborn German" something in the heiratage there...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Though natural enemies in the wild; they become fast friends when brooded together.

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