Best dog breed around chickens? UPDATE post #117 Thanks all!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by megcpat, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    I agree, it's in the training and personality... you can tip the odds in your favor by getting a dog with a lower prey drive...... but there is no guarantee that any breed will be all the time good or bad around birds. We have a Pit and a Weimaraner ...... the Weimaraner does like to chase them when she's riled up, but she hasn't hurt one yet. And here's our Pit


  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    guitartists Pit bull sez "please cut my nails."
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    LOL Yeah, they had grown out a bit in that pic [​IMG] He really wasn't saying that though... because last week when we did a regular trimming he jerked and I trimmed one nail just a wee bit too short! [​IMG] Poor thing.... he really wishes I DIDN'T trim his nails [​IMG]
  4. megcpat

    megcpat Songster

    Jan 2, 2010
    STOP STOP STOP!!!!! You guys are KILLING me with the cute pit pics! And, not making it any easier for me NOT to get another pit bull - my all time favorite breed. Gosh I miss our Darcy dog:hit:hit I know, however, that a pit would be miserable in the roll of flock guardian 24/7. Oh, and I totally don't mean it about stopping the pit pics.... bring 'em on!
  5. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    Quote:What an adorable, soft and cuddly face on that Pit Bull.

    I got pretty lucky with mine...she has absolutely no prey drive for birds, cats, goats or other dogs. Balls, frisbees and sticks, she's all over it, but going into the chickens' area, she's only interested in their feed and their poop.

    There are a lot of Pit Bulls out there with similar behavioral traits...the dog-aggression having been long-since bred out of them. I think especially here in Callie-forneeya.

  6. Awwww! Love the bully with the chicks, what a cute pic.
    As an owner of six dogs, a person who has now fostered 330 dogs destined to or from humane societies and a chicken owner who works for a vet, here is my two cents:

    No dog could really be trusted, but as you see in here with the photos of the pitties and golden you saw that were quite relaxed, with some dogs you can get to the point where you really don't have to worry much. Breeds specifically designed and bred to guard or herd might be the ones with the best initial tendencies, and you would want to avoid high prey drive dogs (although pitties tend to be high prey and obviously there are hundreds of great ones out there). It just depends on the dog and how much work you want to put in.
    Good fences work great. Dog area/chicken area. We introduce the dogs to the chickens after they have been behind the fence a long time and are boring.

    Train your dogs a word for "drop it" or "out" or "release" before they meet the bird. Coming when they are called. That really helped us that our personal dogs knew OUT from playing retrieve.

    I once had a golden retriever that I had trained to do tricks with my pet parakeet and my dog was always 100 percent perfect. Until one day when I was gone and the bird escaped from the cage and the dog ate it! I always remember that when dealing with dogs (predator) with anything that is prey (bird). They are only as smart as the highest "leader" in the room. If you are not there and it is just bird and them, the dog is the leader and makes a dog style choice. Some dogs might not, but good barriers make for fewer accidents.

    Of the dogs we have and have known with the chickens, the best one we have is a border collie, probably mixed with a little aussie. As far as our fosters go, the basset and the great dane were both perfectly fine, doxie good. Rottie mix not so much. Lab was a definite long training project. Vizila pup we had here would have been a piece of cake. Also a shihtsu we had paid them absolutely no attention whatsoever. We haven't had beagles, but the quality that works with them is that they are just more interested in something else. Our rhodesian ridgeback and our boxer/pit mix I would never trust, but we have a ridgeback/pit mix that is very good, so it isn't always about the breed. The ridgeback/pit really cares about nothing except my husband and thinks about nothing but him, birds are not interesting, she only cares about his constant approval. Our Karelian bear dog mix guards the coop and enclosure but I would not trust her with any loose. She is making sure that if anyone gets to eat them, it is her, I think.
    So again, it is really about the individual dog. But in the meantime, this is really a predation issue and you need to protect your birds with a fence.
  7. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    That's a good point... aside from dogs bred to be livestock dogs.....most breeds and mixed breeds would have a VERY hard time being away from the HUMAN pack. And honestly.... I think there's a good chance that my dogs would eat WILD birds. They just view OUR birds as part of the pack. When we released our Guineas into the flock this summer.... it took 4 days to get the dogs to leave them alone. They must smell "wild". Now they are treated with the same respect as the others. And another note..... if my geese get mouthy with Halo.... he WILL chase them back a few feet to remind them who's boss. It really seems to be a pack thing more than anything else. In another home he may have very will been a chicken killer.

  8. Fort Orpington

    Fort Orpington In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2010
    We have an English Springer Spaniel that is soooo good with our kids and chickens. We have three kids 6, 4 and 2 and our dog thinks she is one of the kids. Liberty (the dog) is very smart she catches on to what we want from her quickly. Our youngest was just walking when we got Liberty and she has never done anything mean or hurtful to the kids. I have found the baby in the crate with the dog many times. Liberty loves to be outside and she watches the chickens during the day when they free range. She takes very good care of them also. We were nervous when we got the chicks, joking that we got our bird dog birds. But with some training she takes very good care of them. She has cased foxes along our fence line. We have not had one in the yard yet. She was even barking at a bear next to the fence last summer. She also protects them from other birds, which is very funny to watch. Roster freaks out and here comes Libby running chasing only the other bird, usually a magpie. I have even seen her bring all of the chickens back to the coop when it gets to windy. (It gets really windy here) We have cold winters here also and she does fine. We did shave her last summer so that she would not get to hot.
    There are two different kinds of ESS field and bench. To be honest I think ours is a mix of the two. She has a thicker coat and more liver coloring than white. But she also has lots of freckles. You also have to be careful when getting a dog. Get it from a good breeder, try to meet both the mom and dad. Ask lots of questions, all the normal stuff.
    So here is her picture, we love her good luck finding a dog for your family
  9. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Quote:Wow. Just looked up the Anatolian Shepherd and, wow - what an awesome dog! I would love to hear from anyone here who has or has had one of these dogs with their chickens. Absolutely on the list of breeds to check out more extensively! Thanks for the great tip.
    I should probably just ask my REAL question. How are Irish Wolfhounds around chickens? I have wanted one of these dogs for such a long time now but our pit would never have allowed us to have a second dog. Now, I am so tempted to spend the outrageous amount of money and buy an Irish Wolfhound........ but they ARE sight hounds so, would I just be asking for trouble? I looked this up on line and asked a few breeders of IW and mostly I just hear widely varying theories on how they thought they probably would behave, but no one I've found actually has chickens with their IW. There was one story I read about an IW who would chase chickens and just hold them under her giant paws, occasionally licking their heads. Sounds cute, but I'm sure egg production would drop significantly if my hens had to endure this sort of treatment on a regular basis.

    Good friend of mine raises IW and used to have chickens. Dogs ate the chickens [​IMG]
  10. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Songster

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    We used to have a dachsund and she killed one chicken and attacked several others, so we got rid of her to a wonderful home of where she is truly adored. We also have a Black Lab Murphy who will be 8 this May. We also have an Irish Setter Rusty (not sure of his age, because someone dumped him down our road with Heartworms, Lymes disease and many other problems) My black lab went to grab one back in 2008 when we first got chickens and i had been feeding the chickens some bread as a treat and when he grabbed at the chicken the bag of bread got dropped out of my hand because I was grabbing for the dog to get him away and it hit him in the head (it wasn't heavy and it didn't hurt) but he has never since then even looked in the chickens direction. Rusty goes out with me to the coops each morning and evening to open and close them up and has never gone after them or tried to hurt them. He was several years old when we took him in and we never had to train him to stay away and not hurt them.

    My mom has a Jack Russell Terrier and a Golden Retriever. The JRT would kill them all if given the chance but the GR is the same way as my Irish Setter and follows me out there each morning and night (we are dog sitting Abby the golden because my brother got burned pretty bad back in September and he got out of the hospital and the hair is to much for all his wounds, he says)

    Anyway, I do think that if you teach a dog how to act and how not to act I think any dog can be around chickens, it just takes the proper training.

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