Can a dog and chickens safely coexist in a small backyard?

cooingdove

Songster
Jul 30, 2020
534
1,872
226
finger lakes NY
Oh my giddy aunt, the number of people who can't train dogs!

The last 11 dogs I've had (I keep dogs by the pack, currently have 3) of various breeds, some rescues, some from pups, I trained them ALL to be fine with chickens. My only fail was a pointer who had lived feral for at least a year, and even then, he learned to let the chickens be, but killed a goat - poor old fellow would have starved to death long before I got him at about 4-5 years old if he hadn't hunted and fed himself, and that's not the type of dog most folks are likely to run across. My dogs have come home anywhere between the ages of 5 weeks and 13 years, and the breeds have run the gamut.

And when I say chickens, I mean free-range, everywhere.

Hunting breeds? Bird dogs? Those are the easiest. Seriously. (Herding breeds are the next easiest) They can't hunt if they go all foolish over everything with feathers, they need to learn to look for THIS bird, and ignore all others. So the trick is to praise them for scenting anything else - just pick something, anything. My golden used to sleep with the kid's pet duck, point and chase pheasants in the woods and earn his retrieving praise by dropping laundry in the hamper. My beagle quickly learned that not only chickens were off-limits, but so were rabbits in hutches. He was still happy because rabbits on the ground were his.

Three steps;
1) Exercise! A tired dog is a sleeping dog and a sleeping dog is a good dog. A walk around the block does not cut it. If your dog does not nap within 15 minutes of coming inside, it has not counted as exercise from the dog's view. Get out there, it's good for your mental and physical health too.

2) Training! Enroll in an obedience class. Yeah, you can still find them - you have to stay the length of a leash (6 feet) away from everyone anyway. Buy this book (used): https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Talk-Tra...ywords=Dog+talk&qid=1609659578&s=books&sr=1-1

3) Supervision! Get the dog a flat buckle collar and a standard, 6' leash. Now, take the collar, put it through the handle of the leash, and then put the collar on the dog. Then, take the leash clip and clip it to the belt-loop of your jeans. It's annoying, inconvenient and takes some getting used to, but have the discipline to learn to live with it (after the first week it's easy!) and your dog will be housebroken, trained and bonded to you in record time. Because they're not getting away with squat while they're attached to you, and you're learning them too.

You absolutely CAN have dogs and chickens.
:goodpost::goodpost: very helpful!!:)
I just adopted a new Dog and I will try all those things, thanks!
 

chicken fam

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2020
34
41
36
GA, United States
I have a dog and chickens and our coop is connected to our run so the chickens can still come out and walk around and whatever, and sometimes we let them free range and we never let our dog out while the chickens are free ranging - we usually let our chickens out in the morning and put them back in their coop/run in the afternoon and will take our dog on walks inbetween, because our dog is still a puppy inside even though he's almost two, and would try to play in the chickens and they would get hurt by that but anyway I would say if you can lock your chickens in the coop when their not free-ranging you should be fine.


so I am saying yes!
 
Jan 3, 2021
1
0
6
So my dilemma is this. I really want to adopt a dog, but I own three pet chickens I am very attached to. I worry that no matter how careful I am, any dog I adopt is going to eventually get loose and eat my chickens. Do you think dog and chicken can coexist in a small backyard? I'd love to hear about other peoples experiences and opinions.

Here's some background on our situation. Our yard is a small, fenced lot (less than .25 acres). My chickens have a good size run, but frequently free-range the backyard when I am around to watch them. The dog I am looking to adopt is a 2 year old beagle. My husband (also very attached to the chickens) tells me to adopt a cat instead, just to be safe. I like cats but I LOVE dogs. Can a dog be trained to tolerate chickens?
I have an old corgi, Latti. Once she and the chickens realized they're all part of the same flock and both enjoy corn and bread scraps, it was all good. However, this didn't turn out so well for one unlucky lady when our neighbor's dog broke into the yard.
IMG_4829.jpeg
 

Rosebud25

Songster
5 Years
Aug 23, 2015
33
68
109
As other have said, it depends on the dog. I think a small dog would be a better bet than a large one. My mom's pugs visit my house and are pretty good with the chickens. But definitely avoid labs, retrievers, and other hunting dogs.
And may I add Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, and Brittany Spaniels. NO hunting dog breeds
 

Rosebud25

Songster
5 Years
Aug 23, 2015
33
68
109
So my dilemma is this. I really want to adopt a dog, but I own three pet chickens I am very attached to. I worry that no matter how careful I am, any dog I adopt is going to eventually get loose and eat my chickens. Do you think dog and chicken can coexist in a small backyard? I'd love to hear about other peoples experiences and opinions.

Here's some background on our situation. Our yard is a small, fenced lot (less than .25 acres). My chickens have a good size run, but frequently free-range the backyard when I am around to watch them. The dog I am looking to adopt is a 2 year old beagle. My husband (also very attached to the chickens) tells me to adopt a cat instead, just to be safe. I like cats but I LOVE dogs. Can a dog be trained to tolerate chickens?
 

Rosebud25

Songster
5 Years
Aug 23, 2015
33
68
109
So my dilemma is this. I really want to adopt a dog, but I own three pet chickens I am very attached to. I worry that no matter how careful I am, any dog I adopt is going to eventually get loose and eat my chickens. Do you think dog and chicken can coexist in a small backyard? I'd love to hear about other peoples experiences and opinions.

Here's some background on our situation. Our yard is a small, fenced lot (less than .25 acres). My chickens have a good size run, but frequently free-range the backyard when I am around to watch them. The dog I am looking to adopt is a 2 year old beagle. My husband (also very attached to the chickens) tells me to adopt a cat instead, just to be safe. I like cats but I LOVE dogs. Can a dog be trained to tolerate chickens?
Yes, Don't get a hunting breed! Get a smaller lap breed type and raise it from a puppy. I have Pomeranians and Papillons and crosses with miniature Australian shepherds that are wonderful with my birds. Also it helps to raise a few turkeys. My turkeys harass my dogs to no end. My dogs run to me for protection from the turkeys
 

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