Can we train Lab puppy NOT to attack chickens?


12 Years
Jul 22, 2008
South Central MA
The monastery is getting a Lab puppy on Sat.

I am dreading the effect he will have on our 20 week old pullets. They are all in secure housing, but I can just imagine this frothing Labrador pacing back and forth outside the pens while the babies are freaking out, piled up, trampling one another, and maybe even hurting their laying potential.

Anyone been in such a sit.? Ideas.
well i am babysitting my moms dog right now and this thing has a brain the size of a chicken he is 4 years old and not trained at all and to boot he is a large dog. husky/ chow cross

well the first night i had my chickens in their run and had the dog on the lead and i slowly walked up to the run and they checked each other out....there is no longer aggression towards the chickens but i still dont trust him he is on a lead at all times while in the yards
If they are secured, you really have no problems. Just let it know that the chickens are out of bounds by disciplining it (how is your choice from a sharp NO to whack) if it makes an aggressive or playful move towards them. They are out of bounds to it for any reason. You should be just fine then.
I have been raising chickens and dogs together for over 40 years. I have never had a chicken killing dog.
Since it is a pup it will be easy to train him that the chickens are part of the "pack" and are untouchable.
Start with him/her on the lead and walk it past the birds once it shows any interest at all jerk the lead and say NO, LOUDLY!!!
Once I can walk the dog past the pens with no reaction of the dog toward the chickens I start taking the dog with me into the run and coop on lead to do the chicken chores. I simply discipline the dog if it shows interest in the chickens.
I have used this method with pups and adult dogs with great success. I simply don't tolerate any chasing of the chickens in any form, if caught they get a good ole spanking on the hind end.
As a pup watch them closely they may want to "play" with the chickens, by this I mean they will get into the "play with me" stance and jump back and forth and bark at the chickens as they would with another pup to initiate play. Many time chickens will be aggressive towards pups and they know they can bully them, if the pup gets a peck or two on the nose so be it, let him learn they fight back. If you have a broody hen and introduction to the pup would not be all that bad of an idea, it can put the fear of god into the dog.
You just have to work at it and supervise the pup for a while to make sure it understands the chickens are off limits.
Scooter is right on. You must be repetative and you must discipline the dog and get it to understand its job. Once a dog knows the job at hand they are dedicated.

Here is my 7 year old female lab Briar.


The day she came home she began learning manners and life on the farm. She never jumps on anyone and she guards the poultry from predators. She is on a 100 foot trolly so she won't eat all the chicken feed nor steal eggs (she loves those). I have a nice handcrafted insulated dog house for her out there as well. Since most predators are nocturnal she lives out there 24/7 accept winter, when I lock the coops up at night then she comes in.

She gets released when the birds are let out to free range and when I butcher broilers she gets a lot of raw chicken for dinner!

Another view


Briar knows her job well, she nearly caught a fox last winter. Here in the Vermont mountains my worst predators are fox and mink. Oh and the chickens and ducks definitely know the difference between Briar and any other dog.
I will add that predators will time you, they know your schedule. Before I kept Briar out there 24/7 the fox would come a few minutes after I went inside the house at night (to bring Briar in) or as soon as I left for work. Now he's tripped up but I will still put out trap lines very soon.

Predators NEVER give up.
i really think it depends on many factors. First you have to remember that labs are a hunting breed. But then, if they are submissive and one that lives to please, you should be able to train him alright. My dog (which is not a lab) killed one that was in distress (tangled in the fence). I used one of those long cheap horse whips and stung his butt a few times. Then would hold it when the dog was around the chickens. Now he LOVES to go in the pen with the chickens and doesn't give them a second thought. My parents had a dog when I was growing up that was half lab. They got on to him. He decided that it was better to just follow the chickens around and maybe hold on to the tips of their tale feathers (never hurting or stressing them) He also learned NOT to chase and kill the canadian geese we had all over the place when we moved into a neighborhood with ponds. My MOTHERS full blooded lab caught and killed a wild turkey chick. Ate him UP! But then one rouge chicken that we have been trying to catch at her house (one of mine) will eat out of his dog food bowl WHILE he's eating out of his dog food bowl. But he's the dorkiest dog...I have to tell ya!
I know many might think this wrong or cruel even...but that cheap horse whip I got from tractor supply really turned my dog around. One swatt on his butt with that and he wanted NO part of it! I know it felt like a bee sting and definately got his attention. I used it a lot without having to actually use it. I just carried it around after he figured out what it was. You might consider it
Egg eaters... I had a dalmation for 14 years, loved that dog, he was the most intelligent dog I ever owned. (got him long before 101 Dalmations the movie and breeders ruined the breed).
But he LOVED eggs and tried at every turn to out smart me to get eggs from the henhouse. He succeded more than once. But what amazed me was I would see an egg laying in the yard and when I picked it up it was hollow. He made the smallest hole (smaller than a dime) on the small end and just kind of sucked the contents out. I watched him do it numerous times, he would hold the egg between his paws and use his canine to poke the hole. I believe he didn't want the egg shell in his mouth, who knows but it was amazing to watch him.

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