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Chickens and dogs...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by peggyb43, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. peggyb43

    peggyb43 In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2008
    I have 3 two year old chickens (2 were killed), and we just adopted a shelter dog, part golden retriever, part something else (?). He's very sweet and is 8 years old. He has chased the chickens since we got him, and tries to get in their coop fence. We have recently put up an electric fence which seems to be working. My question is this: the chickens haven't been laying for a few months now. We have a friend who would like to have them. We have heard that if you have the dog already and get new chicks, the dog will be okay with the new ones. Does anyone have any experience with this? We'd love to get 10 babies so we can have eggs, but aren't sure what do do.

  2. bock

    bock Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I am not so sure about that. I think you just need to train the dog (watch the dog whisperer, it is very helpful). Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. kota1369

    kota1369 Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    My understanding is that chickens as they age lay less eggs. They perhaps are a bit older then you expect. If you have a good home for them and the new people do not care if they are not laying that may be a good option for the birds.
    As far as your dog is concerned. Weather or not you have chicks or adults you need to monitor and train your dog to the behavior you want out of him. I always recommend keeping the dog on a leash when outdoors and teaching them what you expect. I always start out with teaching them to ignor the ladies. Then if they are obsessive or what I would call "targeting" them you need to correct them.
    I ALWAYS work with my dogs when they are tired. After a good long walk or bike ride. It makes training so much easier. They are not so "wound for sound".
    I live in the city and can not have roosters. So, when I got new chicks and introduced them to the dogs...... they are the ones I used. If someone was going to get hurt, it was going to be one I would have to cull or try to find a "safe" home for. It may sound harsh, but you can only correct behavior "when" it happens.
    Teach your dog some basic obediance first........ then start working with chicks and other challenges.
    Good luck to you.

    the lady w/4 dogs, 4 city chickens, 4 meat rabbits, their kits and a lizard
  4. cobrien

    cobrien Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I have 2 dogs who can be trusted alone with my chickens, it took a lot of work but it was worth it. I don't think it makes a difference if you introduce the chickens as chicks or full grown. It is all about the dog. Dog training is not as easy as I thought it would be, so I took group obedience classes with both of my dogs through the local animal shelter. It was very inexpensive. This is definitely the place to start. The dog needs to learn basic obedience, especially the command "leave it", once they do you can use it around the chickens. Until then, I agree with the previous post - keep the dog on leash around the chickens, take the dog with you to do chicken chores as much as possible, NEVER let them play / muzzle / chase / obsess over the chickens; basically don't let them make any mistakes by keeping them on leash at all times when near the chickens and rewarding with treats for good behavior. The great thing about the obedience class is that you can ask the trainer specific questions about your challenges with the dog/chickens - although they pretty much teach the basic sit/stay stuff, the trainers can also help you with other things.

    You may never be able to leave the dog unattended with the chickens, but I definitely think with training that any dog can reach the point where they can be free around the chickens when supervised. It just takes a lot of work to learn how to train the dog and the time to do it. I am so happy I put in the effort, because my dogs are so well behaved that I can take them anywhere, they go traveling with us and have stayed in hotels with us.

    In addition to aging, your hens' egg production may have slowed due to the stress of the new dog and being chased by him.

    Good luck with your new dog & chickens!
  5. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    i too am dealing with a puppy who loves chasing our chickens around the yard. so i have sinced tied her in the yard, so she can get to know the chickens, and watch them, but shes a sheltie and i can trust her. already. we have an older sheltie and hes so awesome with them. So our pup is in training.
    good luck to ya [​IMG]
  6. daddysgirlz

    daddysgirlz In the Brooder

    May 15, 2010
    M, WI
    I too have two dogs...both are terrier mixes which are probably the worst breeds for getting them used to other small animals...It took us exactly 2 days to make them all friendly!!! I think it is the individual dog and how they are raised....yes the dogs are curious and want to "butt sniff" the chickens for the first few minutes of the day...after that I have caught the dogs laying in the grass with the chickens pecking little bits out of their fur!!! The dogs clearly and thoroughly enjoy the attention... Our yard is 20x20...very small city lot, and I feel like the dogs are protecting the chickens now....I see anything that enters the yard, squirrels, other birds, etc., are chased out by the dogs to keep the chickens safe. We have great dogs... Rufus and Chester (father and son)

  7. Nuzzy

    Nuzzy Songster

    Mar 15, 2010
    Allegan, MI
    We introduced our dogs to our chicks early and often. Dogs with a high prey drive may never be able to live along side without incident... But then again, our Aussie should by breed definitions have a higher prey drive, and she's been great with her flock!


    Definitely takes some training though, and dogs with the right temperament. [​IMG]

  8. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chirping

    Jun 15, 2010
    We lost most of our flock to we believe the neighbor's dog when they were dog sitting. He was back this weekend and didn't try anything... but we were sitting out with them when we let them free range. We were adopted by a border collie a few weeks ago and he has never tried to go after them... the horses yes, but not the chickens!
  9. Whitewater

    Whitewater Songster

    Jan 18, 2010
    Here are a couple of pics of my dogs and the chickens, notice how both of them are calm, relaxed, and totally focused on something else:


    This is Roxie, our smaller Standard Poodle, she stands 22" high at her shoulders. Her head is turned away from the run and she's lying down.


    This is our other Standard Poodle, Willow, who stands about 26" high at the shoulders (yes, she's a big girl!) and I didn't ask her to pose for me, she just loves the camera [​IMG] She also likes to sit and lay right in that very spot in front of the coop, but she often is looking at me instead of at the chickens, just like she is right now. Immediately after this picture was taken, Cassandra wandered over to give Willow a good old-fashioned once over -- the chickens are just as interested in our dogs!

  10. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    My Mastiff baby is great with the chickens... The male likes them for dinner. It's all about how you raise them... the male was a rescue...


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