chicks and pups

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Missbehavin, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Missbehavin

    Missbehavin Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2011
    I have two small under ten pound dogs. They are well trained and know when to stop when I tell them. My min-pin keeps to herself but the chihuahua is young and full of energy. O.K my question is..... I will get my four chicks in about 3-4 wks. I want to intruduce my dogs to them as soon as possible so I can get them familiar with having chickens around. I don't want to stress the chicks in any way. When do you recommend that I do a controled intruduction to the chicks. Keep in mind these birds when they grow will be out free in the yard when I am outside with them but in a run when I can't watch them.

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  2. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I introduced my lab to my sexlinks when they were about a week old. He did great with them. Once in a while he thinks my silkies look like a dog toy but he hasn't actually been too aggressive, more like playful. Good luck with the intro!
  3. newchick13

    newchick13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2011
    Somers NY
    My 100lb lab is a licker, not an eater! Once my baby chicks came home, I immediately showed them to the dogs and did that a few times a day so the novelty would wear off... Once the chicks were bigger and a little flighty, one landed right on top of my lab Mac and he didn't even flinch.
  4. FunnyFarmMomma

    FunnyFarmMomma Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    I have a beagle/spitz mix puppy that loves to chase the chickens when they are out, but I notice that he changes his speed to the chickens that he is chasing. He never catches them.He's just looking for some exercise I guess.[​IMG]
  5. Lucretia

    Lucretia Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    DFW area
    I have a well-trained Doberman and a goofy/brainless Lab mix who still knows I'm boss. I let the dogs sniff my babies when I got them home, as I was putting them in their brooder, making sure that was all they did. The brooder was on the floor in my room for most of the time, closed off unless I was in there with them. The dogs would occasionally come over and sniff at the opening, but that was it. Now that the babies are outside, the dogs pretty much just like to watch them. Every once in a while the little girls go nuts and start chasing each other around their run, and the lab thinks it's a big game so she jumps around too. Brainless. Sweet, but brainless.

    It's funny, we have a live-in Red Star hen from my sister's place -- she was heat-stressed, I think, and getting pecked at by the other hens. So we took her in to let her recoup and now she pretty much has free run of the backyard during the day. The first few days the dogs would nose around her to see if she was a big squeaky toy, but she very quickly let them know she was NOT. Ruffled feathers and a few quick, hard pecks to the nose, and they now live in perfect harmony. So funny to see the dogs and the chicken hanging out together, watching the babies. (I wish we could let the hen in with the chicks, but she's a bit too aggressively bossy with them. [​IMG])

    All that to say...if you're the dominant "dog" in your pack, you should have no trouble introducing your pups to your chicks. Just let them know the fuzzy butts are your chickens, and hopefully they will live in peaceful coexistence! [​IMG]
  6. Elke Beck

    Elke Beck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2011
    Sunny So Cal
    I have three dogs. The oldest, a collie/lab cross is interested, but probably would not hurt my chicks. The youngest, a golden/shepherd/God-only-knows, is very interested and hyper-reactive, so I would never trust her to not hurt the chicks just by being a bouncy, hyperactive dog. The little guy, Snoopy, a chihuahua/terrier/street dog, is the one that has me worried. From the time I brought the chicks home, he has been stalking them. The second day I held him up so that he could see into the brooder, and he became so excited I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack. When any of the dogs starts showing an unhealthy interest we yell at them to leave the chicks alone, and the two big ones have gotten to the point of ignoring the chicks most of the time, but Snoopy sneaks around the edge of the yard so that he can come up on them from an angle where we can't see him. He is motivated.
  7. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana

    I'm going to be the wet blanket here. Although some dogs have some constraint with chickens, I feel the recipe is disastrous, no matter how much training your dogs have. Simply put, dogs are carnivores and descendants of wolves. Natural instincts being what they are, your chickens may be too enticing.

    That being said, a toy like a Min Pin or Chihuahua, if smaller than the chicken may not be able to do much. Even so, think what the chicken can do to them. They can be pretty nasty when they want to. Think velocipraptor.
  8. 2hot2chicken

    2hot2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2011
    Quote:Sorry this is a long story but I thought it might help.......

    Though this is frequently true it can go the other way and I have proof of that.

    I have a blue heeler/border collie X who is 11 years old and until last year had never seen a chicken before. She has worked cattle and without permission chased/herded sheep several times. She has killed strange cats yet has lived with many and even stollen baby kittens from their mom when she was gone to try to raise them herself! From the time I got my chicks I introduced them immediatly and told her they were mine and they were babies. Now they are 7 months old and free range my yard with her out. She follows them around and tries to keep them herded near my back porch area if they stray to the other end of the yard. But guards them very aggressivly especially if other dogs are walked by our yard. Before the chickens were out she might bark at other dogs but now she sounds like she is going to tear through the fence to get them when they are on the side of property near the coop (I live in town).

    I made a mistake though a month or so ago when I brought home an adult silkie hen and did not introduce her to the dog. Hen had a dog who was barking and running around her run when I went to pick her up and the former owner allowed it. She panicked when this happened so I did not want to traumatize her anymore than the new home already did. I DID NOT introduce her and my dog that day. The next day she was already buddies with my pullets so I let them all out to free range together. She was squaking a lot and running pretty franticly in her new surroundings and I let my dog out not thinking. Well she immediatly went for the hen. She got between the hen and the pullets and separated her and chased her away from pullets. Me being 7 months pregnant at the time couldn't exactly go quick enough to stop her. She got a bit of feathers out of the hens tail before I could reach them. Luckily that was it but the hen then hid and layed an egg out of stress.

    I firmly believe this was my fault for not introducing this strang chicken to my dog. She looks and sounds so much different then my BR and EE pullets. After that day we waited a few days to let the Hen calm down then made a formal introduction and again I told my dog that she was MY baby and other than sniff her my dog did nothing. Now the dog walks up to the same hen when she is free ranging and sniffs the hen, which the hen now ignores. And my dog will lay down near her as if protecting her and the rest of the flock.

    All of this from a breed of dog designed to chase and nip!

    Moral of the story:
    Introduce them the first day and every day after! Make sure they understand that they are yours and not a play toy. Im not saying to trust your dogs with them alone because each dog is different but as long as they have their smell and associate it with you and something not to touch you will be better off in the long run!

  9. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I agree with almost all of the other posters- introduce early and often and there can be harmony, but know your dog and don't trust them to be alone together until you are 100% sure of how they will all act.

    I have a 2 year old border collie/who knows what else mix (but whatever she's mixed with makes her smallish and quite a bit calmer/meeker than most other border collies I've ever met). When I got my first chicks I introduced her to them... and she almost bit one's head off (my fault, I wasn't being careful enough, but everyone turned out fine). But she was around them every day as the brooder was in the dining room until I finished the coop. When they were smaller she still liked to pounce at the fence, but as they got bigger she got over it. She still seems to have a bit of a predatory drive towards smaller chicks, but I now allow her to be loose when the chickens free range in the evenings (with me to supervise- if I go inside, so does the dog). She sniffed the roosters a few times and they put her in her place, but she hasn't bothered anyone else. My one rooster (the mean one) she for some reason wants to play with (I can tell- she acts the way she does when she wants to play with me or the cats...), but he of course will have none of it.

    You know your dogs and you will know the right thing to do- just always err on the side of caution!
  10. Missbehavin

    Missbehavin Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2011
    All good advise. Thanks everyone;).

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