Dog Does not like hens.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
I have a dog that has been with our family for 6 years. She is Shepard/Lab mix. She does fine with other dogs but
not with cats. On Monday morning one of my hens flew out of the chicken run and into the backyard and the dog got it
and killed it. Any suggestions other than getting rid of the dog?


13 Years
Sep 18, 2007
Pell City, Alabama
You'll have to either put netting or wire over your run so they can't fly out or otherwise reinforce it.
Once your dog has killed one..she's going to be after them from now on more than likely.
You could also use electric fence barrier.

I've got 2 rescue border collies..<one of them is my avatar> and they are always secured in their dog yard. They detest cats and anything else that runs, and they are so prey driven that everything I've ever tried has failed so they cannot ever be out with all the cats and chickens I have. One of my coops/runs are right next to their yard but the fencing is 6ft high and I've got some heavy breed fowl in there so they don't ever even try to fly out. The dogs watch them like hawks!

Good luck and sorry for the loss of your hen!


9 Years
Jun 4, 2011
Step 1 - secure the hens AND the dog. Dog is never allowed in the vicinity of the birds unless on leash, under YOUR control. (Letting your 6yr old walk him doesn't count)

Step 2 - start working on "leave it" and the recall command. With the dog on leash, go just close enough that the dog starts to notice the birds in the pen. Say "leave it" and give a leash pop. As soon as the dog looks at you, treat and praise. Continue doing this 5-10 minutes at a time until the dog always looks at you when you give the command.

Step 3 - move a little closer and start again.

Step 4 - when the dog is reliable, let the chickens out and the dog on a long training leash.

Some dogs will never be able to be trusted off leash. Even those who can, I wouldn't leave them together unsupervised.
If the dog kills a chicken before the training is complete, take the dead bird and beat yourself around the head saying "I will supervise my dog. I will supervise my dog"

Dogs don't kill chickens for food. It's FUN! They just don't realize that the birds are going to die. That's why dogs will wipe out an entire flock. They will chase one bird because it's squaking and flapping. When it stops they are confused and then they see all the other birds screaming and running around.


11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
Front Royal, VA

I agree with what everyone else has said.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
Thanks to everyone for all the great advice. The one I liked the most was to hit myself over the head with the chicken. That was so funny!
We are going increasing the height of the fence around the hens. We have also secured the gate that the dog got through to get access to
the chickens. She still gets very excite at the sight of them but atleast she cant get to them.

Thanks again for all the help!!!

Cosmopolis Chick

9 Years
Aug 24, 2010
Grays Harbor
hi, just gotta add my 2 cents.

I clip one wing of each bird even though the coop has a solid roof, the run in covered, and the field has a high fence. I don't have a dog. I just clip one wing because - being chickens - if they possibly can they WILL get out.

so lucky

9 Years
Jan 31, 2011
SE Missouri
Twice now our neighbor's dog has gotten off leash, run about a city block, attacked and caught one of my chickens in their enclosure. First time the fence was not secure. Second time my lightest-weight chicken freaked out at the dog (I guess) and apparently flew over the 6' fence. I didn't know anything about it till my neighbor came carrying the chicken wrapped up, limp and barely breathing. Neither attack was fatal. Badly bruised wing and missing feathers the first time, shock the second time. The skin was not broken, so obviously the dog was not trying to kill the chickens, just "retrieve" them. I feel very lucky. Needless to say, I did some wing feather clipping. I still am planning to cover the top of the run. The neighbor said she was getting rid of the dog, but I don't think she did. (You can't see their yard from my house; trees and corn, etc.) Bottom line is you can never be 100% safe, but you do what you can.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 8, 2011
I have two dogs that will NEVER be able to be trusted with the chickens. They have such high prey drive they tremble and drool at the sight of them. Our third dog would probably be OK with training, but I'd still never risk letting him near them unsupervised. We just accepted the fact that we have to check the yard and count chickens in the pen before letting the dogs out.

If you DO want to try it, then training the "leave it" command like the other person suggested, might work. I also have friends that have done aversion training using and e-collar. Dog gets near chicken, dog gets zapped. That should only be done by a professional though since some dogs could actually be stimulated into aggression by the e-collar.


8 Years
Jul 5, 2011
SE Oregon
If its a dog that likes to please you, you might try what I did. One of my pups was running down chickens and plucking them. I locked him in the shed, forced him to lay down, and set chickens on top of him and let them walk on him. Everytime he tried to get up or react I corrected him. It shamed him enough to submit. He doesn't bother chickens at all now, in fact, he protects them. It's just really hard for a dog not to want to play with live squeaky toys! Best of luck!

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