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Dog obsessed with chicks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gavinp, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. gavinp

    gavinp Hatching

    May 12, 2008
    I just got my 6 week old chicks in the coop and my dog is obsessed with getting at them. He a little Boston Terrier. We have cats, and even a pet rat that he is completely friendly with. I think that he is so interested in them because they are in a coop and out of his reach. I took a chick out of the coop and held it in front of him and he just licked, no biting. I don't think he will harm them, but does anyone have any ideas on how to better introduce the dog to the chicks? I'm hoping that when the birds get bigger than him, and they will, he will lose interest. Any ideas or suggestion would be much appriciated.
  2. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    Just let him look at them now. When they are too big to swallow and big enough to run after him and peck him, you could hold him on a strong, tight leash and let him in the space with one to see what happens. Keep a short leash held tight enough and close enough so he can not reach it though.

    My dog would have an uncontrollable instinct to open his mouth and put them or their heads inside his mouth and bite down. Then sling it around on the floor like a rag doll. So mine is excluded from chickens all together
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  3. Small Town Girl

    Small Town Girl In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2008
    Bexley, OH
    I just got my very first chicks on Tuesday morning and my shar pei is pretty obsessed with them as well. Daisy was used as someone's personal puppy mill before I got her, so I think her mothering instincts have kicked in again. My chicks are currently living in the guest room and every time they make a loud noise, she goes running in to check on them. I really want her to understand that these are members of the family, so I have gotten them out for her to sniff and lick. I even put one chick on her dog bed for her to really check out. So far, so good, but I am watching her like a hawk. I think the key is just to make your pup understand that these are family members, not toys. I am planning on lots and lots of supervised visits. Oddly enough, the two cats aren't the slightest bit interested in the chicks...
  4. gavinp

    gavinp Hatching

    May 12, 2008
    Funny thing is that my cats don't seem interested either, just the dog. I think the problem is that the dog is an attention whore, and has been getting less from the kids and myself since the chicks have arrived. If that dog gets half the attention he has, he is still the most spoiled hound ever. So, I guess I'll just keep taking the chicks out for the dog to check out and hope he losses interest at some point.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My older dog, Charlie, was obsessed with the chicks when they were small and once when my mind was elsewhere she actually got ahold of one. Charlie is a very gentle dog and meant the chick no harm, but the chick didn't know that. Now my chicks are older and are used to Charlie being around. Nonetheless, I don't allow her to be around them unless I am there to supervise. Even the best natured dog (or cat) may pick up a young chick to "mother" it and cause irreperable harm. My other dog and my cat will never be trusted around the chickens, no matter how big they get; and Charlie will never be left with them when I am not around. One swipe from a cat's paw just to see what happens or one playful bounce from my overgrown puppy and I've got a injured or dead chicken on my hands. It may just be me, but better safe than sorry.
  6. gavinp

    gavinp Hatching

    May 12, 2008
    It's really important to me that the chickens and dog get along. Once these chickens are old enough I intend to let them roam free in my fenced backyard. I built a good coupe, with a run in it, but having chickens running around my yard eating bugs and fertilizing is important to me. The dog is not a hunter, he's more of a "couch" dog. I was just looking for tips from anyone here that has broke there dog from harassing their birds.
  7. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    I hope you are not planning to leave them alone together. If your pup is a couch dog, perhaps he could watch T.V. while they free-range?
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  8. jbieware

    jbieware In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2008
    Silver Point TN
    I was having the same thing happen with my baby chicks and my yorkie!! I let them out and sat and watched them together..now I see that she thinks they're her puppies and is so over protective of them. She snapped at the rooster when he walked toward them and attacked the kitten when she tried to sniff them. LOL She sleeps in front of the brooder. I still keep an eye on them but so far she tries to bathe them and momma them. I need pics! [​IMG]
  9. Yadichick81

    Yadichick81 In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2008
    Have wear a muscle while he is around them to introduce them supervised. See how he reacts..remember they came from their ancestor the wolf and even the friendly EST dog, will work himself into a frenzy and kill. The bad insticts.
  10. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    We just got a year old Boston, and she was really chasing the chickens. She actually ran by us and grabbed one. Luckily the bird was ok, and the dog we really yelled at and shook our finger at. The Boston's are so sensitive, they don't need a lot of redirection. She is so hyper we worried about her. She still tries to play too rough with the ferret, but the other day the chickens were in the kitchen (don't ask!) and she was standing next to me, not looking at them. I went in the other room, and had to walk past the chickens and heard her crying. She wouldn't walk past them! I called her and she ran as fast as she could right past them. Of course they were squawking at her and made her go even faster! LOL!

    So, if yours if the typical Boston, I would think just letting him know that the chickens are ok and supposed to be there and that it makes you upset if he looks at them wrong, that he will probably ignore them. I wouldn't trust him completely, and I still don't trust mine all the way, but I am pretty sure that she won't attack them or snatch at them while I am standing there, which is the only time she is around them.

    Good luck with your dog. The Boston's are such people pleasers you shouldn't have any trouble. I've had my dog about 6 wks and she is doing great. But, mine are older now, too. Not sure how she'd do with babies.


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