Dogs and Chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DaviJones, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. DaviJones

    DaviJones Songster

    Nov 7, 2017
    South Western, AZ
    I have a flock of six, 2 Buff Orps, 2 ISAs, an Easter Egger and Golden Laced Wyandotte. I also have two medium size dogs who go out in the backyard where the chickens reside to do their business and run off some energy. The chickens are fenced in with livestock fencing. I have seen the dogs run towards the fence to scare the chickens and they have gotten in a few times through a hole which I'm repairing today, but no violence so far, I believe they might just want to play with them, but of course I'm certainly not going to give the dogs free reign and interaction with the chickens, just in case. Sorry for the long background, here's the question, does allowing the dogs to interact with chickens in anyway, increase or decrease any issues between the two? I've also seen guard dogs on here, so just wondered if it'd help prevent any tragedies. Thanks!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    The dogs need strict training. They must respond correctly every time to whatever command that means leave it. It takes long hours every day of very consistent training. Some dogs will never be able to be trusted alone with chickens.

    I know my dogs and KNOW they cannot be trusted.
    JaeG and lcwmt like this.
  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    My dogs care less and less about the chickens the longer they've been around them. (I still keep the birds fully fenced) The chickens also are less scared of the dogs and will actually calmly peck at them and pick their fur through the fence while the dogs try and eat chicken poop and food that is near the fence.
    KHBaker and sylviethecochin like this.
  4. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    Also agree with @21hens-incharge and we did quite a bit of training. Surprisingly my dog that I thought would be good with them ended up being the one that was worse with them, so you never know quite how the dogs will behave.
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Dogs don't "play" with prey animals. They herd them or tolerate them. Anything else is liable to end with a dead bird. As with any pet the more it associates with and notices your role with the other animal the easier interactions become.
    JaeG and Farmer Connie like this.
  6. Hope Hughes

    Hope Hughes Crossing the Road

    Apr 1, 2017
    Madison, FL
    My Coop
    My dogs are fine with the chickens and ducks (and one of them is a bird/hunting dog) she is even ok around the quail pens. She knows the difference from hunting and pets at home. I only had a problem with the ducks when they where ducklings and had a puppy(that now has a new home) 4 dogs, were too many and they formed a pack. I think it all has to do with how well your dogs listen to you and how you introduce the flock to them. And also the personalities of your dogs. Each one is different. As well as each breed is different. We have a cattle dog, a spaniel and a small anoying thing(was my husbands lol) IF you do choose to introduce them i would try one at a time so they dont try to "play" with one another with the chickens and you have nore control over the situation.
    Just my experience and opinions.
    Hope it all works out.
    JaeG likes this.
  7. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie All My Friends Have Hoofs

    Feb 28, 2017
    Florida Peninsula
    My Coop
    Hours upon hours of training. Countless. In the end what worked for me was muzzles. My two dogs acknowledged the fact that muzzles are a form of punishment.
    For 2 hours a day I would muzzle both dogs and let the chickens out. Supervised of course.
    My doggies would just lay there and sulk with their jaws strapped shut for a "TIME OUT". It worked for me anyway. To this day if one of the dogs loses it's self control.. It's muzzle time! Just holding the muzzle in the air makes them go lay on the porch and behave.
    I am a dog lover.. but a chicken lover too! Find what works for you. To break that bad habit they have.
    JaeG and Hope Hughes like this.
  8. DaviJones

    DaviJones Songster

    Nov 7, 2017
    South Western, AZ
    Thanks, I wasn't planning on leaving them together, I wanted to know if getting them used to each other could ensure attacks but dogs can be pretty relentless. That's true(Egghead_Jr) they both have some shepherd in them and tried to herd them, I would have laughed if I hadn't just read a post on a dog attack. Thanks, I'll just leave the current setup, I don't completely trust them either. Probably a stupid question, I was just astonished no one was deceased after the break-in.
  9. SA&P

    SA&P Songster

    Jan 14, 2018
    Cumbria, UK
    I only have my own experience to tell.
    I have two dogs (Schnoodles) and one is a rescue I got when he was two years old.
    Sooty hates cats! Well, I say hate.....he actually loves them, but couldn’t eat a whole one!!
    He was also like that about wild birds in our garden. :tongue
    I knew I’d have my work cut out as I wanted my Silkies free range.
    Over the course of two afternoons (half an hour each time) I cut up tiny cubes of cheese and meat and took him into the garden where the chickens were scratching around.
    Every time he LOOKED at the chickens I said, “No” really firmly. He would look back at me so I gave him a treat.
    He’s 100% safe now.
    I wish I could upload the video of him in the middle of them whilst they all ate tinned sweet corn!!
    Now, about those darn cats.....
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    JaeG likes this.
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    If your dogs are trained and you have control..Meaning the Dogs respond to commands without hesitation?..The Birds should be fine. My Dogs would never dare touch a Bird I own. They are trained.
    JaeG likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: