Dogs and Chickens???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by moodlymoo, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. moodlymoo

    moodlymoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2011
    Portland OR
    I have 3 dogs...a nufy, a pappion, and a cattle dog/lab mutt. They are obsessed with the chickens. I want them to get along but I dont know how to go about it. Please I need suggestions. My nufy has lunged at the run a few times and all 3 "stalk" the chickens while in the run when there isnt something to bark at outside. These dogs dont have much behind their eyes and may need to learn the hard way so I really need any ideas you have.
  2. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Quote:hot wire fence
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Training dogs to leave birds alone may be best with dogs isolated from each other. You will also need to establish meaning of no to dogs. Wearing dog out thoroughly before having it interact with birds will expedite training. I like to use calm natured rooster for training. A blinker (one-eyed) bird is tuff to beat as it will not be frightened by dog it can not see.

    Goal is achieve something like this. Chickens engaged in normal behavior should bore dog. Scoob is more interested airplane or mourning dove than hen with bitties at his feet.

    Unusual behaviors should attract dog's attention as should alarm calls. Scoob goes nuts when he hears chickens giving alarm calls and runs to investigate. This has put a stop to Mr. Fox's shopping at my open market.

    Dogs are vital to my predator management program in setting where many birds are free ranged 24/7. Even some of my neighbor's dogs are providing a measure of protection. A neighbors large female Doberman walks freely through flock scent marking to provide a nice supplement to my young male bird dog's calling card. Coyotes get impression more than one dog owns property.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  4. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2009
    2nd the hot wire suggestion. It usually only takes once a season for my old crazy insane chicken stalking border collie to remember that chickens HURT!
  5. flowerchicks

    flowerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2009
    n. california
    A hot wire at dog nose level, separating the dogs from the chicken area is a good idea. Just make sure the chickens cant get near it. But, it is always a good idea to desensitize your dogs to chickens anyway, in case one of your chickens gets out. The best way to do that is by leashing your dog to you while you go about your business around the chickens. Correct the dog with a "leave it" command and a slight tug on the leash if it is showing to much interest in the chickens. Reward the dog with praise or a treat if it is ignoring the chickens. Do this repeatedly with the dogs (one at a time, of course), until they completely ignore the chickens, then gradually increase the length of the leash. If you do this enough, and with enough consistency, the dogs will stop seeing the chickens as anything worth the trouble. You will probably never want to intentionally leave them alone with the chickens, but this training could prevent a tragedy in the future. Good Luck.
    The infamous "killer husky"... not this one [​IMG]
    My cattle dog is way more interested in the B.O.S.S and the the "chicken nuggets" than the chickens! [​IMG]
  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    take the dogs out one at a time on leash. Do your dogs already know the "leave it" command? If so, it will go much faster.

    Start at a distance where the dog first shows interest in the birds. Say the dog's name. When they look at you, treat. If they look at the birds, say "leave it" and give a collar pop. When they look at you, treat.

    Once they are reliably ignoring the birds at this distance, move closer. Continue until you are among the birds. Once the dogs are good on leash, you might be able to graduate to off-leash.

    If the dogs are going to spend any time unsupervised around the birds, even after they are good in your presence, go with the hot wire. Dogs can be trained, but if you aren't there sometime somewhere they could give into temptation.
  7. vclark321

    vclark321 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2011
    Bonney Lake
    I would certainly go with the hot wire. I would certainly never leave them alone together either. My 2 dogs had the chickens with them in the house when I first brought them home and spent lots of time getting them used to each other. My mastiff just sits among them and my yorkie likes to fuss up the ladies just to see them scatter, but he knows the command, 'leave it'. Good luck. You might take the dogs for a good long run to get them good and tuckered out, then start training one at a time when they have less energy to get excited.
  8. curious1969

    curious1969 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2011
    Northwest Montana
    I agree, you need to work with each dog seperately. I have always had bird dogs as well as birds, and they just need to learn that the chickens are off limits. It also helps if the birds are brooded in the house (they become comfortable together). My chickens can count on my dogs to provide protection when they are loose. [​IMG]
  9. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Bradleyville, MO
    Quote:Yes, that. My Australian Shepherd mix is bored to death by the chickens, unless they sound an alarm or we ask her to help us herd them. She sleeps in the yard and the chickens will walk over her and peck bugs off her, etc, and she'll just keep on sleeping. She'll even groom them. She is only 8 months old also!! She is a VERY obedient dog, but she is also a VERY gentle dog, and she only needs to be told something once.
  10. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    Have nothing much to contribute to this thread, except to mention that I read it in my living room while our mini Boxer lounes in the yard with the chickens. He got pecked on the head ONCE for showing an interest in the interior of the coop, and I suppose he has decided that they are not to be trifled with.

    The girls have told the neighborhood cats that they aren't welcome in the yard either. Ha.

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