Dogs and Chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickenGirl165, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. ChickenGirl165

    ChickenGirl165 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2011
    So we're planning to get a 1 year old paperanian and we have 5 chickens in the backyard. I am wondering if the dog could harm them? People with dogs and chickens who get along well please share your tricks with me :)
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It depends alot on the dog and if you're willing to train, train, train and then train it some more to leave the chickens alone. Some dogs get it, some don't. Do NOT leave the dog unsupervised with the birds until you are 100% sure that it will not be a problem. My dog (black lab that is used for hunting) is good with my birds. Never been a problem. But he was taught right away at 8 weeks old not to play with the feathered squeaky toys. Others on here will tell you that a dog is NEVER 100% safe with chickens. It will be your call, but you will have to work with the dog either way.
    1 person likes this.
  3. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    I have 5 German Shepherds, and there is only one of them that I trust with my chickens 100%. She killed the only two baby chickens that I had back 4+ years ago when she was less than a year old. I got my newest chickens just this past March and I didn't trust her, but I think age and laziness has set in for her. She 100% ignores them. If they start getting around her too close, she gets up and walks away.

    As far as my other dogs are concerned NONE of them grew up around chickens. My youngest dog was 7 months old when I got my chickens, and as recently as early December he killed 4 of them (husband's fault - but his mistake got me 34 new babies coming this March).

    So whenever you get this new dog, you will have to determine his predator drive. Some can not be broke. I can trust all my dogs when I'm outside with them, even 2 females that I thought I would NEVER be able to trust around my chickens! As long as I am outside they ignore the chickens. One of these females did take a chuck out of one of my hens last week and I punished her for it but it truly was the chicken's fault. Zoey was eating on a deer leg and my curious chickens wanted a taste, she growled and growled until she had enough of them being in her face. But she truly just wanted them to get away. But I always put my dogs up expect for the one female, Kate (that I trust), whenever I let my chickens out to free-range.

    Having said that. I did not let my chickens and dogs out together for a long time. My dog pin is right by my chicken coop so when my chickens were out and my dogs were in, the chickens would walk all around the dog pin and the dog's mouths watered for months. Finally when they got bored of them, is when I tested the water. Also, when the chickens were in and the dogs were out, whenever the dogs showed interest in the chickens in their run I would scold them. My dogs know what punishment is, and that's the only reason they learned to ignore my chickens. They know I mean business when I start to say individual names in a threatening voice.

    Here is a picture of Kate (Right) and Wolf (Left) (the one who killed 4 chickens in December) back last March when I got my first babies. I didn't trust Kate at this point; she had the look in her eyes.
    1 person likes this.
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    you've gotten good advice so far.
    Start as soon as you get home on teaching a "leave it' command. Work on focus and get your dog keeping all her attention on you. And, as said, NEVER leave your dog unsupervised with the birds.
  5. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    PM sent on training tips.

    I guess one concern I'd have is to make sure that this dog doesn't get "Little Dog Syndrome". I am finding that it is critical that the dog is 100% submissive to you in order for the dog to be reliable with the chickens.

  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    ah Jim, the #1 reason I've never been a fan of little dogs. :)
    I know it's the owners' fault, but I hate 'em.
  7. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    I had 3 dachshunds that I kept with rabbits and all were fine. And the dachshunds did not grow up with rabbits. The rabbits were in charge. I know they would not have bothered chickens either. I now have a brittany spaniel and a chihuahua mix. I don't think I'll ever be able to trust either of these dogs. I think it's part training and part the dog. When I get my chickens I'm going to try to train the dogs. My plan is have the chicken in a secure enclosure (crate or something), and have the dog on leash far enough away so she's not "crazy" and "over-the top". I'm going to give her a piece of hotdog every time she looks at me and not the chicken. When she can do that we will move one step closer to the chicken, and do it again. When we can be very close to the chicken and still have a calm dog, then I will hold the chicken as see if the dog can remain calm, then I will see if the dog can smell the chicken without that crazed look (I doubt we get that far!). I would also love to put a hot wire around the chicken run to discourage chicken hunting. I'm doubtful that these measures will be completely effective with these particular dogs (I'm not that good of a trainer) but, I think in the least it will help the brittany to learn to control herself, which she sorely needs. I also plan the have more than one barrier between the dogs and the chickens, The dogs have an enclosed yard/kennel in my back yard they stay in when I'm at work (there is also a doggie door for them to go in the house). The chickens will have an enclosed run in the side yard. There is a 4 foot fence between the back yard and the side yard. So I have 3 lines of defense between the dogs and the chickens to idiot proof it for myself. The dog would have to get out of her run, through the side gate, and through the chicken run fence (hardware cloth and cattle panel) to get at the chickens. My achilles heel is that the Brittany can unlatch her kennel gate if I don't clip it, and sometimes I forget to clip it. That's why I have to have multiple layers of separation. I don't ever want to have to deal with the sadness, guilt and anger of letting my dog maul or kill one of my chickens.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012

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