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Dogs in general...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Wraith, May 23, 2008.

  1. Wraith

    Wraith Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2008
    Upstate SC
    Are family dogs able to be trained to not eat or harass chickens? Specifically labs, are they able to be a look out for the chickens instead of a predator? Does it just depend on the lab?
     
  2. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    No matter what breed, no matter how well-trained the dog, no matter how much you trust it, I would not assume that it can always be trusted with chickens/birds. Even if it's fine for years, you can't trust that one day one of your chickens just won't be too tempting.

    That said, I do let my dogs run loose with my layers that free-range, though only supervised (the dogs accompany us when we go out to do the farm chores; they live in the house with us and do not run outside alone, ever). I have 3 pit bulls. Not one has ever showed any interest in the chickens, and I have never had a problem, but if one day I do, I recognize that is my fault and my fault alone for letting my dogs loose with my chickens.

    You could potentially be fine with your dog and your chickens, you just have to know going into it that one day you could have a problem. And if it does, it's not the dogs fault. It is natural for a dog to kill a chicken. I would never leave any dog unsupervised with chickens, with the exception of a livestock guardian breed of dog that had been raised with birds (though admittedly I know little about LGDs, but I would assume that those types could be successfully trained to be ok w/chickens).
     
  3. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    I don't know if Labs are good chicken dogs as they were bred to retrieve a down bird for hunting. My dog is excellent with all animals including chickens. My dog Dodge is a little mutt dog about 9 years old and he has always been very passive with people and animals. He never bothers the chickens, in fact he is bored with them, he is much more interested in pigs! Show him a litter of piglets and he will be in pig heaven! In fact he has been chest butted by a roo and he just looked shocked and ran the other way! I never trained him or nothing he just became this way. In fact he is so passive, the only thing more passive would be a stuffed animal! I am blessed with him and I am very grateful he is this way. He may not be the smartest dog on the block but he is the most kindest.
     
  4. Wraith

    Wraith Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2008
    Upstate SC
    That's what I was thinking. A dog bred to retrieve birds and chickens would not be too great of a mix. He's a bit of an ass too. Should've gotten a border collie...
     
  5. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Quote:I don't know if a border would be any better. Their herding instinct is very strong and chickens generally don't like to be herding. They (the borders) may have a tendency of being to rough on smaller species. My best friend has 3 borders and doesn't trust them with her birds. Her borders have gone after the chickens.
     
  6. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I know someone who's border collie herded their chickens to death while they were gone. Not one feather was touched, but all of them were laying there dead from the stress and the bc was still laying there waiting for one of them to move so it could herd them again.

    I have a heeler and she is an exception to most heelers. She doesn't care at all about my chickens even though she chases pheasants in the field and works cows and goats for me. I guess I just got lucky. She hates other dogs so I let her out when the chickens free range because she keeps the strays away.
     
  7. Wraith

    Wraith Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2008
    Upstate SC
    In a perfect world, my dog would bond with the chickens and be their protector. In my world he'll eat them the first time I'm not looking.
     
  8. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    In my experience it is a very individual thing, even in the same breed. I have a 7 year old Sheltie I trust almost completely. A 2 year old Jack Russell who is in it for the chase, but gets carried away eaisly, don't trust him. And a 5 year old city raised Collie (I've had him 3 months). He is a work in progress and is learning well. Don't trust him yet but shows promise. IMO most dogs have the kill instinct. Just depends on how easily it gets set off. I'm no expert though.
     
  9. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I have a bird dog, and she is fine around my chickens. HOWEVER, she needed to be trained, as did my rottie. Someone posted a clip a while back of Cesar Milan, dog whisperer, on his technique to train a bird dog. I used his technique, but at teh time, didn't know it was his. It's basically trianing your dog to be in the submissive position until he no longer shows any interest in the birds. See if you can look up the link.

    that being said, I still don't trustmyc dogs around my chickens unsupervised. they are out when i am out.

    IMO, if your dog kills your crickens, it is your fault, not theirs.
     
  10. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    My herding dogs are driven CRAZY just by the sound of the ducks and geese. I would never let them around them. My shepherd sits outside the fence and just stares at the call ducks for HOURS. The giant schnauzer paces back and forth along the fence and whines. Even my livestock guardian dog is not that trustworthy - he was not raised around small animals. He won't herd anything, but he plays very rough. He rough houses with the donkeys like they were dogs...hate to see how he'd "play" with a goose or a duck!

    Dogs and birds for me are not compatable. (Though none of them ever bothered the parrot! Even when the parrot decided to bull ride the LGD!)
     

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