Dogs & Poultry Coexisting


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 28, 2009
I am having a problem.
My dog just got out and went after the ducks for the second time in a month, making her death toll 3 ducks dead, 3 injured.

I have a big problem and getting rid of the dog is not a possibility. She's always had a dead-solid "sit-wait" when the front door is open, but since she tasted her first she's trying to dart out anytime I don't have her on a lead.

What can I do? I know they use shock collars to teach hunting dogs not to approach rattlesnakes- can the same approach work towards breaking a hunting dog (Airedale terrier) of the prey drive?

Also, those of you who raised puppies to co-exist with poultry- how? We got a second dog last night- a 4 month old Standard Poodle. He's showing a lot of interest in the poultry but is young enough to correct and distract fairly easily.
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Sunny the Hippie Chick

11 Years
Sep 8, 2008
Brookings Oregon
I was wondering the same thing.. I have 3 dogs and 1 got a bird the other day.. I have no problem with the others. But this one is only 6 months old. But raised around them.. I will be watching this thread.. Im interested in how to reverse the drive to kill/play with poultry..


10 Years
Mar 29, 2009
I have two Australian Cattle Dogs, one thinks the chickens are her babies the other could care less, but if my chickens wander into the neighbors yard, his dogs will kill them.
I started them off from day one, DO NOT touch the chickens, cats etc..
I did have a Wolf/Husky cross that was very hard to retrain from chasing cats and killing chickens.
It certainly gives you mixed emotions when one pet kills another.


11 Years
Jul 21, 2008
Nor Cal
When my Aussie was a puppy, I would walk her through the chicken yard on a leash. If she started to chase/lunge after the poultry she would get a sharp correction (snap on the leash). It didn't take too long until she learned that if she wanted to come out and hang out in the yard, she needed to behave herself and not chase the birds.

Now of course this is a dog that doesn't have a strong prey drive... it is probably different with other breeds. But now my Aussie is so good that I'll take her to let the chickens out of the coop in the morning and she just sticks her nose into the coop and enjoys the feeling of all the birds flying past her nose!

Good luck training! Another way of correcting dogs is to spray them with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. They don't like the smell of it -- anyway, you could try walking the dog on the leash and if they started to chase the poultry, you could spray them with the mixture and say "no." A dog trainer recommended this strategy to me for excessive barking, but it seems like it could work for chasing poultry too...


11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
Southern Middle Tennessee
If it has already tasted chicken it will be close to impossible to break him. The best bet a good chicken dog realationship is to never let the dog hurt a chicken. Teach them its wrong way before they get a bite.


11 Years
Dec 9, 2008
An e-collar would teach her not to touch the poultry if you time the corrections accurately. It would only take a few corrections to stop it, but you would have to repeat them to re-enforce the lesson another time too. If it stops her today after two corrections, you may still have to use a correction next week to remind her when she tries to approach them again. Eventually, she will stop trying to chase them.
The easiest way to keep dogs away from poultry is to simply have the right type of dog-- no prey drive. Another solution is to keep the birds contained or the dog contained, so they cannot interact at all.


12 Years
Dec 16, 2008
Northern Nevada USA
When the chickens came here last Fall we took each dog individually into the run on a leash. If they showed any interest other than sniffing a bird they were told to "leave it" and given a quick snap correction. We took each of the three dogs out there every time we fed or tended to the birds. Corrections were given but they were allowed to be curious. Then we allowed all three dogs to be in the run together with us while we tended chickens. Iw anted to break any "pack mentality" that they might be dreaming up between the three of them. They were not leashed at this point but have always had a strong respect for "leave it." It was one of the very first commands we taught every dog in the house. It comes in handy when you leave your pizza on the coffee table to run for a soda in the fridge!

Now the dogs mostly sit outside the run and just watch. Since we are using just plastic snow fencing for the run the dogs are able to go under and wander with the chickens. As long as they are just looking and there is no squawking or chasing, the dogs are free to enjoy. Any hint of chasing or a chicken noise that notes displeasure means the dog is immediately called out of the run and put into a down-stay at the back door of the house.

A chainlink dog kennel goes up for the chickens this weekend. And a new shed is being moved here instead of the previous small coops around the pasture. So the dogs will have to learn new things and may not be able to get into the run unless we let them in through the gates when we do feedings or cleaning.

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