Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sakura, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. Sakura

    Sakura In the Brooder

    Feb 16, 2007
    Cantonment, Florida
    Will a large/medium sized shepard dog try to eat or herd chickens? We're getting a puppy from a shelter soon. We're hoping our chickens will at least be 2 to 3 months old before we get our dog.
    It's going to be a 6 to 10-week old female puppy, in a yard with large chickens. We're probably getting some kind of shepard-mix.
    I'm afraid that when she's little, our dog will be afraid of them, but when she gets bigger, she might want to eat and/or herd them, just becuase she can.
    Mom says it will be okay if she's really small, but has anyone ever done this before?
    Can anyone tell me what will happen?

  2. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Sorry to say but leaving a dog that young outside with the birds is more than likely going to end in disaster. The puppy will see the birds as play things, once that starts its almost impossible to stop it.

    Its taken me nearly two years to convince one of mine that the guineas are not play toys. Now he wants to help me put them up at night but its been a very long, stressful road getting him to that point.
  3. CharlestonChick

    CharlestonChick In the Brooder

    Feb 14, 2007
    Charleston, SC
    Hi Sakura,
    I don't have any chickens yet, but I do have two dogs, and I am a dog trainer. I plan on working REALLY hard with my dogs to habituate them to the chickens, so they don't think they are play things. However, they will NEVER EVER be in the same open space as the chickens unsupervised (i.e., if the chickens are free ranging). I am getting young chicks so they can get used to the dogs, too.
    Personally, I wouldn't keep a dog of any age around chickens unsupervised at any point. Their prey drive is pretty strong and all it takes is one taste of chicken to turn them into a chicken killing dog, especially if you aren't there to correct that behavior.
    I suggest you think of a way to protect your chickens (such as a dog-secure chicken run, which is what we are building). Will your dog be an inside or outside dog? If she is outside all the time, the chance of her getting a chicken increases. My dogs are inside dogs and stay in the yard during the day, while we are at work. I intend on spending hours and hours on training and also on researching a dog-secure chicken run. I figure that's the only way to be 100% sure your chickens are safe! [​IMG]
    Good luck!
  4. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Go to the post in the General Discussion section. Go to page 2, it is titled Breeds of Dogs that co-exist with chickens it will help alot. It is hard to get a dog that will get along with chickens. Stay away from the herding breeds. Try as hard as they are chickens don't want to be herded. Does this mean chickens are a step above sheep?lol. Good luck
  5. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Something I haven't seen mentioned is the maturity of the dog itself. If you noticed most of the posters who have had success are all talking about dogs that are adults, not puppies where everything is a toy.

    I have one dog, never around chickens in her life, who is almost 11. I can take her into my chicken coop and my only concern is that she'd step on one of the Silkies. My other three are black lab mix, all under two years of age. There is no way in the world I would let any of them near my chickens. Two of the boys have been excellent around the guineas but the alfa puppy is the one who has given me the most grief. You can see that look in his eye of "oh goody, dinner" when he's outside of the chicken pen. He hunted the guineas until he was finally convinced that it made his human a screaming lunatic and that he got a more positive response and a cookie by helping the human put the guineas in their coop.
  6. pegbo

    pegbo Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    My black Lab is slowly learning. She was touching noses with my little white polish the other day. She still gets that look in her eyes when she sees them though. The chickens are not afraid of her at all which makes it difficult. I just don't leave her outside with the chicks all by herself. The older she gets the better at listening.
  7. Sakura

    Sakura In the Brooder

    Feb 16, 2007
    Cantonment, Florida
    The thing is I'm not sure if I have a choice. It's my mom that's getting the dog, and she's never had chickens with a dog before. She know tons about german shepards, and a few other breeds as well, but I'm not sure what will happen with the other breeds. And I'm afraid mom (and me) have our hearts set on a shepard. She really wants one, but she has also considered the other fact that they are chicken killers. She thinks that maybe if we get a puppy and trian it not to chew on the chickens legs---which will probably be the only place it can reach when we first get it---then it will be fine later on. I'm not sure.
    Well, thanks.

  8. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Its not an impossibility but it will take a ton of work and not leaving the dog alone at all with the chickens while it is still young. Even the breeds recognized as livestock guardians need instruction before they can be safely left with the critters they are to guard.

    Get your dog but make arrangements that the two can be completely seperated when a human is not in attendance. Most of the time I either put up my dogs or my guineas before I leave the house for an extended period of time. Its just not worth the heartache to me to take the risk that Alf will forget that his human screams at him and makes him go "to the house" when he's been bad around the birds.

    YARDBIRD Hatching

    Mar 1, 2007
    We got a Pyranees mix for outside night patrol because they are supposed to love flocks and herds. Our dog is less than a year old and thinks that it is funny to scatter the birds and make them squeek like toys. He is on a leash inside one of my pens during the day. Yesterday, I found guinnea feathers for about 20 feet, but the guinea was ok. I also let the dog out at night to patrol for a couple of hours when the birds are roosting and everything is ok. I have not had a death from a ground predator since we got him. Just one from a hawk.

    Dog 2 is a 23lb chow lab minipen that lives in the house and gets along with the birds at this time. Well, most of the time, the roosters like to get the urge to flog her and she wont take any crap. One day a young roo flew up in her face and she broke its neck before we could even yell. We were standing less than 10 feet away.

    I know there are exceptions, but birds and dogs should not be left unsupervised. It may not always be the dogs fault. You cant expect to have a rooster in a dogs face and the dog do nothing.
  10. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:My two labs one black 4 and the other chocolate 14 both are bird dogs and get along wonderfully with our chickens. They also seem to deter any predators from coming in to the area. The chickens have actually jumped up on my younger labs back on occasion. They will scatter them when they are playing together racing around.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007

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