I need some advice on what to do regarding one of my dogs and my chickens. Giving you all the necessary history is going to make this a long post, so I apologize in advance. We have two dogs. Jake is a two year old border collie confined to a extra secure section of the yard. Jake likes to chase not only the cows on this farm but neighboring farms as well; making him a good candidate for being shot. Charlie is my nine year old irish wolfhound mix and the one I have questions about, so here's Charlie's history: Charlie lives inside most of the time. She does love to be outside on cooler days. I got Charlie as a rescue when she was a year old. When I got her she had both the physical and emotional scars of the abuse she'd suffered. It was months before I could raise my hand to pet her without her cowering in fear. She is an extremely well behaved dog, but always carries that fear of messing up and being hit around with her. Charlie also doesn't bark. I've heard her bark maybe a dozen times since I've owned her. After she barks she immediately goes into that fear crouch and begs me with her eyes to not hit her, not that I would. Charlie had one incident with the chicks when they were tiny. I messed up and left the gate down and she was able to grab hold of a chick. She dropped it as soon as I told her to and then went and hid on her bed. The chick wasn't hurt. That was the one and only time I ever spanked Charlie. What hurt her feelings worse than the spanking was the fact that I ignored her for a couple of days. She'd come to me and use her nose to push my hand up on her head, but I'd remove my hand and tell her to go away. I haven't trusted her around the chickens since. If they are out, Charlie is inside unless I'm there to supervise. Since the time Charlie grabbed that chick she has ignored the chickens. In fact, if she is laying out in the yard and the chickens start getting too close she'll get up and move away. Charlie is very protective of me, Jake and our barn cat. Last summer when the DSD brought her dog Domino for a visit and Domino went after Kitty, Charlie was on Domino in a heartbeat and drew blood. Last night something happened that is making me rethink my "policy" of keeping the chickens and Charlie seperated. Last night the chickens were locked up in their coop and Charlie was out in the yard visiting with Jake. I heard Jake bark, nothing new but then I heard Charlie bark. I grabbed my jacket and flashlight and went out. Jake was looking at the coop and barking. Then I saw Charlie out of the yard, chasing something in the trees and brush behind the coop. When I called to her she came running back and used her nose to open the garden gate and come in. This is a new trick and I have no idea how long she's been doing that. Now for my question, at last! Do you think Charlie can be trusted around the chickens now? Has she extended her guardianship to include the chickens? If I was sure she could be trusted to be the guardian and not the predator, I'd leave her out more often thru the winter. Charlie can and will take down a coyote. Where I used to live Charlie was allowed to run with my landlord's dogs at night and she would on occasion bring home a fresh killed coyote.