Help Dog Problems

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by annanicole18, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. annanicole18

    annanicole18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I have a year and a half lab mix and a 8 month old amstaff with prolly beagle mix i got my chicks a lil less than two months ago and now that they are living outside i'm worried about the dogs harassing the chicks. i have three that are still small enough to fit through the fencing and they do just to roam a little but run back in quick. i'm just worried i'm going to let the dogs out have a chick pop out and end up losing one. how can i teach the older one to leave them shes worse than the pup she likes to make lil chomping sounds along with licking her chops whenever i have a chick out but she will not touch it while i'm right there. the pup will let the chicks snuggle right up to him when its dark and i'm nearby but will try to play with them like a toy sometimes. i'd really like to beable to let them out and not worry about the occasional stray chicken cuz i know that happens. thanks
  2. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would see if you can block up the holes, honestly. It's cheaper and easier. Labs are retrievers, so the worst that that dog would probably do is run one to death. My dog tries to do that.
    *I am not a dog expert, but that's what I would do*
  3. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2008
    Slidell, LA
    My mastiff never chased to chicks. Now and then he like to chase to ducks. But once or twice and then he is tired. I think you'd be better keeping the fenced up. Maybe use chicken wire to the chicks can't get through. It has to be stressful for a prey animal to be chased by a predator all the time.
  4. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    Yep, dogs are dogs, and dogs are predators. I have five dogs, three of whom probably wouldn't bother the chickens - unless something startled the birds and made them squawk and fly. The other two dogs would run them to death trying to herd them. Even a dog who's not trying to hurt the birds can kill one by accident. I know there are dogs who are fine with chickens, and even protect them, but I wouldn't trust my dogs around loose birds. My Newfoundlands are retriever dogs, too, like your lab, but they could injure or kill a hen, or especially a chick, just trying to bring it to you.

    The dog who's licking it's lips when the chicks are near is showing stress and nervousness. The dog isn't sure what those fuzzies are, doesn't know what to do about them. I'd suggest you show her what you want before she tries to figure it out on her own. Take her out on a leash, with a handful of yummy treats, when she looks at a chick tell her firmly, "No, leave it", and when she turns her head away from the chicks, and looks at you instead, give her a treat and praise. Then walk her all around the chicks, getting her to pay attention to you instead of them, with treats and praise when she ignores them. Just for a few minutes at a time, several times a day, for several days. When she's really good at that, take her out near the chicks and just hang out, with the dog lying next to you. Same thing, praise her for not bothering the birds.

    If you have a helper, the next step would be to have the other person hold a chick in their hands so the dog can't grab it, or hurt it in any way, have them walk up to the dog holding the chick, same routine with saying No leave it, treats and praise when she does. YOu should see the lip-licking stop as she learns that she doesn't need to do anything about those llttle fuzzy-butts.

    I do agree with the others, you should make your coop more secure - you don't want your chicks running around loose and unsupervised no matter what. But having your dogs comfortable around them is important, too.

    When we walk our dogs every day, we pass the chicken coop to get to the trails in back. I leash my Australian Shepherds until we are well past, as they run laps around the coop, I think trying to herd the birds. It makes the chickens nervous, the roosters run the girls inside and stand guard at the door to keep them safe. The dogs would be likely to hurt the chickens, but remember that beaks can cause a lot of damage, too. Loose chickens don't have to happen, if your coop is secure. Keep everyone safe!

    Good luck.
  5. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    train your dogs.. takes time, consistency and common sense...

    A lot easier in the long run. Our 3 run with all our other animals (chickens, pigeons, ducks, geese, goats, sheep and pigs), they know if it belong here, they won't touch it..... anything else enter the property is fair game.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by