Help with training dog to be around free range chickens

Silkie nerd

Songster
Apr 23, 2017
258
260
177
Hi everyone! About a year ago I got a new dog named Milo! Recently he has been sneaking outside just to chase my chickens that I free range and I am wondering if anyone could help me train both my dog Milo, to not chase my chickens and my chickens to be comfortable around Milo. I appreciate any help.
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
5 Years
Dec 1, 2016
2,138
7,108
726
Contra Costa county, Ca.
Some dogs cannot be trained, some can. Start by assuming Milo is one that can't, and create a barrier between him and the chickens. What you use will depend on your situation, sometimes something as simple as plastic poultry fence will work, some dogs need something much stronger. When the chickens are separated from him, start working on obedience, AWAY from the chickens, so he can concentrate on you.Then, ON A LEASH, start letting him go up to the chicken barrier, and look at them, then call him away and reward him. If he won't come away, increase the distance until he is able to focus on you again, then gradually come closer to the chickens until he can be called away every time, even with his nose to the fence. Then, and ONLY then, start having him on leash, with the chickens loose, and call him to you. Do not ever force him to come to you, it needs to be his choice, or he will not be reliable off leash. Don't rush it, and don't ever let him chase them, or he'll learn it is fun. This means, fix things so he can't "escape" and get to the chickens. Some dogs learn fast, or get bored with the chickens, and some dogs can take months or years, or are never safe to have loose around prey animals. Good luck. Stay positive, but assume the worst.
 

Kyanite

Loving Life!
May 27, 2016
442
134
157
SE Idaho
@townchicks , you talk about training the dog but what about training your flock not to be afraid of the dog. My flock is constantly hiding when they see the dog....

After enough interaction that isn't scary, the chickens will get comfortable with the dog. My chickens will walk right under my dogs, and even stand on and peck at them when the dogs are lounging.

Keep in mind that once the chickens are comfortable with your dog, they may not see any dog as a threat unless it's chasing them. When I added a new dog to the house, my chickens didn't care at all. Complete trust. New dog is still a pup but she's poultry safe. Still, sometimes she gallops through the flock not paying attention. They just kind of shuffle out of her way and side eye her like "ugh, you can be so annoying."
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
5 Years
Dec 1, 2016
2,138
7,108
726
Contra Costa county, Ca.
@townchicks , you talk about training the dog but what about training your flock not to be afraid of the dog. My flock is constantly hiding when they see the dog....
That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially for free ranging chickens. I agree with @Kyanite, they will get more comfortable as they see that the dog is not a threat (assuming he is not) Just give them time.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom