Herding dogs around chickens


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 29, 2009
We adopted a six month old border collie/poodle last fall from the SPCA. He is wonderful. He comes when he is called in the house and he does all his basic training. I did take him to obedience classes. But he is over the top fixated on the chickens. I tried to introduce them slowly when we first got them and he seemed interested but nothing more. At some point over the winter he lost control. The moment we are out the door he is trying to get to the coop. He has to be on leash at all times, and if I do let him off, all he does is run circles around the coop and pen - whether the pop door is open and the girls are in the run or if they are closed up for the evening.

I have been working with him to come on leash from various points in the yard. I could have sirloin tip steak ready for him, it doesn't matter. He wants to run back to the coop. The kids can't play ball with him because he totally ignores us, or he fetches the ball and then drops it and runs to the coop.

I know it can be done, but how in the world do I get him to leave the chickens alone? If I let them free range he is either inside in his crate or tied up with us outside but he barks his head off.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


8 Years
9 Years
Apr 11, 2011
Orwigsburg PA
Find a dogtrainer in your area, how is specialized in herding dogs. Train him in herding and give him a signal to stop work. So you can controll it.
The favorite treat for my dogs is cheese
. And they only get it for training

Good luck and keep us posted
Love to see a pic

Rocky Road

8 Years
May 14, 2011
I have two border collies. . . . . and I know they love herding! Its their job and natural instinct. I always made them watch the chickens when I fed them and even brought them into the coop with me and MADE them sit still and watch the chickens. So now that they know they can't "have" them they get bored with them and leave. But it may be different when I have the run completed and they are outside as well. I know the one used to run up and down another run I used to have but the chickens got used to it fairly quick. Its hard to make them stop once they start!

ben is a terror

8 Years
Apr 9, 2011
I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a Belgian Malinous both herding dogs. One we adopted at 6mo. old when they go TO excited about the poultry we would squirt them with the hose They didn't like it much. After a while they stopped and when i pick up the hose and say Leave it they do It took several months. Border collies are different. My neighbor has a collie and she had to get a training collar Don't be afraid to use one but get it from a expert trainer.
Good Luck Don't give up hope it can be done


8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
Lugoff, SC
Some border collies are over-the-top intense and need professional training to redirect their intensity into something productive. He is a herding dog and wants to herd but does not know how to go about doing it, which translates into chasing and/or killing. His intensity is probably why he ended in the pound in the first place.

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