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How do you train a dog to not hurt the chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Desirai, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Desirai

    Desirai Songster

    Oct 12, 2011
    My biggest worry when it comes time for the chickens is my grandparents' boxer mix.
    She is good with cats and kittens, but no idea how she will react to chickens.
    How will we go about training her? Did any of you have to train a dog to leave your chickens (or other critters) alone?

  2. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Be careful with the boxer and chickens. To train a boxer is a process. I've found them to be hyper and hard to work with. Maybe someone has a good method, I don't.
  3. frostbite

    frostbite Songster

    Sep 27, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Do a search on youtube for Cesar Milan and chickens, he does a video where he trains a dog to leave the chickens alone. I think it was a yellow lab
  4. sulco

    sulco In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2011
    Up in da UP, eh!
    Our blue heeler/husky was caught in the coop using a chicken as a squeak toy right after we brought him home; we had a small-stern talk (read as I reinforced who's top dog) and I impressed upon him that he is not welcome in the coop and the chickens are not toys. I have to occasionally give a verbal correction when he sticks his nose too far into the run, but really he's doing quite well around the chickens. In conjunction with near daily one-on-one training, I'm also using an electronic training collar. He does get a little squirrely around them once in a while; I almost think the chickens are egging him on, but I can't prove it. We also have an invisible fence around our property and he wears that collar when we're not outside with him and so far he's done very well patrolling the grounds.

    /your mileage may vary


    ED: Oh, and we also use the word 'back' and 'wait' when going out any door so he knows we say when he can go. We've found 'wait' helpful when feeding or getting into the car for example. We found the word 'back' useful when he sticks his nose in the run and we're not able to physically move him back out. Also he's learning 'leave it' if he is going to pick something up with his mouth and we don't want him with it; 'on by' is used if we're walking/running (soon to be skiing) and he needs to ignore whatever the distraction is and just go right on by.

    We trust him and do monitor him when he thinks we're not looking just to ensure he's being a good boy.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  5. ninabeast

    ninabeast Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    We are currently training our newly-adopted adolescent Great Dane to leave the chickens alone, but she's a dream, so this may not be helpful. Because Danes are so huge, even as puppies, the first word I teach them after "sit" is "OFF!!". This is a multi-purpose word that has a thousand useful applications, including getting her to leave the chickens alone. Because she already knew "OFF", I just had to add the word "chicken" to her vocabulary, and she knew what I was asking of her.

    She put her mouth gently on a chicken I was holding a couple of times and she got an earful..."OFF the chicken!!!"

    She still likes to run by them, to see them scatter, but I believe we're out of the woods (famous last words...). I don't believe I'll ever leave her unattended with chickens, but we'll see. Now if I could only get her to stop eating chicken poop...
  6. coopncottage

    coopncottage In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2011
    Front Range
    Quote:Thank you for that info -- We have a Dalmatian who mostly listens (we use "Off" as our command also), but he was a dog bred to chase small creatures and we have to be really vigilant with him. He's an extremely smart dog, and usually a rule follower, but the chickens are oh so enticing. Our Weimaraner is absolutely uninterested in the chickens (I think they scare him). A trainer had recommended using an e-collar for our Dal, but I'm curious to see what Cesar does. I'll go look for the video!
  7. ninabeast

    ninabeast Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I think breed is a huge factor. Huskies pull. Terriers dig. Greyhounds run. Great Danes haven't been useful for centuries (thank dog!) and I find it makes them the perfect dog for me. I would never, for example, trust a sight hound around a chicken. Nature will eventually win.

  8. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    I have a stoopid 6 lb yorkie/bichon mix that just LOVES to bolt after the chickens so that they will scare and jump over her advances. Mind you most of my flock is larger than her. It looks like a running version of leap frog. I swear she is smiling when she does it. The other dogs just take their time and calmly mosey on over to wherever the chickens are huddled so they can eat their poo. [​IMG]
  9. turtlewomyn

    turtlewomyn In the Brooder

    Aug 27, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Quote:I never thought I could either, but one of my greyhounds accidentally got into the back yard when the chickens were free roaming. I [​IMG] when I saw her walk back inside. I went out to look and the chickens were all fine. Both my greyhounds are 11 though and I suspect that one has some cataracts so perhaps she doesn't see well. I don't know what would happen though if a chicken decided to take off quickly when she was out with them. I certainly wouldn't trust a young greyhound with them (as that same one pinned a neighbors rooster against our fence when he flew into our yard way back when I first adopted the greyhounds).
  10. Gmasandy

    Gmasandy In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2011
    I have a itty bitty chihuahua mix puppy. She likes to torment my chickens, seems to want to herd them back into their chicken run. Once she gets them there, she is happy to have the yard to herself. She doesnt seem to want to hurt them, just irritate them! One of my girls, doesnt put up with her at all and you can see her chasing the pup! I have seen her peck her a couple of times. I think between me and my chickens, we will eventually get Lizzy to stop chasing. That is my plan![​IMG]

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