how to stop dogs chasing chickens


5 Years
Sep 30, 2014
hi guys,

i have lost a dog about a year ago and i am looking for a new dog. i decided to rehome a 4-year-old huntaway-black lab X and it is a great dog with one problem, it has been here for only 5 days and already killed 2 of the neighbors chickens. can anyone tell me how to stop this? i live in NZ and i may not be able to get some of the dog training tools that other people can

It's your responsibility to keep your dog on your property. Where I live, my neighbor would have the right to shoot my dog if he did that. Training can be done but takes time. Do it by rewarding good behavior, not with punishment. There is lots of info on the web. But to train a dog not to chase chickens is difficult and never 100% reliable, because it is their instinct to catch a small animal like chickens.
Fencing!!! Your dog, your responsibility. And I hope sincere apologies to the neighbor, with payment for damages. My dogs live in a very secure fenced yard to keep them home and the critters safe. Mary
Look for Patricia McConnell or Sophia Yin's books and blogs. They are fantastic dog trainers and have info that will help. Patricia lives on a farm with her border collies that work as herding dogs and must get along with all other animals.

Start in the house working on leave it. Wear a shoe, put a boring piece of dog food under your foot so that the dog sees you place it there. When the dog quits looking at your foot, and nosing at your foot and possibly digging on your foot, say Leave It and give the dog a yummy treat. Something of high value like cheese or meat. Keep doing this until you can start to leave your foot hovering above the dog food. Then so that you can simply place the food on the ground without worry about covering it. NEVER give the food from the floor to the dog unless you pick it up and hand it to them. We don't want the dog to anticipate that they eventually get the leave it item or they will learn to wait a little bit then grab it.

Once you have this solid in the house work on it outside. When it is solid outside you can start to use this on other things such as animals. Make sure the dog is on leash and don't get too close or the impulse will outweigh the reward. Praise like mad and give treats each time the dog looks away from the animal and looks to you.

I don't let my dogs out around my birds without supervision. However I can tell you that my two hunting trained labs are fine around the ducks and guineas. I have no concerns what so ever. They only retreive a bird if I ask for their help. Such as when a guinea keet got loose on me.
They do enjoy running "fly bys" with the guineas to make them squawk and fly into the trees.
Agree, training and lots of it, every day on an ongoing basis. Meanwhile, the dog should never be running loose outside. He should be in a kennel or other well fenced area or with you on a leash. If he is not contained or leashed there is no way you can stop the behavior.

Also be aware that every dog responds differently to training. Many dogs can be taught to leave birds alone but there are also some dogs that just don't have the temperament or sufficient will to please to ever make them safe around prey animals. Contrary to what some people think, not EVERY dog can be made into a chicken safe dog. Temperament and training are key.
I agree that positive reinforcement of the dog for "leave it" to be done on an ongoing basis. It is also important that you are responsible for keeping the dog off your neighbor's property by what ever means is required. I do like Patricia McConnell and Sophia Yin (RIP. She committed suicide this week.). Ian Dunbar also has lots of good positive training material.

I have dogs and chickens and will never leave my dogs alone with my chickens.

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