If you have or have had a golden retriever lab mix? I have questions

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by momiphouph, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. momiphouph

    momiphouph Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    We have had someone offer us a Golden/ Lab mix puppy.
    -What can you tell me about your dog?
    -How are they with your chickens?

    Ive researched the hybrid and they seem to be all around GREAT dogs. But I wanted to get more info from owners (expecially chicken owners) and am hoping BYC could help out. Im mainly concerned about how they would/could be with our chickens. My neighbors has 2 lab mixes that were raised around chickens and we have never had any issues with them around our flock. Im hoping with the right training and time with the chickens it would be fine. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Just so it is said...I also am very aware that dogs are dogs and should be supervised around the flock. [​IMG] Puppies especially can simply play to rough, so if we do bring this pup home it will be suppervised.
  2. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    well, even if you do get answers from people who have this type of dog, it's really not going to matter [​IMG] All dogs are different. So basically all you can do is TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN with this dog. We have a lab mix. She's amazing around the chickens [​IMG] Never bothers them.
  3. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    We have currently have a lab and and also had a golden/yellow lab mix previously. They are/were both wonderful dogs and we have never had issues with them around small animals. We didn't have chickens with them but we did have ducks, rabbits, small parrots, and hamsters and never had a problem.

    That said, labs are hunting dogs so they can have the instinct. I agree with the poster above, training is of the utmost importance. Luckily every lab we have ever had has been very eager to please and easy to train.

    Labs are my absolute favorite dogs... Best family dogs ever and so adorable [​IMG]
  4. momiphouph

    momiphouph Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    They REALLY are adorable!!! One reason I have fallen in love with the breed is because of our neighbors dogs. Great with the kids, playful, love their people and always let us know when a visitor is here. They seem to have claimed our family as their own but stay loyal to their mommy and daddy. lol The two are not hyper but love attention. Ive thought a lot about how many people I have known with Labs or Goldens or mixes and I can honestly say Ive loved everyone of them.

    I am just a little nervous because they are a hunting/ retrieving breed. Instinct is my biggest concern. I dont want to expect for example... a "bird dog" to not touch the birds. When their natural instincts are to bring it to mommy as a prize. However I have seen enough of the breeds that I am curious if their desire to follow what they have been taught/trained is greater than the desire to bring home the prize. Or if this just isnt an issue at all knowing that even hunting dogs have to be trained as to how to do their job.

    At the same time Every dog Definatly has its own personality, training and time have a LOT to do with how a dog behaives. Training in our house is a MUST. Im pretty picky about it, when we were able to have "big" dogs years ago, they were trained and a big part of the family. We have not had a "big" dog in 10 years because of my hubbies job but now that we are settled and the kids are getting bigger... Im ready to add another member to the family and really want to make the right decision because once the pup is here... its here to stay!
    I want a breed/ mix/ family member that will work well with our crazy group and add to the fun. [​IMG]
  5. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    We have a golden lab; she's fine with the chickens. Shows no interest in the birds but LOVES the chicken poop.... nose to the ground whenever she's outside. She's about two and a half years old but is just a big puppy in an adult dog's body. I'm not sure when, if ever, she'll reach maturity. We can't leave her outside without having her on a leash, because her nose rules her brain and if she catches a scent of a deer or rabbit, she's immediately two farms away.
  6. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    I will start by saying that we may have a "defective" chocolate lab! We think he was born without the retriever part. LOL I have never even been able to teach this dog to fetch. We adopted him when he was 3 or so, and he is about 9 now.

    But he's been great with the chickens from the start. I can have him out in the yard with me when they are out of the run and free ranging and he just ignores them. He will, occasionally, if they are in the run and clusterd near the fence watching to see if I have any treats, bark- once. The chickens used to scatter, but now they just look at him like: "Wha-at??" I will never let him out there alone with them if they are loose, but I don't really worry about him.

    Funniest story I have with Murphy is he was out there with me in the yard one day. The chickens were out, and when I finished the chores I had to do, I was sitting watching them do their chicken things. Murphy came over to sit next to me. One of the hens came up to us. Murph gave a sniff or two, then ignored her. She gave him the back and forth chicken eye, then reached out and pecked him on the nose. I'm sure she was playing "Food or Not Food." You never saw a dog jump backward so fast! I shooed the chicken away as soon as I stopped being doubled over with laughter. Murphy stayed behind me the rest of the time we were out there!

    Yeah, labs are great dogs. And every golden I've known has been sweet, too. I think it would be a good mix. Very trainable.
  7. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    Thunder, black lab, was a chicken killer. He never killed a bird that was on the inside of the pen, but once they came outside...dead bird.

    Marley, chocolate lab, used to be but with training doesn't even look at the birds when you take him into the pen.

    Citra, yellow lab, showed no interest at all and would watch over the baby chicks!

    Echo, black lab x shepherd, was a chicken killer, would get into the pen to kill them. Never could train it out of her so we were extra cautious to keep her separated and supervised.

    Mak, have you tried taking him hunting? Thunder refused to play fetch, but when we went hunting, he would retrieve game like he was a champ!
  8. Sootsie

    Sootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2010
    I grew up with them, the most gentle kid friendly affectionate good dog out, they need training as any dog does if its any help in the uk labs and retrievers are popular guide dogs for the blind for there intelligence and trainability.
    If its possible ask his current owners if you could take the dog to see your chickens before you make a final decision
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If trained and worked with a lot from the start, an ideal dog combo!!! [​IMG] As others have mentioned, both breeds are very much people pleasers. And even the ones who are working dogs are trained to retrieve with a soft mouth, not to maul whatever they're retrieving. Of course, as you mentioned, pups can be quite playful and can take delight in causing those noisy birds to go a-squawking and a-flappin, so supervision is critical during early training.

    Sit with your birds every day with the pup right beside you and your hand on his/her collar. Sprinkle treats around for the birds to draw them close. Praise or correct your pup. Remind "gentle." Work your way up to short leash held close...then longer leash...then off leash. Do each walking and sitting among your birds, always correcting and praising, and always using "gentle" or whatever your command is for being easy and calm. After a few weeks...a month or two...or three (age, regularity of training, dog personality, etc. will determine how long it'll take for your dog to learn) hide around a corner, or just go about your business outside pretending to be busy, watching how your dog behaves when he/she doesn't have you right there, but ready to act quickly if needed. Good luck! I'm sure your pup will learn quickly! [​IMG]
  10. momiphouph

    momiphouph Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    After reading these posts, IM REALLY getting excited!
    teach1rusl Thanks for the tips on training... I'll be looking you up if I need any help in the process. [​IMG] We did clicker training with our little dog and it worked great! We didnt get into intense training with her... she has such a mild and gentle nature. Im thinking of getting more info on the clicker training and refreshing our memories as to what to do and how... might use little girl for practice with the kids. lol Im sure she will love the attention and I really want my kids to learn as well.
    Loved all the stories about your labs and goldens! What a funny bunch of pups!
    Mak- Murphy sounds like really silly boy, I love it! I got such a good laugh from your story. Reminds me of our little dog she is sooo timid that after one of the chicks pecked her on the nose... she refuses to go near any of the birds! Big or Small!
    Thanks everyone! We are told the puppy will be ready to leave mama by Christmas!!! YAY!! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by