I'm not sure about my dog and the chicks...ideas?


8 Years
Jun 1, 2011
Hi! We have four 3-week old chicks, 2 Welsumers and 2 EE. For the first three weeks, my dog, who has been with us for 11 years, completely ignored them. He came up once to smell the bedding, food etc. and then walked away and rarely came back. Today when the chicks were out walking around and cuddling with us, our dog got very interested in them. To the point where he lunged at one and I had to cover it with my hand and quickly put it away. He came back later in the day and started crying when the chicks were locked up, digging on our carpet trying to get in and sticking his nose (to the best of his ability) in the brooder.

My dog is not a hunter by any means. Occasionally he will hunt a lizard, but he has yet to catch any in 11 years.

I'm not worried about him wanting to eat the chicks, but I am worried that he wants to play with them by batting them around. Our hope was to give the chicks free range of our yard. I don't want either of them to get stressed out or have to cordon off their own separate areas.

Any ideas on how to introduce my dog to the chickens so they can get along?



8 Years
May 18, 2011
Amarillo, Texas
I keep threatening my Doberman that if she doesn't play nice then I am buying the biggest meanest bird I can find, putting a muzzle on her and letting her spend a day or two with him

I wouldn't really but it helps me if I threaten her with it.

I have no advice besides stay on your toes and if your even a little bit iffy then take the chicks away, the last thing you want is for your dog to think they are play toys.

My Boxer doesn't like chickens but will sit beside me while I am out in the yard with them... He does NOT like when they peck his toes and lets out a warning bark and chickens scatter lol.
My Doberman... I just don't trust. I had her out with some week old chicks. She was laying down beside me and the chicks were in front of me. She laid there for a good 15 minutes then lunged. It just so happened that I got ahold of her nose right when she snatched up one of my chicks. At first I didn't think she got one until I looked closer and there was 2 little chicken legs hanging out of her mouth right beside where my thumb was going into her mouth. I made her drop him and he was sopping wet but unharmed. Since then I have decided that she won't go near the chickens without a muzzle on. It keeps the chickens safe... and her lol.
It also doesn't help that she LOVES toys, and has all kinds of little stuffed animals that she carries around all day. We have even given her balloons that she will carry around and not pop... but all it would take is one little chomp for one of my chicks to lose their life.

Good Luck, I'm sure someone else has much better advice then mine lol.

edited to add: I would never trust either one of my dogs alone with chickens, even my Boxer who is good when I'm around... to many variables that I can't control when I'm not there.
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Rockin' Reds

9 Years
Sep 3, 2010
Penrose, Colorado
First of all
! As far as introducing your dog to the chicks, I hope others chime in with some good ideas for you. In my personal experience I find it better to keep them separated. My girls free range in the afternoons (we have 10 acres) and even though my dog has a separate fenced yard from the girls I keep her inside when they are out simply because she whines and barks and charges the fence when they are out if they dare try to hang out around the backyard. I do not trust her. She is an Australian shepherd and very sweet, not a hunter by any means either, but man does she want my chickens for whatever reason. She gets so out of control when they are out that I don't think I could even call her off if she happened to get loose, and she is normally a very well behaved dog. Anyway, just my personal situation and opinion, but if your dog is showing that type of interest it may be better to keep them separated. Even if he just wants to play with them he could easily hurt or kill them not knowing he is being so aggressive. Hopefully there will be someone with a good integration story for you!
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10 Years
Jun 13, 2010
Admire, KS
We have 4 dogs. The golden retriever completely ignores them. The Shorthair pointer is 14 and deaf and nearly blind, and after the GLW pecked him on the nose through the run wiring, he gives them a wide berth. The male Dachshund was a problem for a while -- barking at them through the wire in the tractor run and racing in circles around the run. He has calmed down and is trustworthy with them in the yard. The newest dog, a female minature doxy, is another story. She is at the point that the male was last summer. She is fascinated with the babies, and one day when she got out, she jumped my EE. Lily lost some neck feathers (there were an incredible number of feathers all over the chase pattern in the yard), but she is ok. I just don't let her out with the chickens unless she is on a leash. She may come around (she doesn't chase the cat since he nailed her with a claw in the face last week), but until I trust her lots more than I do now, she is stuck in the house when they are out of the run.


8 Years
May 13, 2011
Anchorage Alaska
I have a large Mastiff/rott/lab and a traditional JRT. Neither of which is good with minding unless I am watching. I seem to have a thing for bullheaded dogs. Anyway. I have a shock collar. When there comes a problem, once in 6 years, that a voice command is ignored. I use it. It started with the "You cant catch me" game. I could not have a 120 lb dog running the streets. So I put it on her, called her and when she went into that butt up head down stance. I zapped her hiney! She yelped and came running. We have never had to use it again. Now not all dogs are as wise as LullaBell. Some it takes a few rounds of treatment. But when it comes to the lives of your other pets. I find that getting your point across with a good zapping sticks pretty long in the memory of most dogs.


8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
I have a Golden Retriever and an Australian Shepherd. Both dogs are great with the chicks. However, the dog across the street will eat them in a second. We keep the chicks in a secure chicken run. The dog across the street comes over to the coop a few times a day trying how to figure out to get in. I can not free range my chicks.


8 Years
Jun 1, 2011
Thanks everyone. We had the chicks out again today and let the dog sniff a lot inside their brooder. I also took out some of the cardboard we had in the brooder to keep the mess contained so the chicks and the dog can see each other better. My dog HAS to get along with the chicks. He's our first baby and has run of our house and yard. Hopefully we can just keep introducing them and slowly over time they will both mellow out.


9 Years
Apr 19, 2011
My fur animals are afraid of the ducks.
One dog loves the chicks and will chase off any animal that gets near, including a squirrel on the powerline over the run.
Dog 2 killed a chick.
I still wouldn't let dog 1 around the chicks unsupervised.


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