Introducing my dog to my new three day old chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jessiehh, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Hello!
    We are so excited to have our babies home and settled into our brooder. I have an 8yr old Daschund named Frank. I'm wondering how to introduce him to the chicks!? He's my little freak. [​IMG] I'd love to say that he is very laid back, but unfortunately he's not. He does love to please us, especially my husband. I'm afraid he will want to chomp down on my little fuzz balls. Frank came into the room with the brooder and watched very closely. He had a worried/confused look on his face! He is amazing with kids and even babies so I've never considered a muzzle, but maybe it would be a good idea at first?
    Any ideas or experiences to share are appreciated!

  2. lizanne

    lizanne Songster

    Jul 3, 2012
    Citrus Heights, Ca
    I personally wouldn't because the baby chicks are so little and can't fight back. My chocolate lab is the sweetest, most relaxed dog ever, but if he was alone with the chicks he would eat them like a 20 piece Chicken Mc Nugget...
  3. Muddy

    Muddy In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009
    I don't even let my most docile dog alone with my chicks. I think chicks trigger the "eat me" instinct in dogs, lol. I leave her alone with the grown chickens all the time. I've even had them share a pen for a weekend here and there. My pup still chases the hens when they free range though. Driving me crazy!

    Smell alone is a huge sense for dogs. I'd give a dog a while just to get used to the smell, then ease them into the whole chicken thing.
  4. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Songster

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    I wouldn't leave them alone. Just make sure he know the chicks are yours and not toys. Let him see them and when he ignores them give him praise or a treat, If he goes after one get between them and put him in his place. Not saying beat him or anything but body language and a loud voice will work. Depends on the dog and even if you trust it sometimes it goes the other way. My dogs know not to mess with my new cat which stays inside but any neighbors cat they see they try their best to get out of the yard "fenced in" to get it.

  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I would introduce the dogs to the chicks on the leash. Make sure you have a firm hold and are calm and in control of the situation. Leave the chicks where they live and let them do what they do. Never hold them up to your dog or anything like that.

    The second that your dog has any reaction other than calm, ignoring behavior then remove the dog from the area. Say "no" or "leave it" which ever command your dog it familiar with. Repeat again and again and again. Do this every single day until the dog completely ignores the birds every time he sees them. I'm serious. Every day. This is a process.

    Calm, curiosity is ok only if it completely calm. Excitement, even happy excitement is a no. It will take time and patience but it completely worth it.

    If you are struggling it may help to work on other impulse control exercises. PM me if you need some tips.

    When you move your birds outside to a new home or if you get any additional birds start over and reintroduce.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  6. LVchicks

    LVchicks In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2013
    I'm with ChickensRDinos. I may be a newbie chicken owner but I have a lot of experience with dogs.
    I currently own a very sweet lab mix without about as much prey response as a brick. He is not allowed anywhere near the chicks. It has taken over two weeks for hi to stop barking at the door to the garage where they are brooding. I have taken him in to show him the source of the smell and sound and he is fascinated by them but in a 'way to freak out the chickens' way. Tail up, ears, up, whole body quivering with excitement. His presence in the garage completely stresses out the chicks. They will not be introduced to them again until they are fully grown and then he will be controlled and they will be coming up to him and able to get away at will. By the time they are full sized laying hens I am reasonably sure that they will have my cowardly sweet boy thoroughly cowed but I will take no chances. He has never killed anything and I do NOT want him to learn to like the taste of fresh chicken because that will be the end of any possibnility of dog and chickens living in harmony. I want
    him to see the chickens as he sees the cats and the kids, part of the pack.
  7. Thank you so much! Every one has great points. Much appreciated! [​IMG]

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