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Introducing puppy to flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by emilyschartz21, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. emilyschartz21

    emilyschartz21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We recently got a 8 week old black lab puppy. I currently have 5 hens that are between 2-3 years old. They are outside in the coop. About 2.5 months ago I got three new baby chicks. They are at least 2.5 months old now and fully feathered. I'm waiting for snow to go away before I move them to coop with the older ones. I don't have an issue introducing the chicks to the existing flock, but does anyone have suggestions on how to get them used to the puppy and the puppy used to them so he doesn't hurt them? I let the chicks/chickens out to run around in the backyard on nice days.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Start with the pup on the leash and correct him if he tries to chase them. I eventually do off leash work with a tossing or shaker can to startle the dog if it tries to chase. It can take up to three years for some to be reliable around them, and some never are, it depends on the prey drive of your pup.
     
  3. emilyschartz21

    emilyschartz21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know! Thanks for the information! At his point he's excited to see them and runs up to the coop then just sits and watches them. I'll definitely start training him on the leash and make sure he doesn't chase them!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hopefully he just likes watching. I am still working with my youngest dog, 1 1/2 years, she still will have times when she can't control her urges. It takes a long time to raise a good dog, be consistent and don't expect too much until they mature fully.
     
  5. emilyschartz21

    emilyschartz21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm hoping he just likes watching! I would hate to see him attack them. Thank you for the advice! You have no idea how much I appreciate it! I will make sure I stay consistent with him and practice a lot so he learns to control his urges!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Clear and Consistent training with the pup.......just make the chickens part of that training.
    Don't allow the pup to get itself into trouble....basic dog training, sit-stay-come....consistent vocal tones for good and bad.
     
  7. emilyschartz21

    emilyschartz21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice! We are working on the basic training and commands now. He doesn't really chase the chickens yet. He just sits outside the wire coop and watches

    [​IMG]
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    A puppy will be a puppy until about three years old.
    Might take a year or two before he can be fully trusted without direct supervision.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. emilyschartz21

    emilyschartz21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I will make sure I keep up with the training until he understands not to hurt them.
     
  10. ShellLea

    ShellLea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used the phrase "It's a baby" in a soothing and soft tone for everything my pup had to be gentle with. My pup is now a full grown pittie who is fast enough to catch my fastest birds if they happen to sneak out of the run. She holds them gently for me to retrieve while making the same sounds she makes when ushering babies away from the stairs. I always let her see the chicks and chickens but since she was young I held them so she couldn't nudge too hard with her nose. It took a good few sessions but now she sees them as something to take care of...and sometimes play with, (she likes to sneak up behind the hens and give a quick nudge on a fluffy butt, then run quickly away lol). Happy training!
     

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