Introducing Puppy to Flock

Sherloki

Songster
May 26, 2016
238
67
151
Texas
Hello everyone, I'm wondering about how to go about introducing a puppy to my flock. The pup in question will be an Australian Shepherd. The flock has run of the entirety of the yard- about 1/2 an acre that's fenced. I'm assuming that keeping the puppy leashed initially is best but beyond that I'm not so certain. I've heard both to introduce them directly and to keep them apart for awhile. If it helps our breeder has young pullets in a run so the pup will grow up seeing chickens but won't be exposed to free-ranging ones until he gets home.
 

DiYMama540

Free Ranging
Jun 25, 2019
1,991
10,355
682
SW VA
My Coop
My Coop
A leash is a good idea at first. I think you'll find when you are consistent with "leave it" command the puppy will pick up quickly. Keep kibbles or small treats with you, give the command, and as soon as the dog turns it's head from the chickens, no longer showing interest, treat them. Will take some time and patience, but consistency is key! Shepherds are extremely smart and easy to train, so it should be a breeze!
 

chickens really

Crazy Call Duck Momma
Premium member
Sep 8, 2015
59,490
102,365
1,617
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
If puppy is only 8 to 12 weeks old I'd let him walk around with the chickens. All my puppies learned because a Chicken will peck them and scare the puppy into knowing chickens are a bit too bossy..My little Poodle is terrified of my Call Ducks because she tried to get too close and the Ducks chased her.
I have an Aussie/ Golden Retriver and she is also fantastic with the chickens and Ducks..
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
37,286
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central Wisconsin
My Aussies generally ignore my chickens. They are more interested in eating the poop.

I too would do supervised outings, perhaps on a long line so you can control the situation if your pup decides to give chase. Time and consistency will pay off in the end.

A pups attitude can change towards chickens as they mature, so keep at it. Raising a good pup is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be mistakes which are generally good learning times. Most Aussies want to please you.

Aussies aren't done maturing until 1-2 years of age. Those first few weeks can make or break a pup. Don't let bad habits start no matter how cute they appear at first. Reinforce the good, distract or correct the bad with a sharp noise. That's what I do.
 

getaclue

Enabler
6 Years
Jun 19, 2013
8,393
22,974
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Central Florida
One of my friends has a couple, and she's constantly working with them, and socializing them when young. Hers herd her sheep, swans, chickens, and ducks. They're routinely socialized, including trips to town. They have frizbees, tennis balls, and lots of other things to play with, and plenty of things to do, and investigate on her farm.
 

maddog7

Chirping
Sep 11, 2019
20
104
74
Grass Valley, CA
A leash is a good idea at first. I think you'll find when you are consistent with "leave it" command the puppy will pick up quickly. Keep kibbles or small treats with you, give the command, and as soon as the dog turns it's head from the chickens, no longer showing interest, treat them. Will take some time and patience, but consistency is key! Shepherds are extremely smart and easy to train, so it should be a breeze!
THIS ^^^
I would like to add that after a leash, consider using a long lead letting distance from you increase over time. Do this until you are confident. Your pup will get it very quickly.
 

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