Keeping My Chickens Safe from My Dog?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by barred2rock, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. barred2rock

    barred2rock Overrun With Chickens

    I have a 12 lb Manchester terrier mix, she chases & barks at about anything, even deer. Is it possible to train her to live in harmony with the chickens (5 Barred Rocks)? Or will I just have to keep her from having any contact with the chickens? At this point, she's only had visual contact from outside the screened brooder.

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If you haven't trained her not to chase and bark at other things and animals....
    ....unlikely that you can train her to leave the chickens alone.
    1 person likes this.
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Safest bet is to keep them apart unless you're prepared to do a lot of training.

    I keep my dogs and chickens fully separated, better peace of mind for me, especially given one of my dogs has a high prey drive.
  5. Shuttergirl

    Shuttergirl Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2017
    I have been working with my own high prey driven jack russell on this. He will chase ANYTHING that moves. And the peeping sends him over the edge. That being said, I am striving for desensitization. I am taking my time with him and just doing a few minutes on leash everyday and I really am surprised at the progress he is making with it. We are far from our goal but I wondered if I would be abe to get anywhere with him. I walk him on leash to their pen and reward him everytime he ignores them and we tun through his obedience commands s couple of feet away from them, then end on a good note and take him inside. I'm really trying to be diligent as I think it is easier to prevent a bad behavior than to fix it after! Totally not sure what to do with my nearly deaf and nearly blind 14 year old yorkie that harasses them.[​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
    barred2rock and aart like this.
  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    I'll count myself "lucky"....I raise chicks my living room for a couple of weeks for observations, in a plastic bin. My dog tends to ignore them but I'll ask "Where's the chick chicks" and she'll perk up & run to the bin. When I used to let my chickens "free range" in my fenced yard, they'd hang out in the patio & she basically left them alone. Although there were times she & a few (Cockerels) would love chasing each other around but nothing serious. We have feral chickens here, if any get in the yard, she will go chasing after them. Also will go after birds in the yard but so far (4yrs) leaves the chickens alone....Lucky.
  7. JaeG

    JaeG Flock Master Premium Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    If you are willing to put in the work then you can teach an old dog new tricks. You want to teach your dog to ignore them (and pay attention to you) and be calm around them. Take it in small steps. Set your dog, and yourself up for success. If she's too interested when they are in her sight start training where she can't see them and where she will pay attention to you. Decided on a command that you want to use that means her attention is on you. Also work on the 'leave it' command. It can take a lot of time but it will be worth it. Some dogs are naturally good with other animals, but your more independent/dominant ones just need lots of work and redirection. There are lots of training resources online including lots of YouTube videos. It will just be a matter of finding what works for you and your dog.
    barred2rock likes this.
  8. Shuttergirl

    Shuttergirl Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2017
    *Update* My Jack Russell (and deaf yorkie) is doing great! He can now be off leash around their run and coop and pays them no mind at all. I even let him go outside without me (while watching from a window) and he doesn't bother with them at all. My chickens are going on nine weeks so we only let them out into the yard a little here and there so the next step is having him on leash while they are out, but not quite ready to try that yet!
  9. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut
    Its gonna take a lot of dedicated training. I know for me, my very high prey driven husky mix isn't worth it. She's crafty and will behave around chickens as long as your within sight... but the minute she thinks you can't see her, she'll grab a chicken. My ex had free range around his place and she wouldn't even look at them if you were standing right there. One could walk up to her even, but the there was one time we were all in the barn and she grabbed one by the head. Thankfully I caught on before she did any damage, but now that I've got chicks, I'm not even giving her the opportunity to be near them. I'm hoping my terrier will do better.
  10. ~KH~

    ~KH~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2011
    Southern CA
    I do think you need to be careful if you're training an adult dog and it hasn't been raised with the chickens. Any dog with a high prey drive can be good for the majority of the time, but can lose control if something triggers that strong drive. I used to be on another forum where one person lost one of their cats to one of her terriers (and they'd been raised together for years). The cat ran or did something that triggered this dog and he grabbed it and killed it. I would definitely train, train, train but probably not leave the dog unattended with the chickens.
    Shuttergirl and Frazzemrat1 like this.

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