animalyodelers

Songster
Oct 21, 2018
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Olympia, WA, USA
Just curious if anyone else has had a similar situation and how it works out.

I have 2 dogs, both purebred poodles. One standard (70+ lb) who is 1.5 years old, and one mini (12-15 lb, I can't remember- smallish mini but not toy) who is 9 yrs. Of course my little one is the alpha.

My big dog is outside all day with the chickens. She is penned up to a large run with a shelter. She prefers to be outside during the day, digging and running around. She barks at almost everything. The chickens pretty much just ignore her barking.

My little dog hates being away from me for any reason, so he's only outside when I am- usually half an hour up to 2 hours a day right now because it's cold.

He likes the chickens, sits and watches them with interest but when he comes in contact with one he just sits politely and sniffs it a little. We've only had our chickens a couple months so we're watching relationships evolve.

When he barks his "hey, someone's here" kinda bark, the hens perk up and listen, then go back to their activities. But when he barks his alarm bark, they all run FAST into their coop for safety.

He's never going to fight off racoons or even cats, but he seems to be working pretty good as an alarm. I am wondering if anyone else has had a dog with a duty like this and if it was even helpful. I'm hoping to get the big dog to follow his footsteps...at this point she still thinks the chickens are chew toys (hasn't chewed them, but wants to) but she's also terrified of all other animals including cats and chihuahuas...so pretty sure she's going to be useless for this, lol.

Thanks for listening to my rambling, insomnia fried my brain today.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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The old dog is smarter, being smaller he may be more wary of that thing with a sharp beak..lol. The younger dog may needs some leash training out amongst the birds...as well as the essential general obedience(come, sit, stay, LEAVE IT)she may take more work from you and will also learn the older alpha dog. IMO dogs are puppies until about 3 years old. Poodles are generally pretty darn smart and easily trained if you put in the effort.

Are your birds free ranged?

Just having a dog on the premises can help deter prowlers, both 4 legged and 2, better yet if they can patrol the perimeter fence. I have a 12yo std poodle, but my birds are confined to a run, he prefers to stay with me too, but wanders all the fence lines regularly and had killed a few small 4 legged intruders. Some of the birds follow him around the run walls cause he stirs up bugs for them.
 

animalyodelers

Songster
Oct 21, 2018
187
512
136
Olympia, WA, USA
The old dog is smarter, being smaller he may be more wary of that thing with a sharp beak..lol. The younger dog may needs some leash training out amongst the birds...as well as the essential general obedience(come, sit, stay, LEAVE IT)she may take more work from you and will also learn the older alpha dog. IMO dogs are puppies until about 3 years old. Poodles are generally pretty darn smart and easily trained if you put in the effort.

Are your birds free ranged?

Just having a dog on the premises can help deter prowlers, both 4 legged and 2, better yet if they can patrol the perimeter fence. I have a 12yo std poodle, but my birds are confined to a run, he prefers to stay with me too, but wanders all the fence lines regularly and had killed a few small 4 legged intruders. Some of the birds follow him around the run walls cause he stirs up bugs for them.

I totally agree about being puppies until about 3. It's always been our experience too. We are working on general obedience, and just getting her used to having the chickens around as well. At this point the chickens are mostly confined to a run. We do eventually want them to free range part of the day, so we've started bringing a couple at a time into the yard for a few minutes- only if the big dog is restrained.

Having her does deter neighborhood cats, and probably some other predators also. Her bark is deep, which helps with the 2 legged predators. She had a traumatic experience when she was about 6 months old, she was attacked by a stray when we were on a walk. She was leashed but the stray was relentless. It took 4 adults to get him off of her. She had huge bites in her legs and abdomen, needed stitches and antibiotics. It was hell. Since then she is terrified of all dogs and anything else bigger than a guinea pig. Our chickens are 12 weeks, she may be scared of them too when they get bigger, haha. We are working on getting her less scared of other animals too- slow going. She is still scared of my neighbor's chihuahua/corgi mix, who is the most docile dog you can imagine.
 

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