Maybe new dog-any experience with Golden Retrievers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Avonlea22, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Avonlea22

    Avonlea22 Jessamine Cottage

    Aug 27, 2011
    So my wife and I are thinking about maybe getting a Golden Retriever next year. I have 4 hens that I plan to let loose in the fenced in back yard. Will a retriever be ok around chickens? The name itself has me wondering. [​IMG]

  2. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Songster

    Aug 2, 2011
    Madison, CT
    Golden Retrievers are named for...well retrieving things such as birds and people.
    If they are well trained then they can be very nice dogs.
    You should be aware of such statistics such as they are the #3 dog for biting/human aggression in the U.S, tested by the ATTS.
    So definitely do your research on breeds of dogs to find one that may fit your situation the best.
    If you aren't strict with training, you may run into some prey drive issues but it also depends on the personality of the individual dog.
    Not all dogs of the same breed will act the same.
    I recommend not getting one from any type of pet shop/store.
    Most/if not all of them come from puppy mills.
    Alot of animals from those mills are over bred and can have some serious issues (physical, behavioral, mental, or genetic), but i think the cruel way they treat them is far worse.
    I prefer to get mine from shelters because they are normally very healthy, well trained (because the shelter trains them), and your giving a home to a dog who really needs it.

    When it comes down to it, most if not all dogs will be great as long as they are properly trained!
    Good Luck![​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  3. Annie's Backyard Flock

    Annie's Backyard Flock In the Brooder

    I have not had a retriever AND chickens at the same time. I had an offspring from 2 championship golden retriever hunting dogs (dog and female - BYC won't let me say real word) and my dog was afraid of gun fire and any other loud noise; go figure. He was very much a retriever. He needed to carry something in his mouth at all times. He never killed anything. However, you really need to train a dog to hone the skills of retrieving. Even though they are "made" for retrieving, they are just as happy retrieving a ball as a goose/duck. If you raise the dog teaching him that the hens are family and a "no-no" it should be OK. However, any animal will kill. I would never let my toddler crawl all over my retriever without supervision. (As I write this, my 2 lovely dogs are growling over a bone that is so old, you would think it was a dinosaur bone. They grew up tied at the hip even sharing the same crate and can't do anything without each other, but growling is occurring. So, animals will be animals.) In other words, the human has to control the situation. You control it, it will be fine.

    I had my current dogs (spaniel mixes) and then got chicks. Funny, the chicks scare the crap out of the dogs. The hens chase them around the yard. Not only that, my hens chase the squirrels out of the yard and even down the fence line when they're out of the yard. They chase them until they are out of sight. I guess they are bad-ass chickens?
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  4. FlaRocky

    FlaRocky Songster

    Here is an ideal for you. Check the AKC&UKC kennel club web sites. They have breed rescue resources for most states. You can contact them and ask lots of questions about the breed you want. Should be able to help you in your quest.

    Hope this helps, pm me if you have more ??? BTW I was involved in all breed dog rescue for years and trained SAR & K-9 FOR 20+ Years.

  5. OldMcKrackinHadAFarm

    OldMcKrackinHadAFarm Hatching

    Oct 25, 2011
    We just started with the chicken thing this summer. I have two goldens. (Brainsurgeons aren't we?getting birds when you have goldens). The male is 12 the female is 2. The male could care less about the chickens and the ducks. The female finds them very interesting. The chickens and the ducks don't care about the dogs either. The birds are penned and the younger golden will bark at the rooster. One duck will peck her though the fence.

    Occasionally we have a breakout from the fenced area. Daisy, the 2 year old will bark if she's in the house to alert us of the fugitive. A few times a bird will be out when she is out and I just tell her to leave the bird alone and she'll stop and lay down.

    Like I said I don't think they'd intentionally hurt any of the flock but I would never trust the dogs completely. They are bird dogs. I would love to teach the dog to retrieve the duck without hurting it but don't really know how i could do that.

  6. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chirping

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    I have a Golden Retriever thats about 12 years old and 5 hens that are kept in a secure coop and run thats in the yard. From MY experience, all the Retriever (his name is Joe) wanted to do is check out the new additions as I have only had the hens since the middle of October. He would go up to the run and check them out. Once he was satisfied that they were no threat to him or to his family (us), he went about his buisness. It was the same thing when we bought each of the goats home (we now have 3).

    They are curious and just want to check new things out. Train them to adapt to the new additions to your family and they will adapt. foxy brings up somethong that I never knew and I have had Joe for ... well 12 years. Never ever shown a sign of aggresion. ... unless you pose as a threat.

    With that said, I would not feel comfortable letting my hens free range while Joe is out and about. I would probably leash him first and see how he acts around them before letting him run free with the hens.

  7. cobrien

    cobrien Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Quote:I agree with this suggestion. You can look for a golden through a rescue group that has tested the dog with cats or if you're lucky, chickens or other small critters. Look for a dog that is good with cats and critters, it would be a good start.

    I'm a former vet tech and dog groomer and my experience with goldens is that they are easily trainable, however overbreeding and backyard breeding has resulted in goldens with atypical behavior, like aggression. We never saw aggressive goldens when I worked with dogs 20 years ago, but now it has become alarmingly common. But it is hard to tell temperament from breed alone.

    On the training / chicken compatibility question - you can hope for the best (a dog with low prey drive or very easy to train) but be prepared for the worst (a wannabe chicken killer). It may take a lot of training to get the behavior you are looking for. Training can take a lot of time, more time than most people are willing or able to provide. It also takes some expertise - dog training techniques are not always intuitive, and a reputable dog trainer who uses positive reinforcement can be helpful. Most shelters have group classes that are affordable. A dog with a high prey drive should learn basic obedience before training them around the chickens. I am training my new dog right now. Initially she wanted to kill the chickens. After 4 months she now knows the commands sit, stay, heel and leave it, and we are now working on these commands with one docile chicken walking around her. We have a lot more work to do but things are going well. However I don't let her near the chickens without her being on a leash. I could have made more progress in the last 4 months if I had more time to spend with her, but I work full time. I am not sure I will every trust her alone with the chickens, but I do think I will get her to the point where I will trust her off leash and supervised.

    good luck with your new dog - dogs are very worth the time investment IMO!
  8. Capvin

    Capvin Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    Foxypoproxy: I do not believe the statistic you mentioned regarding Golden's being rating aggressive. I have had Golden's for over 50 years and their aggressive rating is nil. I just spent some time looking it up under various sources and none of them list the Golden as aggressive. Now they may chase a chicken because that is their nature, but aggressive, NO
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Good temperaments, intelligent, loyal and eager to please.....just like my Labs and Lab mixes. Great dogs to have around chickens because they are smart enough to recognize your property/possessions and eager enough to please that they won't risk your anger at them bothering your "things".

  10. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Songster

    Aug 2, 2011
    Madison, CT
    Quote:I understand why you wouldn't, but it is true, that breed of dog was tested by the ATTS (American Temperament Test Society) and ranked 3rd.
    It was even said when i was watching "Animal Planet" on TV.
    Here is a link you can watch it at:
    mention it at 3:00

    Now this does not mean "all" retrievers will be like this. But due to over breeding they have run across a problem.
    German Shepard's are also suppose to be aggressive, but i have had them for years and have never run across a problem.
    Sometimes it depends where your dogs came from but also like i said, alot has to do with how a dog is raised and if they were trained.

    I try not to judge by breed because i think all dogs have their own personality's and temperaments.
    But like the vet that posted on this thread said, over breeding is what has recently caused aggression in golden's.
    Any dog that is over bred is probably going to have some aggression or temperament issues.

    Pit Bull are also very nice dogs and are given bad wraps because of the "breed".
    So i don't believe in judging just in breed alone.
    That would be silly to think that just because of the breed they would all act the same, in any instance.

    I can say that as long as the owner does not get any dog from a puppy mill/ pet store/ "backyard breeder" they shouldn't run into genetic temperament problems, provided they put the work into training it.

    I have had:
    German Shepard's
    Pit Bulls
    Golden Retrievers

    And i have never had aggression with any.
    And my black lab was very good with my chickens even though she was suppose to have a high prey drive, same for my pit bull.
    The chicken would sit on her and everything.
    When it comes down to it, it really depends on the individual dog.
    Just like every human is different we don't judge on race.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011

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