My dog is a chicken eater, don't know what to do

Folly's place

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,168
41,998
1,156
southern Michigan
Breeding for both looks and smarts is possible, and certainly a better way to do things! I have met rough collies that were dumb as rocks, but pretty. Not better!
Breeders make choices, and IMO dogs should be bred with breed specific working skills in mind.
Mary
 

sparky462

Hatching
Oct 16, 2021
1
4
3
Speaking from my experience.
Our GSD was socialized at 8 weeks, was first carried around at feeding time and any other time around the chooks. Was aloud some freedom on lead, was feed in the coop...sometimes. Was aloud in the coop to sniff but under control. Later on used a shock collar or vibrate when chasing instinct kicked in or rushing the fence. Used electric fence wire at entrance to coop when left open. Used food to entice chooks around the dog while she is laying down...much praise and excitement when she performs well. MUCH PRAISE AND FUN WHEN YOU GET THE RIGHT RESULTS.

I CAN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGH, YOU'RE DOG MUST WANT TO PLEASE YOU MORE THAN EATING A CHICKEN, NOT BEING SCARED OF THE CHICKENS, BUT ACCEPTING THEM AS PART OF THE FAMILY. It takes time, patience and understanding of dog behavior to get it right...but it is so worth the effort.

In high "prey drive dogs" with hunting instincts are the hardest. Once you're dog has killed and eaten its prey (you're chicken) I think your chances are slim. Keeping them separated is a thankless task and stressful, and doomed to failure. Not good for the chooks, the dog or you.

Our dog Trisha is free to be with the chooks all the time, has saved them on numerous times from Hawks, Eagles other dogs and the dreaded Mongoose. Her best friend is the Rooster "George" they have great fun chasing each other around.

My suggestion would be (a tough one) re-home the dog and start again from the beginning...8 weeks, or no chickens...they will get killed at some time.
 

Sea Wolf

Songster
6 Years
Apr 30, 2015
502
888
191
Taxachusetts
Simply this, your dog is a chicken killer and will always be. It wasn't trained when a pup and it is too late now. Tying the dead chicken around the neck of a dog that doesn't care just gave the dog a bird to eat and reinforced the behavior. The dog doesn't care about pleasing you it seems. Put the dog in a fenced enclosure and keep it there. Your other option is to put the birds behind a proper electric fence. But the dog is still an issue and always will be. If the dog is out, then keep her tied up. If it isn't your chickens, it will be someone elses. It appears that you just bought the dog to breed her, not because you really wanted the dog. Designer mutts are not worth what misinformed people pay for them. You decided to fork over hard money for a designer dog made of bad breeds. The Australian Shepherd is a working dog that is bred to be independent. It is a herding dog and is compelled to run after and herd things. A poodle is a hunting dog and bred to go after birds. Probably the worst mix you could have around chickens. You have already said that you would get rid of the dog and keep the chickens. Best suggestion is to rehome the dog to a family with kids and no other pets and no other neighbors with small pets or chickens.and take your losses.
 

Chickmomma2016

In the Brooder
Jul 22, 2017
4
2
46
Training with a shock collar, if you haven't used one before it's a really good idea to find a local trainer who will work one on one with you and the dog. I hated the idea of the shock collar, but my after labraheeler ate a chick we had to do it. Chickens, dog and people are much happier now that he can be trusted with the chickens.
 

Geckolady

Counting Chickens B4 They're Hatched
Sep 12, 2020
1,434
6,619
416
east central Arizona
Simply this, your dog is a chicken killer and will always be. It wasn't trained when a pup and it is too late now. Tying the dead chicken around the neck of a dog that doesn't care just gave the dog a bird to eat and reinforced the behavior. The dog doesn't care about pleasing you it seems. Put the dog in a fenced enclosure and keep it there. Your other option is to put the birds behind a proper electric fence. But the dog is still an issue and always will be. If the dog is out, then keep her tied up. If it isn't your chickens, it will be someone elses. It appears that you just bought the dog to breed her, not because you really wanted the dog. Designer mutts are not worth what misinformed people pay for them. You decided to fork over hard money for a designer dog made of bad breeds. The Australian Shepherd is a working dog that is bred to be independent. It is a herding dog and is compelled to run after and herd things. A poodle is a hunting dog and bred to go after birds. Probably the worst mix you could have around chickens. You have already said that you would get rid of the dog and keep the chickens. Best suggestion is to rehome the dog to a family with kids and no other pets and no other neighbors with small pets or chickens.and take your losses.
Pretty blunt, but I agree with you. Breeds are bred to have different instincts, and when you mix them, it's a toss-up. An untrained dog with a strong prey drive going after chickens is a problem. If the OP rehomes the dog, they owe it to the future owners to tell them that the dog will kill chickens.

I brought up the subject of my collies to say that even if you did pay a lot for a dog, it does not mean it must be bred. You can just enjoy the dog once you have it.

Mass producing mixes with cutesy names is nothing more than a moneymaking scam and a source of more animals in shelters when the dog (surprise, surprise) turns out not to be what was expected or wanted. Shelters are full of mixes that can be given cutesy names for a lot less money.
 

PopoMyers

Songster
Aug 19, 2020
260
391
186
Kitsap, WA
I have an Aussiedoodle dog, just barely a year old, and we didn't socialize her very much with chickens when she was younger, and now we're worried it's too late. Her name is Rosie. She is a little over 40 pounds.

She tries to "play" with our cat, but he can take care of himself. She had one close call with my OEGB hen but I stopped her.

Late August she caught and killed one of my Australorps while we were gone. We tried to tie the hen to her neck, but she got it off and ate more of her. It was a mess.

I have had all my chickens confined in their coops since then, except sometimes in the evenings when I watch over them while they play in the chicken yard (which is fenced off from the rest of the yard, and we do our best to keep Rosie out of).

Today I had one rooster isolated from the others in a small pen. But in the matter of a few hours Rosie broke into the chicken yard and broke his pen open. This time she ate him pretty fast and all I found was feathers.

Both of these losses weren't chickens I loved, and they don't matter to my breeding programs, but that's not the point.

Rosie doesn't know that killing chickens is wrong. But if it came down to it, I would choose my chickens over her. But my whole family loves her (including myself) and we've had her since she was a puppy. And we bought her for over $1000 to breed her, and have spent a couple hundred on her since.

Please help, we don't know what to do. I've heard mixed results about shock colors.

Thanks in advace!
Not to sound harsh, but my honest opinion is it's too late. You've heard the saying that "once a dog tastes blood" there's no stopping them from that behavior. Instinct powerfully takes over. Couple solutions. Sell the dog, or just keep her away from the chickens whenever they are where she could get to them. I had to constantly keep an eye on my sweet dog ( RIP ) who would constantly try to take a bite even if I was holding a chicken, and try to get inside their area, short of digging under. Hard situation. You can solve this.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,223
17,328
706
USA
You've heard the saying that "once a dog tastes blood" there's no stopping them from that behavior....I had to constantly keep an eye on my sweet dog ( RIP ) who would constantly try to take a bite even if I was holding a chicken, and try to get inside their area, short of digging under.

I've had a dog that regularly are raw chicken, would gently sniff a live chicken when I was holding the chicken, and did not try to get inside the chicken run. I could put the dog in the pen with the chickens, and the dog would go eat the chicken food while mostly ignoring the live chickens. (Why put the dog in the chicken pen? Because I wanted to know, and after that because I figured it was good practice for the dog to spend a few minutes in with the chickens under supervision.)

If the chickens were loose, the dog would try to run and catch them, so I did not allow the dog unsupervised around the chickens (in their pen or out free ranging.)

My point: not all dogs are the same, but training can make a big improvement with almost any dog.
 

JTHawk

In the Brooder
Mar 29, 2021
8
12
19
shock collar. put the collar on and turn her lose in the yard with chickens ZAP her ever time she goes there way. Chickens mean ZAP!!!!
I agree. It doesn't have to be a strong painful zap but if Rosie gets a correction every time she even looks at a chicken, and she doesn't connect it with you, she will learn. I have used this on a strong-willed terrier mix to keep her within an unfenced farm boundary and she learned within a few zap. If she actually attacks a chicken make it a stronger zap. She is a mix of two very intelligent breeds and she will learn.
 

JTHawk

In the Brooder
Mar 29, 2021
8
12
19
shock collar. put the collar on and turn her lose in the yard with chickens ZAP her ever time she goes there way. Chickens mean ZAP!!!!
I agree. It doesn't have to be a strong painful zap unless Rosie tries to attack a chicken. But every time she looks at a chicken she should get an immediate correction and if she approaches a chicken she should get a stronger correction. She is a combination of two very intelligent breeds but the Aussie in particular is very strong-minded. BTW try to keep her from realizing it is you doing the correction, or she'll just try to outsmart you. She has to believe in God.
 

PopoMyers

Songster
Aug 19, 2020
260
391
186
Kitsap, WA

I've had a dog that regularly are raw chicken, would gently sniff a live chicken when I was holding the chicken, and did not try to get inside the chicken run. I could put the dog in the pen with the chickens, and the dog would go eat the chicken food while mostly ignoring the live chickens. (Why put the dog in the chicken pen? Because I wanted to know, and after that because I figured it was good practice for the dog to spend a few minutes in with the chickens under supervision.)

If the chickens were loose, the dog would try to run and catch them, so I did not allow the dog unsupervised around the chickens (in their pen or out free ranging.)

My point: not all dogs are the same, but training can make a big improvement with almost any dog.
My dog, before we had to put her down, lost sight, smell, almost all hearing. No problem with her and chickens after that. I had a ? moment when you wrote that your dog eats chicken but doesn't kill them.
 

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