My new labrador puppy - do I keep him away or get him used to my hens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hethbear, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. hethbear

    hethbear Out Of The Brooder

    I have a new Lab puppy 3 months old and have 4 chickens approx 10 weeks old?
    I have been letting him in the chicken run to try and get him and the chickens used to each other. He chases them a bit but doesn't hurt them. They dont seem to fussed by him. Fluffy my silky Bantum cant run fast or see well so I make sure she is in the hutch.
    I'm wondering if I'm doing the right thing? When we gets older will he attack the chickens?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

  2. maizey

    maizey Chillin' With My Peeps

    id teach him the "no" command asap and then start from there.. he shouldnt be allowed to chase AT ALL. When he learns the "no" command then make sure you enforce it every time he even points at a chicken. He needs to learn like yesterday that these are paws off. Even playing with them can hurt them.
  3. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    i agree with maizey, the no command needs to be your number one priority. I rescued a dog and the first thing I did was put a training collar on her so that she learned that chasing the chickens was a big no no. It's good you are getting them used to each other, but don't trust the puppy until you know for sure.

    good luck.
  4. hethbear

    hethbear Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks Maizey! I've started doggy training with him so will dedicate some of that time to the "no" command

  5. emarble

    emarble Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep first 2 things a puppy needs to learn is The NO command and Lead with a collar on! Then they can learn the other commands! But they should Never be allowed to chase or run after the chickens at any time

  6. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Bring him out ON A not allow any chasing or even "intent staring". I would bring him out there with toys....let him play and be comfortable "near" the chickens.....I don't want my dogs to like the chickens, I want them to IGNORE the chickens.

    This is what you want. Not the dog being interested in the chicken.
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I agree with previous posters - let him get used to the chickens, but do NOT let him chase, even if the chickens aren't bothered by it. The pup will grow up thinking that "chase the chicken" is a fun game, and will eventually end up catching and killing your birds. I have a lab and he learned at a young age that chickens are not toys. He's great with them and I trust him 100% with my birds.
  8. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    Quote:Great picture. I use the stern "LEAVE IT" command, instead of "no". No means too many things to dogs and toddlers. [​IMG]
  9. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    I have an 11 year old lab that is great with my chickens. I must say that he was introduced to chickens just this past spring so he got a late start so to speak. I would suggest that you spend lots of time training that pup in all commands. Leave it was a big one for my dog as he would eat anything or grab anything. Even at 11, I would not allow my dog to fixate on the chickens or chase them. Your pup must learn that the chickens are off limits no matter what they do or how close they come. While I would not trust my dog outside with the chickens alone, he is very well behaved when he lays out in the yard with them and me while I freerange them. He is a great predator deterent and the chickens walk around him and sometimes give him an exploratory peck without him doing anything to them. Again, I must stress that training was the key. I spent a lot of time with him as a puppy training for all commands and reinforced them over the years. If you take the time to train your pup right and never allow him/her to chase, bother or fixate on your chickens, then you will have a great dog to help you out. Good luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by