Need Help!!!!!!! Hunting Dog + Chickens?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
I just brought home 5 Buff orpington pullets to use for egg layers.

It didn't ever cross my mind but I also have a young Lab 8 months old that I am training to hunt, waterfowl and Upland Game.

We are planning on letting the chickens free range in the back yard during the day.

When we brought teh chicks home our dog went crazy and was salivating like a Pavlovian experiment. He is usually calm for an 8month old lab.

Will this have a bad effect on the dogs desire to hunt and find game birds??? What can I do??
i think you need to keep em seperated, to teach a dog to hunt birds one min, then teach em to leave em alone would probably be confusing to the lab
Boy, do I ever know that you need to be VERY careful with dogs and chickens. Our Beagle is ready to kill our chickens at any moment, and has done so on 1 occasion. After that, my husband built an enclosed chicken run. They are NEVER together. Good Luck!
I think it all depends on the dog. We have a old lab (13 yrs) and her favorite thing to do is hunt birds and rabbits. She is always right there with us when we go dove, quail, and duck hunting. She is so well trained and I think she understands that our ducks and chickens are part of the family. When they were little chicks I had to watch her just because I didn't want that drive to all of a sudden kick in, but now they are 8 weeks old and bigger. She has never tried to go after our birds or even flinch at one. But she is old and has an awsome "leave it" command and years on your pup. I also have a lab/heeler/pit and he loves to get the game birds but is totally gun shy. He hides until he sees the guns put away then runs to get the birds. He is wonderful with the our birds and he is a year and a half old. He is my shadow and is right in the coop with me when I clean or feed and water the chickens. Our ducks free range and don't have a cage just a dog kennel they sleep in. Our cat even is great around our birds.

I would start training him to be your hunting dog. I would make sure he has a good "leave it" command so if he ever does start going after the chickens you can tell him leave it and he will. I would let him around the chickens on a leash so you are in control. Give him lots of praise when he is calm and behaving around the birds. They can do both, labs are very versitile dogs and don't have that really strong bird drive like a german shorthaired pointer would have. They are retrievers after all. Put a lot of positive training into him and you will have a great pup.
You just have to convince your dog that your chickens are part of the pack. My lab will actually take care of the chickens when I take her out to the coop to work on it or service the hens. She will smell them and let them peck her legs and sometimes even lick them but she never exhibits any tendencies to point them or pick them up. She is a good pup and understands that these hens aren't game or up to being retrieved. She seems to go into the "hunting" mode whenever I pick up a shotgun though and will bring birds back when asked to do so.
If you are familiar with the "redirecting" method of training you can bring your pup into an area where the hens are, have him sit and whenever he shows any tendencies to alert on the birds, give him a three fingered "bite" on the shoulder, he will eventually learn that the hens are off limits.
Be patient, your pup will soon accept the hens as part of the pack and leave them alone.
That is great advise and I appreciate it. You dont think that it will ruin his hunting drive to correct him when going after the hens?
Thank you for the help. I hope as he gets older that he will be able to see the difference between these birds and the birds in the field.
I don't have a hunting dog but my step father did.

He used to hunt ducks. And he had ducks and wild turkeys on his property. That dog NEVER was bothered by either of them. They could literally be 2 ft from her, and she was fine with them. She never bothered them. (she was a german shorthair)

Now when he got his shotgun out and his waders on................then she knew it was time to "work".

Oh, and whatever call you make to get her to retrieve, DON'T associate that word with the chickens. So if you tell your dog to "get the bird", then don't ever call the chickens birds.

I don't have any idea how he trained her, as he had her a long time before coming into my life. But I can tell you it's possible.
I think it has to do with how you introduce the dogs and chickens. I have catahoula leopard dogs, breed is for hunting wild boar, coon hunting and working rough cattle.

this is one of the hens not feeling well, so I brought her into the house for special treats. This is my wide open, prey driven Catahoula trying to comfort the hen.
The bantie chickens run through the yard with 2 other dogs during the day. I have the BAs fly into the yard with the dogs and they don't bother them. While we are at work! No human interference. The dogs have accepted the chckens as part of out "herd". The chickens have accepted the dogs as their protectors.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom