Neighbors dogs!

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
2,989
10,022
512
Georgia
Are you really close to your neighbors or did the dog just wander over to your property? I would say if you're in a neighborhood or closer proximity to neighbors then you would need some kind of fencing to keep your chickens in your property as well as safe from other pets. You can also get rolls of electric fence to give your hen's an area where they won't be harrassed as readily.
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,406
1,552
276
Kalispell MT
Yes, many have dealt with neighborhood dogs. Talking to your neighbor is the first step. He is liable for the damages his dog does on your property. You can and should ask him to pay for the bird his dog killed. Having a negative consequence might make him confine his dog to his own yard. You can report his dogs to the animal control officer in your area. The officer most likely would give your neighbor a warning at least. Your neighbor might face a fine depending on your local laws. You can use the SSS method, shoot, shovel, and shut up. You can learn to deal with losing some chickens on a regular basis. What I did was surround my birds with a 5 foot tall fence that the neighbor's dogs could not jump. Before the new fence I had electric poultry netting but a deer got his antlers tangled in it and ruined the net.
 

Helenshens2013

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 25, 2013
10
7
79
Irvington, Virginia
Are you really close to your neighbors or did the dog just wander over to your property? I would say if you're in a neighborhood or closer proximity to neighbors then you would need some kind of fencing to keep your chickens in your property as well as safe from other pets. You can also get rolls of electric fence to give your hen's an area where they won't be harrassed as readily.
We have ten acres but our neighbor, who has 20!, does not control his dogs and they wander. Apart from fencing I cannot think of how to deal with this issue.
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
2,989
10,022
512
Georgia
We have ten acres but our neighbor, who has 20!, does not control his dogs and they wander. Apart from fencing I cannot think of how to deal with this issue.
I wish it were as simple as having him control his dogs but it's more common that we have to take extra steps to protect our pets even on our own property. :( I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,282
12,531
707
Southeast Louisiana
You are in the country on acreage. That's different than living in suburbia. Some people out there have dogs and just let them go. No control. You get some bad people wherever you are. They are just not responsible but will get very upset if you take matters into your own hands. I hate that kind of neighbor, whether out there or in suburbia.

But many dogs in the country have a job. That job may be protecting property but often it involves keeping predators away from livestock or pests away from gardens or crops. Those dogs cannot do that if they are on a leash or kept in the house. They have to be free to roam. That can cause problems. Some people will take responsibility for their animals behaviors and pay for damage caused. They will either restring their dog or kill it themselves if it is killing livestock, whether chickens, cattle, or sheep. It takes training to teach the dog what is an allowable target and what is to be protected. Some people are better trainers than others and some don't bother. You can't put all people or all dogs in the same category, that is not reality.

A traditional method in the country is to shoot a dog that is killing your livestock or threatening you. That is generally legal though different states handle that differently. But you need to show that it was killing your livestock or trying to or threatening a person. Photos can help. Dead animals can help. But you cannot just shoot any dog that wanders onto your property. Dogs cannot read no trespassing signs. People can and may need to ask your permission to go onto your property to retrieve their dog, but you can't just shoot it for being there. That law is set up for hunting dogs but it applies to all of them. I've seen newspaper stories where people were fined tens of thousands of dollars for shooting a dog that just happened on their property while hunting. Many states take their hunting traditions seriously.

I've shot dogs that were killing my chickens. Someone abandoned them in the country, they got hungry, and I lost 8 chickens. I had a neighbor tell me that if his dogs killed my chickens to shoot the dog. She never did thankfully. I had a different neighbor come by one morning asking how much I owed him. Somebody had shot and wounded his daughter's dog and he thought is was me for killing my chickens. It was not me, by that time I had put up electric netting to protect my chickens. I felt I could no longer let them free range.

Probably the saddest story is that a neighbor's elderly husband died and her granddaughter got her a pup to keep her country. That pup was out of control. It chased horses and cattle. It chased my chickens a couple of times but I was around and ran it off. No way would I shoot that pup, not since I knew the back story. But one day that pup just disappeared. I think one of the grandmother's sons took care of it for chasing his cattle or horses. I'm really glad it wasn't me.

When I was faced with something like your situation I decided it was my responsibility to protect my animals, chickens in this case. I bought and used electric netting. My main worry was not the neighbor's dogs, it was dogs abandoned in the country by irresponsible pet owners. That happened to me twice, the second time I was not the one that shot the dog. it only killed five chickens. If I noticed that a dog had been abandoned but had not yet learned to kill I'd take it to the county shelter. It was free to drop it off, the irresponsible owners could have done that at no cost.

You have many options. Some involve talking to that neighbor, either trying for friendly or antagonistically. That can be a hard conversation. You might file a legal complain with the sheriff. If it is actively killing your chickens you can probably legally shoot it, but have documentation is is actively killing. Maybe you could trap it and take it to your animal shelter. If they have to pay to get it back they might try to keep it under control. Good luck on that, but maybe. Or you can build fences.

Nobody serious ever said life was fair. Unfortunately this is one place where romance often meets reality when living in the country.

Good luck, it's a hard spot to be in.
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,390
7,237
517
Western Ohio
sorry for the loss of your chickens.

look into the laws regarding roaming animals, fences, etc for your area. Might help you to see what you can do. You can certainly put up a fence, but at a large cost to you. You can fence in your chickens (smaller cost). You can utilize an electric fence, so the dog can experience the zap if he comes into your yard. Once you understand the laws, such as the consequences for a dog killing your livestock, then you can talk to neighbor. At least he acknowledged the kill, hopefully he's receptive to a further conversation. Sometimes just being told that the dog could be killed, legally, by you for killing your livestock allows the owner to see a possibly undesirable outcome, and may make efforts to train dog away from your land. Alternatively, having a dog picked up and taken away by animal control may be a deterrent. Good luck.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
23,899
13,398
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have done pretty much everything you can when it to neighbors dogs. Asked neighbor nicely, gotten very hostile with a neighbor, shot dogs, my dogs kill neighbors dogs, trained a neighbors dog (too much work) made easier by dog being mature, and setup electric fences (often more than one perimeter). I did not practice S-S-S so neighbors for most part do make effort to control their dogs. Electric fencing is in the end more cost effective by most measures. It does not have to cover the entire property to be effective, just make it more unpleasant for problematic dog focused on going after chickens. My fencing currently encircles only about an acre which keeps all neighbor dogs out of there.

Once you are talking about more than a couple acres, you often cross a line where a dog of your own can be worth considering. My fencing is much more effective with my dogs to back it up. My dogs can go freely over the fence which other dogs have yet to do.
 
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nuthatched

Songster
Nov 9, 2019
295
805
121
Rim Country, Az
I'm sorry for you loss but it looks like you'll have to make a run for the chickens.
its not worth it to make enemies with neighbors, (even if they truly intend to be mean and start it) I'm not going to hurt someone else's pet just because they hurt mine. its instinct on the dogs part and chickens are prey to a host of things especially if they're free ranging. now, if the dogs or any critter broke into a coop, that's different.
 

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