Question about chickens and dogs

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by TwelvePalmsFarm, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. TwelvePalmsFarm

    TwelvePalmsFarm In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2010
    Hello, we are new farmers and have chickens and goats. The chickens are free ranging and have grown into nice laying hens with a good rooster to watch over them. We would like to get a dog and are interested in a german shephard puppy. However, we don't know if a dog can be trained to get along with chickens (and goats). The reason I like the shephard is simply because I've had them before. I would be open to a different breed of dog in that size range if there's a better match for farm animals. Our dog would be and inside and outside dog--not a herd dog that is always outside. Anyone have experience with this??? Thanks. Farmer Jane
  2. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    Welcome to BYC!
    Yes, dogs can be trained to be around livestock. While I don't leave them together for long periods, the two dogs I have now do not bother the chickens. I wouldn't completely trust a dog unless it had been through extensive training, though.
  3. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chirping

    Jul 18, 2009
    Water Valley, AB
    I know others will disagree on this, but my own experience is with a Golden Lab and a smaller black lab x mutt dog. The Golden was about 7 and at first he chased around their pen causing them to go flapping around the other side of the pen. I immediately told him no and led him away. He did it less and less over the next week or so until he wasn't chasing at all, basically not even paying attention to them. After a couple of months ~ by which time he was completely used to them ~ I let the chickens out to free range. He would sleep in the shade while they wandered all around him. Same with our other older dog. She never did show much interest and has been completely oblivious to them. I have a hen with new chicks (2 weeks) and the Golden also simply ignores her and the chicks. My chicks and dogs are out together without supervision for long periods of time.

    So.... yes, it can happen. But I don't know anything about shepherds, especially not pure breds. I'd guess (again from personal experience) that mutt dogs are less likely to be "flighty" than breeds... and I'd probably stay away from small yappy dogs.

    Maybe someone else can give you a bit more help on this.
  4. wildeflowers

    wildeflowers I suspect fowl play!

    Jun 29, 2010
    Well, I definitely wouldn't get a terrier, but you should be able to train a Shepherd to not bother the chickens. We have a Boxer and she wanted to play with them at first, I told her no a few time and she totally leaves them alone, but she is HIGHLY trained. I think that is the key, dogs doing what we want them to do is best achieved by good training. (Of course, picking a breed that does not have a strong small prey drive is also important.)
  5. Netherworldtaken

    Netherworldtaken In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2010
    We used a leash and distraction training with our large bread dog and after a time the only thing he ever does is make em run when he first goes outside. We always monitor just to be safe but he ignores them once he sort of establishes "my yard". Our small dog stays away from them after they got big enough to turn the tables on them. they tries to remove her "feathers" when she got to close and now chickens are the last things she wants to mess with. Remember, most people don't have dog problems, they having training problems.
  6. NRacine

    NRacine Songster

    Sep 2, 2008
    We have a pit bull and an American Bulldog and have never had a problem. They are always supervised when the hens are in the yard, of course. We also have two cats in the house, so maybe they are just used to having little buddies. Each dog is different and there's no guarantee that the dog you get won't eat your chickens. All you can do is try!
  7. TwelvePalmsFarm

    TwelvePalmsFarm In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2010
    Thank you all for your comments. Maybe I'll see what the local shelter has for adoption keeping in mind the great suggestions you provided. After I made my post, I discovered another post with same type question. Now, I'll try to learn how to search for relatted posts. Thanks again. Farmer Jane
  8. Lynette

    Lynette Songster

    We have a Dachsund, Chihuahua and a Jack Russell. I just got my chickens last spring. The dogs had never been around chickens prior to that and they don't mess with them. In fact, the Chihuahua likes to walk around with them and eat some grass. They also help me watch them. It is the roosters that sometimes act like they don't want the dogs around.
  9. MadHatcher

    MadHatcher In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2010
    I have three little dogs as well. Two chihuahuas and a 20 pound mixed breed.

    I just exposed them to their first chicken two weeks ago. The dogs seemed mildly curious at first but then the little chick just fit right in like... a two legged, feathered dog!

    You're right Lynette I did notice one of my Chihuahuas was much more interested in the chick than my terrier-mix. Every time the little chick would walk by my chi-girl would give the little chickie a good sniff... as you can see in the picture below [​IMG]

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  10. Lynette

    Lynette Songster

    [​IMG] Yeah, Chihuahuas are nosey little dogs!

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