Rhodesian Ridgebacks good with chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by searock, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. searock

    searock Hatching

    Dec 29, 2007
    Massachusetts coast
    I am looking to get a rhodesian ridgeback puppy. This breed meets many criteria for our family's needs, but the one big question I still have is will it protect our 10 chickens from predators (or at least live harmoniously with them.) Does anyone have any experience or feedback on this particular breed of dog especially as it relates to living with and protecting chickens?
  2. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    The high prey drive makes it a no-no around chickens, unless they are cooped.
  3. mtnchicks

    mtnchicks In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    I believe someone here has a Rhodesian Ridgeback, so they will be able to give you some advice. I remember seeing someone's photo of their Rhoddy with chickens. I just wanted to give a little general info, which you probably know since you researched the breed. I was a caretaker for some folks that had bred RRs for 25+ years. I took care of more than 20 dogs, plus pups. They were wonderful dogs, but since they were originally bred as hunting dogs, they were very prey oriented. If something moved, they were after it. That said, a couple of them were great with the family's cat, and one was so sweet that I think it wouldn't hurt a fly. I also cared for the family's large flock of ducks, and the dogs could not be anywhere near them.
    Of course, these dogs were not socialized with poultry, and each dog has its own personality. Rhodesian Ridgebacks, in general, are a breed that needs constant reinforcement of the rules: they like to test to see if you are paying attention! There are exceptions, and I know someone will have a Rhoddy that is wonderful with chickens. This is just based on my experience.
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Having owned one, I can tell you putting that breed around chickens would be a disaster looking for a place to happen.
  5. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    In my experience, if you take a pup, and take a chick and allow the dog to sniff the chick out, and re-enforce positive interaction you can raise your dog to be friendly with, and protective of your flock. It takes time and effort and a little knowledge of dog training but I'm pretty sure any breed of dog can be grown to care for other animals.
  6. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    Can't speak to this breed but......

    we use to raise bird dogs and had game chickens. Not a problem unless chickens thought dog food tasted good, in which case dogs thought fresh chicken was VERY good. Ours knew the difference between our chickens and pheasants we hunted.

    With any dog, have your patience built up as you train them as to what they can protect vs what they can kill.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I would love one! I think they are gorgeous dogs, just my type; however, with chickens and a sight-hound with a strong prey drive, don't think it's going to happen. My Boxer/Retriever mix, Cody, was definitely kept away from the birds because of it. Some said he looked like he had Ridgeback in him.
  8. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Crowing

    Apr 9, 2007
    I would be iffy about it.
    I had a rhodesian ridgeback that I raised from a puppy with chickens.
    She was fine with them as long as SHE was in a pen or on the chain, But once she was out/off she would hunt down the chickens and kill them. She would dig under or go through the pen to get them.
    They are a very fast breed.
    Rhodesian Ridgebacks are friendly and obedient. They are good natured and friendly, but are also good guard dogs and watch dogs. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are laid back, devoted, and very intelligent. They can be rather independent, so training can be challenging. But once trained, they are obedient. They are good with children but not so good with smaller pets, as they have a high prey drive.
  9. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    I have very birdy Irish Setters, not a good mix with chickens, but we make it work by keeping them separated at all times. If the chickens are in the yard, the dogs are in the house locked in a kennel. If the dogs are out, the chickens are locked in their run, we have to communicate all the time with each other and make sure everyone is always safe. If you want a dog that isn't chicken friendly, you just learn to make it work.
  10. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I think it would be nerve-wracking to have a dog with a high prey drive always "testing" the rules, and for you to have to constantly monitor whether the dog was out and the chickens in, or the chickens out and the dog in.

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