Rottweiler & Chickens

TnMama

Songster
9 Years
Jan 25, 2010
207
12
118
West Tn
I'm not sure where this needs to be posted, so I thought I'd start here.

We have a soon to be 6 month old Rottweiler, Axel. He's the most gentle giant you'll ever meet . I've slowly introduced him to the chicks , & he just seems to want to lick them. I tell him "baby, these are your babies", he's ok with that. Rotties are herding dogs, & a bit bossy. I'm curious if anyone else has this dog breed & how well they can coexist. Axel is inside, mostly, but is outside when we are, not hooked up. He has to know where we are at all times. Does your Rottie guard your chickens? Does he mess with or chase them?
We also have a strictly outdoor cat that's quite the hunter. He did well with the grown hens last year, but they were big when he was a baby. I'm concerned he might have to be rehomed (to a friend) if he gets my bitties.
Mostly concerned about Axel, bc not that I don't love my chicks, my dog is my extra kid. The stray cat that got to stay, not so much.
I even made Axel's kennel into the brooder, he's unconcerned with them so far & doesn't lunge in when I open the kennel gate. He's curious, but not bothered by them. Yet.
 
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browland84

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 16, 2014
183
10
81
Cleveland ohio
My Coop
My Coop
Well I don't have a rott but I did 20 years ago. She was a wonderful dog however I wouldn't completely trust any dog alone with a chicken. I have 3 dogs currently a boxer and 2 pugs. They seem fine with my chickens but I've never left them alone. They might be a easy snack. I think with her being young it should help either getting use to them.
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
315
221
Kansas
Every dog is an individual, and while some dogs will protect chickens, others will attack them at the first opportunity. I recently had to make the very painful decision to rehome my dog because he was killing my chickens--not just one or two here and there, either, but as many as he could, as often as he could. I'd had him nearly eight years and loved him very much, but it was either rehome him or force him to live like a prisoner, with no freedom, exercise, or interaction with us--if we let our guard down even for a moment, he would escape the house and find a way to kill again. Meanwhile, my dad's two dogs have never even considered harming a chicken, despite being in the run with Boomer while he has killed several birds. They've even helped him eat the remains after the deed was done, but still haven't gotten that "taste of blood" some people talk about. Some dogs are killers, and unfortunately, you don't know whether they are or not until they are set off somehow.
I never would have dreamed my Boomer would be a killer until it happened, and then there was no stopping it.

So, long story short, supervised visits with the chickens are ok, but I personally would not leave a dog alone with the chickens, even if they were caged, and even if I trusted the dog. I suppose that in time, if your dog turns out to be truly mellow with the chickens (as my dad's dogs proved to be), then you could trust them alone with the chickens, but my trust would be hard to earn at this point.
 

Hanna8

Songster
7 Years
Jan 26, 2012
181
17
109
I don't have a Rottie, but I do have a pit mix who we were told would never be trustworthy around small animals. When he was a puppy, we took extra time getting him to realize that our animals were NOT prey and under no circumstances to be chased or played with, as this would escalate into more violent behavior. Eventually, he became able to distinguish between pets and not pets. He would protect our pets and be comfortable near them, but any non-pet had better watch out. We rehabilitated a baby squirrel once, and even though squirrels are his greatest non-pet enemy, he immediately realized that she was a weird exception. He has also taught many a foster dog, even ones with strong prey drives, not to mess with out animals.
That said, we carefully supervise him around baby animals. They are so delicate that he could accidentally hurt them and then get further ideas, which would be difficult to control. Once they are grown up and can give him a good bop or peck on the nose when he makes them uncomfortable, we are much more trusting. He will listen to them and back off.
 

WashingtonWino

Songster
5 Years
Jan 3, 2015
258
31
111
TNMama, how did this end up working out for you? Did Axel turn out to be a good mother hen or was he a terror? I have two sweet rotties of my own and five chicks on the way, so I'm curious! I know each dog is different and I'm not worried about it too much with my two, but the more you know. ......
 

kyexotics

Songster
5 Years
Sep 26, 2014
492
74
118
No Rott here, but we did, 2 mths ago(he's now 4mths), get ourselves a Great Pyranees! We got tired of losing ducks at night to possums and racoons that can eat thru 3/4 plywood...

With dog, so far, so good...If he didn't chase and scare ducks(he's just playin' like a puppy!!), he'd run all day, as of now, until he chills some, he stays on chain till they're locked up then he roams their area(2acre fenced area)...

We call him Sarge!
 
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AmyLynn2374

Humidity Queen
5 Years
Oct 11, 2014
15,028
2,627
456
Gouverneur, NY
I don't have a rot, I have a mutt...lol My pup is all herding breeds, but I believe it depends on the individual dog. We got our dog around the same time as the first chick, so I am sure that makes a difference as well. He's been around them since day one, especially our loner chick from the botched first hatch attempt. I don't worry about him attacking or intentionally harming the birds, but his excitement level has to be watched as if he gets super excited and starts "herding" he is a big clutz and will plow anything in his way.
This was him with our first chick a couple months ago:




Peep would try to peck his spots or his eyes and the dog would just take it...lol I believe it's possible to have any breed of dog be chicken friendly if it's in the dog's personality.
 

WashingtonWino

Songster
5 Years
Jan 3, 2015
258
31
111
I'll add to the experiment then, chicks arrive Wednesday. The plan is to let the chicks settle in for a few days and then introduce dogs (rotties) after a long run in the vineyard so they are nice and tired. One dog at a time, leashed. Current thought is to give only verbal praise when they are calm and gentle, as cookies get them excited and I don't want food associated with my chickens. Fingers crossed!
 

DanEP

Songster
9 Years
May 15, 2010
1,004
104
216
Cadiz Ky
One thing I have noticed too is that if the chickens are used to dogs and don't panic every time they see a dog it helps. A flock of scared chickens exploding in all directions seems to kick in the prey drive on a lot of dogs. We have 5 dogs on the property and they all can be trusted with the chickens,but the oldest a 14 year old mutt and the youngest a 1 year old Italian greyhound will still go chicken bowling. This only happens when one of the girls panics and runs off like the sky is falling. they don't hurt the chickens or even catch them, but it seems like the old running prey = chase prey kicks in.
What I like to do is get a lawn chair a book and with the dog on leash just sit out with the chickens while they free range around us. This may take awhile but most dogs will learn that the chickens are part of the family and leave them alone.
 
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