teaching a dog to get along w/ chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nicoletm24, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. nicoletm24

    nicoletm24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2010
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    ok....set my chickies out today for a little afternnon fun...w/ me watching of course, since they are only 2 wks old.....................but.......my 2 yr old dog wants to play TOOOOO rough. not sure if she wants to eat or play! [​IMG] so...what would ya'll do to help teach a dog to play nice with the chickies???????????? [​IMG]
     
  2. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    My 2 yr old collie went with me every time I checked on the chicks and stuck her head in the brooder before I sat down and put my hand in to play with them. Make sure your dog is well trained at least to sit and come to you when you give those commands before letting them interact. Always supervise; dogs are predators and you can never be 100% certain that their predator instince won't kick in. With that said, here are a couple of pictures of my dog and the chickens:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. deuce11705

    deuce11705 Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome pics, noodleroo!! Now if I could just get our Doxie to be that way, all would be lovely...lol ! Thanks for sharing! [​IMG]
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Nicolet m, you don't want a dog "playing" with chicks, they aren't squeaky toys. You want them to respect the chicks belong to you not the dog.
     
  5. sheilawagner

    sheilawagner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is possible to train the dog to love your chicks. I have trained my die hard hunter Airedale terrier to love our chicks. He completely adores all the batches of chicks, and guards them when they start free ranging as adults.

    The most important rule is you must be the top dog and the dog must already accept your "leadership", and that the chicks are now part of the pack. I have trained my Airedales in such a way that they accept and understand the chicks are more dominant than they are. I will present the chicks to them, every single chick, and place the dogs on a "Down" command to start off, then later on, when things are more relaxed, they learn to lay down and even lay on their side, and allow the chicks to jump on their heads, back, peck on their muzzle, nose, tongue, etc. You need to do things in stages and be in absolute control the whole time.

    [​IMG]
    In the beginning, there is a mesh lid on the brooder for the first batch of chicks. Subsequent batches didn't need mesh lids anymore. I can trust my dogs 100% and have left them at home with the chicks in their brooder with no mesh. No accidents have ever happened.

    [​IMG]
    Day and night, my Airedale Rummy (1yo) would go and watch his chicks in the brooder on his own accord. He would lick them through the grated window, and allow them to peck at his nose, tongue, pull on his beard etc.

    [​IMG]
    Rather than sleep on his own bed, he prefers to go lay down and guard the chicks deep in the night.

    [​IMG]
    The chicks also need to learn that the dog is a friendly thing, I offer oats when I train the chicks and dogs together so the chicks associate big furry face + big black nose = safety, warmth, food and comfort.

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    Later on, I removed the mesh lid with my later batches of chicks, and the Airedale now knows the drill. He still adores his chicks...and loves to check on them, over and over throughout the day and night.

    [​IMG]

    And then finally, this is what you can achieve if you do it right.

    [​IMG]

    When the chicks have all grown up and are now free ranging, they can't get better guard dogs than the Airedales that raised them as chicks.
    [​IMG]

    All the best to you.

    Sheila
     
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lovely pics. of dogs with chicks.

    My Border Collie is great with chicks and chickens, they have always been around him. I agree, though, dogs cannot play rough with live things and chickens will be damaged or killed by the dog.

    Dogs need to be taught they cannot touch the chickens but that co-existence is possible,

    Sandie
     
  7. nicoletm24

    nicoletm24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sheila...amazing photos.

    thanks for all the tips. my dog listens VERY well to me, and respects my commands to the T. yesterday, she wasn't sure whether to play or be still...so i made her lay down by the chicks.....and i'd bring one over for her to smell...and tell her good girl. and after about 20 minutes shed lay there and let them walk right up to her. I'm not 100% trusty with her yet. and my main goal is to get her to be like shelia's 2 dogs... not really playmates but protectors and friends. "Lucy" is half bloodhound and half american bulldog...she is the sweetest thing, and VERY smart....so I'm hoping that when me taking time with her, the end result will be what I'm looking for.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Shelia; Love the pics and the info is great! Very articulate...
     
  9. nicoletm24

    nicoletm24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i'm guessing that training a dog to get along w/ the babies is a long"ish" process? I had her out with the babies today for about 25 minutes, me VERY close by (like 2 inches, LOL)... and when they are jumping around trying to fly....she can't help herself but want try and grab one.


    Time will tell if i have a chicken friendly dog or not.......................
     
  10. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My dog took the two week old chicks I had for play toys and killed one and injured the other two in less than 15 seconds. Whoosh. It was tragic. He is a sweet lovely little cockerspaniel couch potato but it took him no time to jump into the run and do the deeds before anyone could stop him. Once the chicks stop peeping and are bigger he ignores them but those peeps sounded just like his chew toys. This was last year and they were my first chicks. I just make sure he is always supervised. He never pays any mind to the grown chickens now and the roo chased him once so both my dogs give a wide berth around the chickens.
    I wish I had a dog that I could trust but I learned a hard lesson early on
    Caroline
     

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