Teaching new pups to respect the chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by johanssonmel, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. johanssonmel

    johanssonmel In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2014
    Wilmington NC
    Does anyone have experience bringing up dogs so that they won't chase/kill chickens?

    I have two rescued track greyhounds and I haven't even attempted to acclimate them to coexisting with my birds. They've been bred and trained to ruthlessly go after small animals, and I figure trying to overcome that is a losing proposition from the get-go. I just keep them separated, period.

    But sometime in the next year I'll be getting a couple of Swedish Vallhund pups, and I'd like to civilize them from the start. They're a herding breed, about the size and shape of a Corgi.

    On the farm where I grew up, there were game hens that were absolutely ferocious when they had chicks, and one encounter with these fierce mamas was usually all it took to teach a pup to give the chickens a wide berth. But I live in a no-rooster zone in the city, so that's not an option for me.

    Any training tips for new pups?
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Since I know absolutely nothing about the breed you're getting, I can be of no help. I just wanted to say that there are as many ways of training a dog as there are breeds. Each has their own personality, and each personality will react differently to different methods. Our last dog was a lab, eager to please and very compliant. The first thing we did when we brought him home was to take him to the chickens and reprimand him when he showed interest. He was never ever a problem. The one we have now is much more hard-headed. He's a redbone coonhound mix. They are a whole different dog than a people-pleasing lab. Much more independent and, let's say "free-thinking". This one's a year old. He was also 8 weeks when we got him 11 months ago. We're still working on things....
  3. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Songster

    Dec 8, 2014
    Eastern NC
    I have nothing helpful to add but I'm jealous of the Swedish Valhunds! I'm guessing it'd be easier to train a pup to not harm a chicken than to break an established behavior though
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Try not to put too much into the dogs breeding. Even greyhounds can be safe around poultry with a little or more work. Since you are not working on the greyhounds and you have a large number of dogs, you will be having a very difficult time.

    When thinking more about this, unless you have a lot of ground and extensive experience with training dogs around livestock, especially poultry, I suggest you abandon effort. You are flat out taking on too much. I use hunting dogs around my poultry but do not just dive in. It simply cost too much and the dogs cost a lot more than the chickens.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You could always buy hatching eggs for a broody hen to sit.

    Lots of good advice for training livestock guardian dogs here:
    1 person likes this.
  6. Naser

    Naser Songster

    Oct 29, 2014
    Plus when a hen goes broody. after 2 to 3 weeks buy a day old chicks and sneak them under her at night.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: