Testing My Dogs with the Flock

uniqueblacksheep

Chirping
May 29, 2018
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So...after 2 years of only letting my chickens free range when the dogs are inside, yesterday we forgot the chickens were out, after the dogs were out with them for about 20 minutes we found our poodle hanging out within 10 feet of them. So we were in shock and confused. I would think she would have hurt them if she was going to immediately wouldn't she? My husband found them and said the chickens weren't even afraid of her. She hangs out by their run all the time so after 2 years they know each other, but for you people that have dogs that are out with your hens, how did you safely know it was ok. This opens up a new level of safety against hawk attacks if I can let them out together, so I'd love to if we can.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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She hangs out by their run all the time so after 2 years they know each other,
That's the key! They are acclimated to one another. I'd keep a close eye. Hopefully the dog has good recall and voice command response.

This opens up a new level of safety against hawk attacks if I can let them out together
But will the dog actually know to 'guard' against a hawk? Hard to know what would happen if a hawk strike occurred. Std poodle?
 

uniqueblacksheep

Chirping
May 29, 2018
43
52
74
That's the key! They are acclimated to one another. I'd keep a close eye. Hopefully the dog has good recall and voice command response.

But will the dog actually know to 'guard' against a hawk? Hard to know what would happen if a hawk strike occurred. Std poodle?
Thank you for your response! I'm not sure if she will guard against a hawk, I'm just thinking if the dogs are out in the yard, maybe it will be less likely to swoop in with them out. She is a standard poodle and I have a golden doodle . My doodle was out with them for an hour one time and I didn't know it. So this is the second time she's been out with them. They are good about coming to me.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
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Nov 27, 2012
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Thank you for your response! I'm not sure if she will guard against a hawk, I'm just thinking if the dogs are out in the yard, maybe it will be less likely to swoop in with them out. She is a standard poodle and I have a golden doodle . My doodle was out with them for an hour one time and I didn't know it. So this is the second time she's been out with them. They are good about coming to me.
Dogs might deter hawks....but maybe not, have read numerous stories of hawks attacking birds not 10' from humans.
I'd test your dogs maybe on leash at first, get the birds riled up and see how dogs react.
Work with them all and see how it goes.
I have a standard poodle. I don't free range, but he's been know to play 'tag' thru the run walls with a few certain birds.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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I think you have a bye. As your dogs and chickens do hang out together, the lack of fencing was a moot issue. The only problem I see, is my chickens are not afraid of my dog (who secretly is sure I give the best treats to the chickens) and I sometimes think they do not see coyotes as a threat. So neighborhood dogs might be a problem.

I would not worry about it. I don't think if your chickens get riled up, your dog will attack.

However, I knew that poodles were originally considered a working dog, and looked it up. They are primarily used for duck hunting. But are considered very intelligent, and so may have figured out these are your birds.

Mrs K
 

uniqueblacksheep

Chirping
May 29, 2018
43
52
74
Dogs might deter hawks....but maybe not, have read numerous stories of hawks attacking birds not 10' from humans.
I'd test your dogs maybe on leash at first, get the birds riled up and see how dogs react.
Work with them all and see how it goes.
I have a standard poodle. I don't free range, but he's been know to play 'tag' thru the run walls with a few certain birds.
Thank you! I was thinking the same thing maybe on the leash to see what transpires
 

uniqueblacksheep

Chirping
May 29, 2018
43
52
74
I think you have a bye. As your dogs and chickens do hang out together, the lack of fencing was a moot issue. The only problem I see, is my chickens are not afraid of my dog (who secretly is sure I give the best treats to the chickens) and I sometimes think they do not see coyotes as a threat. So neighborhood dogs might be a problem.

I would not worry about it. I don't think if your chickens get riled up, your dog will attack.

However, I knew that poodles were originally considered a working dog, and looked it up. They are primarily used for duck hunting. But are considered very intelligent, and so may have figured out these are your birds.

Mrs K
Thank you Mrs K! The fact thatbshe was a bird dog always made me think there was no way it would work. So I was so surprised to see them. We live on 10 acres in the country that are fenced, so luckily other dogs arent usually a large concern. I might give this a try starting on leash so I have control but can see how things transpire .Thank you for taking the time to respond!! :)
 
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