Testing My Dogs with the Flock

wamtazlady

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,407
1,552
276
Kalispell MT
Have a friend with an English Shepherd. It thinks its job is to keep the chickens in the coop. So it picks up a chicken and puts it in the coop. When he goes to get another one the first chicken comes out again. The dog is happy with the job of herding chickens all day and the chickens don't seem to mind.
 

Mcse4u

Chirping
Apr 2, 2017
26
44
69
Apalachin, NY
My dachshund watched my chicks grow from the day we brought them home. She was immensely curious about the little chirping things. I would often find her looking at them in their brooder until they were big enough to stay outside. Now she thinks the hens are just part of her pack. I often find her trying to sniff their butts!
The hens are probably way faster than you think if they feel threatened, but they are aware of their surroundings, and probably recognize the dog anyway.
 

uniqueblacksheep

Chirping
May 29, 2018
43
52
74
That's how ours were first introduced. The chicks were in the dining room in the brooder. The dog was super interested in them, but they were safe. They basically grew up with her constantly in their little faces.

I like the idea of the leash. When I get my bantam in the summer, I will do that once they are in the yard. The smaller chickens might be tempting.

Please let us all know what transpires, @uniqueblacksheep
Thank you so much! I will for sure!
 

uniqueblacksheep

Chirping
May 29, 2018
43
52
74
Have a friend with an English Shepherd. It thinks its job is to keep the chickens in the coop. So it picks up a chicken and puts it in the coop. When he goes to get another one the first chicken comes out again. The dog is happy with the job of herding chickens all day and the chickens don't seem to mind.
Oh my Gosh! I love it! :clap
 

Chelsa'sChicks

Songster
Aug 16, 2017
609
845
192
My dogs run free off leash, my horses are fenced, and my chickens free range. They all can reach each other. My dogs have been taught (firmly) that they are not allowed to chase the horses or chickens, even if the horses or chickens are running. All of my dogs until recent were hunting/hound dogs so it can be done. I had a weimaraner who actually would burst through the middle of peacefully gathered hens pecking. The rooster attacked him once (which in my opinion the dog deserved) then I firmly let him be aware that was not acceptable. I said his name and walked side by side with him when we were walking together by the chickens. After that it was just by me saying his name as he approached the chickens, then he would see them and walk calmly by them - to go running immediately after passing them again. It took 4 total times until Zeus knew on his own to not run by them. Keep in mind Zeus was also 14 years old.

I think too, that keeping dogs with chickens keeps other predators away. My dogs have chased fox away and when they go potty around the barn/coop I believe it deters them as well. As of current I have a Dachshund and a Pitbull.
 

rascal66

Songster
Sep 10, 2015
437
589
207
Washington
I'm not so sure if I could ever truly trust a dog around my chickens again... Maybe unless its a toy breed dog, but here was my story: two Rott pups were taught early on not to mess with the chickens. They did very well until they began to reach closer to 8months old. One day they were around some chicks unsupervised. Our mistake since they took out two of my chicks. Very upsetting since they had seemingly did so well with ignoring and avoiding the chickens for so long. Maybe they were just trying to 'play' with them or who knows. But maybe different breeds and well trained dogs are better. Sorry if this wasn't a very good reply. Since they were so young and we would free range the chickens and let them out everyday, they were well occupied with anything other than the birds. Now, not so much. Its a shame, maybe they needed more training.
 

Aunt Angus

Crowing
Jul 16, 2018
2,542
6,837
492
Sacramento County, CA
My Coop
My Coop
I'm not so sure if I could ever truly trust a dog around my chickens again... Maybe unless its a toy breed dog, but here was my story: two Rott pups were taught early on not to mess with the chickens. They did very well until they began to reach closer to 8months old. One day they were around some chicks unsupervised. Our mistake since they took out two of my chicks. Very upsetting since they had seemingly did so well with ignoring and avoiding the chickens for so long. Maybe they were just trying to 'play' with them or who knows. But maybe different breeds and well trained dogs are better. Sorry if this wasn't a very good reply. Since they were so young and we would free range the chickens and let them out everyday, they were well occupied with anything other than the birds. Now, not so much. Its a shame, maybe they needed more training.
Very good words of caution.
 

SilberHenne

Songster
Mar 27, 2018
76
173
101
I have always let my dogs and chickens out together. Even my Shiba couldn't care less about them and would rather eat their poop. They have all been told not to bother them with the "leave it" command. If your dogs are 100% solid on this command, they should respect it.

Bird dogs are not used to kill birds, they will watch and wait until given the command to retrieve a dead one, and then they do so while being as gentle as possible. They tend to view birds as toys instead of food, and can be trained to ignore them when they are alive (so they aren't caught between a bird and a gun) and "fetch" dead ones for a reward. Poodles are retrievers, not hunters. Breeds that are more likely to kill birds are Akitas, terriers, huskies, and sight hounds. I wouldn't trust a Fox Terrier or Airedale, but poodles, doodles, spaniels, and retrievers are as safe as you can get because for the most part we have bred true prey drive out of them.
 

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