The best way to introduce a dog to chickens??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by daniel-delarosa, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. daniel-delarosa

    daniel-delarosa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2010
    Seminole, Oklahoma
    When I got the chicken itch and built a coop, I didn't think about how our family dog was going to be with chickens. Im getting my chickens on Friday. How do I let my dog get acquainted? What kind of dog do I have you ask? Ya, this is were it gets interesting, He is a yellow lab. We got him when he was two years old. He was trained when we got him, very trained. He has never been hunted with to the best of my knowledge, but if you say "get'er" to him he looks up in the air and goes ballistic!
    Any ideas?
  2. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    KEEP THEM SEPARATED. I made the same mistake with my dog. They get real jealous (think of him as a 2-3 year old child) [​IMG] . Mine killed 4 of my jap quails, 2 pigeons, 3 chickens and steals the eggs! AAAGH, I get so frustrated. I've had my dog from a puppy for about 6 years. Trust me, dogs and chickens DON'T MIX.

    On the other hand, I haven't owned a big dog before (mine's miniature pinscher), and is bred for hunting so that probably made a difference. Make a "see but don't touch" policy with some wire netting or someting. Don't trust the dog if you can help it. [​IMG] Good luck
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It shouldn't be that hard to teach him that the chicks are friends, not to be put in his mouth, etc. If he is well trained he will catch the inflection of your voice. I'm no professional trainer but I never had a problem teaching my dog to accept a new kitten or the chickens or whatever. And my 4 mutts have been completely safe around the chickens, paying them no attention, running anything strange off the land, barking at new people, etc. One of them was a black lab and one a retriever mix. And one is a Jack Russell, supposed to be hard to train. Not.

    Just show him the chicks at least every day, cuddle them and make appropriate noises, bring them near his nose while telling him not to use his mouth. I can't tell you specifically how to do it, only that I did with no problem. Dogs want to please you; all they need to do is figure out what you want.
  4. daniel-delarosa

    daniel-delarosa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2010
    Seminole, Oklahoma
    Dang, that's one mean min-pin! I'm trying to convince myself that all will be OK since labs are bred to retrieve rather than kill.
  5. aussiedude248

    aussiedude248 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2010
    Punta Gorda FL
    I have a 10 yr. old yellow lab and a 2 yr. old Beagle and they got scared of my last 2 ducks but I never had chickens. My Mom intro. my ducks to them by holding the duck in her hand and then I held 1 dog at a time we let them sniff them and then we tell them NO in a stern voice and tap them on the nose twice and it really work the dogs where there guardians. But sadley at night a bobcat got 1 and we gave one to a women who has a duck sanctury. So now that we have built a "fort knox" cage and have repellents for anymore we just got are 3 day old ducklings from Metzers [​IMG] HOPE YOU FIGURE OUT SOMETHING!!!!!
  6. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    .... I can tell you the local farmer way to do it, but it ain't nice. [​IMG]

    Separation and electric fences work super well for me. And the farmer method works incredibly well after the dog has made a kill (which sucks but can happen, thanks to shoddy chickenwire), but I personally can't bring myself to do it. [​IMG]

    But yes, electric fences are brilliant. And easy.
  7. Ukyou

    Ukyou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2010
    For my dog, I had more trouble with him stealing the chicken scraps. He would chase the chickens off and eat their food.
    I started with first keeping the chickens in the run so they could look at each other.
    Then I would go in the run with the chickens, if my dog got excited or barked, I would put him in his pen for a few minutes till he calmed down.
    Then I took my dog out on a leash while the chickens where out. I would alternate between feeding the chickens a treat and feeding him a treat. If my dog got excited or lunged he was told no. If that didn't stop him he was penned again. That took 2 days.
    Finally I would sit in the yard with all of them. When things went well, I would step into the house and then step back out. Once again, anytime he tried the hassle them he was locked up.
    Now he treats them like part of the pack and is fine. However, every now and then he likes to run through the middle of the flock and then prance about like he is big stuff. Anytime he does that he is gave a firm "no."
  8. Little Hummingbird

    Little Hummingbird Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 24, 2010
    I have a silver lab and she is very good now!!! I bought this dog from a breeder that had a long line of hunters. He was going to start the dog at 6 weeks for me but I told him not to, the genetics are very strong in these dogs but it can be done. I had 2 chocolates before her and you may loose a few birds however all 3 of my girls turned out to be excellent and my chickens free range the fenced yard with the dog(s) and I can trust her but it took a lot of traning. I did have to get a shock collar but it worked in a week, I only used it if she got excited and started to chase them it was the only thing that got her attention at that point. If I tell her to get one for me now then she will hold it till I pick up the bird and if told to stop she does there have been no wounds to the birds since she has been trained. It will take dilligence but with 3 of the same breed for the last 20 years I have only lost 5 in all that time. My sisters both have yellow labs and their dogs are just as trustworthy as mine. Could be that they are females and in all cases the birds were in the home before the dogs. One excellent thing with my dog now is she knows crows and hawks are fair game and she keeps them out of the yard and the hens that hatched chicks last spring and summer were safe from predators with Isis standing guard. I hope you get the results you are looking for but you should be positive the dog can be trusted before you ever let him alone with your flock. Plus she never takes the eggs and could if she even wanted them. Good Luck it can be done.

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