To the folks who trained their dogs to live with chickens…


Apr 17, 2021
I agree with the posters above.

I've had rough collies and worked with our local collie rescue, and am heavily involved with dog sports and training. I can't think of a better breed (in general) to have with chickens or small animals. In my experience even collies that have decent herding drive have a very inhibited bite instinct. Granted, my experience is with actual show-type rough collies, if you have a "farm collie" type your milage may vary.

My old collie, Katie, loved to "groom" our pet rabbit, which he didn't appreciate, but if he tried to make a break for the bushes she'd gently herd him back to the lawn. Sometimes he'd give her a solid thump in the face with those powerful back legs, but she never reciprocated. My little brother's hamster got out one day when we weren't home and she just carried it around in her mouth unhurt until we got home. Didn't have chickens then, but I would have trusted her with them.

But you have a puppy. Be patient. Puppies have to be taught; you can't expect them to instinctively know everything and be perfect right away. Mistakes will be made but the puppy will learn from them. (BTW "Leave it" is a great skill to have - just don't expect a young dog to be solid on that skill in every situation until mature).
Thank you. We bought a rough collie because we’ve heard from many people that if any dog is going to live with chooks it will be a rough collie. I will continue with the training but in the mean time we’ve put up a ‘safety area’ for the chooks, we have one little Pekin bantam who has been fascinated with the pup since we bought him home and I do have concerns for her welfare if she gets too trusting while he is so you g


Apr 17, 2021
Actually, smoothies and roughs can be and often are from the same litter. My rough, Katie, had a smooth dad. I think the roughs are often perceived as more mellow because all that coat makes them hotter and they often don't exert themselves as much. Most of the (show-type) smoothies I know are just as gentle as the roughs.

Anyway, to the original poster: your collie pup didn't kill that chicken, when it so easily could have. That is likely the bite-inhibited nature of a collie, though the pup didn't know better than to "play" with the chicken.
Thank you, I was wondering why he didn’t just immediately kill her and he is very mouthy, even with me, so thank you for shedding some light on that


Aug 2, 2021
Fontana, California
Your pup isn't well aware of anything at only 10 weeks old, he's just a baby. Collies are generally very smart and don't have a much of a prey drive. Just keep up with the training and keep them separated at times when you cannot supervise.
Eventually they will most likely get along just fine :)
My little 15 yr old dog could care less about the chickens. But....we have 8 adult cats. We used a water bottle to spray them and supervision to train them that the chicks were off limits when they were free ranging. At 2 weeks to 7 weeks there was interest but we never had any incidents although once or twice when the girls were a bit bigger my granddaughter accidentally locked 2 cats in the coop. I found one just relaxing on the ground by the girls while the other was all upset crying to get out! Now the hens are bigger and all the cats steer way clear of them.


Love one another ❤️
Mar 5, 2019
SE Missouri, USA
We have a couple of Shelties. Our younger one, Sammy, was 15 mo old when we got him and he had some, er ... issues. He was semi-feral, actually. He was very hyper, very active. He wanted to chase a ball, non-stop, all day. I didn't know how he would be around the chickens but I knew I couldn't take a chance. He would not come when called so I knew if he did go after them things could go very badly very quickly. I decided to assume the worst and go from there.

We have a small chain-link pen adjacent to the very large chicken run. It's probably 20x40 ft. We use it variously as a bachelor pen, a grow-out pen, or to put chicks in before integrating with the adults. I began to put Sammy there every day for a couple of hours. As in integrating chicks, he could see the birds but not get to them. I'd put him there for two to four hours a day. He was restless, pacing, watching the birds, barking, wanting to come back in the house. Eventually he would get bored, lie down, take a nap - and after he'd been quiet a while, I would bring him in. This went on for about a month. Gradually he calmed down. Finally one day I went out, put him on a 15-foot long line and took him into the chicken run. He paid no attention to the birds.

I let the birds out to free-range and dropped the end of the line. He stayed close to me. If he had chased, I could have stopped him by stepping on the end of the line. But he didn't. We walked around together for a bit. I repeated this for several days, sometimes throwing a ball for him to chase, always with him on the long line, but he never showed any interest in the chickens, and he still doesn't. Except to "clean up" after them.


Feb 12, 2021
Thank you. This is great advice. I have everything crossed that they will eventually all get along
Keep your pup on leash and correct her every single time she goes to a chicken.
I brought my dogs into my bathroom when my chicks were two days old. They were allowed to smell them when I held them but no other time. They learned fast that they were to be ignored.
Haven't had any problems with five different dogs in 16 years.
They totally ignore the chickens.

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