Want to have chickens & dogs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lxlzbaca, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. lxlzbaca

    lxlzbaca Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2010
    New Mexico
    We are planning on getting chickens in the spring & we already have 3 dogs. In case is matters we have a Chihuahua, Sheltie & Pit mix. One of our dogs, I am pretty sure I know which one is notorious for getting pigeons. I am planning on building the coop in the backyard & need advice from those more experienced on how to best introduce the dogs to the chickens & also how to properly build the coop to keep the chickens safe. Thanks!
  2. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some breed have an innate drive to kill small animals and cannot be trained to be 100% safe around chickens. I have a cocker spaniel that is fine in with the chickens as long as I am with her and she has something to carry in her mouth. If her mouth was empty or I was not around I would not trust her. I also have two terriers that I would NEVER let near them as terriers are notorious for their hunting drive. Yeah I know there exceptions to every rule but sometimes instinct kicks in in even the cutes little couch potatoes.

    You know your dogs better than anyone so go with your instinct but don't ever let your guard down and just always be supervising. One day a little bantam of mine jumped the dog fence and all of a sudden there was a huge scuffle. I ran down the deck stairs to see my male terrier with the little pullet pinned down to the ground! He fortunately let go when I gave the command "Drop it!". I was lucky to get there in time and she went to a new home with her sister so it wouldn't happen again.

    Dogs will be dogs and don't always behave the way we think they should. I keep the terriers away from the chickens, and always supervise the spaniel.

    Good Luck!!! [​IMG]
  3. lxlzbaca

    lxlzbaca Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2010
    New Mexico
    Quote:That's what I am worried about. We have a dog door so the dogs can go in and out as they please so they are in the backyard unsupervised frequently.
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    you need to get both species used to each other, no point in training your dog hard out only to have the chickens squawking and running everytime they meet. Train them 1 at a time, on leash around the chickens and quick correction everytime they show the wrong interest... sniffing is ok, opening their mouth is not.

    ... all our dogs live with the chickens and they hunt sparrows, rats, mice, rabbits, and any other animals that don't belong here, you just got to show them what they can and cannot kill.
  5. Muscovies

    Muscovies Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with nzpouter
  6. beckyschicks

    beckyschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2009
    Iron Ridge WI
    I've owned three different dogs with my chickens. Sheltie mix, Aussie mix and a pit mix. Our aussie is the hunter and makes it well known that she doesn't need us to feed her. She catches everything, I mean everything. I was worried like you when we got chickens. What we did was, took the dogs down to the barn and with one chicken had them sit. The instinct to chase and kill, usually, not always, but usually is with the flight or fluttering. We would let the chicken flap down to the ground infront of the dog. Then firmly say NO at any sign of interest. After the third time, she got up and walked the other way. Now she is a smart dog and knows she could take one at anytime, but hasnt so far. My birds free range all day and she's outside all day. I trust her, now if something happens I really can't blame her as it's only nature. With the sheltie we got him in Jan and he is the most summisive dog in the world. I only had to say MINE once and he won't even go by the coop or chickens. With my pit mix (she was shot during hunting season last year) she was the same way as my boy. Didn't want to get yelled at so avoided like the plague. Now you know your dogs, but if you have a good training base and they know your the boss and that the chickens are YOURS, they should leave them. Now again you can't expect all dogs to ignore instinct because you said to. So keep that in mind too.
    On a side note- My aussie will leave the "black bunny" we have when he is out in the yard, but will kill and eat any other color bunny that happens on our property. She's smart, almost to smart at times. Gets her in trouble too. [​IMG]

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