Will a Kelpie dog be good around chickens?

KatyAlondra

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2020
14
8
16
Hello so lately I’ve been in the search for a dog again. I finally have enough space to keep one :)
I strictly want to adopt, I’m seriously tired of seeing so many pups abandoned. On that note there aren’t many breed options.
I’d like to get a puppy so I can have them around animals since young so they can get used to that.
i saw a 1 month old female Australian kelpie pup at the shelter the other day and I’m wondering, will she kill my chickens?
i also have bunnies so will she kill those?
Im not too concerned about the goats or sheep since they will match her size. Please give me your input and experience with Australian kelpies thank you.
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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Hello so lately I’ve been in the search for a dog again. I finally have enough space to keep one :)
I strictly want to adopt, I’m seriously tired of seeing so many pups abandoned. On that note there aren’t many breed options.
I’d like to get a puppy so I can have them around animals since young so they can get used to that.
i saw a 1 month old female Australian kelpie pup at the shelter the other day and I’m wondering, will she kill my chickens?
i also have bunnies so will she kill those?
Im not too concerned about the goats or sheep since they will match her size. Please give me your input and experience with Australian kelpies thank you. View attachment 2424583
I honestly don't believe that any specific breed is more prone to livestock killing than another. Some classes certainly are more predisposed to it like the terriers. All dogs are predators. Some have a much lower prey drive than others. It really depends on the individual dog.
I've had 6 Dobermans, 2 min pins and a rat terrier. All of them, the min pins in particular, would gleefully kill my flock. The current Doberman is such a people pleaser that she could likely be trained to leave them alone with lots of time and effort. It's easier to just leave my flock behind electrified poultry netting.
It all depends on the nature and trainability of the dog in question.
Good luck.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
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TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN.... I have a shepherd mix that hunts obsessively and is obsessed with anything small and fuzzy. We conditioned his brain as a puppy to understand that the chicks / chickens are mine, and the only birds you go after are flying ones (he chases hawks and wild geese off the property). We have no problems with squirrels, he’s an expert at killing them. Once I saw him pick up a baby chick with his mouth (she had gotten out of her little fence, I underestimated her size), and I was sure he would crunch down on it like he would a mouse. But he didn’t .... he carried it a few feet and put it down, like he knew she wasn’t supposed to be that close to the big chickens. It’s all about training, being the boss and conditioning the brain from a young age.
 

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2ndTink

Songster
Aug 23, 2020
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Australian kelpies are herding dogs, herding is instinctual. I knew an old man who raised and trained some of the best kelpies in the world, he had one that he could herd chickens with. They are very smart and very stubborn, completely driven to chase animals. They are great working dogs, but from my experience with them they are not a choice of mine for a pet.

But like aapomp831 said, TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN! Good luck with your decision, she could be a herding dud and make a wonderful pet 🥰
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
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Lincolnton, NC
Australian kelpies are herding dogs, herding is instinctual. I knew an old man who raised and trained some of the best kelpies in the world, he had one that he could herd chickens with. They are very smart and very stubborn, completely driven to chase animals. They are great working dogs, but from my experience with them they are not a choice of mine for a pet.

But like aapomp831 said, TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN! Good luck with your decision, she could be a herding dud and make a wonderful pet 🥰
Yea, I believe Max is an Australian shepherd mix.... he loves to herd everything; I have him help me when a chicken gets out 😂
 

KatyAlondra

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2020
14
8
16
TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN.... I have a shepherd mix that hunts obsessively and is obsessed with anything small and fuzzy. We conditioned his brain as a puppy to understand that the chicks / chickens are mine, and the only birds you go after are flying ones (he chases hawks and wild geese off the property). We have no problems with squirrels, he’s an expert at killing them. Once I saw him pick up a baby chick with his mouth (she had gotten out of her little fence, I underestimated her size), and I was sure he would crunch down on it like he would a mouse. But he didn’t .... he carried it a few feet and put it down, like he knew she wasn’t supposed to be that close to the big chickens. It’s all about training, being the boss and conditioning the brain from a young age.
Oh my gosh what a cutie! Excuse me if this sounds dumb but I really neverrr have had dog trained. So did you train him yourself or did you go somewhere? And if you did it yourself what where some of your tactics to get them comfortable with baby chicks ? Anyways thank you!
 

MarkJr

Free Ranging
Jun 15, 2020
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I had border collie/kelpie/heeler mix pup. From day one it took consistency and very clear boundaries of when and what kind of stock was ok to chase. She’d go ball crazy until it was work time. Then like a switch, she’d be in animal mode. Never once did she work animals without wife or me being present.

Kelpie are VERY HIGH energy dogs. They require a lot of work. Not training work, but they require actual engaging work to stay happy. 2-4 hours a day of intense work to engage mind and body. IMHO they aren’t for dog owners who can only ‘go for a walk’ every other day.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
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Lincolnton, NC
Oh my gosh what a cutie! Excuse me if this sounds dumb but I really neverrr have had dog trained. So did you train him yourself or did you go somewhere? And if you did it yourself what where some of your tactics to get them comfortable with baby chicks ? Anyways thank you!
I trained him myself; I don’t believe in sending a dog somewhere to have strangers train him. I just basically made him feel like the chickens were part of our pack; that we are all equal. Mostly by surrounding him with chicks as a puppy, and always correcting him if he got too rough. However if a hawk comes around, he knows by my reaction that that is something bad and threatening to our pack. And I always encouraged him to go after rats and squirrels; now he alerts me to their nests bc he wants to chase them so bad.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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I really neverrr have had dog trained. So did you train him yourself or did you go somewhere?

If you've never trained a dog I'd recommend you either sign up for group classes or individual lessons with a trainer. I've done both - I have a private trainer that comes to address specific issues, plus I always enroll new dogs in a basic group class (which I like for the social interaction between dog and other dogs/owners). They'll give you the basics plus can help point out anything unique about how your dog reacts.

IMHO they aren’t for dog owners who can only ‘go for a walk’ every other day.

x2, for any breed, really. Be realistic about your lifestyle and the dog's needs. If you are very active and outdoorsy, an active breed would be right for you. If you're fairly laid back, a more laid back one would be much better.

All my dogs have been potatoes. I'm outdoors a lot but I'm too lazy to throw a ball more than a couple of times, which suits my dogs just fine. :p
 

CJLR

Songster
Jun 9, 2019
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from what I understand kelpies are herding dogs I have a kelpie blue heeler aussie mix puppy and so far she will just herd the chickens back into the fence the akc has a really good article about the breed
 

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