Will Our Dog Get Used to the Chicks?


9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
eastern New York
We just got chicks from TSC on Saturday, see my other post. They started in a XL bin, but have been moved into a brooder that I very quickly made out of scrap wood, the whole thing only cost me $12.00.
While they were in the bin on a table neither of my dogs showed too much interest, a good thing. Now, our one dog, a Plott Hound, is constantly whining and occasionally barking at them. The brooder is in the living room, we heat with woodstove and the rest of the house can have temperature swings. Will our dog eventually get used to having the chicks around or are going to have to find a new place for the brooder? Any advice from other dog / chick owners would be greatly appreciated!

It is really starting to irritate my wife, that is never a good thing.
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I have a mini terrier-mix that barked at them once when I got them, got yelled at & now ignores them totally.
I have a mini aussie that killed one within a day or 2 of getting her, was seriously reprimanded, but still tries to dig into the run every chance she gets.
(Looking for a good home for her if you're in the central Fl area...)
(eta) It's a toss-up...some will learn, some wont.
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I havent ever heard of a Plott Hound, so i googled it..lol...according to what i read, it is a hunting dog but is quick to learn so i'm gonna compare it to a Beagle....Beagles can be taught to hunt rabbits, or not to ever hunt anything at all..so i personally would say If you want your dog to socialize with the chickens, keep them around each other as much as possible so the dog(s) get used to the chickens..Yes, it will take a little work, but i personally think, eventually the dog would learn... Now if you hunt your Plott Hound, move the brooder..Excersize is also important.. if your dog is getting plenty of excersize, my belief is that the dog will be less apt to be concerned with the chickens....

I also read this, so you may wanna keep this in mind...."Plotts are hardy and have superior hunting instincts. They are very effective in the search for coyotes, wolves, and wildcats. The breed was carefully developed to be stronger and more persistent."" <--- This is why they need a firm, but calm, confident, consistent owner & why your wife is getting irritated...lol
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Our Plott Hound, named Tigger (my wife and daughters' idea), is not used for hunting. He also gets as much exercise as we can give him in the winter, eastern NY and about three feet of snow in the yard. We have nine chickens in the yard and he all but ignores them, but he does walk and sniff around the coop and run. Our other dog is also a hound, American Fox we believe (listed at pound as a Mixed Hound), and she shows no real interest in the adult chickens in the yard or the chicks in the brooder.

My DW’s irritation comes mostly from the head cold she has had for the past week and the fact she works until 12:30am. Tigger will start his whining when I leave for work in the morning and my wife has only had about four hours of sleep.
I'd suggest keeping a close eye on the situation and try to train your dog not to show aggressive behavior towards the babies
UHG! Head Cold! & 4 hrs of sleep? Anyone would be irritable after that.. if the brooder/dogs are the issue, then maybe when you leave for work move the brooder & when she wakes up, bring it back in??...If the brooder is too big to constantly move, ya may just move it till she gets more sleep & feeling better?? or move it till the weekend(s) if you're off work then?? ... I don't know if i'm helping ya any here.....LOL
It sounds like you have good dogs & not like they wanna attack the chickens... like, just at the moment, the chicks are aggravating the dogs, & in turn aggravating your wife, in addition to little sleep & bein sick.....
I should clearify, it is only the one dog Tigger, Plott Hound. He is not really showing aggression, it is more overly excited(?), hard to explain. He has never shown aggression towards any person or other animal, we also have two cats which he tries to play with and they just run.
I'm expecting my first chicks soon, but have a bit of experience with dogs. When teaching my dogs to ignore my neighbors' chickens and ducks, I would correct them when they showed any interest/excitement/arousal and reward when they ignored. They both learned quickly.

Also, a good friend of mine has chickens, turkeys, goats, and 3 Great Pyrs. Great Pyrenees are livestock guardian dogs so have different temperments than other dogs. However, she just picks up a new chicken, lets the dogs sniff the chicken's rear, and lightly smacks their noses and says "MINE". So far, so good. Her 3 dogs have never killed any of her birds.

I think even if the dog is just excited, not aggressive, I would correct it. Just my 2 cents.
I have a Plott/x as well. He loves everything baby. He was the momma to a few kittens once. What I think is going on is that he knows they are babies and wants to be with them. I have a feeling my boy is going to do the same thing when mine hatch.

Can he see them in the box? Or just hear them? Maybe if he can see them and lay next to the box he will be ok. Sounds to me hes got a case of worried momma syndrome.

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