Chickens and Dogs

Allowing your dog to mix with your chickens is not something to take lightly. A lot rests on the early introductions and also some luck with your dogs natural temperament. A flock of chickens will usually run off in all directions if a dog (particularly one they are not used to) comes bounding over to them and that can easily start a game of chase. If the first time your dog meets your chickens it has a great time chasing them it will be harder to persuade your dog in the future that they are not just a fun game. Sadly for the chickens it is far from fun and can easily turn deadly.

First introductions can start with chicks. In Tyler Edwards video below they explain how they introduced their dog to their chickens as chicks and got her used to them as they grew. They were never left alone together. Once grown and placed outside they were again carefully introduced under supervision.

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  1. SE_Gardener July 25, 2018 at 2:56 am

    All sounds lovely…the truth is dogs – labs, retrievers, springers, pointers, weimaraners and all kinds of bird dogs will NEVER look at a chicken the same way a Yorkie would. My springers have “bird” stamped on their brains. They’ve been around chicks, pullets/cockerels, hens and roosters as well as various chicken breeds, turkeys, guinea and in one split second all bets are off. A young chick squeezed through the run fence and within minutes she lay limp – dead in front of my young female springer. A quick shake of the head and the tiny chick in her mouth didn’t stand a chance as her neck was snapped. The dogs are welcome to come along on chores and they patiently wait sitting outside the run or the coop. But I know they’re waiting for an opportunity to snag an unsuspecting bird. Neither have hunted and neither have been hunt trained – it’s all in their genes!

  2. George July 25, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    We have always introduced new chicks to the dogs and let them spend 2-3 weeks growing up together and have never had problems. They actually watch over the chickens and the new chicks will run to the dogs for protection when getting picked on by older hens. My German Shepard always sees me breaking up the two roosters when they fight and I was shocked to see my dog Buster go over and do it by himself when I was in the house. Awesome dog. They have also killed 6 squirrels and 3 raccoons trying to get into coop. Chased away coyotes and foxes numerous times. It pays to raise your dogs with the chicks but still keep an eye on them just in case.

  3. Jetty Wierda July 26, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Get in touch with “DoggyDan”. He is a dog trainer and owns chickens as well as dogs. They just mixed with each other peacefully.

  4. Joan Peters July 31, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    I have had three dogs since I started raising chickens, all of them compatible, including the Tibetan Terrier who was otherwise quite a hunter. I do believe there are some dogs who temperamentally won’t bond with chickens but from my experience you have a good chance if you can introduce the chickens to a puppy, One of our dogs, a rescue, was fine as well. We begin on a leash, letting the dog sniff the coop, holding him/her tight as the chickens parade around, then bringing them closer. If I felt a lunge, I would pull back and tell the dog no. We’d hang out with the chickens, dog on leash, until I could feel the dog calm. Gradually, giving the dog more leash, more independence until they remain calm with the chickens. All my dogs drank water from the same bowl, together, with chickens, moseyed round the yard, and gave chase when an intruder (bobcat) tried to make off with a chicken in its mouth.

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