Carol : If a person gets a puppy/dog. How do you introduce it to the chickens so they become friends? What were good dogs with chickens? I was thinking of an Australia shepherd.
My Reply : There are specific livestock guardian dogs although they are quite expensive and require a lot of training (there is a bit about livestock guardian dogs which includes some dog training tips in this old newsletter http://www.self-sufficient-life.com/June09KC/page08.htm pages 8-14). In theory any dog, regardless of breed potentially could be good with chickens although breeds which are traditionally bird dogs or hunting dogs probably would have a higher chance of wanting to chase them. It is partly down to luck and partly down to training. Even basic training will help a lot – if your dog has been trained well to come when called or stay when told to then the chances of any incidents escalating are greatly reduced. It may help to let your dog have a sniff around the coop and run without the chickens being there and also watch you interacting with the chickens from a distance so it can get used to the sights and smells and hopefully also will pick up on the fact that they are your chickens and are important to you. Any introductions should be on a short lead, probably only for a few minutes at a time and interactions should take into consideration how your chickens and dog are responding eg if your chickens are stressed by your dogs presence or if your dog seems to be getting too intense like it wants to go after them.