For farmers that are also dog owners, one of the first things that come to mind when taking care of poultry is whether your dog and chicken can live together. Considering the dog’s natural instincts, they would likely try to attack your chickens that can eventually hurt or kill them. Of course, we don’t want such a thing to happen.
So, what can we do? To give you a better idea, here is a quick introduction and guide on how to teach your dog to not attack chickens.
Why Do Dogs Attack Chicken?
Despite being domesticated, pet dogs are still natural carnivores and predators that have hunting instincts in them. This makes them want to chase and hunt chickens, especially in vast spaces such as farmlands and fields.
However, there are also times that dogs are simply looking for something or someone to play with, which is why they tend to mess around livestock.
Considering the size and built of chickens compared to dogs, even such a playful interaction can still hurt them if they break their necks, get bit, or get injured.
Luckily, some dog breeds are less likely to attack livestock. Herding-type dogs such as Boxers, Schnauzers, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers are less likely to attack and would be rather gentle towards livestock.
However, this may not be always the case, as things could differ depending on your dog’s temperament and personality.
How to Train Your Dog to Not Attack Chickens?
Considering dog’s natural carnivorous and predatory instincts, it is important to train them to not attack your livestock in order to ensure that you can have both animals interact with each other.
But how do you train your dog to not attack chickens exactly? Here are some tips on how you can start training your dog to be friends with chickens:
- Allow your dog to be familiar with the chickens by letting them see, smell, and interact with each other while the chickens are inside their enclosures. This step keeps your dog from being too curious when they see your flock outside.
- Start training your dog by letting your chicken outside while you have your dog secured with a leash. Your dog would most likely react excitedly. Start the training by telling him to ‘stop’ whenever he lunges towards the chicken. Continue this training until he starts to calm down even when there are chickens in sight.
- Once your dog stops showing signs of aggression towards chickens, you can lose the leash and observe his behavior around chickens closely. Always be ready to reprimand your dog if he behaves otherwise. Sooner or later, your dog will simply be comfortable and calm around the chicken’s presence.
Training your dog to not attack chicken can take some time, depending on their breed and personality. Regardless, it is important to allow your dog to learn and understand the training in order for them to react and behave the way we want.
Just be patient and remember never to beat your dog, use shock collars, or tie a dead chicken to a dog’s collar to teach them a lesson, as these are simply unhealthy for your pets.