Aussies Living Simply

How to train dogs not to kill stock/poultry

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE Backyard livestock How to train dogs not to kill stock/poultry

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #258082

    Horrible day today….long story short the dog killed three of my four chooks.

    It was my fault, But does anyone know how to train dogs not to chase/kill/eat your chooks.


    That’s terrible russ 🙁 Sorry, I don’t have an answer to your question, but wanted to say how sorry I am to hear about your chooks. We have a Labrador pup – I’ll be interested to hear what advice is offered. We are trying to desensitise our pup to other animals including chickens by introducing them to him while he’s young. Hopefully it helps…..


    well at the risk of upsetting some readers I’ll tell you how the old timers did it, tie the dead chook to the dogs collar for a few days, apparently it worked.


    When my dogs were puppies I taught them verbally. Anything they couldn’t have they were told ‘ahh (like a no sound) leave it, it’s mine. My oldest girl met her first chook when she was about 8 months old, she was very curious, but because she already knew the command she was fine with them and has been fine with any animal she has met,unless the goats were being threatening, then she would bark at them.

    Not sure how to teach an older dog, keep them seperate and introduce slowly with lots of praise would be my suggestion.


    Thanks for the comments. Hes only 4 years old. I have taken him into the cage with a lead on a few times. He almostpulls my arm out the socket. I think I might try to introduce him to some chicks and let him get used to them. If all else fails…..electric fence. He will learn quick. He knows hes done the wrong thing because since he did it everytkme I see him his ears go down and he doesnt want to look at me ahaha.


    Tried a few methods with my Terrier mut. She’s killed three birds over time. Sadly we cannot leave her out and have the birds free range. It’s one or the other!

    Amazingly, dog crosses the road and walks in amongst neighbours free ranging birds. They take no notice of her.

    Maybe I just answered my own question as well! My birds flee, and get eaten. Neighbours ignore. Therefore, it might have as much to do with the birds as the dog??


    Russ, do you know what breeds it has in it?

    Some dogs just have a built in drive to hunt and kill as that is what they were bred for. i.e Terriers were bread to hunt and kill mice and rats, etc and so will always have that instinct, Kelpies were bread to chase and herd, Labradores/retrievers were originally bred as a gun dog in that the handler would shoot “the animal being hunted” and the dog would then go in and “retrieve” the kill, bringing it back to the handler, Labradors have since been bred to be more of a family or assistance dog and so generally have a very placid and laid back nature, greyhounds and whippets have been breed to race, and so have very short bursts on energy and high speed running but in general are very lazy (unlike a kelpie who can run all day and still want more).

    So what I am saying is that depending on the inbuilt instinct of a dog it may not be possible to train it to be completely trusted with free ranging poultry.

    Considering that it is pulling you to get to the chickens I would see that as a reward for the dog, and I would utilise that. It may take a long time but I would, with the dog on a leash, have the dog walking nicely (not pulling)this is likely to be well away from the chickens, and slowly walk closer to the chickens, if the dog pulls, move further away from the chickens (the reward for the dog). The idea is that even though being near the chickens is really rewarding for the dog, unless she listens to you, (and pays more attention to you than the chickens), she doesn’t get the reward of being able to get closer to them.

    My dog a Rotti X Koolie (similar to a kelpie)loves to chase the chickens (and birds, and the neighbours cats etc, (chasing instinct) and has actually caught one of our chickens once (not planned) and I had thought the worst (with the Rotti power of the jaws) but the chicken was recovered from one over excited dogs mouth, and not a scratch on her (although quite a bit of slobber) and she fully recovered. In this case it seemed to be more about the chase and catch with the dog grabbing and holding the bird with a very soft mouth, the intention was to “play” rather than “kill”. Other dogs may not have the same drive and intentions.


    Sorry for the loss….it’s a real blow when stuff like this happens. As Vanessa mentioned, some breeds are more inclined to be unreliable with birds/stock than others. My two dogs completely ignore my neighbours chickens on the either side of the hit and miss picket fence, but love to lie in wait for the magpies on the driveway. I think it is largely the “thrill of the chase”. In my experience, staffy and staffy mixes are notorious for “not getting along with others”, unless they are exposed to others when young, or if they are older, a very young animal introduced to them. That being said, if you are very patient, very vigilant and keep your dog on a short leash/harness, you may be able to get a reasonable result under supervision. If left alone….the training would probably go out the window. Maybe you will just have to put a sturdy barrier between dog and chooks and keep the dog in if they are free-ranging.


    Sorry to hear about it. I’m afraid I have no exact advice – I assumed my tenterfield terrier would never be able to resist hunting my bantam chooks so kept them separate until one day a chook managed to fly out of pen and I found them standing side by side in the morning. Somehow although she teases them (runs close to startle them) she doesn’t actually attack them. Perhaps lots of familiarity through the fence meant the chooks stood their ground, the dog is only 4kg. Hmm now I think of it I did once let the dog on the lead near the rooster and he beat her up so perhaps that was it.


    Hmm, having been the recipient of more than one “serious flogging” as a young person, it didn’t “sit comfortably” at all then and still doesn’t. ;)(the perpetrator was a step-parent). Rubicon, I do agree with many of your points, you are obviously an experienced and successful dog owner/trainer and I don’t for a minute doubt you are very fond of your animals. I find the notion and action of harsh physical punishment unnecessary and abhorrent. Before you mutter “tree hugging hippie” or “typical townie…I come from a long line of farmers and horsemen, my great-grandfather was an ostler and horse trainer and my grandfather, uncle and cousins trained sheepdogs and lurchers….Not once have I ever seen/heard any of these men ever raise voice or hand to an animal or child in their care. As for me, I have been given dogs even our vet has said were a write-off, and have turned around negative/dangerous behaviours and finished up with a fine, well behaved “citizen”. Patience, persistence and time are key. Yes, I have gently pinned a large young dog to the floor to prevent dominant tendencies getting out of hand….but a flogging…never.

    Anyway, just wanted to “voice quiet disagreement” and trust this post will not be taken as anything other than that.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.