Although dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, some of the natural evolutionary instincts still remain. That said, most dog breeds do not actually want to kill your chickens, they want to chase. Unfortunately, even chasing can be fatal as chickens can have heart attacks from the fear of the chase. In this article, we take a look at how to stop your dog killing chickens.
How To Stop Your Dog Killing Chickens
The best way to get your dog to stop chasing or killing chickens is to avoid walking your dog near chicken coops. If you are living on a farm or also choose to keep chickens as pets, you can train your dog to live with chickens.
The easiest system to stop your dog from killing chickens is to use the reward and restraint method. This can take some time to train your dog to sufficient levels but it has produced the best results. This is based on putting a high-quality leash on your dog and reward positive behavior with a delicious dog treat.
The training process is based around leashing your dog and then walking towards your chickens. Be sure to talk to your dog in a gentle manner in an attempt to help keep it calm. You can also play with your dog close to your chickens while giving it a lot of physical contact provided your dog keeps ignoring the chickens.
If your dog begins to focus its attention on the chickens stop physical contact and take on a sterner voice. Start to tap your dog on its nose head on but do not attempt to turn its head away from the chickens. It is important that your dog chooses to turn away of its own free will. If you force it to look away it can have a negative effect and make your dog want to interact with the chickens even more.
How To Break A Dog From Chasing Chickens
Keep watching your dogs behavior and see how it adjusts. If it turns its attention back to you, be sure to give it a treat and start calming talking to it again. If your dog keeps acting aggressively to the chickens then apply pressure to its leash. Your goal with this pressure it to cause your dog discomfort, not to pull it away from the chickens. The hope is that it will change the focus of its attention of its own free will. Once it does, reward it with a treat.
Over time, your dog will begin to comply with your wishes. Each time this happens, give it a treat as well as physical and verbal praise as positive reinforcement. Your dog will begin to associate the desired behavior with positive interaction and focusing on the chickens resulting in pressure on its leash resulting in discomfort.
When training dog not to chase chickens. You have to repeat this process multiple times per week, ideally three to five times. The more experience your dog gets around chickens without the chance of giving chase, the quicker you will get results.
This process has been successfully used to train a dog to leave chickens alone multiple times. Multiple dog owners all over the world have used this, or variations of this method to reach their goals.
Why Do Dogs Chase Chickens
As we have previously touched on, dogs have developed the tendency to want to chase animals. This tendency has been developed and perfected over millions of years of evolution. It is the dog owners responsibility to keep their dog leashed while walking as the owner should know their dog’s instinct is to kill or chase chickens. Even usually kind and nice natured dogs can give chase to chickens on site if not restrained.
What Should I Do If My Dog Kills One Of My Chickens
If your dog has killed one of your chickens then it is important you confine your dog as soon as possible. Once your dog is confined walk away and calm down. It is common for many people to make a snap decision and overreact.
Once you have calmed down you will be in a better position to make a judgment. Our recommendation is to try and train your dog using the above methods. If they fail then ensure your dog has a fenced off area where it is free to play without being a risk. Your chickens will thank you for it.
If that is not a possibility, try to convert your dog to being an indoor dog but this can be a challenge. If you are forced to go this route, ensure that your dog is fully leashed before opening the door to go for walks. As a last resort, you could resort to trying to get your dog rehomed.
What Should I Do If My Dog Kills Someone’s Chicken
Although the laws change depending on your country and even county there are some steps you should always take. If you have been out walking your dog and it has killed someone elses chicken the law will usually view you as the person at fault.
If your dog managed to get off its leash do everything you can to restrain your dog as soon as possible. In some states and countries, the owner of the livestock is well within his rights to shoot your dog. Most places remove this right once you have regained control of your dog as the threat is removed.
It is important that you seek out the owner of the livestock as soon as possible. Apologize for the accident and offer to pay for all of the damage your dog has caused. If possible, doing this via a digital medium such as email or social media can be better than face to face. This way you have a way to prove you made contact with the livestock owner and offer to pay for damages if the case goes to court.
Most livestock owners will leave the matter provided it is a one-time incident and you pay for the damages. If this is not the first time your dog has killed livestock owned by this person they are usually entitled to request additional compensation.