Make Your Dog Companionable with Your Chickens

Let's imagine you wish to start growing chickens and you have a family member who is a dog. Alternatively, you might already own hens and wish to adopt a dog. The query is still open. Is it possible to train your dog to get along with your chickens?

The response is undoubtedly maybe. This article discusses ways to keep your dog and birds apart and when to put them at different distances from one another.
Recognize your dog
Before introducing your dog to your chickens, it's important to take their breed and temperament into account. While some dogs are naturally inclined to herd and defend their prey, others have an innate impulse to pursue after them.

Every dog, of course, is different in personality. Play or hostility may be the basis of that chasing instinct. Naturally, younger dogs and puppies have far more energy than senior dogs do. Your dog will require training in any case.

Teach your canine
It is essential that a dog learn basic instructions such as sit, stay, and leave it before he or she is introduced to your chickens.
If your dog is brand-new to training, schedule 15-minute or less sessions that are free from distractions.The goal of basic obedience training is to teach your dog to obey your commands and to look at you.

The most effective methods for training your dog include perseverance, consistency, and rewarding desired behavior with praise and goodies.

Here are some great tips from the American Kennel Club regarding foundational training. Additionally, if you would rather leave it to the professionals or are having problems making progress, look into local dog obedience programs. You can get some recommendations from your neighborhood groomer or veterinarian. Additionally, ask others you know who own dogs and hens to tell you about their experiences.

Recognize your chickens
As anybody who has ever raised hens knows, each chicken has an individual personality of its own. While certain varieties of chickens are more docile in nature, others have more aggressive temperaments.
Sometimes, instead of the other way around, your dog may be the one provoking your broody hen or rooster. A chicken will frequently nip, poke, or chase a dog.
When treated with kindness, most breeds of chickens are docile, but Silkies and Buff Orpingtons stand out for their gentle disposition.
Make distinct places for them.
Even though you want your animals to coexist peacefully in the end, they still require separate areas for eating and resting. It is not appropriate for your dog to have access to the chicken coop or for your hens to consume food or liquids from your dog's bowls.

These regulations are in place to safeguard their health as well as to stop a disturbance. A chicken's digestive tract is not well-suited for dog food, and hens can infect your dog with pathogens and illnesses like salmonella. The warning indicators and symptoms of canine salmonella poisoning are listed below.

Introduce your dog and hens gradually.
When your dog and hens meet for the first time, things could turn chaotic very fast. Thus, maintaining control over the circumstance is crucial. Here are a few pointers.

Beforehand, take your dog for a stroll or a run. When they encounter your birds, the practice will help them maintain their attention on you and your instructions.
Maintain a wall separating them. For the introduction, you may put one or two hens in a dog kennel or wire cage. Retain your dog on a leash and keep them a few feet away from the cage. In this case, your dog is unable to chase them but is still able to see and smell them. Furthermore, your hens are unable to flee because they are able to perceive the dog in a secure setting. To manage your dog's conduct, use your fundamental commands.

Cut the distance. Following one or more of these first encounters in close quarters, you can let your leashed dog approach the birds in cages. Once more, instruct your dog to sit and go on using your commands. Give your dog praise for remaining composed. If the dog starts acting aggressively, stop the session.
Keep up the quick sessions. Continue allowing the animals to get to know one another in this safe manner while exercising patience and rewarding behavior. Take note of their development.

The next step is to let your uncaged chickens range freely in the yard while you walk your dog on a short leash when you think everyone is ready. Once more, it's ideal to do this after your dog has had a healthy amount of exercise.

Make use of your fundamental commands and pay close attention to your dog's behavior. Keep the session brief, thanking them for their composure and taking them out if they exhibit bad behavior.

Observe how everyone responds as you gradually extend the lead to allow your dog to get closer to the hens. The idea is to eventually get to the point where no leash is required. But achieving this aim will require a lot of patience and time. You should keep a close eye on these exchanges.
Raise your dog to you at random as soon as he feels more at ease with the hens. Your dog needs to start paying more attention to other things and ignore the hens. Give your dog a treat for responding to your call and for being quiet around the chickens.

When will you be able to leave them both alone?
When it comes to your dealings with chickens, when is it OK to let your guard down? When their dog is let loose among their flock, some chicken owners claim they would rather be present at all times. Some report that their hens are now scuttling all over their dozing dog.
What does this behavioral spectrum indicate to you? Every circumstance is unique. We can tell you that, try as you might, some dogs will always be reactive to chickens due to their breed, past experiences, or other reasons.

These are indications that your dog views your hens as food.
intense gazing
tense physique
Lack of mobility or stiff movement
dilated eyes
disregarding your instructions
It's not always your fault or their fault. It simply is what it is. It's advisable to keep dogs and birds a safe distance apart in these situations.

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