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Be gentle with me, I'm new

(13 Posts)
ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Mon 04-Jul-11 16:42:36

I'm thinking about getting a dog. I'm not overly bothered about having a puppy, but would like young enough to make an impression, iyswim. Anyway, the main concern I have is that I keep chickens. The chickens free range most of the day, so any dog I get would have to be able to get used to, and ignore, them. I'm guessing that I'd never train a terrier not to hunt them, so what sort of dog should I be looking for? I realise any dog would need training, and am fine with this. I'm just unsure as to what sort of breed characteristics I should be looking for. I mean, I'd quite like to rescue a greyhound, but would that just be stupid? <has visions of said greyhound whizzing about the garden with entire flock between it's jaws>

ditavonteesed Mon 04-Jul-11 17:50:40

chickens, hi, I have a terrier, it's all about the training. might struggle with a greyhound and chooks but I have no experience of that combination. others with a lot more experience will be along in a minbute. think you would sturggle to find a rescue that had been chook tested but you could do that on an introduction or something. just to get you started many tears

DooinMeCleanin Mon 04-Jul-11 17:50:58

Having chickens doesn't rule out a greyhound. The one I have in atm, would probably be okay with chickens. She seemed scared of my Dad's parrot and is okay with the cat.

Contact your nearest rescue and ask if they have any which would be suitable.

DooinMeCleanin Mon 04-Jul-11 17:55:09

Also she pays no attention to the wood pigeons in the local woods. Squirrels are a different matter grin

You might have to wait until the right greyhound turns up, but it is certainly not impossible.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Mon 04-Jul-11 20:51:49

Hmmm. Interesting. Do you think I'd be better off getting a pup to bring up around the birds? Or can an older dog be taught not to use them as chew toys?

herladyship Mon 04-Jul-11 20:58:19

We have a rescue terrier (she was 4 when we got chickens) & a spaniel puppy (6 months) who has grown up with them..

Our terrier is not interested in anything bigger than a pigeon grin & ignores even the little bantams. Pup was interested when we got him (8 weeks old) but after having his nose pecked twice he ignores them now. Our friends have a rescue golden retriever who is terrified of the chickens & hides behind you if they are loose!

I suppose it depends on prey drive & what the dog considers 'prey'. We could never have rodent pets as terrier would go crazy for them!

Millie1 Mon 04-Jul-11 22:07:01

Hi Chickens. We got a Border Terrier pup last week - he's 10 weeks today. He met our 3 girls today and let's just say that I'm going to have to do a bit of work with him grin! That said, he's only a baby so I'm not really concerned that he chased them. Ours fr too and are in an orchard at bottom of garden - pup won't go down there alone but will follow the children. He also enjoyed a raw egg, complements of DS1 who dropped it and then forged on chicken poo hmm. I don't think I'd rule a terrier out if I were you - even our older Lab chased our girls when we got them last year and now she wouldn't even look at them.

Happy dog hunting!

moaningminniewhingesagain Mon 04-Jul-11 23:24:39

We have a patterdale terrier and she is not fussed about chickens. She does look like she's thinking about chasing one, IYKWIM but she doesn't. She was a rescue and although we don't keep chickens we regularly visit someone with fr ones.

Small running things would be different, I have had to shelve plans for guinea pigs at the moment wink

frostyfingers Tue 05-Jul-11 08:56:27

How brave are your chickens? My grandmother had several hens, but one in particular could stop a dog at 100 paces by fixing it with her beady little eyes. If the dogs came to close she flew at them and they soon learned that you didn't mess with Mrs Hen!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 05-Jul-11 09:37:28

It really does depend on the character of the individual dog, rather than the breed. Also perhaps the age - younger dogs are maybe more liable to injure a bird through curiousity and playfulness.

For instance, our current dachshund met a chicken when out on a walk recently - they sniffed each other and then left each other alone. He leaves birds alone in the garden - but the first summer we had him, at a year old he killed two baby blackbirds. I don't think he 'hunted' them - just an unfortunate 'ooh, what's this?' type of thing.

Whereas our previous dachs wouldn't tolerate any birds on his lawn ... he never caught anything because he gave so much verbal warning but no way could he have peacefully coexisted with hens!

An adult rescue with known character sounds like a really good idea.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Tue 05-Jul-11 10:19:18

Ok, so if I were to look for a rescue dog, can anyone recommend a particular centre? I'm in the midlands. I did approach the RSPCA a year ago but they didn't seem to want us to have a dog from them. DC are 10 and 8, I'm at home full time and we have a fully enclosed garden. We do travel approx. 4 times a year for the weekend visiting family, so any dog we have will be kennelled for short periods of time.

chickchickchicken Sat 09-Jul-11 17:15:15

hi, chickens. only just saw this as i have been on hols. i have three dogs and a collection of ex batts. i agree with poster above that is does depend on the individual dog and not the breed. two of mine are great with the hens, one of them (the one we had from a puppy after we got the hens, which goes to show you never can predict how strong their prey drive will be) cannot be trusted with them. our middle dog is the best with them and even tries to kiss them. our oldest hen sleeps inside when weather is freezing and she sleeps in the same room as middle dog. she is in an open box and dog is fine with her. we got middle dog from dogs trust evesham - is that too far for you? i would recommend an adult rescue (18mths plus) as then his temperament can be assesssed

MotherJack Sun 10-Jul-11 00:17:52

I have just done a homecheck today for a potential foster family and knowing a family with one already and having met this one today, I can say that Great Danes can be great with everything.

Agree with what people say, that it is generally the particular dog rather than the breed. They are all different, and few people have the space requirements for a Dane. I would suggest you register with every rescue you can in the area until one comes up with a known history. My experience is that Old Lady was tested on the farm kennels where she was taken in to as "not bothered" by anything whatsoever but when she found her feet it turned out she has the strongest prey drive of any dog I have ever known. My OldBoy loved chickens, but in a way that often frightened them to death (not many can cope with being cornered whilst their bum is being sniffed hard) and yet I know of many of the same breed that cohabit fantastically with chickens.

Unless you get a pup, you need one that has been tested thoroughly or whose background is known I would have thought.

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