Are you wondering if your Dachshund can live with chickens? Want to find out how Dachshunds and chickens get along before you get some? Here’s everything you need to know about Dachshunds and chickens.
Are Dachshunds Good With Chickens? In general, Dachshunds are not suited to living with chickens, so you must be extremely cautious allowing your Dachshund around chickens, especially unsupervised. Dachshunds are hunting dogs by nature so could instinctively attack and kill chickens.
Read on to find out whether Dachshunds can ever live with chickens, if they can be trained to get along with chickens, and whether they will ever harm them.
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This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.
Can Dachshunds Live With Chickens?
Dachshunds are natural born hunting dogs. They were originally bred to hunt down and kill their prey. This means they aren’t the ideal dog breed for getting along with prey animals like chickens or rabbits.
This is why Dachshunds don’t get along with chickens:
Dachshunds have a drive to hunt
Even though your Dachshund is small, he has a drive to hunt! This means he’s highly likely to instinctively chase down chickens.
Unlike other dog breeds, Dachshunds are natural hunting animals and therefore more inclined to attack chickens and other prey.
Of course, not all Dachshunds will attack chickens but, sadly, it can and does happen.
Dachshunds like to chase prey
You’ve probably seen your Dachshund chase after birds and squirrels in the park or garden. They’re likely to take this same approach with chickens!
The difference is that chickens aren’t as good at running or flying away, especially when they’re in cages! This makes them easy targets for a Dachshund’s ferocious bite.
When chickens see or smell a Dachshund, they’ll probably start running. The sight of a chicken running will excite your Dachshund and he could start chasing after them.
Your Dachshund may start to see capturing the chickens as a fun game. Unfortunately, the chickens could sadly get hurt or killed, and may even die of shock.
This isn’t always the case, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re thinking of getting chickens.
Dachshunds are small, but fast!
Don’t be fooled by your Dachshund’s short stature. He can run, and he can run fast! If he’s on a mission to hunt down chickens, he’ll move with speed.
If your Dachshund chases chickens, he’s probably going to catch them. So this doesn’t bode well for them getting along!
Will Dachshunds Kill Chickens?
Dachshunds are definitely capable of killing chickens. Given half a chance, there’s a strong possibility that they’ll seriously harm chickens.
As a result of their hunting and killing instincts, it’s very risky to put chickens in the same space as your Dachshund.
Dachshunds won’t be afraid to attack chickens. They may bite or play with the chicken, injuring them, shocking them, and perhaps accidentally killing them in the process.
It’s in your Dachshund’s blood to hunt. They’ll probably be pleased with themselves for catching a chicken. After all, it’s in their DNA to kill their prey!
Of course, this isn’t the case for all Dachshunds but, if your Dachshund isn’t used to being around chickens, he’ll be more inclined to chase after them.
Can Dachshunds Be Trained To Live With Chickens?
There’s a chance your Dachshund can get used to being around chickens, but he’d need to be very well-trained before attempting any kind of introduction.
Interestingly, there are some Dachshunds that aren’t bothered about chickens at all. It’s very dependent on the individual dog, their training and the upbringing they’ve had.
However, that’s not the case for every dog and you need to be aware of the huge risks involved with letting your Dachshund outside with chickens.
You’ll also need to take many precautions to make sure your chickens are 100% safe.
It’s never a good idea to allow chickens to roam freely while your Dachshund is off leash in the yard or garden – even if he is trained and takes little notice of them!
If you’re in ANY DOUBT about your Dachshund being around chickens, it’s best to avoid introducing them at all.
How To Train A Dachshund To Live With Chickens
This is how to introduce a Dachshund to chickens:
Speak to a dog trainer
Before introducing your Dachshund to chickens, it’s best to ask a professional dog trainer to do the training with you.
In most cases, Dachshunds will struggle to live alongside chickens, so it may not end well. Which is why it’s best to have someone experienced on hand should something go horribly wrong.
You have to think about your chickens as well as your Dachshund. You don’t want them to be scared or chased around all the time.
So think very carefully before introducing your Dachshund to chickens and take the appropriate advice.
Give your Dachshund something that smells of your chickens a few days or weeks before they meet.
This’ll help him get used to the scent of the chickens ahead of the introduction.
Take your Dachshund for a walk
Exercise your Dachshund so he’s less excitable when he meets your chickens for the first time.
That way he’ll be more likely to listen to what you say and back off when you ask him to.
Put your chickens in a coop
This puts a barrier between your Dachshund and the chickens, giving you much more control over the situation.
Keep your Dachshund on a leash
It’s essential to keep your Dachshund on a leash so you’re in full control should his hunting instinct take over!
Bring your Dachshund close to the chickens
Keep your Dachshund at enough distance that he can’t touch the chicken coop, but let him come close enough to get excited.
If your Dachshund is calm or wags his tail, praise him and give him a treat.
Lead your Dachshund away from the chickens if he reacts poorly
If your Dachshund starts lunging, barking, jumping or trying to get to the chickens, firmly say, ‘No!’. Then turn around and start leading your Dachshund away from the chickens.
Don’t ever shout or get angry with your Dachshund as that won’t work. You need to use positive reinforcement to train him.
Repeat the process many times
This is a high risk training process. You need to repeat the on-leash training many times to ensure safety for the chickens.
Just bear in mind, it might take weeks or months of daily training and you may never get to a point where it’s safe for your Dachshund to be around your chickens.
Each time your Dachshund calms down, reward him with affection or treats. If he reacts aggressively, lead him away from the chickens and ignore him until he calms down.
That way, he knows he’s being rewarded when he listens to you and stays calm, and he’s not allowed close when he tries to chase.
Bring your Dachshund closer to the chickens
After extensive training, try bringing your Dachshund closer to the chickens.
If he doesn’t react and seems uninterested in the chickens, you could try standing and holding a chicken to see how he reacts to that.
Don’t ever put the chicken in reach of your Dachshund and make sure there’s a dog trainer or another person around.
Pay close attention to whether your Dachshund exhibits any signs that he’s interested or aggressive towards the chickens.
As soon as you see a sign, perhaps a growl or an attempt to lunge, lead him away from the chickens again, and start the process from the beginning.
Go very slowly and cautiously
If your Dachshund shows any signs of being aggressive towards your chickens during training, you must walk away.
You don’t want to distress or scare your chickens and the training MUST be safe for all people and pets involved.
Training a Dachshund to live with chickens may never work. His hunting instincts may be too strong and you might just have to accept that.
Never leave a Dachshund alone with chickens
Never leave your Dachshund and chickens alone together, even when you think it’s safe to do so.
It goes against a Dachshund’s natural prey drive to live with chickens so you must supervise at ALL times.
So, there you have it! Dachshunds are hunting dogs, so they’re likely to chase chickens and won’t be afraid to kill them, either. In most cases, Dachshunds don’t get along with chickens. However, it may be possible, with lots of training and observation, to introduce a Dachshund to chickens. Some Dachshunds, especially those that were raised with chickens, aren’t so bothered by them – but that’s down to the individual dog!
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