Of course, not all canines are safe to be around chickens. Dobermans are a highly energetic, fearless breed, and it is kind of a controversial concern to let them be with chickens and livestock animals.
So, can Dobermans really live with chickens and livestock animals?
Most Dobermans aren’t good with chickens and livestock animals as they have a high prey drive. Dobermans can be trained to become livestock guardian dogs with good training and the right approaches since they are large, strong, fearless, alert, confident, intelligent, and highly trainable dogs.
Even though we wouldn’t trust an unsupervised Doberman to stay and interact with chickens or livestock animals, it doesn’t mean that they are not applicable for that job. So, we gonna look into exactly how you can do that and other related concerns.
Table of Contents
Are Dobermans Chicken-Friendly And Livestock-Friendly?
First, it’s necessary to understand the temperament of Dobermans. Usually, they are,
- loyal, dog breed.
Actually, It doesn’t matter what the breed is; all dogs are good.
But the fact most owners should understand is that some dogs are not really effective as livestock guardian dogs because some dogs make a hobby out of killing and harming chickens and other small livestock animals.
When it comes to Dobermans, they are a highly prey-driven breed, and the fact we should understand is that if you get the small Doberman puppy and he grows up interactively with chickens and other farm animals, actually you don’t wanna do anything to train them to behave around these animals.
Occasionally you may have to teach this puppy not to chase after these animals and harm them. By doing so, they will become great protectors to other predators of these small farm animals and chickens.
But the biggest obstacle you have to overcome with your Doberman is that their high prey drive, and possibly it can get them to hold back from training to behave and live with these creatures.
Even though Dobermans enjoy being with human company, other dogs, cats, they can easily turn into an entirely different animal whenever an unsupervised Doberman sees a fowl.
The fact is we cannot necessarily blame them for such kind of work as they have a higher pay drive compared to other average dog breeds.
So as the owner, you have a massive responsibility on your shoulder to introduce the dog to this livestock environment by using proven methods and tactics.
That being said, they are smart, obedient, highly trainable, and have the ability to adapt to different conditions with a higher learning rate.
To conclude this subtitle, I would like to say that the Dobermans are not necessarily chicken-friendly or an excellent livestock guardian dog. But they can be trained to do such kind of work.
But, when it comes to female dogs, they may find it difficult to become livestock guardian dogs as female Dobermans have two heat cycles per year.
Will Dobermans Attack Chickens And Other Livestock Animals?
No need to compare different breeds, even the same breed; there might have dogs that have different personalities.
To be honest, two Dobermans from the same litter may behave entirely differently around other animals without human investigation.
Sadly, I have to say that any dog that has at least some kind of prey drive potentially may attempt to attack small animals like chickens, rabbits, squirrels, birds, and especially cats.
If you are unsure about your Doberman and how he is going to react to these animals, you should never allow them to get along without a proper introduction.
Recommended reading: Are Dobermans good for first-time owners?
Will Dobermans Protect Chickens And Other Farm Animals?
It is evident that the Dobermans are excellent guard dogs, properly trained dogs can do excellent work to protect and manage farm animals like cattle, chickens.
The Dobermans have an innate preference to chase, run, play, bark, and do complex works throughout the day.
As their temperament says, they are alert, energetic, confident, fearless, and highly intelligent dogs.
The Dobermans have a considerably larger, strong, athletic, and muscular body when it comes to body appearance. Besides that, they are trustworthy, protective toward their close ones, attentive, active, and even can live outside.
So, I cannot understand what else qualities a defender needs.
The only barrier that Dobermans have to become good livestock guardian dogs is that they cannot bear up extreme temperatures. But guess what, we have solutions for that too.
Combining the above-mentioned features and qualities, the Dobermans can protect chickens and other farm animals with proper training.
Read this to understand 7 important things about Dobermans and their sense of smell.
How To Train Your Doberman To Guard Farm Animals Including Chickens?
You definitely will need to train your Doberman to live with chickens or other farm animals and give excellent protection. What it can be done with only positive training methods.
In fact, these training methods should be effective, and it should ensure its happy, should improve the bond between you and the Doberman.
Or, simply this training should increase their natural enthusiasm, urge to be with animals. So we gonna do this with simple 5 steps.
- First, control the training environment.
- Provide excellent obedience training with positive methods.
- Introduce your Doberman to chickens and other animals gradually and gently.
- Spend some time with your Doberman around the farm animals including chickens.
- Let The Dog stay long with chicken without your active involvement.
First, control the training environment.
Same as obedience training, there are a handful of environmental things you should consider prior to introducing the dog to chickens.
These things are easy to control by yourself, and doing so can increase the chance of getting success in this whole process. In fact, this can accelerate the training process.
- You want to ensure that these trainings are extremely enjoyable for your dog. Then only the dog will have some kind of positive Association with this strange training and living around other animals.
- Think about what time your farm seems calm, and try to avoid distractions as much as you can. Those distractions can get the attention and focus of your dog away from him, and make them excited, enthusiastic, increase the Prey drive and possibly harm the chickens.
- One of the most important things is to provide strenuous exercises prior to the introduction session. The least amount of energy left their body, the straightforwardly the training can be done. If you are a fan of running, note that Dobermans are good running partners.
- You don’t have a good idea how he is gonna react to chickens. It’s better to keep him leashed. Because prevention is better than cure. In fact, you can use puppy treats, his favorite toys, to encourage the behavior.
Provide excellent obedience training with positive methods.
This is a pretty much handy technique that I personally love. First of all, you got to train the basic dog commands by using basic obedience training methods.
Remember that never ever let a dog that doesn’t have at least basic obedience training wander around chickens.
Let’s say you have done the obedience training.
Now you need to figure out how to do obedience training sessions and practice around your chickens and other farm animals. So they have some level of destruction, and if he is still focused on you, congratulations! That’s a good sign.
Now your dog is eligible to interact with these animals.
Introduce your Doberman to chickens and other animals gradually and gently.
This training session with chickens and other animals should be done extremely slowly. It should be more than 10-15 mins. If you are still unsure about the dog, a 5-minute training session also acceptable in the first place.
Don’t attempt to do this several times per day. In the beginning, train once or twice per day.
Whenever you feel the dog is gaining short of movement toward the positive side and exhibits some level of interest, having multiple training sessions a day would accelerate the process, and definitely, he will learn fast.
One of the easiest ways to start this training is to wait until the Doberman attempt to do something he is not supposed to do and that behavior right away.
To prevent the dog from,
- Barking at these animals.
- Chase after them.
- Attempting to play.
To do this, you have to distract the dog by simply showing the treat available on your hand or his favorite toy. When the dog stops that bad behavior and focuses on you, report immediately and appreciate the work by praising with nice words.
To get the maximum output of this process, try to get closer and start the training process at the dog behave appropriately around these farm animals.
Spend some time with your Doberman around the farm animals including chickens.
Whenever you feel that your Doberman has come to a point where he doesn’t care about the chickens and doesn’t exhibit any reaction to harm them, this is the perfect time to get involved and understand that this form is his territory.
In order to do that, take your leashed Doberman inside the poultry and spend some time with them. If your Doberman is behaving calmly, reward him with some tasty treats.
By doing so, his brain will absorb this circumstance as something acceptable and a rewardable thing to do.
After several days doing the same process, you can replace the short leash with a reasonably long lead, so you are Doberman can move here and there freely inside the poultry. In the meantime, you have some level of control over the dog whenever he attempts to misbehave.
It’s essential to examine the dog’s body language whenever the dog roaming around chickens and other farm animals. I mean that if the dog shows at least a small amount of tendency to chase after chickens, you can easily figure it out by just looking at him and observing.
After the dog had a sufficient amount of sessions sitting with you and among chickens and if the dog is behaving positively, this is the perfect time to let the dog go of its leads completely
But remember that, use the same long lead if the Doberman chase after the chickens, and it is pretty much straightforward for you to just jump on the lead and prevent the accident.
More importantly, it’s better to wear a harness to the dog whenever you are using the long lead. It will give extra pressure on the neck if you use a caller instead of a harness. So that can spread across the tension throughout the body.
Let The Dog stay long with chicken without your active involvement.
Congratulations! You made it to the end. Whenever you are satisfied with your dog’s behavior around chickens and other farm animals, dog stay with them without your active involvement.
But more importantly, the first thing you need to do is keep your eyes on the dog and intervene whenever it’s needed.
But the chance of occurring such kind of an emergency circumstance is less likely to happen as the dog is thoroughly trained. You know what, complete trust is foolish. So keep your eyes on the dog.
You will feel when the Doberman can be completely trusted with your chickens and other farm animals. If you still feel worried or have doubts, I would like to say it’s too soon. You have to wait a bit and continue with the training.
Things To Be Aware Of.
Okay, now you know whether Dobermans can live with chickens and other livestock animals. Remember that if you really wanna make them live together, there are few other essential things you need to keep in mind. Let’s figure out what they are.
- You have to be extraordinarily patient throughout the whole process in order to get the maximum results.
- Having proper socialization speed up the process.
- When it comes to feeding your Doberman, you need to ensure to feed the dog exactly on time. Never let him starve. Because the tendency of turning on chickens is much higher than a hungry dog.
- Your Doberman should have good physical conditions in order to to be outside all over the day. So, I recommend having regular veterinary checkups prior to use them as livestock Guardian dogs.
- Keep a clean water bowl filled with clean water in an easily accessible place. If you really wanna know how much water should a Doberman drink, simply click this link.
- Restrict access to the dog’s food bowl for chickens in order to avoid unnecessary food competition among the dog and chickens.
Over the last few decades, urban and backyard farming has spread across the countries and became more and more popular among people. It doesn’t matter whether your farm is a kind of small one or a larger one. It is always necessary to have a livestock guardian dog. Since many people love to own Dobermans, we tried to understand whether they are good to farm dogs and they can live with chickens throughout this article. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a nice day.