If you live on a small holding or homestead and have chickens or other forms of poultry then you’ll want to make sure that they are protected from all forms of predators which could include your pet Cocker spaniel.
Any dog is capable of killing chickens and this includes Cocker spaniels. All breeds of dogs have predatory instincts and, in a working dog such as a Cocker, this instinct can be more prevalent and highly developed. So, yes, Cocker spaniels can kill chickens.
Will a Cocker spaniel kill chickens?
However, not all Cocker spaniels will kill chickens. Firstly you have to consider the age of the dog and its development.
A puppy may begin attacking your chickens as a way of practicing skills for hunting rabbits or other prey animals and unless he is discouraged at an early stage then he could become a poultry killer.
Chickens will flap and run away and this will often excite a young dog and make things worse – an excited dog will enjoy chasing chickens around. They will learn that it is a fun game and this could lead to them killing chickens for real.
Any dog can be trained to leave your chickens alone but you have need to take action as soon as possible to prevent chickens being killed.
Having said that, it’s important not to over-react if the worst happens.
Any dog can kill hens
It is important to remember that any breed of dog is capable of killing hens and that this behaviour is driven by instinct and the desire to hunt.
Even though we feed our spaniels and that they do not need to hunt for food, we must always be aware that they are dogs who see the world through different eyes to us and that they do not understand that chickens are not to be chased and killed.
How to prevent a Cocker spaniel from killing chickens
The best and simplest way is to keep the chickens out of the reach of your spaniel.
Provide them with a secure run and hen house that your dog cannot access and that they cannot escape from.
Keeping them safe from your dogs ( and other predators ) is the best and safest way of protecting your chickens.
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A Cocker spaniel can learn to leave chickens alone
If you provide your spaniel with exposure to chickens then he can learn to leave them alone.
Taking your dog into the chicken compound and making him sit down while the hens run around can be a great way to make him steady and to leave them alone.
He will watch, sniff and, at first, perhaps try to chase them, but, with supervision and gentle encouragement he will soon learn that he is not allowed to touch them.
Don't leave your spaniel alone with the chickens
Don’t leave your Cocker spaniel, or any other dog for that matter, alone with the chickens.
Even if your spaniel behaves himself around your hens there is always the risk that he might just decide that it would be fun to chase them and maybe grab one.
Always remember that he is a dog, driven by instincts that include chasing, hunting and killing.
Will a Cocker spaniel kill chickens?
a Cocker spaniel can kill chickens and whether or not he will depends on the dog, the circumstances and how familiar he is with poultry.
Cockers can and will kill poultry and the only safe and assured way of preventing your hens from being killed is to keep your them in a safe and secure place that your dogs cannot access.
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Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API