by Debbie Bosworth of Dandelion House
Call us late bloomers in the four- legged department but for years just keeping up with the demands of family life and homeschooling our two children was plenty! It wasn’t until our daughter began pining away for her very own puppy ( after doing the same for baby chicks ) that we even considered getting a dog. Once we decided ( caved is more like it ) to get one we did our due diligence to make sure that he would be a perfect fit for our family and home life. We also wanted a dog that would keep harmony in the hen house too! After all, the ” girls ” were here first and we felt is was very important that we choose a dog that was chicken friendly! Conversely, we also thought it was of equal importance that our new dog be at peace with his new surroundings. By that I mean, knowing better than to choose a dog who’s natural instinct is to hunt down its pray and rip its head off! I realize this isn’t the first priority most people think of when deciding to get a dog, especially a FIRST dog but, by being patient and methodical in our research we landed the perfect dog for us and our small flock of backyard chickens.
Size and personality were key because our home is modest in size. To put it plainly, we just don’t have room for a large Lab lumbering about the house swishing its tail back and forth not to mention taking up half of the sofa on family movie night! Nope, what we wanted was a chicken friendly, intelligent, loyal, loving, BIG dog in a little dogs body and that’s exactly what we got!
|Max, Welsh Pembroke Corgi|
That’s a pretty tall order for such a short little fella but, he more than fits the bill for our entire family, human and feathered members alike. Max, max’s out at 30 lbs which is pushing it for a lap dog but don’t tell him that.
You can see in this photo that all he’s interested in is the grass clippings scattered on the ground inside the run.
Welsh Corgi, ( meaning dwarf ) are one of the smallest breeds in the herding group. Bred for herding livestock such as poultry, sheep and cattle. They have a small athletic build but don’t let those short little legs fool you. They can run so fast it almost looks like a hop! They are very smart and love a job to do, so if you do let your chickens free range, or have sheep, geese, or cattle the Corgi should be on your ” top dog ” list to consider. In the show ring they excel in confirmation and performance exercises. But, it’s around the house, with their herd where they truly shine.They always have a smile for you, are ready to play, relax, or just hangout at your feet! Corgis are happiest when everyone is gathered together in one place where they can keep an eye on the whole gang! The same goes for their flock!
It’s common knowledge that Queen Elizabeth 11 is a huge fan of the Corgi Breed. She’s had over 30 during her reign as Queen.
You might also know that Tasha Tudor was known for her love of the breed as well. Her Corgis played a starring roll in many of her best selling children’s books such as Corgiville Fair and Corgiville Christmas.
Our Max and some of Tasha Tudor’s Corgis came from the same ” stock “. Breeder Anne Bowes of Duxbury, MA. has been breeding and showing Welsh Pembroke Corgis for more than 30 years. Her dedication to the breed paid off when she won the AKC Breeder of the Year award in 2008.
It’s obvious I could go on and on making a case for Corgis. They truly are a remarkable family dog and ours has been kind to our chickens never showing any signs of aggression towards them. But, as we all know, proper training, care and environment play a large role in having a happy, well behaved dog. I’m not an expert on the best chicken friendly dogs. I can only tell you my experience. We all know animals can surprise us in extraordinary ways. There just might be a Corgi out there that isn’t friendly towards chickens. It’s just as likely there are what might be considered non chicken friendly dogs that show tolerance, maybe even affection for chickens!
So, I’m reaching out to my Community Chickens peeps to shed some light on what you think the BEST and the WORST chicken friendly dogs are for backyard chicken keepers and farms alike? Tell us why in the comments section below!
And, be sure to watch this video of Sean, the Chicken Herding Corgi! It’s simply adorable!