Are Border Collies Good with Chickens? Let’s Find Out!

are border collies good with chickens

As professional copywriting journalists, we are often asked about the compatibility of Border Collies and chickens. These two animals have different personalities and temperaments, but can they coexist peacefully? In this article, we will explore the topic of Border Collies and chickens, focusing on their behavior and compatibility in a farm setting.

Border Collies are a highly intelligent and energetic breed known for their herding instincts. They are often used on farms to round up livestock, including sheep and cattle. However, when it comes to chickens and other small poultry, their natural instincts can pose a challenge. Chickens are easily spooked by sudden movements and loud noises, which can trigger a Border Collie’s herding instincts and lead to chasing or even injuring them.

Despite these challenges, Border Collies and chickens can coexist harmoniously with proper training and supervision. In the following sections, we will discuss in detail the behavior of Border Collies around chickens, the training involved, and the overall compatibility of these two animals.

Border Collies’ Behavior Around Chickens

When it comes to keeping chickens with Border Collies, it is important to understand the behavior of these dogs around livestock. Border Collies are known for their herding instincts and are often used on farms to manage and move livestock.

However, when a Border Collie is around chickens, their natural instincts can sometimes cause a problem. Without proper training and supervision, Border Collies may see chickens as something to herd or even prey upon.


One of the challenges of keeping chickens with Border Collies is their strong prey drive. Chickens, being small and fast-moving, can trigger a Border Collie’s instincts to chase and catch them. This can be dangerous for the chickens and can also lead to injuries or even death for the dog if they accidentally catch a chicken and are injured by its claws and beak.

Another challenge is that Border Collies are highly intelligent and independent dogs, which means they may sometimes ignore commands or boundaries if they are too focused on the chickens.


The key to keeping chickens with Border Collies is proper training. It is important to teach Border Collies to respect and coexist with poultry in a safe and controlled manner. We suggest starting with basic obedience training, such as teaching your dog to come when called and to stay on command. You can also introduce your Border Collie to chickens in a controlled environment, such as a fenced area or on a leash.

Training a Border Collie to work with chickens involves teaching them commands like “leave it” and “down”. You can start by having your Border Collie sit and stay while you walk by with a chicken. If they remain calm, reward them with praise and treats. Gradually increase the amount of time your Border Collie spends around the chickens, and always supervise them closely. This training takes time and patience, but it can be done.

Keeping chickens with Border Collies is possible with proper training and supervision. These dogs can make great chicken herders when trained correctly, but it is important to remember their natural instincts and potential challenges. By understanding the behavior of Border Collies around chickens and taking the necessary precautions, you can create a safe and harmonious environment for both your dogs and your chickens.

Training Border Collies to Work with Chickens

Training Border Collies to work with chickens can be a challenging but rewarding task. Border Collies are bred to have a strong herding instinct, which can make them valuable assets on a farm. However, it’s important to train them properly to ensure they don’t harm the chickens they are meant to protect.

The first step in training a Border Collie to work with chickens is to introduce them to the birds in a controlled and supervised environment. Begin by leashing your dog and allowing them to observe the chickens from a safe distance. Reward your Border Collie for exhibiting calm behavior and gradually decrease the distance between them and the chickens over time.

Once your dog is comfortable in the presence of the chickens, you can begin training them to herd the birds. Commands such as “come by” and “away to me” can be used to direct your Border Collie’s movements. It’s important to stay patient and consistent with your training to ensure your dog understands what is expected of them.

Reinforcement techniques such as positive reinforcement and clicker training can be effective in training Border Collies to work with chickens. These methods involve rewarding your dog for exhibiting the desired behavior, which can reinforce good habits and create a stronger bond between you and your dog.

It’s also important to establish boundaries around the chicken coop to prevent your Border Collie from harming the birds. Fencing or other barriers can be used to keep your dog away from the chickens when they’re not actively herding them.

In summary, training Border Collies to work with chickens requires patience, consistency, and a willingness to supervise and interact with your dog regularly. With proper training, Border Collies can become valuable assets on a farm, helping to protect and manage flocks of chickens.

The Compatibility of Border Collies and Chickens

At first glance, the idea of a herding dog and a farm bird coexisting may seem counterintuitive. However, with proper training and precautions, Border Collies can indeed be compatible with chickens.

The key to establishing a harmonious relationship between Border Collies and chickens is understanding their respective personalities and needs. While Border Collies are natural herders and have a strong prey drive, chickens are social birds that exhibit flocking behavior and can be easily startled. Therefore, it is important to introduce them gradually and under close supervision.

With consistent training and boundaries, Border Collies can learn to respect and coexist with poultry. They can even be trained to become chicken herders and assist with tasks such as gathering eggs or moving the flock. This not only benefits the farm operation, but also provides mental stimulation and exercise for the Border Collies.

However, it is important to note that not all Border Collies will have the temperament or inclination to work with chickens. Some may be too high-energy or too focused on chasing prey. It is crucial to assess each individual Border Collie and their compatibility with chickens before introducing them to the flock.

In conclusion, while Border Collies and chickens may seem like an unlikely duo, they can coexist harmoniously with proper training, supervision, and understanding of their individual personalities. As with any animal relationship, it is important to prioritize safety and respect for all parties involved.


In conclusion, while it may seem counterintuitive to some, Border Collies and chickens can indeed coexist peacefully. However, achieving this requires proper training, supervision, and understanding of the dogs and birds’ individual personalities and needs.

Throughout this article, we have discussed the natural herding instincts of Border Collies and their role in farm settings. We have also explored the specific behavior of Border Collies around chickens, potential challenges, and how to train them to respect and coexist with poultry. Additionally, we focused on training Border Collies to work with chickens and maintain a harmonious relationship between the two.

It is essential to remember that Border Collies are highly intelligent and trainable dogs, but they require patience and consistency during training. By following the steps outlined in this article, Border Collies can be trained to become excellent chicken herders.

Overall, it is possible for Border Collies and chickens to live together peacefully. The key is to establish boundaries, provide sufficient supervision, and commit to ongoing training. By doing so, Border Collies can become valuable assets to any farm, including those with chickens.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top