Generally, Dachshunds, also widely known as weiner dogs, sausage dogs, or doxies, are not good with chickens. These dogs were originally bred to hunt small animals, such as badgers and rabbits. This means that they are not ideal to keep around chickens, as there is a risk these hunting instincts could still be present.
However, with some vigilant training and a watchful eye, you can train your Dachshund(s) and chickens to get along just fine.
In this quick article, we are going to take a close look at the dynamic between the Dachshunds and chickens and consider whether they can be kept together harmoniously.
With chickens becoming a more and more popular choice of pet for the family, dog owners are having to consider whether some feathery friends would be a fun addition to the garden, or a disaster waiting to happen.
Though they are small and known to be very loving and friendly with humans, Dachshunds may not be keen on other small animals sharing their home, therefore it is important to consider your Dachshund’s temperament and training before putting them with chickens.
The History of Dachshunds
To consider whether Dachshunds are good with chickens, it is useful to look back at the origins of the breed, and their history with other animals. Given their indisputable cuteness, you might be surprised to hear that sausage dogs were originally bred as hunting dogs.
I know, right? With their shorter than average legs and their seemingly placid demeanor, they perhaps do not seem like the obvious choice for a hunting dog.
However, in 15th Century Germany, Dachshunds began to be used to do away with badgers by flushing them from their setts, the name ‘Dachshund’ actually translating as ‘badger dog’. Miniature variations of the breed were also used to hunt smaller burrow-dwelling animals, such as rabbits and mice.
Given this information, we can begin to gather why your sausage dog might not be inclined to get on with chickens. Over time, they have been bred to disturb and kill smaller animals, and though they are rarely used for this purpose anymore, there is a chance these instincts could kick in and leave your chickens in danger.
Dachshunds in the Home
Given what you’ve read so far, you may be a little confused. Your loyal, loving, and sweet pet Dachshund might not seem like a hunting dog at all, and it may appear as though they should have no qualms with a couple of chickens pecking around on their back lawn.
So, let’s break down the temperament of the Dachshund a little further, to see where their problem with chickens may lie.
Dachshunds are known for being particularly devoted to their owners. If you have a Dachshund yourself, you have probably noticed that your dog is generally very kid-friendly and enjoys being in the home.
The presence of chickens has the potential to affect this dynamic, as your sausage dog might be unwilling to share its space and attention in its home environment, causing tension between the dog and the chickens.
Training your Dachshund
Sausage dogs are also notorious for frequent barking, which is worth considering if you are planning on keeping a Dachshund around chickens.
If your chickens are used to the presence of dogs, for example, if they are kept on a farm or with other animals, then this might not be an issue.
However, if you think the tendency to bark might upset the flock of chickens, then a Dachshund is not the best dog to have around.
Though they get on well with humans, Dachshunds are also pretty independent, as dogs go. Having been trained to hunt, they are able to think for themselves.
This is a double-edged sword – it means that Dachshunds are very intelligent (and therefore able to learn what is right and wrong from their owner), but also that they are rather stubborn.
What does this mean for Dachshunds and chickens? Well, the good thing is, you can train your sausage dog to live alongside chickens if you want to. The downside? It just might take a bit of work.
Potential for Friendship
Though most evidence suggests that Dachshunds are unlikely to enjoy the presence of chickens, do not feel dejected. Each dog is different, and there are certainly Dachshunds that can be around chickens without vigilant training.
A popular YouTube channel, Loulou and Friends (293k), features a smooth-haired Miniature Dachshund alongside a plethora of other animals, including chickens.
Here, Loulou the Dachshund seems pretty composed despite the presence of chickens, as they share the garden space without either her or the chickens provoking any conflict. Cute, right?
There are many things to consider, therefore, when asking if Dachshunds are good with chickens. It may be worth asking yourself:
- Is the Dachshund used to the presence of other small animals?
- Is the Dachshund already well-trained or can be in the future?
- Are the chickens you intend on having your Dachshund around used to the presence of dogs, especially those which have a tendency to bark often?
If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then your Dachshund might be fine around chickens.
If the answer to any of the questions is no, I would be cautious putting your Dachshund and chickens together. Make sure there is a human supervising if the Dachshund(s) and chickens must share the same space.
So, are Dachshunds good with chickens?
Without training, no, this breed tends to not get along with other small animals such as chickens. Their loving and loyal temperament is more suited to being the main focus of its owners, and there is always a risk that their hunting instincts will kick in, leaving your chickens vulnerable.
However, with enough determination, you can get a sausage dog to get along with chickens. If you are willing to put in the time to train this stubborn breed, you can manage their natural hunting instinct and get a Dachshund to exist harmoniously alongside chickens.