What to Know About Golden Retrievers and Chickens?

Pet Care


August 30, 2022

Having a dog of any kind brings with it a litany of questions. Among those questions is how well your dog will do when playing with other animals. Since golden retrievers are so friendly, the question is moot for most animals.

But what about chickens? If you have chickens on your property, you will want to make sure that your dog—golden or otherwise—does no harm to your chickens. Here is what you need to know.

Will a Golden Retriever Kill Chickens?

Golden retrievers and chickens actually get along quite well. For the most part, golden retrievers will not kill chickens. As a matter of fact, goldens can be trained to be quite friendly and calm whenever they are around chickens.

The key is to monitor the interactions between your dog—especially if it is a puppy—and the chicken when they first meet. After that, it should be smooth sailing, and you will have created a new friendship between your dog and chickens.

Can Golden Retrievers be Trained to Not Kill Chickens?

The great thing about having golden retrievers and chickens in one space is that you can train your golden to interact properly with the chickens. Since golden retrievers are naturally bred to retrieve waterfowl, there can be concerns as to whether they will grab and accidentally kill the chickens.

The good news is that, with a little bit of training, you can dispel those natural feelings. Golden retrievers are not only quite eager to please but very intelligent as well. This means that it shouldn’t be too difficult to train them to get along with the chickens on your property.

Keeping Problems Between Golden Retrievers and Chickens to a Minimum

So the question becomes how you get your golden to play nice around the chickens. Should your golden cause problems, you can change the behavior through a little bit of training. Before long, they should be able to coexist without any issue.

Keep in mind that it is the nature of your golden to go after the chickens. Even if the intent isn’t to hurt or kill them, it can be to chase them down and even carry them in their mouths. This means that there are certain natural instincts that you have to calm.

There are a few ways to do this. For starters, make sure that you expose your dog to the chickens often. If you keep your golden retriever away from the chickens, more often than not, the golden is going to be more likely to be inclined to do some chasing.

The sooner that you expose your dog to the chickens, the faster the novelty will wear off. This means that they will leave the chickens alone because they don’t seem so special anymore. Keep it simple by just walking your golden near the chickens with the dog’s leash on. Do it a few times a day and things should progress quickly.

Tire Your Golden Out

Golden retrievers are naturally high-energy. Sometimes they may be more inclined to grab a chicken if they are feeling bored or high-energy. The best thing to do is to keep them busy so that they burn off that energy.

If your golden is showing a lot of energy, it may not be the best time to introduce them to your chickens. But if they have been worn down by activity, they will be calm and should cause little to no problems with the chickens.

If you haven’t done much to keep your dog busy that day, consider holding off on allowing them near the chickens. Keep your dog active. Take your golden on regular walks. Make sure that your golden is nice and tired so that it doesn’t have the energy to mess with the chickens.

Should you plan on having your golden around the chickens often, the combination of familiarity and a busy schedule should ensure that your golden does not want to mess with the chickens.

Nothing Beats Proper Training

Of course, the best way to ensure that your golden retriever won’t chase after the chickens is to ensure that the dog has proper training. The more training that your dog has, the easier it is for them to not only listen to your commands but also to keep from chasing the chickens as well.

Some of the basic training commands—stay, sit, rollover—are really all that you need to instill in your dog. When it comes to adding cats, chickens, or any other household critter into the mix, basic training can help keep your golden on its best behavior. You want everyone getting along and on the same page, after all.


Golden retrievers are some of the friendliest dogs out there. The good news is that if you plan to have chickens on your property, you can do so without worrying about whether or not the golden will attack them.

They never have the intent to kill, but they do naturally retrieve waterfowl. So with a little bit of training, you can ensure that your golden keeps to itself and does no harm to your chickens even when left alone.