This is our dog, Finn (looks all regal doesn't he).
And these are our chickens (and also my feet).
Our girls are pretty happy, and they get plenty of love and attention from the family (I would never have guessed that mealworms would be a beloved item around our house...but everyone loves the chance to feed a handful to these voracious ladies).
During the day, we often let our little flock roam our backyard. They explore things and peck at things and regularly get startled by a noise or an unexpected plant (seriously). Then they run their squawky selves back to their coop as fast as their skinny legs will carry them and chat about the danger before venturing out again. It's mildly comical.
Finn, for the most part, just watches their antics from a distance. I've long thought he kind of loved them (he's been highly fascinated with them since they joined the household), but my children began to think otherwise. I started to get occasional reports from my kidlets that Finn was chasing the chickens in the yard.
Well, we can't have that, so I started paying close attention.
Sure enough, I encountered several occasions where the dog did, in fact, chase the chickens.
But not in the way I originally imagined it.
Through my observations, I have come to learn that Finn is, in all truth, the king of this flock of hens. And so, he manages his subjects which in this case means that he keeps them safe and controlled by maneuvering the group so that they stay happily contained in the yard and not too far from their home.
So, if the ladies wander further from their coop than Finn deems appropriate, he takes action and gently guides them back home. He stays close to his harem, and he does NOT like it if others intervene with the gals. He also reminds his ladies to stay together (safety in numbers you know), so if one hen wanders off he carefully drives her back to the group so she knows she isn't alone.
It's like an episode of Nature right in my own backyard.
I knew Brittany Spaniels were a breed of bird dog, I guess I just didn't realize exactly what that could entail.
Finn: Chicken Monarch Extraordinaire