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Blind Livestock Guardian Dog for chickens

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

This may sound crazy but here goes;  I have the chance to rescue a blind Anatolian Shepherd mix.  She came from a farm in KY but was dumped at a shelter when she went totally blind.  (Probably caused by eating horse poop with wormer Ivermectin in it). So my thought is that she live in the cottage where the chickens live. She would not have direct access to them at night or when they are in their run, but if I feel she is trained well enough, I will let her guard them while they free range inside a large fenced area under a tree.  I'm looking for advice and information on training the dog to know her job is to guard chickens from hawks, coyote, fox and raccoons. I'm thinking that she is recently blind because she doesnt depend on sound and smell as much as I think she could so I want to teach her the sounds to listen for and where the fence is and to bark at intruders. Do you have any ideas?

post #2 of 8
I always though dogs already depended much more of their sense of smell and hearing then sight. I would just train her as I would a typical dog remembering to guide with smells.
post #3 of 8

smells won't help her with avoiding obstacles and other issues related to being able to move around her area safely.   indoors or in a secure area, this isn't much of an issue.  outside where chickens may make wallows on what was flat ground yesterday, limbs fall from trees, etc she is at a serious disadvantage.  And she will move more slowly and carefully and be nervous and stressed because of her uncertainty in her environment.    and chasing after a predator will be difficult for her.   she can't see any potential dangers in her path if she runs in their direction.

 

while it wouldn't interfere with a dog living a productive and happy life as a pet, it can be very dangrerous in a complely unsupervised outdoor environment.   

a dog that senses a predator such as a coyote or raccoon is at a serious and potentially deadly disadvantage.   not all will back down, especially when they quickly realize that the dog has limited visual ability.   


Edited by dainerra - 4/19/16 at 5:27pm
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks. You have good points to consider.  I'm looking for how to accommodate her limitations. I can mark the boundaries with scent. If she hears something at night she will bark and place herself between it and her flock while the other dogs on the property will come to investigate.

The flock will be locked up at night. During the day, I want her to know a hawk screech and respond.  Will the chickens learn to run for cover if she  barks during the day? Any thoughts? 

post #5 of 8
I fully agree your dog will not be able to fight a coyote. I know of a pair of pit bulls in the prime of their life who where taken down by coyotes. Raccoons, maybe, a well trained dog, even blind could still probably take a raccoon.
It is very important that part of your dogs training be never to leave the yard. Coyotes will lure a dog off the safety of the yard and ambush them. Your dog will have limitations, but I do not know that I agree on the severity.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicFarmWife View Post

I fully agree your dog will not be able to fight a coyote. I know of a pair of pit bulls in the prime of their life who where taken down by coyotes. Raccoons, maybe, a well trained dog, even blind could still probably take a raccoon.
It is very important that part of your dogs training be never to leave the yard. Coyotes will lure a dog off the safety of the yard and ambush them. Your dog will have limitations, but I do not know that I agree on the severity.

I've seen coondogs in the prime of life that were almost killed by coons.  i wouldn't expect a blind dog to take them on.

post #7 of 8

it isn't so much boundaries but that you will have to insure that there are no holes in the area she is.  no hummucks of grass or other things for her to trip on.  etc etc   

I've never seen chickens who don't scatter at the scream of a hawk.    Training a dog to bark at a hawk screech is simple training.   Just play sounds of hawk instead of using the word "speak"  

post #8 of 8

I breed LGDs, and I can honestly say that any dog with sight issues is not suited for work. It's our job to set our dogs up to succeed against predators, and hoping a blind dog can do the job of guarding other animals is wishful thinking at best. That dog is best suited for a pet home OR a home with another LGD who can protect her.

Natalie ~ Royal T Acres ~ Raising Rare Livestock in Western Montana

*~Formerly 9gerianMile~*

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Natalie ~ Royal T Acres ~ Raising Rare Livestock in Western Montana

*~Formerly 9gerianMile~*

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