I have searched the forums on this and haven't found a thread but please direct me to one if I am wrong and missed it. I have seen several threads about training a dog to avoid attacking chickens but I would love to know how best to train the dog to not bark at them every time they are in the run. I have a very secure coop and run and I actually have an electric fence loop around both so my dog can not go near either. However, she runs just outside the electric loop all day barking at the chickens. Honestly, I know I can put her on a leash and work with her but I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old and I haven't been able to do it often enough to make it really sink in. Every time we are outside playing I call her away and give her a treat when she ignores them and comes to me but her pray drive is very high and she really is not very motivated by treats. (She is a standard poodle, we have been through 2 obedience classes, she knows all of the normal commands but none of them will work if there is an animal/person/dog around that she wants to play with). I am wondering if a dog whistle or some sort of sound may help? Since she already has an electric fence I am worried that a remote shock collar would just confuse her and freak her out...although that may be my last resort. She is too fast to catch once she is outside and I just don't have the significant time to spend with her on a leash....and I'm not sure it would work anyway because she is so obsessed with the chickens.
Also, can anyone tell me if it is possible for the dog to scare a chicken to death by barking at it? I had a backyard flock before and they didn't seem bothered by her but I recently got a few new pullets and I found one dead in the run yesterday. (a speckled sussex that I was SO excited about!) I looked her over and didn't see anything wrong, I hadn't noticed her acting strangely, and she was under the coop in the middle of the run (no predator holes in the mesh, very fine mesh so nothing could reach through, and she was in the middle of the run so nothing could have reached her anyway). They have free ranged a couple of times so maybe she ate something she shouldn't have but otherwise I have no clue why she died. I've had them for a few weeks...and I know other animals can go into shock when scared so I was wondering if chickens can as well? Sorry if this is a naive question, I just hadn't really thought about it before but now I am worried for my remaining 2 pullets.
Thank you so much for any suggestions you may have!