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Topic of the Week - Dogs and chickens - Page 14

post #131 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by neophyte17 View Post

How do you train a puppy to not only leave the chickens alone but also protect them? I have an anatolian sheperd who was just naturally good with them even though he was not introduced to chickens until he was an adult. Just got a saint bernard/bernese mountain dog mix pup and I am trying to teach her. Any suggestions?

 

Certain breeds protect livestock, though even proponents of those breeds mostly agree they don't actually bond with nor protect a flock of chickens, and some breeds protect territory.  So all you need to do is train a pup on leaving the chickens alone, he will guard a certain territory from predators as it's just in his nature...if the chickens are in that territory, they benefit from that territorial guarding. 

 

I train a pup by exposure to the chickens, not exclusion.  I think most people make the mistake of keeping them separate but in visual with one another, which just creates a dog that is allowed to get excited by the birds with no one there to correct him on it.  Then, finally, the human thinks the dog is old enough to train on chickens but he has already set a pattern in his formative months of being able to pace the fence, lunge and bark at them if they get excited, etc.   Suddenly a person wants him to stop all those behaviors and he's then confused. 

 

First day a pup is here, he is trained on chickens.  You are fortunate that you have an older dog to help you...that's priceless and will be your second set of eyes on the flock in regards to a pup. 

 

I work on obedience training at the same time I work on chickens...."leave it" is an important command for any dog, so you can combine leave it with chickens and get good results.  I usually truss up a bird and lay it on the ground, where it usually flaps and tries to move a good bit...this attracts the pup's attention, which gets him an immediate correction.   The bird will continue to move and possibly squawk, but the pup is not allowed to show any excitement or even any overt staring in that direction.  That will get a correction.  You have to give corrections in a timely manner, be quick.  When  he consistently gives the right response, which is to not even look at the bird when it moves and makes noise, you give cheery positive reinforcements of pets, good boys, etc. 

 

Then go inside the house but leave the bird and the pup out there, watch from an open window....any glance he may give in the direction of the bird gets a correction, loud and strong.  The desired response to that correction is a ducking of the head and movement away from the chicken.  When that happens, you know he has connected the chicken with "leave it" corrections.  Then you can go out and release your bird and continue to reinforce that training as time goes along, but I've barely needed  another lesson of that type.  After that, they know that they are not to grow excited when the chickens do.

 

The older dog's example will reinforce that training, with the older dog showing further example of how to react when the chickens make noise and run, squawk and flap. 

 
Matthew 10:32-33 - Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJdx9BtTob4

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Matthew 10:32-33 - Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJdx9BtTob4

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post #132 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beekissed View Post

Certain breeds protect livestock, though even proponents of those breeds mostly agree they don't actually bond with nor protect a flock of chickens, and some breeds protect territory.  So all you need to do is train a pup on leaving the chickens alone, he will guard a certain territory from predators as it's just in his nature...if the chickens are in that territory, they benefit from that territorial guarding. 

I train a pup by exposure to the chickens, not exclusion.  I think most people make the mistake of keeping them separate but in visual with one another, which just creates a dog that is allowed to get excited by the birds with no one there to correct him on it.  Then, finally, the human thinks the dog is old enough to train on chickens but he has already set a pattern in his formative months of being able to pace the fence, lunge and bark at them if they get excited, etc.   Suddenly a person wants him to stop all those behaviors and he's then confused. 

First day a pup is here, he is trained on chickens.  You are fortunate that you have an older dog to help you...that's priceless and will be your second set of eyes on the flock in regards to a pup. 

I work on obedience training at the same time I work on chickens...."leave it" is an important command for any dog, so you can combine leave it with chickens and get good results.  I usually truss up a bird and lay it on the ground, where it usually flaps and tries to move a good bit...this attracts the pup's attention, which gets him an immediate correction.   The bird will continue to move and possibly squawk, but the pup is not allowed to show any excitement or even any overt staring in that direction.  That will get a correction.  You have to give corrections in a timely manner, be quick.  When  he consistently gives the right response, which is to not even look at the bird when it moves and makes noise, you give cheery positive reinforcements of pets, good boys, etc. 

Then go inside the house but leave the bird and the pup out there, watch from an open window....any glance he may give in the direction of the bird gets a correction, loud and strong.  The desired response to that correction is a ducking of the head and movement away from the chicken.  When that happens, you know he has connected the chicken with "leave it" corrections.  Then you can go out and release your bird and continue to reinforce that training as time goes along, but I've barely needed  another lesson of that type.  After that, they know that they are not to grow excited when the chickens do.

The older dog's example will reinforce that training, with the older dog showing further example of how to react when the chickens make noise and run, squawk and flap. 
Thank you!!! I am keeping her around them as much as I can with me by her side. One of my roosters has pecked her a few times so she is mindful of him.I will continue with her training. She is just 7 weeks old so I am starting the socializing young
post #133 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by neophyte17 View Post


Thank you!!! I am keeping her around them as much as I can with me by her side. One of my roosters has pecked her a few times so she is mindful of him.I will continue with her training. She is just 7 weeks old so I am starting the socializing young

 

That's a great idea.  If you can leave her to live with your older dog that's living with the chickens, she will learn more from that than anything we could teach her.  The young will often mimic the elder, watching them for cues on how to react to things in their environment.  Also, the older dog may even correct her if she sets a foot wrong with the chickens and that too will have more effect than anything you say. 

 

This last pup learned things from my older dog that I never taught him and it was wonderful!  I didn't have to work very hard on "sit" or"lie down" because he watched my older dog and did it when he did.  Same with lying down and waiting for food to be given...he watched the older dog and soon became much better and more consistent than even the elder. 

 

I'd do it while you are there first, so you can watch from the house or just chore around outside and monitor their interaction, but eventually you'll have to trust that your training works even when you are not around and let them live together.  The breed mix of your dog is a good one, with both breeds known for loyalty, intelligence, eagerness to please and low energy levels.  That's a great place to start! 

 
Matthew 10:32-33 - Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJdx9BtTob4

Reply
 
Matthew 10:32-33 - Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJdx9BtTob4

Reply
post #134 of 141

We had chickens long before we got dogs. First dog was a senior husky/shepherd mix we rescued as a stray. She was mostly deaf, partially blind and didn't have that great a sense of smell either, so she was never really enticed to chase the chickens. That or she grew up with them. We know she could have caught them if she wanted, we used to take her running with us before her arthritis got too bad and she loved it. Instead of chasing, she made friends...in fact, one of our elderly Leghorn hens became her best friend. Those two ladies were usually found snoozing together in the sun.

 

Our other dog, which we got a few years after the first passed away, also came to us as an adult. He's an 8-pound toy poodle and to be honest, we just let him chase them initially. We figured the chickens would handle it. Sure enough, the ONLY time he was able to catch one's tail (a hen with unusually short legs) she turned right around and gave him a good peck on the nose! He took off in the opposite direction and hasn't seriously chased since. He will sometimes dart at them. All they have to do is flap their wings or make a pecking motion and he remembers to give them space!

 

He doesn't have the same agreement with the babies, though...seems to be triggered by the high-pitched chirping. As soon as their voices change, he loses interest.

Currently have Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Black Australorps, Silkies and some barnyard mutts, along with a grumpy toy poodle mix and a cheeky little lovebird. 

 

Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem. -A.A. Milne

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Currently have Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Black Australorps, Silkies and some barnyard mutts, along with a grumpy toy poodle mix and a cheeky little lovebird. 

 

Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem. -A.A. Milne

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post #135 of 141

I have a Red Heeler, and a Border Collie. My red heeler is and always has been completely indifferent towards the hens. My border collie is a hunter, so I would take her out to the backyard on a leash with me and we would watch them free range. She aims to please, so I hardly have to raise my voice for her to get the picture. Once off the leash, she would stalk for a little while, but after putting a vibrating collar on her and buzzing her when she got too close, she lost her fascination with them. Now she just follows them around the yard and sniffs their butts from time to time. They coexist peacefully now. I have 100% confidence in my girls (dogs).

 

HOWEVER....

 

My sister moved in with us recently and her pitbull mix dug under the fenced area I had the hens in and killed 8 of my 10. Her dog is now locked on a 5 ft chain with one of my dead hens tied around her neck, and will be for the next 7 days. She's normally a nice dog, but I guess pitbulls have a bad rap for a reason.

post #136 of 141

Wow, that's too bad! So sorry for your loss of those 8 hens!

 

As it happens, this is the week I am introducing my silkies to my dog. He is very smart in some ways, but has to be introduced to every new chicken so it can learn not to be scared, because he will only chase the adults if they are scared. (He does want to eat the babies, but we don't give him the chance.)

 

Let me tell you, the silkies confused him. 

 

 

He was only trying to make friends, but every time he got close, one of them would jump at him and beat him with its wings. They even pulled a couple tufts of fur out. He was trying everything, wagging tail, play-bows, crying. Finally he gave up and came to sit by me.

 

First chickens I have ever had that were not only not scared, but just plain would not tolerate any nonsense from the start. lol 

Currently have Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Black Australorps, Silkies and some barnyard mutts, along with a grumpy toy poodle mix and a cheeky little lovebird. 

 

Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem. -A.A. Milne

Reply

Currently have Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Black Australorps, Silkies and some barnyard mutts, along with a grumpy toy poodle mix and a cheeky little lovebird. 

 

Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem. -A.A. Milne

Reply
post #137 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by TxAg11 View Post

I have a Red Heeler, and a Border Collie. My red heeler is and always has been completely indifferent towards the hens. My border collie is a hunter, so I would take her out to the backyard on a leash with me and we would watch them free range. She aims to please, so I hardly have to raise my voice for her to get the picture. Once off the leash, she would stalk for a little while, but after putting a vibrating collar on her and buzzing her when she got too close, she lost her fascination with them. Now she just follows them around the yard and sniffs their butts from time to time. They coexist peacefully now. I have 100% confidence in my girls (dogs).

HOWEVER....

My sister moved in with us recently and her pitbull mix dug under the fenced area I had the hens in and killed 8 of my 10. Her dog is now locked on a 5 ft chain with one of my dead hens tied around her neck, and will be for the next 7 days. She's normally a nice dog, but I guess pitbulls have a bad rap for a reason.

Sorry about the loss. They are part of the terrier breeds. So genetically they hunt. Plus, pit bull itself isn't a breed rather a catch all term for dogs that look similar, that are the bully breeds: Staffordshire, bulldogs, etc. The dog just needs trading. Be prorated for the chain & chicken method not to work. Some dogs have a very high prey drive.
post #138 of 141

@Beekissed, You have inspired me greatly.  I need to revisit this whole thing.

"But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

 

Don't dwell on the past.  Keep moving forward.  Said by my former husband who went on to be with the Lord in 2010.  Just keep moving forward and trusting God.  

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"But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

 

Don't dwell on the past.  Keep moving forward.  Said by my former husband who went on to be with the Lord in 2010.  Just keep moving forward and trusting God.  

Reply
post #139 of 141

I have sighthounds (scottish deerhounds) who are bred to hunt and kill things. I lost one chicken to one of my dogs within a few months of getting the chickens, as soon as I started free-ranging the hens. Dog got let out accidentally with the chickens. After that we developed a very strict system. The chickens get out to free range for a few hours in the late morning, after the dogs have been out for their morning constitutional. Whenever the chickens are out, we put a sign up on the back door not to let dogs out (to remind any forgetful household members), and the dogs are locked inside during that time. After chickens are put away, dogs get access to yard again. We have a nicely fenced one acre yard, big enough for dogs and chickens to share, but we do have to follow our system, or a chicken bites the dust! After nearly 4 years, we have only lost the one hen to the dogs. Learned our lesson quickly, and implemented a system to prevent any recurrence. I am sure there may come a day where I lose a chicken again to my dogs, but to me it is worth the risk, as I enjoy having both so much. 

post #140 of 141

Has anyone every used the air spray in a can to keep the dogs and cats away from the chickens?  Will the air freak out the chickens?

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