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Chicken herding dog? - Page 3

post #21 of 32

I have three border collies 2 who take an interest in the chicks. Rio, the oldest will herd if you need him too and if there is nothing else to do, but Molly my 3 year old has imprinted with all the chickens and they with her. They even sit on her head. She is very fast and will round them up and then look them over and then if they are all there she lays down and keeps an eye on them. If I need her to, she takes them straight to the coop, otherwise they free range, and yes will go into their coops on their own at dusk. There are three age groups and she checks on the oldest but stays with the 7 week olds. There are pictures of her with the younger chicks on the thread dogs with chicks posted a few days ago. I do keep an eye on her in case she gets frustrated but the only time that seems to happen is when I am frustrated. She reads the chicks and me. She is a natural. I have one collie that will have nothing to do with them, go figure.Molly will not come into the house until all chicks are safe and sound in teir coops. But......she is a very unique little dog. They are her babies.

post #22 of 32

My little ChiRat (Chihuahua/Rat Terrier) does and the chickens know where to go they just run inside their coop when she herds them

~The greatest gift in life is to love and be loved in return~
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~The greatest gift in life is to love and be loved in return~
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post #23 of 32

We let our 4 yr old Golden Retriever mix off leash with the chickens for the first time yesterday (supervised, of course).  He showed zero aggression.  Our BR, Karin (the "alpha" hen), was a different story.  She chased him around and pecked at his tail and nose.lau  We were hoping he would learn to guard our chickens, but it looks like they might not need it!

Wife, mother, pet owner (1 dog & 10 chickens), lunch lady, Cub Scout den leader, and (inactive) Master Gardener.  

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Wife, mother, pet owner (1 dog & 10 chickens), lunch lady, Cub Scout den leader, and (inactive) Master Gardener.  

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post #24 of 32

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/72998_img_2606.jpg

This is my LGD.  She is great with the chix.

post #25 of 32

I have 6 polish chickens that have a house and enclosure and now that they are older I am letting them free range in our large fenced yard.  I have a chihuahua and a 3 yr. old border collie/australian shepard/queensland heeler mix [Dolly].  I am having problems keeping them off our wrap around veranda.  I trained the dogs to not chase the chickens but now the chickens are chasing the dogs and trying to establish territorality.  The biggest problem is now they have been sitting in front of the screen door because they know I am in the house.  I am pretty sure they would come in the house if I jarred the screen door open ( which is how the dogs often go in and out.  We have two other doors and I peeked around the veranda and they saw me and came to find me.  The blocked the veranda in their occupation and the dogs were afraid to pass by.  I don't want the chickens taking over.  I have a squirt bottle and will try that and then escalate to the hose if I need to.  Dolly is excitable and skittish in temperment but loves to bark when I close the hen house door at night.  So she shows herding breed instincts.  I would love to teach her to keep them off the veranda but I don't want her to start chasing them.  I heard polish chickens top notches should not get wet too.  Any suggestions appreciated.

post #26 of 32

We started our chicken adventure 8 1/2 weeks ago with 4 day old chicks (2 wyandotte's and 2 Buff Orpington's) and expanded to 19 with the addition of Easter Egg Chickens. From the very first day we introduced our dogs and held our chickens every day.  We have 3 dogs, one is a dachshund/chijuaua mix who looks more like a dachshund and catches givers and chases wild rabbits. He is 3 years old and rambunctious.  He was the dog we were the most concerned about.  I think that having them around them daily and teaching them has helped tremendously.  Now that the chickens are out in their coop, we let them out as often as we can depending on weather and our busy schedule.  We have been training Sampson (dog) to "herd" by using key words and hand motions.  We tell Sampson to "round them up" (repeatedly) while we clap our hands twice and walk with him to help him with verbal reinforcement, he loves doing a good job. We also use the words "In the coop," which is working well.  The chickens don't really mind. Sampson loves to do it!  Sometimes when they are being stubborn and won't move or turn to peck at him he gently guides them with his nose in the back of their bottoms or middle of their backs to get them to move.  I think our success is because we approached the chickens as friendly and pets from the beginning, and when we want him to go after the gophers, we say "go get em...and get that gopher," and use a different tone of voice.  He responds well to both and enjoys his role as helper around the house.  Honestly, if he did kill a chicken, it's not the end of the world.  You can't be too worried.  Gotta give them a chance to learn and make sure you reinforce.  BTW  we also give our chickens treats when they return, with our schedules, we can't wait for them to go back themselves every day.  Good luck to all of you!!

Diana

post #27 of 32

I agree with everyone else- it's not the best idea to train a dog to herd a chicken, and a non herding breed isn't going to be trainable in this manner anyway.  It is SO easy to train them to come when you yell "here chick chick chick" and shake an encouraging little bucket of scratch (or whatever treat you have).  Mine come running any time they see me.  I can get mine back in the run easily any time I need to.  But I do try to only let them out when I can let them return on their own at dusk, as it's just plain easier. 

 

On a related note, I have noticed that while it is really easy to get them into the run through the gate, I can NOT get them into the coop, at least not all at once.  I had the run closed off for like 4 weeks while they ranged full time to give the grass a chance to catch up, and I couldn't get them all in the coop no matter what.  The one time I HAD to because there was a stray dog hanging around (thankfully my own dogs chased him away every time he showed up, otherwise I would have been SCREWED!) it took me a good half an hour, and I had to finally lock all the hens and the one rooster in and actually physically catch the other rooster, which in itself took another ten minutes.  I don't know if this is useful information, I just thought it was interesting:)

post #28 of 32
I've taught my chickens how to group up and I herd them myself into their run. I use a long stick and if they veer off, all I do is guide them back with the stick.

Since I'm outside with them right there with them at all times watching the sky, the hen's know when I need them to get to safety right away to their run. I see and hear hawks everyday. When I see them circling my flock, I pick up my bantam in my arms and herd the group back into their run/coop. It's worked very well so far.
post #29 of 32

700Kimball's Jet Peaslee- The handsome sire of my dog Jackson

 

700

Jackson- 1 yr, 2 months

700

My chicks first little outing yesterday while I cleaned their brooder pen.  Jackson watched the entire time, and when one flew out of my daughter's hand, he quickly assesed the situation, and blocked the little chickita from leaving the horse stall she ran into right next to the pen.  English Shepherds are AMAZING at protecting, watching and herding anything that you hold near and dear to you.  Jack will chase off wild rabbits, but doesn't touch our 3 pet rabbits.  He guardes his property and runs off anything that does't belong on it.  I have no experience training herding dogs, but in the two short weeks since the chicks have arrived, he has added them to his list of things to be mindful over.  I love this breed because they are calm, and not frenetic about herding, not overly so.  They rise to the occasion of their work request.  they are the preferred dog of dairy and beef cattle farmers, as they do not herd preditorially, rather they do so upright, loose eyed.  Jack is slow maturing, still looks like a gangly youngster, but in the short few months since he has turned a year, I truly see his ablilities, and instincts are spot on.  He is amazing going out on rides with me as well, he remains intact, and does not wander, I can't say enough about this breed.  THey are not AKC registered, and the breeders want it that way, they are true working dogs, and their breeders are fiercly dedicated to perserving the integrity of their breed. 

 

www.englishshepherd.org

 

www.farmcollie.com

 

Check them out!

 

MB

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Melabella - 8/7/12 at 6:09am

2 Black Australorp, 2 RIR, 2 Barred Rock,2 red sex link, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and two  Black Ameruacanas, one cockrel and one pullet.    April Egg Count 197!! 

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2 Black Australorp, 2 RIR, 2 Barred Rock,2 red sex link, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and two  Black Ameruacanas, one cockrel and one pullet.    April Egg Count 197!! 

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post #30 of 32

700

2 Black Australorp, 2 RIR, 2 Barred Rock,2 red sex link, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and two  Black Ameruacanas, one cockrel and one pullet.    April Egg Count 197!! 

Reply

2 Black Australorp, 2 RIR, 2 Barred Rock,2 red sex link, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and two  Black Ameruacanas, one cockrel and one pullet.    April Egg Count 197!! 

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