Just wanted to jump in on this cool tread to sing the GSP praises! Even if I am months late. I have a 2 year old male from really good hunting lines, super high energy, crazy prey drive and is very respectful with my chickens.
He has caught barn swallows in mid flight by just jumping up and grabbing them, he runs off stray cats, and runs laps around my garden to chase off rabbits and has even caught a few rabbits. But he has never once looked at the chickens as prey. I let them free range and can be gone all day and he's never bothered them. He is loose and has access to them.
After having a couple losses from predators, thinking a coon, I'm starting to lock him in with the chickens at night.
The only problem he ever has is his running, he startles the new birds because he will wiz by at top speed going about his daily agenda, doing busy dog stuff that I don't understand. The seasoned girls don't even bother getting out of his way, he'll jump over them on his way and they just enjoy the breeze. Sometimes it looks like they purposely get in his way on hot days... But who can say. I used to correct this behavior and have him move slowly or lay down anytime we were around the chickens, but now I just let it go.
Although I wouldn't trust most dogs around them, I do trust him. And I have had multiple family dogs kill a combined 45-65 chickens in the past, so it takes a lot for me to say that. I'm a firm believer in judging each dog regardless of breed individually, they will prove how trustworthy or not they are. (As much as I would like to just say its cause he's a GSP 😄) I have also had him since he was young, but I don't think it matters that much. I have almost always trained with an e-collar, mostly on vibrate, starting with this guy when he was 4 months old. I mainly corrected him for trying to play or for being too intense with the chickens. Like someone on here already said, if he was too alert I would correct him. And he learned that he can't touch my things unless I say so.
One last interesting thing, every time I bring home new birds I have to claim them as mine. He'll get overly excited, and try to get super close to them or even push on the crate they're in. But once I've made it clear these now belong to me, normally by some verbal disagreement with his behavior, he calmly sniffs them from a few feet away, then leaves them alone.
Love the GSP's so I wanted to give them some good P.R.