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How did YOU train your dog to leave chickens alone? - Page 7

post #61 of 67
Sweet thank you.
post #62 of 67

I am sorry to hear of shock collars being used for any training. They are just cruel and, I think, show a lazy attitude toward training.

 

We recently lost both our dogs within 28 days of one another (massive stroke with our fifteen-year-old Border Collie and Evan's Syndrome with our nine-year-old terrier mix). Both Gracie and Spencer were wonderful around our chickens. In fact, they would help keep watch over them, keep the flock out of the road, etc. Now we have a Jack Russell/Blue Heeler mix and oh my! She is fixated on our chickens. We are doing the training which brings Lady Isabel inside every time she stares at the chickens. If she is outside and shows any attention to the flock, we tell her to "leave it" and bring her back in. Basically, nothing beats consistency, firmness and love. It's no different than if the dog were a two-legged child rather a four-legged one. Lady is gradually improving. I don't think we'll ever trust her completely around the chickens as her DNA is pretty strong to eat them BUT the chickens are learning to avoid Lady. They are staying on their side of their fence! On her part, Lady spent several hours outside yesterday with my husband and only charged the chicken fence twice. After living with us only two weeks, Lady is getting it. She's a wonderful addition to our family and will work out with the chickens.However, every day we miss Gracie and Spencer and know they would have had Lady trained in a day.

post #63 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom View Post
 

I am sorry to hear of shock collars being used for any training. They are just cruel and, I think, show a lazy attitude toward training.

 

We recently lost both our dogs within 28 days of one another (massive stroke with our fifteen-year-old Border Collie and Evan's Syndrome with our nine-year-old terrier mix). Both Gracie and Spencer were wonderful around our chickens. In fact, they would help keep watch over them, keep the flock out of the road, etc. Now we have a Jack Russell/Blue Heeler mix and oh my! She is fixated on our chickens. We are doing the training which brings Lady Isabel inside every time she stares at the chickens. If she is outside and shows any attention to the flock, we tell her to "leave it" and bring her back in. Basically, nothing beats consistency, firmness and love. It's no different than if the dog were a two-legged child rather a four-legged one. Lady is gradually improving. I don't think we'll ever trust her completely around the chickens as her DNA is pretty strong to eat them BUT the chickens are learning to avoid Lady. They are staying on their side of their fence! On her part, Lady spent several hours outside yesterday with my husband and only charged the chicken fence twice. After living with us only two weeks, Lady is getting it. She's a wonderful addition to our family and will work out with the chickens.However, every day we miss Gracie and Spencer and know they would have had Lady trained in a day.

  

 

have you ever discussed with a profession dog trainer and the techniques used?  you might be surprised.

post #64 of 67
Slapping a shock collar on a dog and using it without any groundwork or conditioning IS lazy, but using a shock collar properly is far from lazy. If anything, it takes more time and consistency to work well. I've been happy with using it as a tool, but it is not for everyone. If you don't like them, that is perfectly ok. It is not the only training method out there.

I also second the other poster's recommendation to consult a trainer about your dog. Consistency is definitely a good thing when it comes to dogs, but the dog needs to be able to connect the outcome to the behavior. Leave it is a great command, but removing the dog from the situation (by putting her in the house) will not allow her to connect that outcome to her behavior to the chickens.

I've recently started training my dog to accept a muzzle to use in emergencies (trips to the vet, natural disasters, etc) and I think it would be another great option for people introducing their dogs to other pets to prevent injuries. I ended up purchasing a Baskerville muzzle and I love it. The dog can bark, drink, and take treats through the muzzle, and so far my dog is becoming accustomed to it really quickly. I give her peanut butter and I'm teaching her to put her nose in the muzzle on her own. Again, you can't just throw a muzzle on a dog and teach them to be ok with it. That just causes stress. But if you teach them a muzzle means awesome things, they will get excited about it. It has also been helpful introducing my dog to new people. She doesn't bite but she barks and this scares people, which makes her more nervous. This way, people are not afraid of her and they can give her treats without any worry or anxiety from me (which I know also affects her). I could imagine that this would be a great way to prevent injury to chickens during training, as well as injuries to cats, other dogs, etc!
Edited by Chickerdoodle13 - 11/9/15 at 8:36am
"If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." ~Carl Sagan

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"If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." ~Carl Sagan

"We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem." ~Douglas Adams
Reply
post #65 of 67

Someone asked if we had considered a professional dog trainer concerning Lady Isabelle. At least I think it was concerning Lady and not shock collars. My husband and I have had dogs non-stop for our entire lives - 55 years for me and 58 for Bart. During that time, Bart used to breed German Shepherds and he was also a professional dog trainer (and horse trainer) for many, many years. Bart knows what he is doing and has passed much of his knowledge on to me. Lady improves every single day with her training. In fact, she is doing splendidly!

post #66 of 67


I have never used a muzzle but I agree - a great tool to use around the chickens. I will definitely look up the Baskerville (as in Sherlock Holmes) muzzle. Thank you for mentioning it.

post #67 of 67

I have an American Bulldog named Aspen. She is around 4 months old. Tomorrow will mark 1 week since I got her. I feel like I got pretty lucky with her, she's been a breeze to train with the chickens. I just went and bought two Welsh Harlequin ducklings today and started training her with those as well and she's doing great.

 

 So I'll say first that I do use punishment training techniques. I like to combine reward and punishment in my training and I've found it works best for me. I pay attention to the dog's body language and it's personality so that I can adjust my training to that specific dog. I try to follow my instinct.

 

I got her on the 24th but it was late at night so there was no training.

 

25 (Off-leash) The first day I let her smell a chicken feather. I told her a firm "no" or "aht" when she tried to taste it, and gave her a treat for smelling it and then ignoring. She caught after a few times, and every time I held out the feather she sniffed and then ignored it (either looking away or looking at me). Later in the day I walked her past the chicken coop (about 15-20 feet away) and rewarded with treats her as we passed and for not straying over there. When walking by again, she did walk a little closer. So I called her back and when she returned I gave her treats.

 

26 (Off-leash) The next day I repeated walking past, but I introduced her to the coop. I gave her treats for paying attention to me and sitting. I also rewarded her for following me when I left.Then later in the day, (Short leash) I walked her inside the coop. The coop is large and split in the middle with another fence, and the chickens all hid on the other side so she couldn't get to them. I rewarded her with treats for staying calm, looking at me, sniffing stuff. I also give treats when she notices the chickens and then looks away. I corrected her for staring too hard, excitement. (Either Aht, No, or a light touch near her upper shoulder or pull of the leash). Later on that day, 

 

27 (Off-leash) Repeated walking past, and sitting next to the coop exercises. I also opened the coop door and corrected her for trying to go in. I fed the chickens and let her watch chowed down. Rewarding for not paying attention, looking at me. Correcting for getting too focused. (Short leash / Being Held) Later that day  I decided to take her for a field trip and bought her to a livestock and supply store. They had ducklings/chicks that she got to look at while I held her. I held her as I walked around outside so she could see and smell pigs, goats, emus, ducks, roosters, hens, and so on. After gaining permission, I let her walk around on a short lease and gave her treats for ignoring livestock, remaining calm, and for sniffing livestock in ways that seemed curious and not hungry. I also gave her treats for being pecked by an Emu. She got to meet the Emus, Goats, and Pigs through a fence. She was corrected for pawing at the fence when goats were there, any excited behavior, and for staring too intensely at piglets. (Short leash)  At home I took her to feed the chickens again. This time I let them out of the coop. I gave her treats as they walked out and continuously distracted her with food as they passed by her. I also rewarded her for following me to leave the chickens, and rewarded again when she noticed them stampeding after us because it was making her nervous. lol  (Off leash) I let her watch from our yard as the chickens pecked at stuff outside our fence. (Long leash) I then opened our gate and let her watch from our door as the chickens came in and pecked around at my plants. She was rewarded for relaxing, ignoring, and laying down. 

 

28  (Short leash) I let the chickens out with her in the house. Then I went and got her on a short leash and fed the chickens and her. She did great. I rewarded her for cautiously sniffing, being calm, ignoring, etc. I spent time going back and forth from giving her a treat to giving a chicken a treat. I also rewarded her for a chicken pecking her. I only had to correct her for trying to eat their avocado. (Long leash) Later on I repeated the exercise. This time I used a longer leash (more like two leashes attached to eachother ;x) I made sure the chickens were being a little more active and hyper by continuously spreading food. Then I took a break and invited someone to come with me. This intensifies her training more because she is generally excited with people. (I did tell him not to pet her though). The chickens wandered off, so I had to clap for them to return. So I came her a treat for their stampede, and continued again with the same exercise.

 

29 (Long leash) I let the chickens out and let her walk around with them. This time directly outside their coop. Same applied here for rewards and correction, although she barely needs corrections now. I opened the feed container and threw feed in the coop to return the chickens, which is chaotic. I rewarded her for her calmness and ignoring.

 

 

30 (Off leash) I took her into the coop in  the evening when they were already perched. I gave her some treats and one by one came the chickens to see if they could have something too. So I got the chickens some treats and continued there for maybe around 10 minutes. Her first time off leash by the chickens. She got extra praise, especially when they got within inches of her and she just sniffed then looked at me. I forgot to write that before I did they I let her see the ducklings while they were in their kennel. She got corrections for staring too intensely. Later in the house I filled up a little tub for the ducklings and put in on the floor. I like to prevent problems, so I decided to go ahead and break out the canned dog food (something I haven't given her yet so it was a big time treat). I put the ducklings in the water and instantly gave her a treat so she knew what she'd be missing out on if she ate one. She watched them a lot, and sniffed them. I rewarded her for sniffing and looking a couple of times, but then started only rewarded for ignoring. I did this because I wanted her to have a positive association, but at the same time the end goal is for her to mostly ignore them. One duckling decided to explore and hopped out of the water. I gave her treats often for staying put as the duckling walked around. I let her watch the duckling peck at me and gave her food, I also gave her food for tolerating the duckling pecking at her. She decided to keep distance from the roaming ducklings and kept moving away any time they got close to her, so I gave her the rest of the bowl of canned food. 

 

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to add. I skipped on most of her command training. She knows "come here" and "sit". Most of my training with her is staying calm, recall, focusing on me, and being respectful. I like to go out in my backyard and wait for her to focus intensely on a scent/noise/etc and then grab her attention and give her a treat for giving me her focus instead. I also make sure her energy is out before I do anything with livestock.

 

There are a total of 15 hens, and as of this evening I have 2 ducklings.

 

Hakuna Matata

 

 

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."

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Hakuna Matata

 

 

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."

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