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training a dog to leave chickens alone - Page 10

post #91 of 96
Originally Posted by roosterdog85 View Post

Hi I'm new here and pretty new to chickens but not new to dogs. I have a 4yr old pitbull named gus he has a very high prey drive and will chase anything that moves from bugs to deer. I was worried about him and the chickens so I introduced them in a way that he views them as pack members and not prey basically keeping him calm and allowing the chicks to get used to him there are a few hens that will roost on is back or even lay next to him and he protects them from other dogs cats and anything else that comes close tho them. Gus is basically a 90 lb rooster with teeth I have on lavender orpington that just follows him around and the explore together. I will say gus is highly trained and was taught self control and how to be calm from a pup

love this :P

1 Standard Schnauzer who is totally fascinated by 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Black Australorps
1 Standard Schnauzer who is totally fascinated by 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Black Australorps
post #92 of 96

Didn't hear anyone talk the old method of training a dog to stay from chickens. Have had many dogs and many chickens I live in the country. When one of my dogs goes after chicken, and here that would mean an outside dog. They get the dead chicken tied to their collar for a couple of days or until it is pulled off. Helps but the best cure is a very large rooste with a bit of a bad atitude here.

post #93 of 96
May I ask Clear Skype what exact steps you took to make dog believe chicks were pack members?
post #94 of 96
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post

The trouble with this idea is the fact that there are a lot of people who either are not experienced enough to stay on top of the dog's training at all times to prevent an attack, or who will get tired of the amount of effort involved. Personally, I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice any of my birds during the training process, either. And as for your assumption about my simply reading a bunch of morbid suggestions come from a lifetime shared with a huge variety of species living in the same space. Is my own dog respectful of my chickens? Absolutely. I have trained her myself not to harm any species. Even insects. I don't feel comfortable, however, encouraging everyone to allow dogs/chickens to be around each other unsupervised. Not everyone has the drive/desire to put so much time into training, and certainly not everyone has the right dog for the job. I would personally feel worse saying that, only to see them post a few weeks later devastated that their birds were needlessly killed.
post #95 of 96
Originally Posted by cafarmgirl View Post

The way to train a dog, especially a pup, is by repeated, daily exposure while under your direct control.  Pups, or adult dogs new to chickens, should never be allowed access to the birds when not on a leash.  You have an advantage in that your dog is young.  Ideally training would have been taking place from the day the pup came home.  I raise dependable ranch dogs by simply taking them along with me every day when I do barn chores in addition to teaching the usual obedience commands of come, sit, stay etc..  Pup is attached to my by it's leash and goes right along with me into pens and coops etc.  That way I can immediately stop and discourage inappropriate behavior.  This is accomplished by a sharp tug on the leash and a firm NO.  This goes on every day.  Eventually all this becomes old news to the pup, chickens become a boring, every day thing.  When I see the dogs interest in birds waning it eventually gets to trot along with me off it's leash.  But only when I know it has a rock solid recall, even in the face of great temptation. 

This all may sound like a lot of work, and guess what?  It is!  And it can go on for a long time, just depends on the dog and it's temperment.  Dogs are pups until they are a year and a half or two years old, even longer for really large breeds.  Training has to consistently going on every single day.  But the effort put into raising a pup this way pays off many times over in the years to come in the form of a truely good ranch dog who does NOT slaughter your flock the moment you turn your back.

There is a caveat to all this:  Not every single dog can be trained to be trustworthy around chickens.  Some just do not have the right temperment no matter how much you train them.  If you never reach that spot in training, even months down the line, where you see the dog start loosing the intense interest in the birds, if he just continues to fixate on them intensely and completely tunes you out in those moments, that dog is probably not ever going to be trustworthy.
post #96 of 96
So sorry, I was trying to respond to cafarmgirl, and somehow made a mistake! Imagine that!
I am new to chickens but not dogs. Professional trainer/behaviorist, years and years experience with running rescue segments of country for high prey breeds.
Someone with little furry animals/birds/sometimes little kids, did not get our dogs. The reasons are many. Not fair the to injured/dead existing pet, heartbreaking for the adoptive home, stressful on our dog getting moved all around, dangerous for our dog when home gets angry, and, not least of all, to avoid chance of being sued.

That said, I totally agree with cafarmgirl, and have started many dogs the exact same way, tied to my hip. But, please remember, dogs are smart enough to figure out when they are not being supervised, they can alter thier behavior. Who will be there to enforce? Cafarmgirl is with her dogs so much at work, she can watch the dog off leash when he is not aware he is being watched, and correct right away, reinforce right away. And as she stated, the ones who still focus, cannot be trusted.
The majority of people will not have the time, knowledge, or environment to turn out such trained working companions.
Therefore, personally, I would NEVER trust any of mine, unless I was willing to loose chickens. My flock and pack will not have access to each other, and the dogs will be trained not to harass and bark at the birds from the fence line.
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