An attack waiting to happen. Stupid dog!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Noodlez, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Noodlez

    Noodlez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This has probably been answered a million times but I was wondering if anyone has been successful in curbing a young dog's high play/prey-drive?

    I have an almost 4-year-old black flatcoat named Riley and a 1-year-old chihuahua mix.

    When the chickens are out in the pen, Riley seldom moves. He lays down right outside the pen where he can see them the best and just lays there. I've been working with him on it, and now his attention will drift away from the chickens--he'll even briefly fall asleep. I'm just worried that he's still too interested and the chickens aren't scared of him at all, which adds to the worry. I've given them places to get up and away but again, they aren't scared so they won't run away.

    He's had direct contact with them out in the open but is still way too excitable for me to let him get too close to them.

    Riley's sister is the only one allowed in the pen when she comes over because she just flops over and let's them hop and scratch around her. She doesn't care in the slightest. We gave her to my cousin about 2 years ago and her being around my cousin's show rabbits has made her ultra maternal. However, getting Riley his very own pet dog hasn't made him any calmer around non-canine/feline animals. He attacked a chicken and shook it up pretty bad at a farm my cousin works at. The hen was so stunned we thought she was dead, but she got up and started walking around after about an hour.

    He probably won't try to kill them, but if he gets ahold of one--however, he will maim her if not kill her.... if I don't figure out how to make him completely uninterested, it's a timebomb.

    Has anyone managed to fix this behavior in an unaltered male lab?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Firstly I'd stop laying any emphasis whatsoever to his reproductive organs. A good dog is a good dog based on its brain, not any additional organs it has or doesn't have; his testicles play absolutely no part in him deciding to disobey his owner and kill chickens, if he does so.

    The answer to this question above is yes, people have managed to train intact labs (etc) into leaving chooks alone when they've already killed some or harmed some; whether that will work for you though depends on you, him, and other individual circumstances.

    I don't much like the way your dog is looking at the chook in the pic, it is too intent as you said, but it's not outright terrible, and going from his behavior before, while he's made mistakes I think you stand a good chance of rehabilitating him. If he's willing and if you put in the time, that is.

    How you train him depends on both of you, and partly on his breed too, you're better off really asking your question of people who train his breed, not people who keep chickens. I've been present on many threads where this sort of question is being asked and useful answers are very few, and basically it's all the same info you find in any dog training book or website.

    I have a wild born feral dog, an intact male, who respects my wishes with poultry, lambs, cats, and so forth and will also respect them behind my back; he was not raised with sheep or most livestock he's known, either, and he's pretty wild, hunts his own food etc. Another family member has a dog who is as thoroughly domestic as they come, raised with all these animals, who is good as gold to your face but behind your back she is disloyal and will actively (but sneakily) harm cats, poultry, etc; my dog and this b!tch bred despite our attempts to prevent it, and the son I kept from that litter was raised with sheep, poultry, cats etc but showed his mothers' mindset predominantly and ultimately followed his mothers' footsteps, eventually turning on the very animals he'd been raised with. He consistently showed he'd prefer to disobey like his mother does, but I figured I could train him out of it. Nope.

    So much for the power of socialization and training, and so much for the power of instincts. It's all meaningless without a willing heart and loyalty. All these dogs were intact, for what it's worth (pretty much nothing).

    They make their own choices at the end of the day, no matter what training they've had. I have absolutely zero tolerance left for dogs without loyalty. If the wild dog can control his considerably stronger chase/kill instincts, what the heck is the excuse of the domestics?! Not good enough, whatever it is. They were socialized, trained, etc, he on the other hand had little experience with these animals --- he was 2 years old when he met his first sheep, a tiny lamb. He's mostly dingo and I've raised him on mainly raw lamb and kangaroo meat, with a lot of raw and often home grown poultry as well, to help put that in perspective. But he's loyal. They're not.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  3. Noodlez

    Noodlez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your reply. I've had dogs all my life, he's the only one that I've ever had that's just been "nah, not happening."

    We had an intact German shepard/malamute that was similar in energy but he was a country dog and we let him, our chocolate lab, and our German shepard loose in the woods behind my old house. Castration worked wonders on the other two as they became less aggressive shortly after--the lab later became a therapy dog and the Malamute mix became a Pilot dog which is a service dog for disabled people but otherwise, we don't generally alter for any other reason. All of them would be perfect angels around the house, and blood thirsty savages in the woods. Heck, I trained Riley and his sister, she became a therapy dog and Riley, within the last 2 years, has decided that he refuses to sit and stay. It wasn't always like this. The chihuahua is completely untrainable and I think since they're both high energy that they feed into eachother. The rat knows how to sit and lay down but I've had zero success with any other commands. The others know sit, stay, leave it, down, roll over, highfive, speak, speak quietly (they pretend to bark), go get X (they'll fetch about 10 different objects). Yeah....He just won't leave the chickens alone. Was fine with cats, leaves raccoons, possums, skunks alone, amazing with other dogs, just anything else.


    And thank you very much for your advice. I'll do some reading on this particular monster.
     
  4. Blammmo

    Blammmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is that your dog in the picture??? I would never let my dog jump up on a cage like that or be in such close proximity to my chickens. By even allowing that type of behavior you are building the dogs drive to harm your birds. My dogs get scolded for so much as looking at one of my chickens for longer than a second or two. To each their own, but i like my dogs to know that my birds are off limits period.
     
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  5. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    agreed. letting him show any kind of pret drive interest will only make him more curious/ hungry XD
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    One of the amazing - and at times frustrating - things about Flatties is that they never grow up. There's a reason they are known as "The Peter Pan of the Dog World!" His play drive is going to be going as strong when he's 10 years old as it is now. But if there's a more training responsive breed I haven't worked with it yet. You have to make the commitment - totally - to take him in hand and you can't let one moment of inconsistency sneak in. Knowing Flatties, I can just see him, quivering and doing his quiet whimpers while he stares at your chickens!

    One of the keys is learning that there is no gray here - something is either always ok or its NEVER ok. Like a small child, mixed messages mess dogs up badly. Letting him be so close to the chickens one minute and then trying to keep him away from them the next minute simply won't work. So decide.....do you want the chickens to be able to crawl all over him like they can with his sister? If you do you're probably going to be very disappointed - he is simply not his sister. Or do you want him to totally ignore the chickens? Do you hunt over him? To him a bird is a bird, so if you use him in the field you can pretty much forget having him ignore the chickens because again, something is either always ok or never ok. It can't be okay for him to quarter, flush (or point, as mine did) and then retrieve a bird in the hunting field and then expect him to turn that off in his own "field". That said, there are always exceptions. Many years ago a neighbor of mine had ducks - and they wandered over to our property all of the time because the boundary between the two of us was a creek. For some reason my Flattie ignored them when they were in the yard but would quiver and drool in the blind and break his neck to do a retrieve if we were out hunting. Go figure.

    Guess I'm not being a lot of help here. Riley will kill a chicken. Period. He's a dog - a chicken is a moving target. If he's already attacked and almost killed one he'll do it again, unless you get tough and start working with him. But you can't do that until you decide what you expect of him.....and letting him jump on the pen and stare at the birds until he dozes off ain't the way to get that accomplished. Start with basic obedience - come, heel, no, sit, down and stay - and until you have that down without hesitation, and he'll obey instantly even with distractions you can't do much else. Until then it's leash and confinement away from the birds for Riley. His play drive and birdiness is typical Flatcoat and will be with him most of his life. About the only thing Flatties outgrow is their collar sizes.
     
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  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    It's a good post, the more so because it's specific to his breed and you have firsthand experience with them, but can you offer some suggestions on what you'd do with a dog which would resolutely refuse to perform as per that sentence I bolded in the quote?

    I highly doubt Riley lacks basic obedience training, certainly mine never did, nor did the mother of my dog, fat lot of good it did at the end of the day. Basic obedience training never helped us with this dog and his mother, they knew the basics off by heart but always at the end of the day would make up their own mind, and it was always anti whatever they knew was allowed.

    I've seen so many dogs almost carbon-copy to them and their mindset now that I have an idea of where the problem is coming from --- a recent ancestry of working dogs mixed with pet dogs. (Particularly Kelpie crosses with terriers). Their worker ancestors failed as working dogs and went on to breed pet dogs who continue to make everyone's lives a misery, using their drive and intelligence to actively work against people, never with them (the very reason they failed as workers in the first place).

    Best wishes.
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I'd so love to respond to your excellent points.....but when I sat here and formulated an answer it got so long winded that I was afraid I'd be hijacking the entire thread, not to mention sounding like I was patting myself on the back for my success with training! Who has time for that? [​IMG]
     
  10. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    My two cents:

    I would also not allow the dog to jump up on the cage. I have no idea what a "flattie" is. I have two labs, and the dog in the picture looks like a lab to me. I trust my dogs 90% with my chickens. They know if they look at a chicken they will be reprimanded. My dogs sit with us when we watch chicken TV every evening.

    I hunt over my dogs, they are the best pheasant dogs I have owned or hunted over, but I may be prejudiced. I started training my old dog the day I got her, She learned basic commands, she learned the words No, Leave it and off. The young one is the old ones pup. I started training her at 2-three weeks. The old dog had 11 pups, all 11 knew the command Sit and stay by the time I got rid of them at 8 weeks old, and were house broke.

    Training a dog never ends, you need to keep the dog wanting to please you, you have to be the alpha. That said, I chose the "alpha" pup from the litter to keep for myself, I will never do that again. A strong willed alpha pup is very hard to train, they are constantly testing you, constantly wanting to be "alpha". They most definitely need to be constantly trained. Training requires reprimands and rewards. I would suggest an electronic collar for you. HOWEVER, be very very careful with it. They can ruin a dog as fast as they train them.

    The key to the electronic collar is not giving them a shock often. The beep is all that is needed after one or two shocks. We actually use dummy collars most the time now, as the collar just makes the dog think a second before acting, or disobeying.

    We will put our dogs out with the chickens when we are not with them, but we will watch them a lot from the window. We want to assure ourselves they will truly ignore the birds. They do most the time. The only time they tend to get too close is when we are watching Chicken TV, then they want to sniff the chickens butts, We DO NOT allow this to happen.

    Anyways to answer your question YES they can be trained. My brother has a sister to my pup, He does not hunt over them and he can leave his alone with them with no fears, the chickens actually eat off the dogs back. (His dog was the most timid runt of the litter and really wants to please him)



    Wanna pat each others back Blooie? Sorry it got so long, I even cut it short. If the dog has basic training it still knows it, it is the owner that fails then, You can never stop training a dog and never accept anything less than 100% obedience from a dog. Even little things have to be corrected as they occur. That said I fail at that sometimes, but I really try not to. The dogs seem to know when their is company here I will not "yell" at them as much....Dang Dogs are way too smart.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014

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