Bitter spray on chickens to prevent dog attack

Marykjmj

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 23, 2013
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Has anyone ever used a bitter spray on your chickens to prevent a predator attack. My dog attacked my girls the other day. None died, yet, but one looks like she may today. I am wondering that along with training him to be around the chickens without interest if bitter spray would be a good deterrent? I am going to use a shock collar along with training. I want him to look at the chickens as an unappealing target. Thank you for all your great comments on this site. I look forward to your answers. God bless.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
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May 3, 2009
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I think that by the time he tasted the bitter spray the chicken would be in serious trouble. A shock collar used judiciously is a very good avoidance training tool.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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:frow Welcome to the forum! :weee Glad you joined us! :frow


I agree with both of them. I would not rely on that spray at all. You’d probably have a dead chicken by the time the dog tasted it. Those sprays wear off.

A shock collar is a great behavioral management tool when they are off the leash but you have to use it judiciously. You can’t just blast away. You need to be present to use it. And you need to use it for one purpose, not for many.

I don’t know what your plan is, but I think you need a better plan that just blasting them when they attack. With the dog on the leash, introduce them to the chickens. Let them know that the chickens are yours and not to be harmed. This won’t happen with just one time. You need patience and an investment of time when they are on the leash. That shock collar should only be for when they are off the leash.

Your biggest risk is when the chickens run away. That can trigger a prey drive in the dog. Some dogs can never learn to control that and your chickens will run way at times. I’ve also seen problems when the chickens are cornered in a pen and panic, trying to get away, even if the dog is not attacking. Many dogs can be trained to accept the chickens and even protect them but many can never be trusted around chickens unless you are present.
 
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3chickchicks

Songster
6 Years
Jun 25, 2013
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N. Texas
If you go the shock collar route, I'd hit the button when the dog is right up on the chicken. This makes it seems as though the chicken is causing the pain.

Search some youtube videos. The Dog Whisperer guy used a shock collar to teach a dog to avoid snakes.
 

Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
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"You need patience and an investment of time when they are on the leash.
That shock collar should only be for when they are off the leash."

They are ONLY going to misbehave when off the leash and you can ONLY correct them when they misbehave.
Trying to train them on the leash is a waste of time, since they won't chase the birds while you're right there.
You have to put the dog in the exact situation you're trying to stop if you expect results.
They don't really understand any other approach
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
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Lower Alabama
After the dog kills your chickens he will simply lick his butt to get the bitter spray taste out of his mouth. Invest your efforts in training.
My new adult dog was easy due to her breed, Heeler/bulldog mix. I introduced her to the chickens and when she showed interest in them I scolded her and when she set quietly & ignored nearby chickens I praised her. I have to reinforce her training constantly though.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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Southeast Louisiana
After the dog kills your chickens he will simply lick his butt to get the bitter spray taste out of his mouth. Invest your efforts in training.
My new adult dog was easy due to her breed, Heeler/bulldog mix. I introduced her to the chickens and when she showed interest in them I scolded her and when she set quietly & ignored nearby chickens I praised her. I have to reinforce her training constantly though.


Exactly. I did this when they were on the leash. Teach them that they are yours, not a plaything. I still had to do a bit when they were off the leash, but that was just by voice command. I found he commands "come", "sit', and "no" really useful. Sit was really useful.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
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Holts Summit, Missouri
The spray might work if dog is simply mouthing birds. Dog in chomping mode it will not stop as indicated above. Next time I train a pup the bitter spray will be tried when pup likes to mouth juvenile birds. I would still watch dog and jump its case as it messes with birds which may be reinforced by crappy taste of spray. With respect to nasty taste, sometimes that may not always have desired effects. My current female seems to get high on skunk stink and makes no effort to avoid them other than to keep spray out if her eyes. She kills and eats skunks in short order which I think is an acquired taste. I used to avoid hot peppers and sauerkaut but now crave them so acquiring taste for the "nasty" is certainly possible based on first hand experience.
 

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