border collie pup and chickens

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by vtchickenlady, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 5, 2008
    Hello everyone,

    We just got a 3 month old border collie. His parents are very well trained sheep herders. We are trying to train our puppy to watch over our chickens while they free range, but, he tends to want them to all stay close together ALL THE TIME. When they move away from the pack even the slightest bit he tries to get them back together. This is upsetting the chickens big time. Is there a special way to train a herding dog for chickens? Can it be that he is just a puppy and will stop the chasing sooner or later and just realize that they are wandering, albeit, in their own yard?

    We do want him for herding...thats why we got him. But, don't most herding dogs allow the herd to separate just a little? This is driving the chickens crazy!!
     
  2. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

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    desert of calif
    why did you buy a herding dog,, if you wanted a flock protector???
    herding dogs are bred (for hundereds of years) to chase and bite??? you want this near your chickens??

    never leave the puppy alone with the chickens,, you need to be there to correct unwanted behavior..
    personally i would start with training basic commands near the chickens,, but do not let him take his attention off of you and on to them while you are training..
    you need to train him to IGNORE the birds.. if not he will start to herd them to death...
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  3. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. It sure is needed. We know the owners of his parents. They own a sheep farm and said that they have chickens and the dogs do well with them, however, they keep theirs penned up. I've read that collies do real well with chickens. I have also read that you can have 2 kinds of collie...a herder or a chaser. Now I don't want to count him out yet as a mellow herder...he is very mellow in the house. We got him for the protection and had hoped that he would learn to keep the amway from certain flower beds since we free range them. I can hear you laughing...am I dreaming? Keep in mind that he is only 3 months old.
     
  4. Hen House 60

    Hen House 60 Out Of The Brooder

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    We had a GREAT Border Collie for years. He was by nature and trained as a herder. That was what he knew instinctively to do. He would never let the chickens move 1/2 foot. As for our cows and goats, he kept them in check and we never had a problem. I never left him alone with the chickens, because if they moved he would make sure they didn't move too much more. If you get my drift.
    He was great and we miss him dearly.
     
  5. Just a Country Girl

    Just a Country Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    N.H.
    I have a Border Collie. She only herds the Ducks when told and leaves the chickens and Peafowl alone. It's all in the way you train them. She was trained not to bite at the heals but just to move up slowly to move them'. She would never hurt any of the birds just the opposite she's very protective of them and won't let any strange animals around them.
     
  6. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

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    desert of calif
    laughing??? not really,, they are VERY VERY smart,, you can train them to do all kinds of increadable things... it just depends on YOU,, and how much time you want to spend on training him.. but it IS possible..
    there is a difference between a "collie" and a bordercollie.. a collie is supposed to be an all around FARM dog,, for herding and protection..
    a border collie is mostly for herding.. but can be trained for anything... my friends BC wants to herd my tortoises.. i will try to get pictures next time she does it
     
  7. Hen House 60

    Hen House 60 Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree its all in the way you train them!!!! Ours was here long befor our last child, well he thought that once the baby was walking that the baby should never go outside and in the kindest way he would use his nose and push the baby back inside the house.

    We just put down our deposit for another (only 3 weeks old now).
    From another BYC.
     
  8. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to read all the posts. I feel like there's hope afterall. I feel confident that he does not want to hurt them, just wants to keep them together and protected. But, he doesn't like them getting even a foot away from each other and that is the problem. At least now I know that he is trainable. I just didn't want to break any inheritable spirit. He's very smart and mellow and I have to remember that he is still a puppy.
     
  9. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep, my Australian Shepherd x Border Collie cross was fine around chickens after he got used to them. As a puppie, he'd try to herd ANYTHING!!! Absolutely ANYTHING!!! (and everything)

    Once he got older, and after good training with his mother and brothers herding sheep, and cows, learning voice, whistle, and hand commands as well as going to normal doggie obedience training so he could be taken 'off the farm' on a leash (though once he learned to heal, he really didn't need it, he was like a shadow untill verbally released) and being kept very busy, he mellowed out very very very well.

    He was absolutely trustworthy with my animals including chickens. He could be left totally unsupervised with them and wouldn't dream of laying a tooth on them, but it IS an individual thing, there is NO breed that I would make a blanket statement about them being totally safe or even unsafe to be left with chickens, or any other animal or even children etc.

    BCs and Aussies are high energy and very eager to please their people. If you can teach him to "Leave em" or "Let em be" or whatever command you choose to mean "let the birds alone" (mostly) hehe, it will help, but it won't be easy for him to understand especially as a puppy with all his puppy energy and enthusiasm when every instinct tells him to gather and guard.
     
  10. mrsengeseth

    mrsengeseth Chillin' With My Peeps

    My BC got ahold of one chicken in the whole time we have had them. I thought at first he was attacking the chicken. But in retrospect and after hearing what DH saw he was trying to force the chicken back with the rest. After then, I had a few chicks get loose and he scooped them up and put them back...wet gooey and slobbery, but back. They weren't happy but he'd done his job. Sometimes what we percieve as agression might not be so. I flipped when he'd scooped up the chick, but I held on a sec and realised he was putting it back with the rest. I have just about worked Hunter into letting them be, but the herding instinct is strong. He now notices them, does what I call a "head count" (he walks around them, pretty interested looking, eyes fixed on them.....and then walks away to herd his racket balls, bricks and rocks, and the kids and beagle instead.) I think once I got the "those birds are Mom's" realisation in his head, he left them alone. I won't leave him unsupervised, the birds are spazzes and would get his OCD nerve going, but he is good with them. however, let a crow fly into his yard and as the kids say "it's on!"
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009

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