Boxer Puppy Attacked Chicken For 2nd Time

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sarahcookhill, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. sarahcookhill

    sarahcookhill In the Brooder

    May 16, 2011
    Hallettsville, TX
    I got on here tonight looking for advice - my 4 month old Boxer puppy has attacked one of my chickens for the second time in a month. The puppy is a male AKC half German Boxer/Half American Boxer. We have had Boxers for nearly 12 years but this is the first Boxer PUPPY we've had since we've had chickens. Our two older Boxers are going on 11 years old and our female expressed a keen interest in them for about the first week (she has a very strong prey instinct even for an old girl [​IMG] but after the first week she doesn't pay them any attention. The first time the pup attacked this chicken, I found her just sitting in the yard when I got home. He had chewed on her back end but I got her doctored up and all was well. Kept a real close eye on the pup ever since. I really thought he was getting better. Then this evening we go out to put them in the coop and as I walk out on the deck, I see him with this same chicken down in the yard. I immediately hollered at him but he didn't even move until I started running down the steps towards him. She got chewed up pretty good on the legs and on the side of her head. After the first incident, I called to talk to the vet about it and he said the pup was probably "playing" with her. Said the pup could have killed her if he wanted but since he didn't it was likely he was playing with the chicken. Our Boxers are house dogs and have a dog door. We have about a half acre fenced yard where the dogs and the chickens have run of the yard all day. Short of isolating one of them, I'm not sure what to do. The one that was attacked and one other hen are smaller than the other four. The other four are already laying but these two are not. We put them up in the coop at night. Does anyone have Boxers AND chickens and advice on how they can peacefully coexist in one yard?

  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    A fence

    Not to be snarky, but dogs and chickens just have a hard time coexisting. I have two half boxers and they are completely untrustworthy around the chickens. They also want to "play" with them, but they are just too rough. The dogs have a large fenced backyard and the chickens get the rest. The lone chicken that wandered into the backyard was attacked. A HUGE vet bill later and she lived, but it was a pricey mistake.

    You will be happier and the chickens will be safer.
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Fence the dog or the chickens.I never let my dogs out unless I am with them,and they go back in the house if they end go near the chicken fence. A tie out is another option. Chickens are chew toys to the dogs,and we must protect them from the dogs.
  4. pjknust

    pjknust Chirping

    May 2, 2011
    my daughter has a half boxer pup. She is NOT allowed off leash in my yard because she chases my chickens. She kills birds in her yard.

    pam in TX

  5. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Depending on how pain sensitive the pup is, you could look into a remote control training collar. My boxer/bullmastiff mix can catch and has killed 2 rabbits. I've thought about buying a paintball gun. When she wants something bad enough the e-collars on their highest level do absolutely nothing to her. Dogs are predators and we can't expect them to deny their most primal urges, especially when unattended. Boxers aren't the most obedient bunch either. Get a tie out/aerial run for the dog or fence in the chickens. The only dog I have that I trust unattended is my bird dog, springer spaniel. [​IMG] I think the thing working in her favor is that she's old and just doesn't care enough to chase anything.
  6. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    You could give me the dog! lol

    I have two boxers who sometimes get out and literally play with the chickens. The chickens don't know they don't mean harm, but the boxers are rough... still not MEANING to hurt, and they never killed.

    What I do... keep them seperated. If the chickens are out and the boxers need to go, I go out with them... but I try to have "chicken time" and "boxer time" in the yard, and I try to not let those times overlap.

    Still, you can just give me the puppy. [​IMG]
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    what's the first thing you do immidiately after you caught him in action..... hint, the chicken's condition is not the most important thing here....

  8. goldtopper

    goldtopper Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    Shock collar, set very low with verbal reinforcement. I had to use mine once with my Lab and she's a hunting dog. Now she lays there and they practically roost on her.
    YOU are the boss of the dog. The chickens are YOURS and the dog needs to learn that.
  9. sarahcookhill

    sarahcookhill In the Brooder

    May 16, 2011
    Hallettsville, TX
    Quote:My husband has already informed me we are NOT giving away an $800 dog [​IMG] Sounds like I need to get the fence builder out there to build the run so I can keep them separated. Hubby finished the coop right before he had to leave to go to work in Louisiana and we didn't get to build the run. Seems like that is the best option. Would love to see some pics of your Boxers! Thanks to everyone for your advice!

  10. dretd

    dretd Songster

    Apr 14, 2009
    Ft Collins, CO
    Congrats on your new Boxer puppy--they are a super cute breed. Also kudos to you for taking good care of your older dogs! 11 years old is very, very, old for a Boxer!

    There are a number of training methods you can use to train dogs, and getting the right one that suits the temperament of the dog and the needs of the owner can be tricky.

    As some have mentioned, shock colors can be a useful tool for training. I own one and really don't have much use for it. I would highly recommend only using it in mature dogs and would advise against its use in puppies. If you go that route, get one where you can easily change the shock strength and it needs to have an audible cue or vibration before the shock to give the dog a chance to not do the behavior prior to aversion therapy. The timing of zap is really important and I think most folks end up zapping them either too early of too late so the zap is not as effective. In my opinion, you should have to zap no more than 3 times to make your point or there is a problem somewhere in the communication. The other problem I see is that they really only work well when you are around. Dogs are very smart and associate the owner's presence and the zap.

    Personally I think you have several factors going on here and I wouldn't give up, just be patient and persistent. Remember you are dealing with a puppy. They are in play mode all of the time and it takes time for them to develop the desire to learn owner-pleasing behaviors. After puppy stage, they will go through a teenager stage and I really think most dogs don't become really good dogs until they hit mental maturity which may be 3 or 4 years.

    Personally, I would not leave the pup unattended with the chickens until you are convinced he is really well trained. I would work daily on obedience with specific emphasis on learning the command 'leave it' or 'drop it'. Make sure he can sit and stay on command. Leave treats in front of him and get to the point where he will only take it when you say its ok. This will likely take months. Has he been good about potty training? How about simple commands like sit? How easily he picked up the basics may be an indication of how hard it will be to train him. There are many books written on training techniques so its hard to give case-specific information in such a small forum. More info on where he is at in his training may be helpful for those giving advice.

    Good Luck!

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