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Breed of dog that won't hurt my birds

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bridget2cool, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. I am continuing to investigate the right dog that won't kill my birds. Had a German Shepard pup who killed multiple chickens and ducks...had to rehome her.....any ideas. I have been reviewing this website and finding very valuable info. Any other advice?
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Keeping birds and dogs together had a lot more to do with training rather than the breed. Certain breeds may have higher prey drives but that does not make them completely untrainable. I would try to contact a local dog trainer before adding any dogs near your flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Thank you! I was just trying to stay away from breeds that are innate to kill/harm birds. I guess all come from some sort of hunting breed. I thought maybe a pug or boston terrier?
     
  4. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I don't have personal experience with those breeds but small dogs can be just as deadly as large breeds. I personally have Danes and Wolfdogs around my birds with no problems. They all have high prey drives but with proper training have been fine around the flock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  5. TravisE

    TravisE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    welcome to byc. i have a pembroke welsh corgi that has had no training with chicken. and he just walks around them as they where not there. they were breed to heard cattle. this breed has been know to try to heard chicken. i havent heard of one of them that has kill a chicken. i also have 2 golden retreivers i would not trust!
     
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a firm believer that it is not the bred of dog that matters but the training the dog receives that will make the biggest difference in the end. I would take a good look at your overall lifestyle and pick a dog that fits in well with your life and your family. Every dog is a time commitment but some do require a bit more than others and certain breds are prone to different health problems/grooming/exercise needs. Picking something you just like combined with knowing the pros and cons of that breed is a great place to start so that you can be prepared.

    EVERY dog has a prey drive and every dog is going to need work on impulse control to be safe around any of your other pets. There is no perfect dog breed for this type of thing. But, I truly and whole heartedly believe that you can make just about any dog into what you want it to be if you are willing to put in the time. (and it may take a lot of time and work on your part and be frustrating)

    I have posted this on other threads, so sorry if this is repeat.

    I have a pit-bull mix and three pugs. The pit and two of the pugs are rescues from urban shelters with mixed histories of abuse. All four dogs are out in the yard with my 5 chickens everyday without any problems. In fact I once had a chicken attack a dog but never the opposite. Everyone guaranteed me that the pit would kill my chickens but she has never been a problem. (of course when I first brought her home she was wild and crazy lol - but I have never lost a bird)

    Here is what I personally recommend: The most important thing to focus on overall is improving your dogs impulse control. No matter what your dog has a natural prey drive but more than that they are pack animals that want to please their master. Good basic training makes teaching them anything else so much easier. Make sure that you can snap your dogs attention back to you even when they see something they want. (I can't snap so I use an "aht." noise - this means sit and pay attention to me) One of the best ways to work on this without a live animal present is during feeding. Do you free feed your dogs or do they eat at regular times? I would recommend taking them off of free feeding if you are doing that. Focus on training your dogs so they they will not eat anything unless you give a specific command. I set down all four bowls of food and make the dogs wait. They do not eat until they hear their own name and see a hand gesture. Also work on them stopping eating at a command and willing stepping away from their food. I say "Name, wait." and they stop and sit until told to continue. These skills help with impulse control in many areas of training. It may seem unrelated but to a dog, the one who controls the food is the ruler of them all.

    I would introduce the dog to the chickens on a leash and just sit and be calm. (One dog at a time if you have more than one) As soon as she starts to fixate on the chickens in any way other than simple curiosity or barks or is excited (even happy excited) I would scold her with the same word every time (you only need to say it once, firmly) and immediately take her inside. It is important to take her in even with happy excitement. You are training her to ignore the chickens not to like the chickens and there is a big difference. With my dogs I brought them back when they were calm and started all over again. and again and again. lol. I allowed them to glance at them or sniff them but anything else was a no. It took a bit of patience but within a few days all of the dogs ignored the chickens and now find very little interest in them at all other than a sniff here or there. I never yelled or hit them or used a choke or a shock. I just said no and took them away immediately at any sign of fixation or barking. You will need to do this everyday until they get it. Patience is the key and consistency. It sucks because sometimes you are busy and don't want to deal with it but starting and stopping will just make it worse. I leave them all together unsupervised regularly.


    Feel free to message if you want to discuss dogs. I love them!!

    Here is my pit, Lou, with a silkie chick who fell in love with her.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
    3 people like this.
  7. Buxton Ducks

    Buxton Ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is all about how you raise them and I really stand by that! My german shepherd knew from day one that he must NOT hurt the birds and I don't care what anybody says, I would trust my life to that. I adopted an older beagle/golden mix who was a little trouble at first but she is fine now. There is not breed that will not instinctually want to eat a prey animal. I have two chihuahuas and they have never once shown interest in any birds. If you are still nervous than try to find a breed labeled solely as a companion breed. Terriers are probably the most driven to hunt and kill but I have seen many terriers get along great with birds. Huskies and hunting-heritage bird dogs might cause a problem as well. Like I said, there is no perfect breed for this. Get a puppy, introduce him on day one to the birds and correct him sternly if he tries to bite. Puppies learn much quicker than adults (especially around the 8 week age). I would try another German shepherd if you like the breed, I know many people on here have them as farm dogs. Mine would protect my birds as his own family.... I wish there were better advice on this subject but good luck to you!
     
  8. Buxton Ducks

    Buxton Ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well put ChickensRDinos!
     
  9. jbirds2012

    jbirds2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    we have two dogs, the older one ( abby, mix terrior ) killed two turkeys. when she killed the second i insisted that we make a yard for the birds. we also have a pit bull ( susie ) and i thik that she would probally play them to death but im not taking any chances. the dogs have the yard to play in and the birds have there yard to play in and everyone is happy.
    [​IMG]
    abby
    [​IMG]
    susie
     
  10. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am completely and totally in love with Susie.
     

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