Chicken chaser

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by meggers32, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. meggers32

    meggers32 In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2008
    Mt. Vernon, WA
    Hi there,

    I have a question about dogs and chickens. How do you get your dog to not eat and/or "play" with the chickens? My dog is 2 1/2 yo German Shepard/Border Collie mix and the most gentle dog in the world, but she just can't wait for one of our chickens to fly over the fence. Once they are over, she pounces on them, and luckily I have been there to stop her from "whatever". Instinct is so strong and I respect that, but I also want to protect my girls and my investment you know? I just thought I would ask. Thanks!
  2. deborah

    deborah Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    We have a large male german shepherd, who has been a hunter. We know he has killed, and eaten, a lot of small game around here.

    When we got our chickens last year we figured he was a two-edged sword. He would keep away other predators, but we didn't think we could trust him around the chickens.

    We used a shock collar initally whenever he was around them. We used it a few times when he got too close to a chicken. And my husband went through great pains to show him the chickens belonged to him (my husband). The dog has been pretty good around them. Occasionally a chicken gets out of the fenced area; they love to go over the eat the dog's food! They seem to have no fear when they are around him. So far, the dog has left them alone, but I would never purposely leave him unattended with them. I don't want to put too much temptation before him.

    We've lost one chicken. A hawk got her during the winter when we went on vacation. But the dog wasn't around; we had taken him to my mother-in-law's while we were gone.

    Recently, we had coyotes stalking our chickens. I was surprised how close they were coming during the day. We herded all the chickens into the chicken coop a little before sunset, and we left the dog in the fenced area. We haven't seen the coyotes since.

    I admit the dog is 9 years old now and he is more mellow than he was when he was younger. Hopefully I never have to post that we lost any of our chickens to him.
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    You may never break him, but you can try by catching him at that very moment he takes interest and stop him with a tug on his collar or a "ssst". Our APBT started chasing cars when we were out at the coop..... after about a week of this I thought for sure that we wouldn't break him. We started holding his collar and my DH would drive the van past and I would correct him every time he tensed and perked his ears. We did this a few times. After about another week of catching him as soon as he became excited and giving him the "ssst... NO!" He would drop back and lose interest.... now he doesn't even perk up when they drive by. So, maybe if you can have someone toss chickens over the fence and correct him AS SOON as he perks up, he will understand what is expected of him.
  4. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    I think the "border collie" bloodline is showing up....borders are working dogs who have been bred to "herd" will definately have your hands full with training him....

    ..we had a herding dog (Aussie shepherd) and we NEVER did get her to quit herding my DH on the lawn mower! (funny, but very true)

    Good luck!
  5. lorieMN

    lorieMN Songster

    Apr 19, 2008
    put a top on the chicken fence...doesnt need to be expensive,the netting used for fruit trees keeps them in
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    I second the use of a shock collar.

    They immediately associate the shock with the behavior and not with "being caught". The problem with many training techniques is you have to physically "catch" the dog, therefor the dog associates the negative punishment(verbal or physical) with you.

    With a shock collar we would take our dog to the chicken pen. We would have someone inside the pen and stir the chickens up and running around, flapping, the whole deal. This usually drives dogs crazy. They will typically lunge at the fence trying to "catch" the chickens. An immediate zap with the shock collar and then repeat the process. Do not say "NO!".

    The key is to associate the shock with the chickens and not you. That way if the chickens are ever loose and you are not around to say "NO!" the dog still associates punishment with the birds.

    It's how we do it and it works for us. We free range our birds with our dog.

    We have an Australian Shepherd, an Australian Shepherd mix, a hound mix, and German Shepherds. All of which are herding or hunting dogs.

  7. TitiBebbs

    TitiBebbs Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    I had the same problems with my 1 y/o American Bulldog and 2 y/o Australian Cattle Dog. AB was eating chickens (and a turkey) and AC chases cars. We built them a pen and they've been in it for the last year. I'm moving and taking my AB in the next couple weeks. Dad is getting 2 cows and thinks that they will keep his Heeler from chasing cars or chickens. The chickens and other fowl are completely free-ranged as will be the cows and dog. I'd love a way to train my dog (he's 2 now) not to eat chickens or ds's pig, should he have to share the yard.
  8. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    I wuold definately check out the shock collars. We rcently got one for our 1 year old doberman. He was chasing the chickens and pulling out their feathers. His most recent problem is chasing our 4 month old miniature horse. This collar has really made a big difference. Obviously you can;t just put it on and set him loose. It al starts with basic training. We always give a warning, some even come with a warning beap. All we have to do is call his name and he immediatly stops.
    I would give it a try, it has worked wonders around here!
  9. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    I have the same issue w/my lab/border collie cross. I borrowed a shock collar. He no longer chases the guineas. I am going to use one again, so he doesnt chase the chickens.

    With patience and consisitency, your dog will learn to leave the chickens alone.

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