Chicken killing dog

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by biscuit7, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. biscuit7

    biscuit7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our dog is a shiba inu German shepherd mix. We got chickens about a year after acquiring her and have kept her on a chain while they free range. Last year she broke her chain and killed 11 and has also (in the beginning) maimed a rooster and killed a hen while on her chain. She has never eaten any, just killed and buried. The chickens often get close to her to try and eat her food but she no longer tries to attack them. I know this sounds like a long shot, but she no longer seems interested in the chickens. I would love for them to live in peace without barriers. Is there something I can do to test whether or not she is "safe" to be out with the chickens (without putting them in danger)? Do you have any experience with dogs changing or are they pretty much chicken enemies for life? Let me know if my thoughts are totally unrealistic. :) Thank you!
     
  2. Mirei81101

    Mirei81101 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'd get a muzzle, put her on a long leash, step out of sight if possible, and let her mingle with them.... If she lunges at them you know she's not safe....

    Just my 2 cents. Best of luck.
     
  3. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    We have a total of 5 dogs. 2 of them have killed chickens in the past. Our lab/pit bull mix killed a couple in 2014 and last year we acquired a Bassett hound who killed several last summer. She is pictured above. We were able to train both of them to stop killing chickens. Now the chickens free range all day with all 5 dogs in complete harmony. We even feed the dogs and chickens snacks on the back porch at the same time with no problem. We leave them alone together outside while we go to town for supplies and haven't lost a bird this year.
    So it is possible to teach a dog to leave the chickens alone.
     
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  4. biscuit7

    biscuit7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you a muzzle is something I hadn't thought of! Dmontgomery I have to know.. How did you train them?
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just a tip. A dog can still kill a chicken rather quickly even with a muzzle on. They'll just crush the bird into the ground.

    I used a remote ecollar on my dogs. I conditioned them to the collar by layering low stimulation over my existing verbal commands and leash cues. Then I worked them around the chickens with the ecollar and a long line on so I could still give leash guidance if they didn't respond to a command. When I was comfortable with their behavior I let the long line drag while I watched and periodically gave them commands. I gave them a correction at a higher level of stimulation for non-compliance of commands. I watched from out of sight for anything that looked like predatory behavior toward the chickens and corrected that with a high stim. Now they can all be in the yard together and they don't bother the chickens at all. Despite this, dogs will be dogs, so I don't leave them completely unsupervised with the chickens.
     
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  6. biscuit7

    biscuit7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for the varied ideas! I appreciate all of your input! :)
     
  7. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm an Ecollar advocate as well. Like he said you have to condition the dog with very low voltage first to follow commands. Don't just start off shocking the dog.
     
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, you can start off shocking the dog if all you want is for the dog to form a negative association with something. Be warned though that you run a serious risk of the dog making a different association than you expect or want. If you stim at high level when the dog approaches chickens in a coop, you may think you are punishing predatory behavior towards chickens but you are more likely just creating a "hot spot" around and including the coop that the dog will learn to avoid. If that dog were to encounter a chicken outside of the coop and area they would very likely still chase it. Location or object avoidance training done in this manner can be very effective and achieve results very quickly but it isn't without its limitations and still shouldn't be done indiscriminately and without careful thought.

    Edited to add: If this method is employed I prefer to work the dog on a long line so that I can help the dog learn where and how to get out of or avoid the location. I also prefer to "dial up" the stimulation as the dog gets closer and "dial down" quickly as they move away, guiding them away if necessary. This kind of training is often called "crittering" and you can find how-to videos online. Like anything though, there are good examples and poor examples of it being done.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016

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