Chicken watchdog turned on my favorite girl! Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Moochie, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Moochie

    Moochie Songster

    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    I went outside to go get Bruno (the dog) and he was on the ground doing something. I called him and he went inside, then I looked over at the area where he was and my favored girl out of the flock was on the ground. She was in a funny position so I walked over and her feathers were chewed up and she wasn't walking. I brought her inside crying... I told my mom what happened and Bruno got smacked on the nose. My mom brought him over while I held Sophie and put his nose to her, she pecked him hard and my mom gave him quite a few smacks on the muzzle. It didn't hurt him, I think he was more scared by the fact my mom had him by his neck flab and dragged him outside. We checked out Sophie and she's fine, walking and eating. But her feathers are chewed up and dirty. She doesn't have any wounds. Her tail feathers are sort bent and out of place. And parts of her back feathers came off [​IMG]
    I know he's just a puppy (4 month old mix) but I don't know how to train a dog to get along with chickens. I got him at 5 weeks and I've been keeping him with chickens ever since.
    Here's what to know about Bruno: He is 4 months old
    He has one heck of an appetite
    He weighs 17 pounds
    His father was an alaskan malamute and german sheperd mix
    His mother was a labrador and staffordshire terrier (i think english) mix
    He has all of his shots and de-wormer
    What confuses me though is that I didn't hear her sqwauk or make noises... No fighting or anything. Why is that? Also what can we do so Bruno won't do this again? How do we train him?
    I also suspect that his appetite may be the reason he turned on my Sophie..... Which I don't understand cuz he ate 3 cups of dog food before going out to the front yard. I am really uncomfortable with this, how am I supposed to have a chicken dog now? All my other dachshunds are killers and I was really hoping he wouldn't be :[

  2. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Songster

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    You must be pretty upset by this. I know I would be. I have 3 dogs. I had to keep a close eye on things when the chickens first came. I would not leave the dogs near the chickens without supervision at first. I believe 2 of my dogs (1 daschund) are fine with the chickens but my alpha dog has got into it a couple of times with the rooster who of course is an alpha. I also have to be careful about feeding in case the dog feels like he is competing for the food.
    Basically, I shout at the dog and make a fuss of the chickens so that he knows I love them and they are part of the pack. I am the pack leader and I set the rules! Still, I monitor what everyone is doing.
    Good luck.
  3. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    You have to actually train the dog.
    What you have is a puppy that does not know the rules you want him to follow.
    The puppy stage is a good time to start working with the basic training. Leave it is a very good command to teach him. Also, for him to come when called, sit, and stay.
    The leave it command will be important in teaching him what he is not supposed to get into.

    Remember to make his puppy training fun and filled with treats or playtime with his favorite toy. (don't give him any toys that resemble birds)

    You cannot expect a dog to just be good around your chickens with no training. Dogs are predators even though we have domesticated them.
    As your puppy is still young you can still turn him around if you are willing to work with him. Also, do not leave him unattended with the chickens. He has already shown you that he cannot be trusted with them.
  4. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I am so sorry that your puppy wasn't ready to handle a big job. Most dog's are babies till they are a year or so. Until this dog is well trained and has some age on him he ought not be left alone with the chickens. (We don't put a five-year-old behind the wheel of a car and point him toward the highway, nor should we put a flighty puppy in a pen with a bunch of fluffy funny chickens.)

    Someone said he should not have toys that resemble birds -- I would go further and say he should not have toys that encourage mock-killing behavior of any type of animal -- no stuffed animals or chew ropes. Do throw a ball, play fetch, look into agility training -- these kinds of exercises set you up as master and does not leave the dog to it's own devices.

    You've come to the right place to seek advice. Try to not stay angry with your puppy -- he still has a very short attention span and doesn't yet know right from wrong.

    I hope you hen is doing better and better.

  5. He's just a baby....he probably didn't "turn on" the bird, he was probably just playing! I don't have any advice about training a dog around birds. I did, however, read a terrible story about a farmer who advised some guy to tie the bird his dog had killed around the dogs neck for a week. [​IMG] He promised that the dog would never kill another bird again. And again I say [​IMG]

  6. BunnyMomma

    BunnyMomma Songster

    Sep 17, 2010
    Olin, North Carolina
    Puppies cannot be trusted until they are trained with total supervision until they are about 2 or even three years old. I have a rescued golden retreiver named Lacie that attacked a mallard duck. Lacie was just about 2 at the time. I really let her know I was not happy about what she did. She did not kill the duck, I think she was only playing. I had to sew the duck back together with a needle and thread. She had about a 4 inch rip in her side. Luckily no internal injuries occured. The duck healed up and Lacie learned a good lesson. She is eager to please me, so she knew I was not happy and from then on I worked to gradually introduce her to the farm animals. I really praised her when she was sweet to the other animals. She is 7 now and I can leave any of my animals totally in her care! She gives kisses to my rabbits and chicks. She is wonderful and my other two dogs are the same, but it took several years of consistent, positive praise to get this result. The dogs I have are Golden Retreiver, Border Collie/Lab mix, and a Corgi/Fiest mix. I will try to post some pics sometime of them with the babies. Don't give up on your puppy! I'm sure you will have a great farm dog with a little supervision.
    Bunny [​IMG]
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Couple of things you need to know here:
    1) A four month old puppy can NOT be trusted unsupervised around your birds. If you leave a dog that young, with absolutely no impulse control or training, alone with birds you have only yourself to blame when it ends badly.
    2)Malamutes and other northern breeds tend to have very high prey drive and are often not good with other animals. Especially other animals that scream "eat me, I'm food!" with every move they make. They are beautiful dogs, but they are instinctual predators and are more likely than many other breeds to be chicken or cat killers. German shepherds tend to be easier to train to leave other animals alone, but many GSDs also have a high prey drive and need to be supervised and trained not to engage in predatory instincts when smaller animals go running. My german shepherds won't go anywhere near the water dish if the 8lb declawed cat is sitting there, and they won't pass him in a doorway either. But if that same cat runs, they can't help but chase him...and while I don't think they would actually hurt any of my indoor cats I have absolutely no doubt that if a cat outside ran from them and they caught it they would kill it.
    3)Staffies are another breed that often has a high prey drive and are often not good with other smaller animals that act like (or are) prey.

    I understand that it's upsetting your dog has hurt one of your chickens, but given the above facts it's really not at all surprising. Given that there weren't any apparent wounds on your bird, just damaged feathers, it's likely that your dog was just playing. Puppies can't help it, when something runs they just have to give chase. Chickens can't really help it, they run around and flap like idiots when they are startled.

    I wouldn't recommend hitting your dog after the fact. If you catch him with a chicken in his mouth, then that's one thing. But after the fact may be too long a time span for him to actually associate the punishment with the act...which could lead to him being fearful of you because you randomly act aggressively towards him for reasons he doesn't understand. You do need to supervise any interaction with the chickens. If you can't fence off an area so that the chickens can't get into the dog's space, this means you will have to put the dog on a leash and go outside with him to do his business. While you are with him, encourage him to leave the chickens alone by getting his attention and rewarding him for paying attention to you instead of the chickens.
  8. kmclay

    kmclay In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2009
    This happened to me too. My Pointing Griffin actually killed several of our chickens. I think once a dog has experienced the "fun" of chasing a chicken, it cannot necessarily be reversed. A puppy thinks if a chicken runs, it is just good sport. He doesn't mean to be bad. We have had to designate certain parts of the day to the dogs running free and the chickens running free. We live in the country and have the ability to do this. If they run free together, Pieter (my dog), will eventually end up with a chicken in his mouth. My heart has been broken by the few chickens he killed, so I am vigilant about watching his play time vs. the chickens' play time. [​IMG]
  9. Moochie

    Moochie Songster

    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Thanks everybody. I know he was probably playing but what I really wanna know is why Sophie didn't put up a fight. Bruno is a bit odd, he normally sniffs around eating chicken poop, or rolls around in it :S
    I do realize my MOTHER needs to train him, I have no experience with that except teaching a doxie to sit up for treats. She knows how to do things, she taught our other dog (that we do not have due to a chicken attack) sit, "gimme paw", heel, and catching things in the air. My friend adopted him though so I get to see him every other weekend [​IMG]
    You don't have to tell me that he needs training, I know that. But I do need some tips of what I can do. Bruno is also a glump, he sometimes accidently bumps into the chickens when he runs around. I was scared he hurt Sophie but she seems normal and chipper. As for toys... Well he is mostly an outside dog and sometimes can come inside. The outside dogs kinda chew up everything... The blankets my mom put for them, Angel chews them constantly. We don't buy stuffed animals anymore because Angel and others will chew em' up and get the stuffing all over the place :|
    So what they basically have is partially ruined blankets, scraps from stuffed animals, and rubber squeaky toys. My dachshunds are crazy I hate giving them Angel's beds, sometimes my mom just decides to put the expensive ones outside and I actually yell at her about it. Anyways Bruno shall be good, it'll just take time. I wish he would chase away the pesky birds that eat the feed though. I come outside and there's like 50 little finches flying away. Gosh.

  10. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Songster

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    Your very lucky you have a puppy, that is highly trainable. With grown dogs,

    it's harder to train them this kinda stuff. I agree he was playing with them. But

    playing can turn into 'attack' if the dog isn't corrected. Has there been

    any other times where he has alot of interest in the birds?

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