Does anyone have experience with dogs herding chickens?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by lily cd re, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. lily cd re

    lily cd re In the Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2014
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    My standard poodle Lily has been doing well being around my young chickens. She has a very good recall and is obedience trained and titled in rally and agility as well as in obedience. I had her loose in the yard with the birds yesterday and she did just great. I called her right after taking this picture and she came right back to me.[​IMG]

    My German Shepherd dog really wants to herd them. He has rally titles and a beginner novice obedience title, but I am finding that his desire to herd is outweighing his listening and attention skills. I am doing a lot of classical conditioning with him and his reorientation towards me has improved greatly but he gets very excited when he see the birds moving quickly. He starts circling the run and loses his focus for me. I will keep up the classical conditioning, but would appreciate it if anyone has any other suggestions. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Chickens do not herd well as their instinct is to scatter when pressed. Take great care with the herding as with most dogs, even the obedience trained ones, can quickly swith into catch, crunch and much mode.
     

  3. +1

    When I was much younger we lost our first peacock to the family dog, for over 10 years they were best buds, slept together on the porch and played with each other every day... Then out of nowhere one day the dog had a split second lapse and primal instinct kicked in for just that moment and that was all it took...
     
  4. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Crowing

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    Does anyone think a Schnauzer/terrier mix pet would be OK to put in the chicken run at night? She weighs over 25# but I'm not sure how much more.

    Hopefully to run off a predator. We don't know what it is this time but I suspect that it is either the mate of the raccoon we trapped before or one of it's kitts.

    I can not let her near my birds, she gazes at them in a hypnotic trance and can't hear me calling her. I am sure given the chance, I'd have not one bird if she were given the option of playing or guarding. LOL
     
  5. lily cd re

    lily cd re In the Brooder

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    Thanks for that insight about chickens scattering rather than gathering when pushed. I am going to take things very slowly. No matter how things come along I do not ever plan to leave either dog unsupervised with loose birds. I don't even let the GSD out in the yard on his own during the day when the birds are up and about because he gets over interested in them on an unpredictable basis. I trust the poodle a lot more, but wouldn't leave her alone with them loose either. I actually don't plan to let them loose on their own at all since there are a lot of red tail and sharp shinned hawks in my area.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I do have dogs out with birds without supervision and they take care of hawks and many other issues. My dogs are birds dogs trained for another purpose. Dogs can be your friend but lots of time and effort required.


    Strive to train birds to go where you want with reward of food. To avoid human aggression that sometimes stems from such I suggest you place feed in location birds are supposed to go, then alert them to the feeds presence and step away.
     
  7. lily cd re

    lily cd re In the Brooder

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    Since I put the birds outside I have been using for treats like fruits and mealworms as a way to move them to where I want.

    I do think the dogs are a big deterrent to raccoons and possums in my yard. Unfortunately I have feral cats in my neighborhood that are not afraid of dogs. I am dealing with them by trapping them and then releasing away from my home at a place there is a cat sanctuary.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    You can promote the interest of your dogs in those cats but chases are likely to go off property. Cats that stand their ground will then generally not last long.
     
  9. lily cd re

    lily cd re In the Brooder

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    The yard is fenced, but that cats squeeze under one gate. The dogs are a standard poodle and a German shepherd dog so they can't get out.
     

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