Dog bit horse and chicken??? I'm so upset!!!! Someone help???

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Willow's Meadow, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2010
    Okay so last year we moved from our home in a development to a homestead with more land. We have two german shepherds. One is a very, very friendly older dog that will lay next to the chickens and let them PECK her and she doesn't even care and the other one is a 3 year old dog. The 3 year old was never exsposed to horses before until recently. We brought my horse and a friend of ours horse home. Well I took the older dog back to the barn and she saw the horses and didn't even care about them. The other one (I've taken her back their 3 times now) jumped up on my horse and bit her nose and ripped hair off and left a scrape on her nose(no blood). Well I was to say the least FURIOUS!!!!! Then I brought her down their to day and tied her up on a long leash while I mucked the stalls (the horses were outside) and then one of the chickens got loose from the run. And she attacked it. I ran over and pulled her off of the chicken. But she left a HUGE gaping wound under her wing. The skin was completly ripped open (4 inches long and 3 inches wide). We culled her because she was in so much pain.....and could not walk.

    I am so sick of living in fear that she is going to get loose from the fenced in dog area by the house and kill my whole flock of chickens or bite one of my horses again. I think that she thinks that every animal is food and then she can hurt anything and that no animal is stronger then her. I think that if their was a lion in our backyard she would try to eat it. But at the same time she is so sweet, and kind and she sleeps in my bed at night and shes my baby. But I love my horses more. She is also not very nice to little kids but she is perfectly fine with teens/adults etc. I just don't know what to do. I kinda want to surrender to the local humane no kill shelter. I was thinking about trying to sell her I just don't want to sell her and have her end up with an abusive owner. But the other problem is that she CAN NOT eat regular dog food.....she has to eat a raw diet aka barf diet. I buy raw meat, bones from a butcher and also give her vegetables and fruits. I think that a shelter would not feed her that and she would end up getting sick like she did when we bought her (before the hundreds of dollars that we spent at the vet to find out what the problems was......severe food allergies, stomach issues etc.) and then she would eventually die from severe diarrhea/vomiting (what happens when she eats dog food.....we have tried just about every brand to and many, many meds that all didn't work for her....until the raw diet).

    I think that our farm lifestyle is not the lifestyle for her. I have tried to train her to be okay around the other animals....but it doesn't work. Her parents (we don't own them) are both narcotics/police dogs and are imported from Germany. I want to enjoy my farm and not have to worry about the safety of my animals. And next spring I might be getting a couple of dairy goats too. So I don't want to worry about their safety because of the dog. I just don't know what to do.....I'm very upset and frusterated. I love all of my animals, I have never abused, abandoned or neglected any animal. I guess this is just a vent.....but does anyone have any ideas??? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    first, how much exercise is she getting? she's only 3, so just getting into the prime of her energy. Does she have a job to do? Has she been exposed to other animals before this?

    GSDs need mental as well as physical exercise. Being a working line dog, she is going to have more drive and energy than your average pet GSD. What classes has she had? taking her down to the barn on the long line was a good idea, but not quite the right method.

    Take her on a regular 6 foot lead. Start at a distance from the horses, just at the point where she shows interest in them. Teach her "watch me" and reward her for paying attention to you and not the other animals. Once she is reliably ignoring them at that distance, move closer. If she absolutely won't look away from them, increase the distance until she is reliable. This will be a LOT easier if you tire her out a bit first - physically and mentally.

    She might never be reliable unattended, but you can hopefully reach the point where she can be trusted with supervision. Also make sure that she has a reliable recall and "leave it" command. is a great resource!
    Rayden's favorite food is rabbit, but he is trustworthy with them.

    If you DO decide to rehome her, please contact a GSD rescue instead of taking her to the shelter. If you could foster her while they find her a home, it is even more likely that they can help you.
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Have you read any of Cesar Milan's books? I would have to agree with him about treating your animals like humans resulting in them thinking they are your superiors. I would imagine this makes it very hard to train a dog, especially a GS. I would definitely rehome this dog to someone who will not allow the dog to get away with sleeping on the bed, showing "unfriendliness" towards children, biting horses and other dominant moves and can train it to be....a dog. Simply a dog.

    The fact that this dog is unsafe or "unfriendly" around children makes it a risk to keep anyway. I'm curious to know what you did to correct this "unfriendliness" the first time it happened. Knowing how owners interact with dogs can help explain why dogs act the way they sounds as if this GS has been allowed to get by with quite a few bad behaviors.
  4. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Training training training. I just saw a link here on BYC for a video on stopping chicken killing dogs, it sounded interesting.

    I trained my current LGD ( she was a dump out here in the country) using Caesar Milans methods basically, I did have to train her on all new livestock, and we're currently working on broody ducks. I'm not sure that she *gets* that my sons Degu's are not rats to be eaten, she was fine with the Guinea pigs I briefly had tho. I'm hoping to fence the back yard and get a male pup to train this year too. I can't leave her outside on her own because she will chase any predator right out of the yard into the road (We're working on Leave It too. )

    But basically, I AM the Pack Leader, and livestock is part of the pack, therefore she protects members of the pack. She stood guard over the box of ducklings that came in the mail this spring even. I started with chicks and newborn kits, I held them and let her sniff them and told her "MINE".

    Casear Milan's videos are on DVD, its not a bad place to start, and there are some others using similar methods to his. Or find a good local trainer to work with you, but I wouldn't just lock her up, thats just an unlatched gate away from disaster. She could seriously injure one of the horses or be injured herself.

    I can even bring newborn kits and chicks in the house and the cat doesn't touch them. I'm not sure how I trained the cat, or if the dog did it for me? [​IMG] Same cat that kills mice and small birds outside, how it knows the difference, I don't know. I have a pic of him napping with two week old bunnies even.

    If you've tried to train her on your own, it may be you need to seek help from a professional trainer? I'd certainly give that a try first.

    Good luck!
  5. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    Cesar Milan has very good points, but many of his techniques require skill and knowledge to implement correctly.

    NILIF (nothing in life is free) is a good starting point for what you are talking about.

    remember, even at 3 yrs old she is very much a puppy. Many working line dogs mature slowly and don't "get their brains" until almost 3 years old.
  6. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    While I sympathize with your concerns over your livestock, the alarming part of this to me is that the dog is not trustworthy around small children. For a dog that size, that is a recipe for disaster! As others here have posted, training is paramount for any dog, but especially one of that size and strength. At three years old, she is certainly still trainable, but it won't be easy and it will take dedication on your part. You MUST establish your alpha role and MAINTAIN it at all times. As pack animals, dogs simply do not feel safe without a clear leader, and if there isn't one, then the dog will "step up" and take on the role. It's a "better to lead with no followers than to follow with no leader" kind of thing. To reiterate what another poster said, the dog's attitude toward "your" pack will depend entirely upon you ... if you lead well and you value your livestock, so too will the dog. The extent to which you can trust it will depend on how strong its own "alpha drive" is ... you may never be able to trust it unattended with livestock, but you can at least feel confident in your control when you are present. If that possibility isn't one you are prepared to accept, rehoming may be best for you and the dog.
  7. hunterjumper999

    hunterjumper999 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2008
    Box Springs
    basically you have three options ... ALL of which will require soul searching and honesty on your part.

    1- IMO last straw is ....Euthanize her at the vet. . . I personally would have rather Euthanized any of my pit bulls rather than re home them if they EVER showed any signs of aggression such as your dog is showing. She's your dog and your problem. don't pass it on to someone else just because you have let it get to this point. the breed is a working breed and while i have never owned one i have done extensive work with Pit Bulls and i know that a bored pit bull with little to no training and little to no control is a disaster waiting to happen. . . GSD people correct me if im wrong but i think it would be the same. HUMAN aggression is NEVER a trait that is wanted in any breed really.

    2- Professional training with someone who is used to working with dominant dog breeds ( rotties, GSD, Pitties ect) commit to changing your actions to make yourself the owner your dog needs. this will take time, commitment and money. Don't pick the person who is cheapest, pick the best. Trust me- my best girl would be dead now if i had not chosen to sink close to a thousand dollars into a professional trainer and her micro management. but shes awesome now and I can literally trust her in a down stay in the middle of a crowded park with kids, dogs you name it. Prior to that she had been killing cats, maiming smaller dogs and basically anything she could catch was fair game. MY fault. she was bored, crated too much and I fixed it by becoming her master.

    3- MOST unlikely... re home her for free to someone willing to take on her issues. Be totally honest with them about the issues. Support them thru the transition. don't just dump her at a no kill shelter ( which, btw may not even want her if shes agressive!)

    I think you need to think on this. Also, I think it would be wrong to try to make a profit on her at this point, because the way she is now is due to the way she has been raised thusfar. NOT saying your a bad person but just saying that as a dog owner you have not exhausted all options for her. She has issues. you know about them and it is your job as her person to fix them or at least try to and in the event that she is not fixable, she deserves to have the decision made to end her anguish... and put her down.
  8. Memphisjourney2seramas

    Memphisjourney2seramas Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    I would try a vibration collar. Its not a shock collar it just vibrates and gets their attention when she is looking at the horses and chickens like food. I would do what every one else says with the leash. maybe even muzzle her until you get her trained.
  9. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    If she is going full blown at them, doesn't even flick and ear to you when you yell, a 'vibration' or 'sound' collar will do nothing but waste your money. I used a shock collar on our little chicken killer, I yelled and pressed the button anytime she went for them. Just a few times to get the point across. Now if I yell at her, she backs off. Before? I could yell, scream, toss things her way and stomp towards her and she didn't even notice I was alive.
    Find a BARF dog forum and search for someone who can take on your dog who already feeds raw.
    She is still very young, I'd at least start with a ton of exercise and work her mind! Then go and train w/her and the horses/chickens right after she's been worked. The prey animals need to be above her on the pack ladder, people first, defenseless animals next and last her.
    There's a lot you can try, but going for the horse/chicken needs to be completely unacceptable.
  10. 2pinkmom

    2pinkmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2010
    you've gotten some good advice from PP. The other thing is that sooneror later this dog is going to meet an equine that won't tolerate tht kind of thing. And it will end badly for the dog. Mules and donkeys especially don't brook that kind of nonsense. Old timers will actually turn them out with cattle herds because they protect the mamas and babies from dogs and coyotes.

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