dogs and how to get there from here

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mudvstheory, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. mudvstheory

    mudvstheory Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2012
    northern virginia
    My current cavamalt sleeps with my kid's bunny on her lap. His big weapon, sad eyes, is not likely to threaten the chicks we ordered for late spring. Plus the Delawares will soon grow to be his size. But I am looking ahead to training a larger, more protective dog. One that could help with fox and raccoon. I had an idea.

    I should be able to make a pillow that smells like a chicken, and teach a puppy that the chicken pillow is a sleepy thing. Then get a raccoon/fox tail, a scrap of fur and maybe some scent (?). Even a puppy can learn that chicken smell is at least ignored, and fox/raccoon smell is "get that!" Then when the dog is old enough to learn a stay, I can wave the chicken pillow around him and teach him to ignore it moving. Then maybe a feather duster. Then we throw the fur scrap at the feather duster, and teach the dog to intercept.

    Is that a good first step? And where would I get fur scraps?
    (ps this should be a kit. Sounds like an etsy business to me! )

    I know I would do better with a protective breed, but I am pretty limited to hyperallergenic. So the training will be intense.

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  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I don't think you will get very far training a dog breed that way if it is a dog that doesn't really have the instinct to be protective or defend/attack predators. As far as training the new dog around the chickens, I don't find that to be a problem as long as you start with a small puppy, take it with you to feed and collect eggs while making sure to correct it if it tries to chase or play with the birds, maybe let a chicken flog it a little if it gets to close, but don't let the pup get injured, starting young it should learn chickens are just part of every day life not a play thing to chase and tear apart, if a rooster or hen flogs it you may get lucky and have them instill the fear of god into the pup and it will not go near a chicken again. That little white dog you have looks identical to our little teddy bear dog. He enjoys chasing the chickens up and down the side of the run, that will change when I start free ranging them and let the roosters out, I'm sure they will discourage the little dogs.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I don't know if a pup/dog is going to distinguish between a pillow that smells of chicken feathers and chicks/chickens that run around and make enticing squawking noises. That is a very hard stimulus for many, many dogs, not to mention pups, to ignore. As for guarding, they either have that instinct or they don't.

    We raise our own ranch dogs and what I have found works best is simply daily exposure to the birds while under my control. This means that the pup never has unrestrained access to the birds and the birds are always safely penned. Pup goes with me every day to do barn chores and goes right into the pens with me but is attached to me by a leash at all times. Inappropriate behavior is nipped in the bud the moment it happens if not before. Good behavior is lavishly praised. This goes on for weeks. Eventually it's all old news and pup is no longer fascinated with the birds. Soon graduates to trotting along with leash dragging and, long story short, eventually becomes dependable farm dog who does not slaughter your birds the moment you turn your back.

    Breed and especially individual temperament have a lot to do with how things turn out, not every dog is capable of becoming a chicken safe dog, so close observance of the dogs attitude during training is key.
     
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