Getting a dog maybe. Help I need to ask you a question.

Discussion in 'Games, Jokes, and Fun!' started by chickens 4 ever, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Hi i'm Hayley and I might get a dog for Christmas so I was wondering. Does anyone know anything about German Shepherds because i have chickens but I don't know if my dog would hurt them or not because its a Shepherd dog. Does anyone know? I have heard if you get it as a puppy it gets used to chickens so it won't hurt them.

    Thanks~
    -Hayley

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  2. TheSpeckledRoo

    TheSpeckledRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    German Shepherds are natural guardians. All you need to do is train him or her that your chickens are a part of your family and he will actually guard your chickens.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    German Sheperds may be too smart for job and present lots of training challenges if you are not well versed in the interations between dogs and livestock. I assume dog is to be more of an outside type expected to live very close to charges. If area temperate then a livestock guarding dog may be a better choice. You will need to consider containing dog with some sort of fencing to keep it on mission. No livestock guarding dogs where developed for chickens so you will have to work to flex dog into doing job desired. Other breeds may work but most would require a level of training and size of dog relative to predators it guards against will be important. What are your biggest predators? Ideally dog is 1/2 again as large at least. My preference based on observation would be what called an Akbash which is a more gracile / faster breed used to protect sheep and goats. Also look into imprinting pup on chickens. That means rearing pup with them and even them dog may require some training which will be a challenge if not familiar with training dogs.
     
  4. Oh ok. Do you have one? Yea I will do that.
     
  5. TheSpeckledRoo

    TheSpeckledRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to yeah. You just have to make sure you have your pup grow up with them. Put him in your pen very early and observe him.
     
  6. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    Some German Shepherds have very high "prey drive" and will chase anything that moves. I have 2 GSDs and my female is fine with the chickens, but my male would kill them if he got the chance. I keep my chickens safely fenced away from my dogs to avoid any unfortunate incidents.
     
  7. hmm, ok. So should I get a girl?
     
  8. Doubleyolker

    Doubleyolker Out Of The Brooder

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    As a breeder and groomer I would offer advice in getting a G shepherd. Finding a healthy and well minded shepherd will take some homework! I was raised with some great shepherds but the breed as a whole has been ruined. The dogs I now deal with are unsound and really very hard to deal with. I dont think it matters on male or female. Its sad to see this once wonderful breed become the crippled mentally unstable dogs we see today.
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    x2. Very common for this breed to have a high prey drive. No matter what breed of dog you get you must plan on many hours, months, years even, of training. Large dogs are considered pup's until at least two years of age so do not plan on being able to throw a young dog in the yard with the chickens after just a couple months and have your chickens still alive. The time and effort involved are well spent when you turn out a good dog.

    Have a place to keep the dog and a place to keep the chickens so there is no access. Take pup with you, on a leash, every time you take care of your birds. That way you control the pup and can correct inappropriate behavior as it happens. And of course reward and encourage good behavior. This way pup gets lots of exposure to the birds along with training and eventually, hopefully, the excitement over the birds is over. Just be aware that not every single dog will make a good ranch dog. A dog with a very high prey drive may never be trustworthy. Never allow pup alone with your birds. If you can raise this pup never having the chance to find that it's fun to run, chase and catch a chicken you are that much farther ahead. Many steps backwards if that does happen.

    As far as male or female, I don't think it matters. It all boils down to your diligence in training and the dogs temperment/prey drive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Think imprinting if young pup acquired. My preference is about 7 week of age. I use dogs with a prey drive a lot more developed than a German Sheperd and imprinting greatly speeds process. That means lots of exposure between young pup and charges, not less exposure. Otherwise you are setting up for more work. Put pup in with full adult standard sized chickens and begin intervention process on front end.
     

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