Guard Dog

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bigredfeather, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I am getting a three month old German Sheperd puppy. Does anyone know of any prooven training guides for dogs that are going to be around chickens. The dog will be an outside dog, and I want him to be able to protect my birds when they are free ranging. Any links or advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. burley

    burley Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2008
    Oriential North Carolina
    cancel the german shepard and get a livestock guard dog like an Anatolian or great pyreneese. Thousands of years of innstinct to proctet your flock of anything from cows to bantams.
     
  3. buck-wild-chick

    buck-wild-chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2008
    Hamilton C. FL
    Just make "sure" the dog gets trained right.I don't know of any books but crateing the puppy out with the chickens and walking it on a leash around them,Will help the dog and chickens get to know one another.Any dog in the world can be trained to not attack chickens,but not all will guard them.But now "RUTH" on here has a German Shepard that watches over her flock.
     
  4. Felicitas

    Felicitas Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    I think your shep will do just fine. I have 2 shep mix females. They both love the chicken and stay with them while they are free ranging. My dogs were both adults when I got our chickens. I put the chickens in the run at 6 week and the dogs could see smell hear but not touch. They saw my children and me spending alot of time in the run and coop. The day I let them out to FR I took each dog one by one and made them lay down on the ground then I held a chicken on them so it was standing on the dogs neck. When I allowed the dog to get up I push the chicken toward it's hip and poked the dog with my finger so the dog thought the chicken pecked it hard. Ever since them it seems the chickens are top dog.


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  6. Rae_37066

    Rae_37066 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2008
    Gallatin, TN
    I have a 110lb shepard that the ducks love. He has always been a real mellow sheppard though. He is not a hyper-active shep.

    I put both my chickens and ducks in between my dog runs because they keep 4 legged predators away. I only worry about the hawks around here. I have about 12 of them that circle around my area at least once a day. but they always move on when they judge their chances of swooping down and catching a duck is pretty slim.

    The drake loves Clyde. Clyde will be lying against the fence and the duck will go up and rub on his side. He also listens to the way Clyde's bark is sounding. They seem to know if he is barking at a person or a cat and go back to whatever they were doing but if it's the neighbor's dogs running loose, he will usually run up to the corner of the barn and the girl duck follows. The ducks lived free range until she started laying eggs in the creek and we decided to pen them up until after she drops the egg. and then we set them free, it is getting a bit easier to get them to come back finally. They will do anything for food. LOL

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    And just so you know the electric fence isn't for the sheppard. Its for the sulker lying up by the door of the garage. We can't just let the dogs run loose we live on a busy, fast 2 lane highway.

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  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Quote:Hey, thanks, yes I do have a great GSD, Rex. He was an adult when I got my first chicks and he just instinctively knew to "guard" them. He slept in bathroom with them and would not leave and would not let any of the other pets around them. Then when I moved them outside to a hutch, he went with them and started staying outside for the first time in his life. When they started freeraning at 4 weeks, Rex followed them everywhere.

    Here he is with his first batch of babies two years ago.

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    Here's Rex who still freeranges with the chickens, ducks and peacocks and loves to chase off hawks. He will also sleep with the goats or outside their pen. Basically, he loves to guard everything.

    This was today. We had just finished a new breeding pen and moved the Marans into it. Rex felt the need to stand guard. Other than this new breeder pen, all of our livestock run free.

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    Now I didn't have to teach him anything. I did hold the baby chicks and cuddle them and show him and let him sniff and kept saying "guard the baby chicks" and within a few minutes he laid down by them and that was it.

    Now all that said.....Rex is such a great livestock guard dog and I was so impressed with the breed that I got a female GSD puppy in May so that she could learn from the master. Scarlett is now about 10 months old and is more than a handful. She is huge and cannot control herself or her energy level. She will knock you down jumping on you she gets so excited. Two weeks ago she killed four ducks in three days and jumped/mauled two of my peacocks, luckily they survived. Then last week she got another peacock and it was pretty shook up by the time I found it. She cannot be trusted with the ducks and peacocks alone and often has to be tied up if we are not outside. For some reason she does not bother the baby chicks that are running around or any of the chickens but she by no means "guards" them and would probably eat them if left in a room with them. However, when Rex was about the same age, I went through the same thing with him. GSDs just grow so quickly and have such a high energy level that you have to spend an enormous amount of time running them or walking them or letting them swim to burn off energy. They also need a job to do but that is easier taught when they are older. Rex will also carry in the groceries and used to go get the mail and newspaper before we moved here and there's a busy highway out there. It's funny, one day DH told Rex to go get the paper and Rex didn't go so DH went. Of course Rex followed him and tried to take the paper but DH wouldn't give it to him. Later that morning there was a newspaper laid on our doorstep, right where Rex puts them. Little later, another one. Over the course of the day, several newspapers showed up. Rex was taking all the neighbors papers just to make up for the one he didn't get to get.

    I'm saying all this because if you are getting a 3 month old GSD please be prepared to spend lots of time exercising it, especially when it hits about 9-10 months old. There were many nights I cried myself to sleep when Rex was that age because I thought "what have I gotten myself into....this dog is nuts and uncontrollable". Now I'm saying the same thing about Scarlett but I know how intelligent she is and I just have to put in the time and energy and she too will be a great guard dog. We throw balls or frisbees for hours, take long walks and let them swim in the pond. There's also four dogs in "my pack" so they all play together which also helps.

    Good luck with your GSD. Always be firm and be the leader. Socialize it well, take it lots of places and let it meet lots of people. You don't want a mean or aggressive GSD. Rex has travelled all over and stayed in hotels. Only problem was the time he locked us out of the room (he knows how to work dead bolts and door knobs) and he locked us out and the desk clerk did not know how to get us back in since it was a keyless card lock.

    Enjoy your new GSD they are the best of the best - especially after the age of two. Just remember, the first year is the hardest.
     
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Thanks for all the advice and expiriences with your Shepards. You all have great looking dogs. I hope my new pup does as well as all of yours has. We are going to go pick him up this afternoon. I hope in time I can allow my flock to free range again. I am glad to hear one of you say your dog helps keep hawks away. I had a hawk get two hens in the past few weeks, and I am no longer allowing them to free range (they hate it). I have 40 eggs in the bator due to hatch in two weeks. Even though the pup is still young, I may give him some exposure to the chicks (not alone of course). I will also give him regular exposure to the hens in the coop. Hopefully this will prepare him for his job as he matures.

    BTW Rae_37066, my pup has almost the exact same markings as yours, minus the brown leg Clyde has.

    Had to add this. I got him free from a neighbor. He is full blooded. He was the last of 7 pups. They sold the rest for $300-$350. If I would have wanted his papers, I would've had pay something, but I'm not interested in papers, just a good family pet, house protector, and hopefully flock guardian.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  9. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Just wanted to update you guys. We named him Boss. He is doing great. Such a smart dog. I introduced him to the flock the other day (the chickens were in the coop) He was very interested in them. He didn't act like he wanted to get them, he was just very curious. The chickens didn't seem to like him very much. My head roo charged the chicken wire door as soon as we stepped in the coop.

    Last night we had our first obediance class. I am really looking forward to training him. The instructor for the class has several Shepherds, so I have the feeling Boss and I will get some extra attention. The instructor said she could take us as far as we wanted to go in training. She has received several titles in dog showing, so the sky is the limit.

    I'll post a picture soon.
     
  10. lady chicken whisperer

    lady chicken whisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Ohio
    We have a 4 year old Weimaraner and her 4 month old puppy as well. Ellie(the mom) does very well with the chickens despite being a bird hunter. She never bothers them and often the birds will come all the way up to the house to see her. Now Izzy(her daughter) is another story. She definitely has the natural bird hunting instinct but hasnt quite learned that chickens are our friends. She'll learn eventually.....I hope....lol
     

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