Has anyone had any personal experience with training a flock guard dog?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kimmyh51, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Kimmyh51

    Kimmyh51 Out Of The Brooder

    28
    6
    37
    Nov 16, 2015
    At this point for me, this is just curiousity....

    I was wondering if there is anyone here who has personal hands on experience with training a dog up as a flock guard dog and if so could they tell me about that experience:

    Or possibly someoe who purchased a dog already trained as a flock guard dog

    1: what kind (breed)s of dog you trained, and whether you started training the dog from puppyhood or as an adult (or if both, your thoughts on each option).
    2: was the dog an exhisting pet, or was it purchased specifically for this purpose
    3: what was the outcome, how well dit it work out, have there been any specific incidents where predators threatened the flock and the dog dealt with it
    4: Bonding with the flock:I havent read or seen a lot of info specifically about the training of the dog. Ie teaching the dog to not attack the birds, and then teaching it to protect them. I did see a Youtube video where someone with a flock of ducks had a dog sitting in the background of the video and they mentioned the dog was to be the guard dog, and said something about how they we going to start it in the process of bonding with the birds. Is bonding with the flock part of your training process (why, why not) and how do you go about getting an animal whose natural instincts are to eat a chicken or duck, to instead bond with it and protect it
    Background of dog and selection of suitable dog: Do you feel that only certain breeds of dog (ie breeds that have been bred for this sort of work, or breeds whose natural characteristics lean towards flock protection). Do you think there are any breeds or groups of dogs that simply should not ever be used for this work? Or any backgrounds or situations that would render a dog unsuitable?.
    For example should flock guards be socialised with the type of bird from puppyhood and not be used without that background... Or are there any characteristics, temperment observations in a puppy or young dog, that you feel would be either a good sign the animal was suitable for this work, or alternatively a reason to exclude that animal from training for flock protection?
    6: any good tips for someone selecting and training a flock guard dog?

    As I said this is not something I am actually looking at doing in my forseeable future. But I am curious anout it. And if I did decide to buy and train a flock guard at some time in the future, I would ideally want to get a rottweiller, just because I have owned, trained and bred them in the past and like the breed. From my (totally uneducated) perspective I would think a rotty could potentially be a good flock guard dog, as they are very loyal and protective, plus reasonably intelligent. But (again just my totally uneducated guess) Id think that to be a good flock guard dog, a rotty would probably,need to be socialised and trained from a young puppy onward...mostly to get the dog to see the ducks as (lower in the hierarchy) members of its pack (which I assume is how a guard dog would ideally see the flock?

    Anyway would be really interested to read anyones experience on this, or even just some good links thAt get into the specifics of the flock protection training?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Kimmyh51

    Kimmyh51 Out Of The Brooder

    28
    6
    37
    Nov 16, 2015
    Oh i forgot to mention that I am in NZ so many of what appear to be the main predators of poultry overseas (foxes, raccoons, coyotes etc) are not an issue here. The main predators here would be birds of prey, ie harriers, hawks. And hedgehogs go after ducklings and eggs. Also opossums, feral cats maybe. The only ones i have actually seen go after ducks where I live are hedgehogs, magpies after ducklings, and once a harrier went for an adult duck.

    The predator that scares me most is mustelids, ie ferret, stoat, weasel. Havent had any encounters with them and my birds, but stoats from all accounts are virtually impossible to keep out, and unlike most other nz land predators, can swim well.
    So if anyone has experience with a flock guard dog dealing with ferrets, stoats, weasels, and/or hawks, and similar birds of prey would be interesting to hear them..

    Thanks
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,628
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by