HELP! Dog problems

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mskitn, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. mskitn

    mskitn Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2013
    I have a 2 year old Great Pyranese black Lab mix. It's taken months but we've trained him that the chickens belong and he watches them very carefully. Keeps the cats away, keeps hawks away. He's quite attentive. Most of the time he is laying out there and the dumb chickens are crawling all over him. He lets them eat his food and there favorite place is in his dog house. But sometimes, out of the blue he will start chasing them. Twice he has gotten one. He doesn't injure them. Just catches them, holds them down. Yesterday he did this and grabbed it and held it in his mouth. I had to open his jaws to let the chicken out. It wasn't hurt and after it rejoined the group I can't tell which one he got. I don't know what is setting him off. This particular time the chicken was outside the fence. Maybe he was trying to get it to go back in. Idk. I can chain him up when they are out but the crazy chicken won't stay out of his house and food. For that matter they basically walk into his mouth. Help! Any suggestions?
  2. mskitn

    mskitn Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2013
    Oh and he only goes after the Barred Rocks. They are the newest. We got them as chicks and they are about 15 wks now.
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    It is possible that he was trying to control the chicken that was out of place. If the dog is not hurting the chickens, I would monitor the behavior and see what develops. Continue to train and supervise as needed.

    I had a collie once that would chase down our rabbits, when they got out. He would pin the rabbit to the ground with his open mouth and wait for someone to come get the rabbit. He never injured a rabbit in all those years.

  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Just a thiought. Labs were bred to retrieve birds that the hunter shot. They were bred to have very soft mouths. An injured bird was to be retrieved without being injured more.
    I just had to wonder if your situation is that part of your dog's heritage kicking in. As long as he does have a soft mouth and isn't hurting your chickens perhaps a leave it or drop it command would suffice.
  5. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    Probably just got something stuck on his teeth and need a floss.....
  6. Kyzmette

    Kyzmette Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2013
    I have a dog that started doing that. It became a form of play for her, and she would catch and release, putting her paw on the chicken to hold it down. Then she started tearing out feathers, and skin along with them, and she eventually killed one. I built a new pen and have had her away from the chickens all winter. When it warms up I will let the flock free range while I'm home, watching. If I can't teach her to stop, we may have to review other resolutions, like rehoming.
  7. mskitn

    mskitn Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2013
    Thanks I think it is something like that but also a game to him. Problem in he's at least 100 pounds and so stubborn. I think he knows he's not supposed to but it's so much fun. What makes me the most irritated is he never touched the chickens until a neighbor dog got a hold of one and tore some skin and feathers out. Bono caught it and held it down until I got involved now he chases and chases. Grrrrrr. I worked all last year to get to where we were now I will have to start over
  8. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 1, 2013
    Smithville, Missouri
    some training collars have a sound feature before the adjustable shock, we tried one when our dog was young, we used it as a hand held electric fence until she learned her boundary. I do not know if it would work in your situation.
  9. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    Yeah I think this is exactly the case. One thing that may help is "lecturing" to get the point across. I have an LGD and he is extremely stubborn too, if he is doing something that absolutely must STOP (like window fighting) I don't just tell him to cut it out I give him a 3 minute lecture, yelling in his face and telling him how bad that was and how that that better not every happen again etc... After the lecture I won't make eye contact with him for 15 minutes or so to impress the point.

    That seems to be the ONE thing that gets the point across, might take a couple of times but he "gets it". I was told to "pick your battles" with LGDs so I do NOT do this over minor stuff, only very occasionally when he does something totally unacceptable.

    Your pup already KNOWS that chasing and catching the chickens is bad so lecturing might do the trick for you but you need to watch him carefully so you can catch him doing it. If he only gets lectured 1 out of 6 times the fun may outweigh the hassle. I have had many dogs throughout my life and one thing about LGD's is they respond to totally different types of training/discipline while often not responding well to the standard methods.

    I am hoping I can have my LGD guard the chickens at night (or at least run over and take care of any problems if they start to fuss). He was raised as a working dog guarding goats, now he is a companion dog, I worry he may "play" with the chickens too but hopefully he will be good with them. He is a housedog, goes everywhere with me in the car, has two small females to pal around with, he shouldn't have to play with chickens out of boredom so I am hoping he won't (after a lecture or two).
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  10. mskitn

    mskitn Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2013
    Thank you if will give this a try. I've noticed that last 2 times it's when someone gets home. A car comes up the drive and he goes crazy and starts chasing chickens, donkeys, sheep. He just freaks out. Yesterday he went after neighbor chickens that had wandered onto our property. They've done that his whole life. But this time he chased them and ducked the fence and chased them around. I jumped out of the car and screamed at him and we chained him up. It was so cold I later brought him inside the house, which he hates worse than being chained outside, I think. He lays around grunting. Not sure if he is in his terrible 2's or what :)

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