Help, Our dog is the predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tmq, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. tmq

    tmq Hatching

    Jun 10, 2007
    Can anyone offer advice on getting my Collie to stop attacking the
    chickens. We have about 24 chickens and started letting them
    roam the yard last week. They are about 2 1/2 months old. We have 2
    seven year old collies, brother and sister. The female totally
    ignores the chickens and couldn't care less what they do, the male has
    attacked the chickens several times. We finally had to
    pen up the chickens but I really want to let them roam and free range
    the farm yard. How do I stop this normally docile dog from going after
    the chickens?? I will build a large pen if I have to but just wondered if anyone has had a similiar experience. Our collie is a great dog, friendly, good with kids and never before aggressive at all. He just has a thing about the chickens.
  2. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Pen the dog or keep him inside when the chickens are out.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, the safest is what AFarm said. It will take alot of training to calm him down but he may never be safe around them.
  4. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    No matter what you do a dog will be a dog. Even if he just wants to "play" with the chickens he can still hurt them or kill them very easily. Your dogs (both of them in my opinion) need to be away from the chickens when they are out. I suggest a dog pen.
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I'm one of those people who believe a dog can be trained to do, or not to do almost
    anything. There are a lot of strong opinions on this site about this subject and I do
    not want to start a debate. It is true the only guarantee is to keep the animals

    This is how I would handle your situation and how I handle my own dogs and chickens:
    Training takes time and patience. To begin with you must understand this, be willing to
    take the time, and have a positive attitude. If you are unsure or insecure the dog will
    know it and not respond well.

    Take both animals into a secluded area with no distractions. Hold the dog while the
    chicken is allowed to walk free. Get help from another adult if you need help controlling the
    dog or chicken. As the dog reacts to the chicken scold him for bad or aggressive behavior.
    Scolding does not mean violence. Never hit the dog. Use a verbal command or sound that
    the dog reponds to or shake a can full of rocks. I like to feed the animals their favorite
    treats while together. Use your best judgement and don't give up. As the two animals
    start feeling more comfortable start letting them make contact. Let the chicken walk on the
    dog and let the dog sniff and "check out" the chicken. Watch out for quick moves and
    make none yourself. Animals respond instinctively to fast moves, especially flapping
    feathers. Repeat this often, even when they look like they are ok together.

    My own hound, a known bird dog, will not harm our chickens. She loves to chase them
    but will not harm them. We use her to round up our birds when it's time to go back in
    the coop. It's quite funny to watch. Our Pitt Bull mix has no interest at all in the chickens.

    I also have a Conure who is 14 and has known a lot of dogs. My technique with her was
    to hold the dog and let the bird bite the dogs nose. I've never have a dog even attempt to get her.

    Again, there are no guarantees but I believe it's worth trying. Leaving the animals
    together when you are not aound may be eventually possible but be careful and remember
    time and patience are key. I don't leave my own dogs alone with my chickens because
    the dogs are inside when we are not home. I wish I had a bigger fenced in yard where
    I could leave all the animals out together. Dogs are great against predators.
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    One more thing:

    I just asked my wife her opinion. She thought your collie, a herding breed, may not
    be trying to harm but herd your chickens. Is the dog hurting or biting them?
    Nipping would be normal Collie behavior.

  7. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I say go with the pen. Most dogs are not safe around chickens and your one dog has proven to be un-trustworthy with them. The pen will provide you with peace of mind as well as chicken safety. You'll probably never really trust that collie around chickens even if you do train her, so think of it as stress-reduction.

  8. tmq

    tmq Hatching

    Jun 10, 2007
    I really want to give training the collie a try. Yes he is nipping at them and holding them in her mouth. I've had 3 other pure bred collies and this is the first one that is intent on harming the chickens.
  9. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Yes he is nipping at them and holding them in her mouth.

    Is the dog hurting the chicken? Either way we don't want the
    dog to do this because he could still unintentionally injure
    a fragile chicken.

    As you can see most folks here are recommending keeping them
    apart. I respectfully disagree, especially with a Collie, but I am
    still in the minority. Dogs are never 100% predictable so if you
    are a worrier keep them apart.

    Pick one chicken and try to get the dog and chicken used to
    each other in a controlled environment. Take it one step and
    one day at a time. Only you can really judge if it's getting
    any better.

    Like I said in a previous post my hound will chase and grab
    them, especially if they run. A few chicks are not afraid of her
    so she leaves them alone. It's the chicks that run away that
    trigger the dog to chase them. To her it's a big game. That's
    not to say that she won't accidently hurt one. I'll feel much
    better when the chickens are full grown.

    There is another post right now about guard dogs for chickens.
    This group of chicken owners obviously have a higher
    comfort level with dogs around their chicks. I cannot let my
    chickens free range without my supervision due to many
    predators, especially hawks and raptors. If I was able to leave
    my dogs outside with them I would do so happily and not worry
    at all about the dogs hurting them. Well, maybe I'd worry a
    little. The dogs will still occasionally chew up items in my house.
    They are very agressive towards remote controls and squeaky
    toys. An eight week old chick could be mistaken as a squeaky
    toy. [​IMG]

  10. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I'm not trying to start an argument but if you want safe, healthy, unstressed chickens then keep your dogs away from them. You just said your dog is holding chickens in his mouth. I for one do not believe you can train the instinct out of an animal. Collie or not you've seen him go after your chickens, he can't be around them. It really sucks when your chickens get killed! I would feel terrible if my dog killed my chickens and I could have prevented it by simply separating them.

    Like PurpleChicken said:
    Dogs are never 100% predictable so if you are a worrier keep them apart.​

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