Hey Gritsar - I need GSD advice!


Scribe of Brahmalot
12 Years
May 18, 2009
I am the proud (and harried) owner of a 10-week-old German Shepherd puppy. He is doing real well in the house but, of course, chases everything that moves and most things that dont.

What is your advice on integrating him with my chickens?

Two weeks ago at 8 weeks old with only one ear up

Both ears up and growing like a weed!
I'm not Gritty but I do have GSDs. Sorry, but mine cannot be trusted around the chickens, not even after YEARS of schutzhund work. They are absolutely steady, strong on the arm, and beautifully obedient--and will kill every chicken they see unless I am right there to say no. Needless to say, my chickens do NOT free range.

My GSD is the same way! She's 10 now, and wants to eat my chickens----and most likely my ducks, geese and goats too! She killed 3 chickens before I clipped their wings to keep them from getting out of the large free-range pen. They are herding dogs, but maybe geared more toward sheep and goats? My next dog will be a border collie, as friends of mine have had great success with their b.c.s herding the chickens and not eating them! Good luck with your training----I truly hope it works out well.
Sjisty, I'm sorry I didn't see your post before now. And thanks to the BYCer that pointed it out to me.

He's adorable!
What's his name?

We did alot of training with Jax and not so much Kane, because Kane learned from Jax. For the things Jax wanted to be stubborn with, like chickens, we used the "shake can" - an empty coca cola can filled with a handful of pennies and then duct-taped all around. We take both dogs out around the chickens as much as possible; at least once a day. When Jax would get that look in his eyes while watching the chickens, we would throw the shake can (with the intention of hitting him, it doesn't hurt) and holler "NEIN!" We still have plenty of shake cans laying around the house, but haven't had to use one in a long time. Jax doesn't even like the sound of one being picked up. BYC member brindlebtch taught me about using a shake can.

Both dogs can now be trusted around the chickens, but only if we are outside. Even if we are on the other side of the house from them, they can be trusted because they are smart enough to know that we are still outside. Just like Kane knows he can get away with getting on the couch so long as mama is outside (DSD let him get up there while we were on vacation, so now I have to break him).

We don't trust them either of them around the chickens when they are outside by themselves.

Many happy years to you and your new GSD!
His name is Kris, after the first GS we had when I was a toddler. I have been doing "chicken overload" with him every day, taking him out to visit my 30+ chicks that are in the grow-out pen. He does really well until one start running - then it's just another squeaky toy. Also, when I take treats to the older ones, he will sit or lie beside me on the ground and just watch, even when they get right beside him.

He seems to be really smart, and I hope with training him at such a young age, maybe he will get the picture. I showed him some newly hatched chicks the other day and he slobbered one up pretty good but never tried to bite it, although it was probably very happy to be back in the brooder with its siblings.

Thanks for the shake can idea - I'll try that.
Thanks for the idea - I will have to make some of those for Tucker the chicken/duck hunting cavachon
He knows he is not supposed to chase them but gets that look and off he goes - he is not allowed out there without me and the chickens actually have a new pen BUT the baby ducks escape from it all the time when I'm not looking.

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