how do i teach my puppy not to eat the chickens?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mom wewantchicks!, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. mom wewantchicks!

    mom wewantchicks! Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    she hasnt tried yet but i would like to bring her up around the chickens and hopefully she will see them as friends or part of her family to guard. she is almost 10 weeks old,golden retriever puppy. usually she will just ignore them,but sometimes she runs around scattering the chickens. once they run off she just lays down. im naive on the subject as my last dog was a german shepard,she gaurded all the animals we owned (cats, ducks,goats,rabbits) and never tried to eat them. she actually sleep in the same house with the duck and goat! anyway i really wanted a shepard again but this puppy sort of found us. she has learned her lesson with the cats, and knows not to mess with them. but, how do i train her around the chickens? any tips or advice would be great!!
  2. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    Retrievers retrieve. That dog would like nothing better than pick a chicken up in its mouth and bring it to you. [​IMG] I'm sure there are articles around here on this. There is also a lot of information on teaching dogs to point birds. Putting a ball of feathers on a string and teaching the dog that it is futile to chase and then reward him when he doesn't. I don't know if retrievers can point, but I know they can sit in a duck blind patient for the command to go while ducks fly all around and guns are going off. So you can probably teach him to fetch tennis balls and not birds.
  3. yeahLauren

    yeahLauren In the Brooder

    Jul 14, 2008
    Muncie, IN
    My Labrador Retriever was an adult when I got my chickens. She has learned her lesson about getting too close (they peck her), but has never tried to chase or eat them. She is actually very gentle with all animals and only wants to sniff them, even though she is a retriever. She once found a baby bird that had fallen out of a nest and just looked at it, danced a little, and looked at me. She didn't offer to eat it or anything. I would say to just firmly tell the pup, "No!," if she gets too close or tries to go after them. She should then learn this is not something you approve of her doing.
  4. cherrychicken

    cherrychicken Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    um, keep them away from each other....
  5. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Just give sharp disapproving commands whenever you see her try to chase them. Make sure she knows that your not happy with her when she does it. Eventually she'll think the chickens are no fun if you can't touch them. Let her know its ok to walk by them, just don't move to touch them. My lab/bc ignores ours.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Reprimand like her mother growl, hold her down by the scruff of the neck and shake! Each and every time she even moves in their direction. I have two so-called retrievers who wouldn't retrieve a chicken if it were made of ground beef!

    Or....some folks swear by a shock collar! The above method worked for my pup...took 3 times and he hasn't looked at a chicken since! [​IMG]
  7. mom wewantchicks!

    mom wewantchicks! Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    well she isnt much of a retriever, the kids would love for her to fetch,but if you toss something she just looks at you. she walks all around the coop and yard with me and has never tried to bite at the chickens,but she will give a small chase. last night i put her on the leash sat down with treats and called over the chickens. well all she cared about was the treats. it was just some bread so i feed the chickens then gave her a little piece and made her lay still all the while telling her what a good puppy she was. ive just never trained a dog around chickens and was wondering what way to go about it. i wouldnt try a shock collar unless i REALLY needed it,but the other ideas sound great! thanks everyone!!
  8. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I have a 9 week old bloodhound puppy, and when I take her for a walk I'll take her by the chickens so she can see them and get used to them. At this point, she could care less. It's my hope that if I raise her around the chickens, she will accept them and leave them alone.
  9. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    I let my most protective hen, or most aggressive rooster, "put the fear of poultry" in them when they are pups. This has worked well for me with quite a few pups over the years.
    Labs are big pups, but since she is so young it might still work. If you have an agressive roo or hen take the pup to where the bird is. Just hang out there so the pup stays there and usually what happens here is that the pup will get curious and start checking the bird out. And the roo will flap the pup or chase after it. It usually only takes a couple of times of that and the pup learns that it's best to give chickens their space.
    Sometimes you can encourage a chicken to chase off the pup by tossing some scratch down where you are standing.
    If the pup wants to fight back instead of running, grab ahold of her neck...not lifting her up or hurting her, just get a grab on her neck like her mom would and scold her good.
    Do the same thing for chasing. Having her on a lead and really make her know the chickens are yours and NOT TO BE ChASED! GRRRRRR. You never have to physically hurt a dog to train it, but by holding them by the neck and giving them a good scolding while looking into their eyes lays down the law to them. You shouldn't have to do it very often if your timing is good and you are firm enough.
    Afterwards, give her a few minutes to think about it and don't baby talk her. Let her come to you with an apology....rolling on her back, or licking at you. Then, tell her good girl...give her a pat and all is forgiven.
    This is what has worked well for me. I hope it helps.
  10. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    I've got an 11 and 3 year old lab. Last year they learned not to chase the ducks. I could tell Rocket, nearly ten at the time, was interested because of the foot long drool hanging from both sides of his mouth. I kept him on the leash and made him lay down while the ducklings played in the grass. I did this quite a few days in a row, saying NO anytime he looked at them, moved in their direction, etc. He stopped drooling after a couple weeks.

    Luna, not quite 2 and therefore still a puppy, didn't drool but she wanted to chase them. I used the same method with her, occasionally she did scatter them but one stern NO would stop her and she soon gave it up (off-leash with her wasn't allowed till the ducks were over a month old) after a coule tries. It probably helped that she never saw Rocket chase them at all.


    I did not let them outside alone with the ducks till they were fully feathered.

    When I got my chickens the dogs and they were separated by the run fence. Rocket nosed the fence a couple times and I told him NO, he soon lost interest. When I first let them out to free range, I had Luna on the leash but she wasn't interested at all. Luna has since chased dogs out of the yard.


    Now I know it won't be as easy or possible with some dogs, Luna's real uncle Boo and his sister, across town, jumped the run fence in his yard and killed 51 chickens in 20 minutes. However, their owner never even attempted to train them. He no longer has chickens, decided it's too risky.

    So it can be done, with a 10 week old puppy though, it's probably going to take longer.

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