How to introduce new pets to a dog that has killed before?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BackyardDove, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So this really isn't a chicken topic, but I'm not sure where else to turn to. About three years ago, my mom got this dog, a 30lb Shar Pei. She never told me she was getting a dog and insisted we needed one as a guard dog due to the criminal activity in our neighborhood(which we do have problems here, but the one time something was stolen off our porch, the dog didn't once bark).

    To be honest, I both hate and love this dog. She's a good dog, but I would've gotten rid of her a long time ago. The first day she was here, she scared one of my bunnies so bad that the bunny paralyzed herself. In her time here, she has killed my other rabbit, a few chickens, tore my miniature horse's ear and absolutely antagonized her until she passed away a couple months ago. She would jump and bite at her face constantly, like scaring her was a game. I would hope and wish that my horse would give her a swift kick and teach the **** dog a lesson, but she was too nice of a horse for that. I've gotten her use to the chickens(though every now and then I have to reinforce that the chickens are not to be chased), but she's never lost her desire to torment small mammals. Today, I got two goats, and I see the same behavior in her that she was showing towards my old horse; anxiety/whining of wanting to be in the pen with them, biting at the fence, pacing back and forth. These are baby goats, with one being a very tiny runt, and I'm scared she'll seriously hurt them. My mom refuses to accept that her dog has an issue, she just says "she's curious" or "isn't use to these new animals being in her territory", which is supposedly why she torments them. She ignores the fact that everything she's ever tormented(and/or killed) was living here long before she came into the picture and says I just have an issue with her dog. And she's right- hell yes I have an issue with a dog that kills and chases my animals as she pleases!

    Unfortunately, since I do not have land of my own, I can't move the goats somewhere else. So does somebody know how to introduce a problem dog to new animals, or reduce the risk of said dog hurting my animals? This dog has been the source of many arguments, and if she hurts or kills one of my goats, I can promise things will not end well for her. I don't want that to happen though, I'd rather everybody get along.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Such deeply ingrained behavior would be difficult to change and would require constant reinforcement. The most effective solution would be exclusion of the dog. How? Electric fencing is a great educator for such an animal. Just by your descriptions of her past behavior, it is almost certain that she will kill or seriously injure the goats if she can get to them.
     
  3. popsicle

    popsicle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree that it's not likely to train the prey drive from a driven dog. It's not the dog's fault. Shar Pei are obstinate, and that was exactly what they were bred to be. If you don't want the dog to have access to your animals, you need to secure your animals.

    Do you live at your mom's house? If my kid hurt my dog because my dog hurt my kids' goats, my kid would see every one of his/her animals evicted or taken to the processor. I'd be a lot more lenient if my kids brought home a dog that killed chickens than if my kid got cranky because my dog harassed their livestock at my house (regardless of who was where first, because it's my stinkin' house!). But again, I'm the one with all the animals including a highly prey-driven dog and goats, while my son wants a Shi Tzu.
     
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  4. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    I feel badly for you but have to agree with both previous posters. If it is your mom's property and her dog....just not much you can do about it. And I would feel the same about it being my house but I don't understand why she would insist on keeping a dog that harasses/kills other animals but that may just be me. Whether I loved the dog or not if it had a habit of torturing and killing other animals I myself could not keep that dog....or I would make a rule that no other animals were allowed on the property. I just wouldn't be able to take dead and tortured animals. That doesn't bother her? Shar Peis are not for the weak hearted and I have to ask....is this dog even trained to any degree or just allowed to run willy nilly as "so called protection". All of that said, I believe your only recourse is an electric fence as previously stated. Unless you can convince your mom to let you put a shock collar on the dog to try to train it away from the fence. I am not fond of that route truthfully and have to wonder if it would even be successful on a dog that is already used to chasing/harassing animals. I think probably the electric fence is your best option.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Shar-peis are a stubborn breed, by nature. When combined with a high prey drive, it's going to be difficult to deal with. Lots, and lots of consistent training may help teach impulse control, but the dog will never be trustworthy. It's not a breed for the average pet owner. They can be wonderful, but require a very strong leader to command their respect.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I would suggest putting electric fence around the animals you currently have and not get any more until the problem with the dog is resolved or you have your own place.
     
  7. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was afraid of that. I was hoping that, since she made peace with the chickens, perhaps she might do the same for the other animals. Unfortunately, an electric fence is not an option for our grass area that I was wanting them to graze in. Fortunately, she's not able to jump over the fence into their pen, the only risk for them is if I let them out of their pen without locking her up in the house.


    I'm glad we're already jumping to conclusions. Firstly, I don't blame the dog. I blame my physically disabled mom for getting a breed that requires a lot of care and attention, when she knew she couldn't possibly take care of her alone. Does that mean I have to love the dog and be okay with her flaws? No. Secondly, my animals are secure. She cannot get in their pens. That doesn't stop her tormenting, she will stand at the fence and antagonize the goats. Though I would like to be able to let them out of their pen to graze without locking up the dog all day, since it's not fair to her. Finally, I don't believe I mentioned I would hurt the dog? But thank you for sharing that your dog's feelings is above your child's. I do I live on her property as her medical attendant and general caregiver. Considering I do the grunt work of caring for her dogs(She feeds and waters, I do the rest) due to her disabilities, I would sure hope she would care enough about my animal's welfare to at the very least, admit the dog has an issue. It should also be noted that she was the one who encouraged me purchase chickens, goats, etc. and put them on her property at her stinkin' house. She's already asking me if she can put them in the yard, out of their pen, so they can trim the yard like she wants them to.


    She doesn't deal with the deaths, I'm the one who has to see and dispose of the bodies or take care of the wounds she causes. I suppose it's not that bad in her mind, since she doesn't have to deal with the results of her dog's actions. As far as we know, she has not been trained. She was a shelter dog, so we don't know her history, but she does know basic commands like sit and shake. I have asked many, many times for her to get her some training, but the plans always fall through. She defends any of her bad behavior by saying "she protects us" and stuff like that by her barking, despite the fact that the dog barks at everything, and so her barking doesn't serve as a warning if she barks at everything. However, she is a good guard dog if somebody enters the house, she will attack people if they are not introduced to her by me or my mom. Unfortunately though, like I said to sourland, an electric fence isn't really an option.



    I appreciate the responses from everybody, even though most of the responses I got were about my mom/it being her property, even though I was asking what I could do to teach her dog to leave my animals alone... But anyways, I suppose the dog will simply have to be locked inside if the goats are out of their pen. I didn't want to have to do that to her, but one of the reasons I got the goats was to keep the yard trim, which can't be done if they're always in their pen. And before anybody makes assumptions, my mom wants them to trim the yard as well, it was not solely my decision to get them.
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Just do what you did with the chickens, with the goats, and the rest of the animals. If she learned to behave around one 'prey' animal, she can learn the same behavior around the others. The training needs to be consistent, with every other animal. Consistency and repetition. Over and over, everyday, with each species on the property. And you don't ever stop training. It's something that should be done life-long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  9. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But how should I be training her? She's true to her breed and doesn't like to listen to me.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Start with a refresher course on the basics of sit, come, and stay. Then progress to 'leave it.' When she is consistently responding indoors, move outside near one of problem critters. Then start back with the basics. When she listens well, move closer to the animal and work on 'leave it'. If she starts her usual behavior, move away and regain her focus. Then try again. The goal is to move closer and closer, until she is right up to the fence and still responding to you. Then repeat with the next species, until she ignores them all. You will never be able to trust her alone with the animals, but she should get to the point where she can follow you around while you do chores and she will be fine. Shar peis need structure in their lives. All dogs need food, water, and shelter, but they also need exercise, both mental and physical.
     
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