How to introduce to the dog?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by imzadi, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there...know that there are lots of things to read on this...and I've read some but, wanted to get opinions for my specific situation.

    Have a small flock, 2 year old NH, 6 mos bantum brahma, 6 mos old bantum wyandot, three 10 week old red star, a 5 month old silkie rooster, and two 9 week old ish silkie crosses...and have had the flock for about a month.

    We have a 50/50 cross dog bout 3 years old, shephard and rottie. She is a big dog...but a good dog. She is not mean and gets along well with our cats (actually, one of our cats loves to beat on her...she tolerates it and may chase him a bit...but, it can be funny to watch). Her only issue is that she wants to jump on people when they come in; not to be mean but because she is SO excited! We are trying to break her of this...and she is getting better but...Anyway, she WANTS those chickens...when the chickens free range around our house, she will run from window to window to window to watch...she will jump up on the door and windows to watch. She gets very excited...we have taken her on the leash and by holding the collar out to see them...ONLY, at this point, when they are in their run. If let go of...she will run around the run really fast and excited. Yes, it appears like hurding behavior but...hubby tried to "introduce" her with them outside the run...not funny. She was not barkey, growley...she just wanted to pounce and jump on them. We don't trust that she wouldn't hurt them...maybe not on purpose but still. We aren't sure she will ever get out of this behavior and be able to just be around them. If she is out on her run...and they are free ranging (they don't get that close, they haven't discoverd that far from their run yet...but I know they will)...she almost chokes herself with excitement to get to them.

    Help! We don't want them separated forever...it's kinda stressful.
     
  2. Hilatious

    Hilatious Out Of The Brooder

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    I have the same breed just a bit older :) Amazing dogs!
    What I'm doing is slowly introducing them to each other. While the hens are in there coop I let Daisy out in the yard to smell there leavings poke her nose in the coop door and what not. I'm gonna keep doing this until the novelty runs out. Right before its time to meet face to face I plan on taking Daisy for a loooonnngggg walk get her nice and tired and reinforce who is in charge. When I let them out of the coop I plan on having Daisy on a training collar for immediate correction. And then repeat, repeat until I get the behavior I want...
    Keep us updated.. I want to hear how its going!
     
  3. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    oh boy...update.

    the dog pushed past my daughter this afternoon while the chickens were free ranging around the house. She lunged and pinned one (my light brahma bantum). The bird is fine physically...but was really spooked and hid under our porch for hours! Finally, she came out and did find her way to the coop at dark.

    So...now I thinking that maybe the dog isn't going to be able to integrate with the chickens...I'm worried that if she gets out again...or is on her run sometime and then breaks the chain (she can pull it really hard when she sees them), she's gonna kill one or more.

    Any thoughts? She is a family pet and I really don't want to get rid of her OR the chickens!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    What happened is promising. Dog showed restraint from killing. You need to have control of dog which was not realized in first effort. Also, you need to watch dog, not birds during encounters. For short-term keep parties that can not assist out of way so communication between you and dog not obstructed.

    I would confine a single bird in dog proof pen at ground level and confine dog near pen. Make so bird can control distance. Lots of time needed so dog gets bored with chicken. Encourage them to eat close together. When dog looses focus on bird, then get it to play ball or whatever diversion it likes best.
     
  5. Hilatious

    Hilatious Out Of The Brooder

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    Good advice! One thing I would add is don't comfort your dog. Give immediate correction 'NO' if showing aggression, and praise/comfort only when your dog shows behavior you want.
    When your dog went after the bird did he raise his haunches and growl/show aggression, or was it omg what is that I want to taste it and play with it.
     
  6. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    Dogs are preditors, chickens are prey. Keeping them seperate is the best idea.
     
  7. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2012
    "What happened is promising. Dog showed restraint from killing. You need to have control of dog which was not realized in first effort. Also, you need to watch dog, not birds during encounters. For short-term keep parties that can not assist out of way so communication between you and dog not obstructed."

    Actually, the only reason that the dog showed restraint is they hubby saw her bolt and yelled at the top of his lungs "NO!" and then dove at her. I'm not so sure that it would have ended the same had he not been so fast. Maybe?

    Roxie (the dog) is not vicious and doesn't seem to be the kind to kill for the sake of killing...she is just very energetic and LOVES to jump (on people...but we are working on this and she is somewhat better). She is just so BIG. But, I could be deluding myself about this...she is a dog and they can be very unpredictable.
     
  8. imzadi

    imzadi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wasn't there and I know hubby would say it was agression.

    However, my experience with the dog...and how she has acted when we have "introduced" through the run (with my holding her collar VERY tightly) is she sniffes and the tail wags a bit...

    She is just so BIG and RUFF and STRONG...don't want a mistake to loose me some chickens...and give her a taste of killing.
     
  9. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a very friendly dog who gets very excited near the chickens. She is a mutt but in there somewhere is bird dog so of course the bird excites her. She LOVES to chase and pounce she doesn't try to kill but she injured one badly enough we had to put the chicken down.

    Bottom line. some dogs can handle it. Yours does not sound like she can. I simply keep my dog inside when the chickens are out and vice versa. Dog gets all morning through about 4 pm. Chickens get from 4 pm til about 7:30 when the sunsets good. Dog gets out from 7:30 til 9 pm. Both are in at night. Ironically the same dog keeps them safe, she alerts us to things in the yard like raccoon. She found a nest of possum under the ramp to their coop.

    We never intended for her to be out the day that she killed our layer. You must realize this can happen just like with your daughter. You may have a situation where the dog injures or kills a chicken. Remember she is just being a dog, it is in her nature. Try to train her but don't trust her. Figure out what you would do when and if it happens. don't react from anger. It is a sad truth but chickens die everyday. Be a responsible owner, do the best you can to keep them seperate but I wouldn't let them out together and I wouldn't get rid of either. I'd just prepare myself mentally for what to do if something happens.

    It was hard on us putting a layer down but we have more layers now and our own daughter is now more careful with the dog door she forgot to put in.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri

    I would not be able to keep birds as I do without dogs. Mine are hunting (bird) dogs that have all the negatives you indicate for your dog. Size of dog does not matter once you are bigger than Chihuaha when it comes to dog dispatching a bird. What you refer to as unpredictable is a function of you not knowing your dog. You learned something about her there and she could have dispatched bird in a fraction of second if she wanted to.

    Look at following thread and see some of the challenges and what was done to overcome them. Methods use are not only ones that work but are those I employ. I have had dogs around poultry and livestock including chickens for close to 40 years where I have been the principle responsible party and found dogs are overwhelmingly a benefit. They just force you to learn your dog and livestocks quirks a little better.


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/426408/planned-livestock-guarding-dog-for-poultry
     

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