How to TRAIN A DOG to NOT chase chickens? HELP! asap

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by chickenbarn-gal, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

    Jun 4, 2011
    this is the method that I use

    Find the closest distance that the dog first notices the birds in the brooder.  This might be in another room if he is one to constantly glance at the door.    Put your dog on leash and get some extra special treats that he only gets for this work - bacon, grilled chicken (no spices!), hot dog chunks, etc.     When the dog glances toward the birds, say his name and "leave it"    If he looks at you, give him a treat - if he doesn't, give a light pop on the leash (think tap on the shoulder).  When he looks at you reward him.  
    You can also teach him "watch me" the same way.   You can practice this at random times though out the day.   If you have a couple extra minutes while you're watching TV or whatever, just say his name, pause, "watch me"   When he makes eye contact, then reward him.    You can also (if you get in the habit of keeping a small treat in your pockets) catch him looking towards you say "watch me" and then reward.  Or just praise him verbally.
    Once the dog is reliably paying attention to you and the birds at a distance, move a little bit closer.   If he absolutely blows you off, you're too close.  Just back up a bit and begin again.   Eventually you will be right amongst the birds.    You can then start at a distance or with a long line (20' leash or so) and work from there.    I never ever leave my dogs/chickens loose unattended together.  
    I don't even trust Rayden

    I don't mean I constantly hover over the dogs when they are out with the birds, but I am in the area and aware of what they are doing.   Think of it as a small child.  Even though you've taught them not to play with matches, would you leave them alone in the house with matches scattered all over the floor?
    The most important part of the training is to set the dog up to succeed.   Don't give him a chance to chase the birds.  Don't give him a chance to disobey.  
    ETA:  The best thing about teaching "leave it" is that it works for everything.   Drop something on the floor and don't want the dogs to touch it?  "leave it"    See dog running toward a snake?  "leave it"     Lots of training and work, but it pays off!
    Of course, some dogs just can't be trusted off-leash.  Period.   They are just too focused on the birds.  In that case, just confine the dog when the birds are out.   
  2. Kaipos Mom

    Kaipos Mom Hatching

    Apr 1, 2015
    Thank you for your response! This is what I have read elsewhere and am working on, though I think I have brought my dog too close too soon. I will back up a bit! :) Dana
  3. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Songster

    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC
    Just know that with some dogs, no amount of training will make them trustworthy around your chickens. My previous dogs were awesome with my chickens. My current one only wants a chicken dinner every time he sees them no matter what amount of training has been done. He is and will always be my chickens' biggest predator. His prey drive is way too high, it overrides the training in point zero zero three seconds.
  4. bumblebird

    bumblebird In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2015
    This is so helpful.
  5. chookychooks2

    chookychooks2 Hatching

    Aug 11, 2015
    Good to know you had success, I have a beagle but have been too scared to free range them around him, will try again with the down and treats this time. Great ideas for a question I have wanted to ask for a long time, thank you all [​IMG]
  6. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Very helpful thread! We are fostering a 3 yr old great pyrenees and she is showing interest in the chickens. We still have her on the leash at all times when she is out and about. I do think she would have killed our chickens by now if not on the leash. We will begin training her this way and hope for the best.
  7. tjohnson505

    tjohnson505 In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2016

    I have a 15-20 month old (rescued) male pryneese/lab?? Mix that I'm worried about killing my pullets (don't have them yet) I have a cockteil in my house in a cage that he does not bother, but in the yard he will chase birds out- a rooster came in our yard one day and Chevy (dog) very aggressively (didn't listen to a word I said) chased the rooster away. This dog is VERY big about 110lbs when he stands on his hinds legs his head is just under 6ft. He's huge so he would absolutely just drag me with him. The good thing is that when he's in the house or on a leash he's very submissive. I'm just really worried about outside, and chickens and him not submitting. Any tips? How is your dog now with your chickens??
  8. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

    Sep 17, 2015
    This is a topic I have been over time and time again, as my last dog liked to escape any way she possibly could, then have puppies a couple months later.

    An adult dog who already knows the farm rules and to leave birds alone, is a huge asset to training.

    Many times if the dogs see me repeatedly feed an animal they automatically leave it alone. They see it as MY territory. Surprisingly this is all it takes a lot of the time. Taking the dog with you during feeding and care chores is helpful even if you have to leash or tie the dog so it can see you feeding the birds.

    Be on the ball if a pup is out with un penned birds. Catching them right in the act of chasing is desirable if they do try it. The behavior is much more easily curbed if the pup NEVER even has a chance to chase down and kill a chicken. I use negative reinforcement, they know I mean business if I yell! Beating is not necessary in almost all cases.

    Penned birds shouldn't be harassed through the fence by curious pups either! That is just as big an offense on my farm as chasing loose birds.

    Clicker training will help you build a better relationship with your pup and make it actually eager to obey you. This tool is real helpful with hounds, pyrenees, really hard headed breeds.

    Penning pups with goats teaches puppies a lot about interspecies respect, quickly. LOL.

    Finally, there was one dog who just did not get it. Don't waste your life on this kind of dog, there are too many other, better dogs out there! Save yourself the headaches and liability issues on those few bigtime problem dogs.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  9. thepyreneespup

    thepyreneespup Hatching

    Jun 1, 2016
    Hi. I have a Great Pyrenees and she's 3 months old. So yesterday she was with our 50+ chickens during the day and everything was going great. Except when I'm around the chickens she will walk up and just scare them away. We have a few Chinese chickens and when they're chased they make a lot of noise. And today morning I heard one and turns out one was left behind yesterday. when I came to the dogs ( I have one wirehair terrier that's great with chickens; also my puppy and wirehair live outside ) they were chasing the chicken and biting it but the chicken was ok they didn't hurt it , it was just terified. Please help I really like my puppy and want to keep it. I had a recent dog and it got tooken away because it got out and killed my neighbors duck and was chasing their chickens. Help asap!!
  10. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

    Sep 17, 2015
    You get exactly the behavior you accept in your dogs. I think some firm boundaries are in order here. Don't let your dog own you, it works the other way around lol.
    1 person likes this.

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