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How to train a dog to protect chickens.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Bullitt, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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  2. Iuvmychix

    Iuvmychix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awesome! Are you going to do it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    It lacks some details, critical details, but is like a rough outline to introduce somebody to process.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The best way to train a dog to protect chickens or any livestock for that matter is to buy a dog that has a centuries long heritage of protecting livestock bred right into the pooch.

    Think about it. You never see a poodle or a bull dog herding sheep, or a cocker spaniel trailing escaped prisoners or an attack beagle riding in the back of a police car. Could there be a good reason for this?

    Check out the Live Stock Guard Dogs being used in Australia to guard nesting Little Blue Penguins from Red Foxes on middle Island.
    (link above)


     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Remember know dog breeds were developed specifically for purpose of protecting chickens. Defending chickens is a very different game than defending mobile herds of sheep or goats that traveled over many hundreds of acres. The way some people keep sheep and goats confined in U.S. where most LGD's are currently kept comes closer but the dogs were not bred for such confinement which is part of reason behind containment issue realized with such dogs. Also such dogs are bred to deal with much larger predators that are more likely to take dogs head on in fight. Most predators from coyote / bobcat size down will not want to fight something that is similar or larger over a meal.


    Dogs that did have to operate for centuries as poultry guardians as part of the job where generalized farm dogs like English shepherds that where also pressed in into herding and hunting roles as needed. Chickens are harder to guard than sheep and goats in large owing to the formers smaller size and lack of tight flocking behavior. If you are doing the backyard thing and already working to confine your dog(s), then biggest threats (dogs not yours) are already being removed from picture making so your dogs have only to contend with wildlife and serve as a warning system.
     
  6. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No one said that any breed of dog can guard livestock. But many breeds that were not bred for guarding livestock can be trained to serve that role.

    A poodle wouldn't be good for herding sheep, probably, because weeds and everything would stick in its coat.

    Actually, bull dogs were bred for moving cattle around. They would grab a cow or a bull by the nose until the animal calmed down. Probably too rough for sheep, though.

    I am sure a cocker spaniel could be trained for tracking. They have great noses. Of course not as good of a nose as a bloodhound.

    An attack beagle? :) Obviously the size is the issue. But I am sure a large hound breed could be trained for the job.

    Many herding breeds, hunting breeds, and guarding breeds can be trained to be livestock protectors.

    By the way, many times a livestock protector is not needed at night for chickens, because the chickens are secure in the coop at night. The dog just needs to watch the chickens and chase away any potential predators when the chickens are out of the coop during the day.

    There is no doubt that breeds like Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, and Kangol Dogs are some of the very best breeds for livestock protection. But there is no reason that breeds like Labrador Retriever, German Shorthair Pointer, German Shepherd Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, and others can do a good job at protecting livestock. It all depends on the individual dog and the training that is provided.
     
  7. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

     
  8. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cool!

    I stand corrected. Standard poodles can be herding dogs.

    I would never cut a dog's coat like that, though. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG]

    yeah... they do have some interesting hairstyles.. ever seen the competitions where they "artistically" groom them?... everything from skeledogs to camels to Captain Jack Sparrow.. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Poodles were originally bred in Germany(pudel - german for 'to splash about') to be water fowl retrieval dogs.
    The funny hair cuts came from protecting their joints from the cold water.

    They are very smart and trainable to do many things including herding.
    There's even a dog sled team of poodles.

    If you cut them short the burrs pretty much brush out easily.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

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