How to train my lab not to chase my chickens

Guernsy

Songster
Jun 5, 2020
118
215
116
I have an older choc. lab, that likes to play/chase my chicks.
She is nine years old and used to be a hunting dog.....I know, enough said.
When we got the baby chicks and ducklings we introduced her to them and kept telling her, that those are "Mine" and that she have to "Leave it". Those are usually her commands and she responds pretty well to them. We let her sniff them on occasion (when they were still little) and she was always allowed, supervised with my in the garage, where we kept them all. She got plenty of attention, when we attended to the chicks.
Now that they are outside, she is fascinated by them. Since we let them roam, it is almost impossible to have the dog out at the same time. We fenced off a huge piece of the lot, so that she can't really get to them. She will sit by the fence and every now and then she will get up and run along the fence, barking and chasing, which of course scares the chicks and ducks.
Is there a good or better way to teach her or untrain her to chase the ducks and chickens? She hasn't been hunting for the past 4 years, yet I think it is in her blood. Does anyone have a good idea? I want to be able to trust her with my flock, or maybe even be the protector from prey.
Thanks,
Julia
 

Ruthster55

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 23, 2013
1,063
1,955
391
Northern South America
Good fences make good neighbors....

One fairly cheap way to keep the dog from being able to see and harass the chickens would be to get some greenhouse shade cloth and put it along the fence so that it blocks the dog's view. Shade cloth is fairly opaque or has little tiny holes such that the dog wouldn't be able to make out the form of the chickens.
 

Guernsy

Songster
Jun 5, 2020
118
215
116
Good fences make good neighbors....

One fairly cheap way to keep the dog from being able to see and harass the chickens would be to get some greenhouse shade cloth and put it along the fence so that it blocks the dog's view. Shade cloth is fairly opaque or has little tiny holes such that the dog wouldn't be able to make out the form of the chickens.
Thank you for the tip.
 

penny1960

Yippity do Da Yippity ay
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Dec 29, 2015
56,278
243,145
1,697
Mossyrock, WA
I have to agree Labradors are bird Dogs god love them our is 8 Big scheme I was going to have a major garden 👾 not happening Fence is now chickens yard either way wanted no dogs in it ... the coop feeds into it now.. Hardware cloth is a must
 

Attachments

  • garden fence 001.jpg
    garden fence 001.jpg
    479.3 KB · Views: 14

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
365
416
146
Yadkin river area NC
Have you tried stopping her attention when she is focusing on them? If you see her eyeballing them have you broken that attention to make her focus on you instead?

I'm sorry I can't offer much advice. My golden retriever/lab is 3 and he thinks he's momma hen to our chickens and ducks. We only just got them in Feb and it's his first time around them. I'm still amazed at his behavior bc he like to chase the wild birds from our yard. He is always in contact and goes in the coop with me every morning and night to check on his "babies" 😂
 

Guernsy

Songster
Jun 5, 2020
118
215
116
Have you tried stopping her attention when she is focusing on them? If you see her eyeballing them have you broken that attention to make her focus on you instead?

I'm sorry I can't offer much advice. My golden retriever/lab is 3 and he thinks he's momma hen to our chickens and ducks. We only just got them in Feb and it's his first time around them. I'm still amazed at his behavior bc he like to chase the wild birds from our yard. He is always in contact and goes in the coop with me every morning and night to check on his "babies" 😂
Wow, that is amazing. Do you totally trust him with the birds? When I tell my dog that the chickens and ducks are mine and I give her a ball to keep her busy (she is a ball addict) she seems OK for a while. Until one of the chickens gets curious and gets to close, or starts flapping their wings. If they start running around chasing each other, she thinks she gets to chase them too.
 

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
365
416
146
Yadkin river area NC
Wow, that is amazing. Do you totally trust him with the birds? When I tell my dog that the chickens and ducks are mine and I give her a ball to keep her busy (she is a ball addict) she seems OK for a while. Until one of the chickens gets curious and gets to close, or starts flapping their wings. If they start running around chasing each other, she thinks she gets to chase them too.
Yea I completely trust him. He did think at first that he was allowed to help chase them when we first started free ranging them just bc we would have to chase them into the coop at first. When my kids were helping was the biggest for him bc he thought it was play time. He'd never intentionally hurt anything unless it's a threat. All I did was the couple (maybe 3 if even that) times he did think it was okay I immediately took his attention off them. His attention was directed at me (or hubby) so he knew that thought wasn't allowed. My dog has never gone thru any kind of training or anything at all. I taught him very young To focus on me and showed my actions and strong body language with him and he knows to watch my reaction before he reacts. I truly don't know how he became beyond what I expected but he's very smart and only reacts if I want him to. I got him from a neighbor of mine who's dog mistakenly got pregnant by a loose dog for $25. I got him a couple weeks early at 5w but I took him home to momma and brothers (whole litter of 11 were boys!) Every day until 12 weeks. He was completely house trained at 10 weeks and knew all of his basic commands by 12 if not sooner. I love my bird dog and he loves our birds ❤️
 

chelseachook

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
240
347
146
QLD, Australia
I have an older choc. lab, that likes to play/chase my chicks.
She is nine years old and used to be a hunting dog.....I know, enough said.
When we got the baby chicks and ducklings we introduced her to them and kept telling her, that those are "Mine" and that she have to "Leave it". Those are usually her commands and she responds pretty well to them. We let her sniff them on occasion (when they were still little) and she was always allowed, supervised with my in the garage, where we kept them all. She got plenty of attention, when we attended to the chicks.
Now that they are outside, she is fascinated by them. Since we let them roam, it is almost impossible to have the dog out at the same time. We fenced off a huge piece of the lot, so that she can't really get to them. She will sit by the fence and every now and then she will get up and run along the fence, barking and chasing, which of course scares the chicks and ducks.
Is there a good or better way to teach her or untrain her to chase the ducks and chickens? She hasn't been hunting for the past 4 years, yet I think it is in her blood. Does anyone have a good idea? I want to be able to trust her with my flock, or maybe even be the protector from prey.
Thanks,
Julia
Even if you think you have gotten her trained, don't trust her until you are completely sure that she won't hurt them. My greyhound is an ex racer who was trained to chase. We thought we had him trained not to attack, and he was a good boy, but as soon as you turn your back on him, he will chase. We have lost a few to him (including my favourite chook, Chelsea😭). We still don't let him near the chickens.
 

Guernsy

Songster
Jun 5, 2020
118
215
116
An electric dog beater is the best thing going IMO (shock collar),for mine the electric fence did it my brothers dog, it took a couple quick jolts when she tried to chase a duck and he decided ducks weren’t fun toys. Mine is a lab, his a springer, so birds are their nature.
You are going to laugh at this one...we have an electric fence...She doesn't care. We also tried the shock collar. It would startle her for a moment, however, she would just keep going. She got attacked by two Pitbulls a few years back and got badly hurt. We were told that she has a different relation to pain since then. She is a good dog, however, maybe not the smartest one. I still love her though. She is a lab and therefore very food motivated. I might have to try the food/treat method.
Thank you for your input though, I appreciate all the things that people have tried.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom