Hubby's dogs killed wife's birds - no more chickens or different dogs?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Pal of Mr Betty, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Pal of Mr Betty

    Pal of Mr Betty New Egg

    Nov 8, 2008
    Tragic situation - going to their 10th anniversary party in a few and had planned on giving Backyard Poultry mag as a gift. He has three shepherd mixes, she had 2 guinea fowl, a male pheasant, two bantam cochin roosters, a silkie and 2 red hens. Neighbor built coop 3 months ago, but fencing didn't go deep into the ground, wood frame. The dogs are deep diggers, too. It's a sketchy 'hood here, so the dogs were for protection. In my experience, she won't be able to have birds around those dogs again. Would any coop keep them out? Or should they go to a shelter or rescue and they could get puppies that could be raised with chickens that would be okay around them? Any dog breeds better than others?

    Everyone is just sick about this situation. I'll pass on your suggestions and thanks in advance.

    Pal to chickens everywhere
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC.

    I have my run fencing buried 8 inches into the ground.

    If the dogs got in once, they'll get in again unless it is buried a foot deep and perhaps an electric fence is placed.
  3. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    i know that some dogs can be retrained as to what is prey and what is to be guarded. it could be hard though once they've gotten the taste of the animal they had been chasing. sometimes it is the squeaky sound the birds make that reminds them of their toys and it becomes an association with a plaything.

    i no longer give my corgi squeaky toys since he was trying to rip them out the quickest way he could figure out! he will chase a running bird but once they stop running he just noses them around a bit as they lightly squeak and now he doesn't seem to associate them as a toy, just somewhat entertainment while he checks them over. he enjoys the other things they tend to leave behind-feathers, eggs, and ....eeewwe...

    are these dogs older or are they still young?
  4. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    Maybe put fencing on the bottom as well? I have heard of people building runs with wire on all 6 faces (top, bottom and all 4 sides). Really, if you have dogs with an acquired taste for chickens you are fighting a real battle though. I ended up rehoming my labrador because once he got into a chicken run it was only going to be a matter of time before he got another chicken [​IMG]
  5. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    We also have an ongoing dog breed aggression database here at BYC. Here is the link:

    Even though I had problems with my lab, my australian shepherd is great with the chickens - even baby chicks!

    A lot of people have been having success with border collies as well.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    A nice hot wire along outside the coop along the base will deter those can have your cake and eat it too. [​IMG] Juice up those pups!
  7. pride&joy

    pride&joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:could not have put it better my self, the e-wire will work and yes dogs can be trained but it takes time and practice.
  8. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Get Emu! They'll straighten out the dogs!
  9. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    That's terrible, I'm so sorry for their loss. My condolences to them. [​IMG]

    I'd hate for them to lose their dogs in the process as well. It IS possible to keep their dogs and start keeping chickens again, but they are going to have to put a lot of work into making sure the dogs and chickens are kept apart. I definitely second putting hardwire cloth deep into the ground so they can't dig under it, and attaching a fence charger and some hotwire strung about 4" to 6" off the ground. That'll teach the dogs REALLY quick not to get near the pen.

    Second, if the chickens free-range, the dogs stay kenneled, and the chickens are locked up in a run when the dogs are out. They should never be in the same place without fencing or outside unsupervised.

    This is what they can do right now to protect the birds (if any are left).

    Lastly, the dogs also will have to go through training for the long term not to mess with the pen, dig, climb, or snap at chickens. This will help with control, but I wouldn't depend on it or trust them again. Some dogs successfully get the hint for life and never bother a chicken again, but others do not. You're just never going to know. Training will still help though.
  10. little_grey_bantam

    little_grey_bantam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Russell County
    This may not be what you want to hear, but keep in mind that when her husband took in those dogs, that he was committing to anywhere between at least 10-20 years (if they were puppies or rather young dogs) when he took them in. To me, it's just not right to get a dog(s) and then decide you don't want it become it kills poultry ESPECIALLY when you had the dog first. That is just teaching irresponsibility and saying a living life is not important when it becomes an inconvenience.

    My thing is that you CAN train dogs to not kill poultry even if it has; if not, the owners must figure out a way to protect their livestock/pets/etc. In a way it was the humans' faults (whether the neighbors for building a faulty coop or the owners for not checking to make sure or making "mistakes" on their part) that the birds were killed. Sometimes accidents happen, but nonetheless, it could be stopped in the future.

    Mainly, I am upset that anyone would plan to just drop off a dog to a shelter (especially in this case three). Not all dogs are adopted and not all dogs make it out alive. People have this idea that their dog is so special that they will get adopted and be given another chance. Or that a rescue will take them in - keep in mind, a dog taken into a rescue could be taking the place of another dog who could have also been saved. Chickens on the other hand won't really be "euthanized" due to negligence. Instead a lot of people would be more than happy to take them (of course, fate may lead to them being eaten [​IMG]). Keep in mind, it costs millions of dollars to euthanize millions of cats AND dogs each year! Don't pay the government to kill your dogs [​IMG]

    I have had rescue dogs kill my poultry - drag me BARE feet across to get to poultry - once I had a 120 pound dog nearly drag me (100 pounds) to get to a bird - lucky me, I knew some skills and handling technique to stop the dog and train him. What did I do to make "bird" friendly dogs and poultry live together in peace? Train them. If that doesn't work, build a sturdier coop. It is your job, as the caretaker to provide for your animals, both canine and poultry.

    Other than that, good luck. I hope they do the right thing.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by