Hw do I get my new puppy to be calm around my hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SouthCoastguy, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. SouthCoastguy

    SouthCoastguy In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    you let them free range, you always take him out on a leash

    When he pays attention to you praise him, even if he looks at them, if he looks back at you give him puppy hugs.

    When he 'locks' onto the chickens redirect him- something clam or something he can do. (come, sit...)

    I suggest 'come' for a puppy that young.

    You -can- use treats for the 'come' command, ween off treats+verbal+physical to verbal+physical to verbal only.
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member 7 Years

    Hi SouthCoastGuy

    ahhh the joys of having a puppy.

    Check out this link:

    Using this method, the author has trained dogs that kill chickens to stop. Part of the conditioning is to acclimate the dogs to chickens. It is the excitement (over excitement) that will stimulate the dogs. Pict. of our two Australian Cattle Dogs (aka 'Blue Heelers) are on my page if you want to see the nonchalance that our dogs have to our chooks.

    At first I would only let the dogs out if the chickens weren't free ranging, then only let the chickens out if the dogs got locked up. Now I trust these dogs with the chooks entirely -- (except the dogs will go in the runs and snitch the chicken feed).

    I got this video and learned a lot about dogs even without the application to chickens. Used a bit of a modification on this method that worked well in my circumstances....

    Hope you get harmony among the critters.
  4. ErikaSmit

    ErikaSmit In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2011
    Schererville, IN
    My shepard mix smushed a couple babies by accident trying to herd them. And then tried licking them back to health [​IMG] But I'm wondering, are hunting dogs more of a problem than "herding" dogs?

  5. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It depends entirely on the dog and the owner. The owner has to be willing to put in much time and training to keep any dog from harming the chickens (intentionnaly or not). We have a lab. We've had labs for years. One time we had a lab puppy - 10 months old - that hadn't been worked with to leave the chickens alone. In a moment of poor judgement on my part, we decided to let the chickens out (their first time) before leaving the place. Of course, we were gone longer than planned, and when we got home we were greeted by a very proud pup who had retrieved every one of my chickens and put them on the doorstep. Yep, a pile of dead chickens and a proud dog for having done his job. Couldn't blame the dog. It was entirely my fault. Had another lab that would also fetch and carry the chickens around, so I put them in a pen without a roof. Dog figured out that if he ran around and around the pen enough, the chickens would fly out and he'd grab them. That was even more fun than just chasing them! The lab I have now was exposed to chickens immediately when we brought him home at 7 weeks and has never been a problem. He's even been accidentally locked in the chicken coop overnight a few times with them, and I think he was more traumatized than they were! [​IMG]
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Call the dog whisper. He'll help.

  8. SouthCoastguy

    SouthCoastguy In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2012
    Thanks Fire Tigeris - Fire for all of the good advise...I am going to definitely try and take her around them on a leash and see how that goes.

    Hi ChicKat - Thanks for that link, the example video looks amazing, but is the program really that easy to use and train? Will it also help train the puppy to be calmer in general? I have young kids and they are a little afraid of the puppy because she jumps all over them and tries biting/playing
  9. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Well based on what I know the dog has to be leash trained first for that other program. Not entirely sure. Check out the cost see if it's reasonable - (just looked, $30 that's 2 weeks feed for me or selling 10 doz eggs)

    I train 'come' first, 'sit' second, 'down' third and then start on 'stay'.

    I raised a puppy from 8 weeks to 2.5 years for southeastern guide dogs.

    I liked this read: http://www.canterlc.com/StopChickenKillerDogs/blog/?p=79 (still that same site)

    You should teach bite inhibition- if I can figure out how to film and walk my greyhound around three free range roosters I'll post it.

    I -might- need do a leash correction, (if she suddenly lunges) your puppy is far to young for corrections of this type you will need to redirect for most bad behavior. ('come' or 'sit' is a redirection)

    (except jumping up, you can gently place the dog in a sit and start connecting 'sit' with what you pup is doing and 'good dog' also bite inhibition, we were told to close the mouth gently and say NO firmly- release instantly- if mouth stays closed- "good dog", if mouth opens wait say nothing, stay calm- if nips again correct again.)

  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member 7 Years

    Hi SouhCoastguy-

    FireTigeris has a lot of good information and it sounds like good experience to draw from.

    I was just petrified that our dogs would hurt the chickens and the scheduling was pretty crazy since the dogs are out ALL the time. --- I had to load the dogs in a cattle trailer to let the chickens out...and once the dogs and chickens could peacefully co-exist....Life around here got much easier for me....(and the dogs and the chickens).

    It really seemed easy to work with them in the style shown in the video, and I think that I gained a lot of understanding of the dogs, their needs and their mentality --- and the trust established between the dogs and myself helped me work with them in other areas. You may also google some puppy training tips--- pups do have a well understood development cycle--- For example, I think bite suppression comes into their brains at about 5-6-weeks...one of the reasons that they say to never get the puppy from the mother prior to that--- but I think if you have another dog or two puppies, they can learn. Ours are 4-year olds now-- so it has been quite a while since puppy-days. There are always diversions from the averages. My puppies tried to heel the UPS delivery guy one day....(Puppies were about the height of his tennis shoe soles)

    Here is one link...but not the one that I originally used to train our dogs. I kept it on the fridge, and referenced what their brains and development were doing week-by-week.
    It's just been a year since I have gotten the chickens though--- so that part of their training came along when they were 3-year olds. Once you decide your method, and get them to behave as you want them to around your chickens...your life (and theirs) will be much easier. http://www.mydarlingdogs.com/Puppy_Development.php

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by