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I need help. My dog just killed a cockrel. :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by roverdew, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. roverdew

    roverdew In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    My neighbors and I got day old chicks together in January. They have (had) 5 and I have 9. We live on an acre+ each and are good friends.
    We have two dogs (corgi mix muts) one is super submissive and would not hurt a fly, the other (litter mates) is dominant and always doing Alpha things. Our neighbor has a wonderful blue heeler who is wonderful with their chicks.
    Two nights ago we transitioned our chicks to the outdoor coop in the backyard. The dogs are outdoor dogs and they will share the backyard. I've spent many hours the last two days sitting with the alpha dog by the coop correcting her and letting her know to leave them alone. That said, I would never leave them out in the yard, they were in a protected run.
    The incident: Our neighbor was home early from work and decided to let his chicks run free in the yard for a bit. He went inside to get a drink and when he came back out, my dogs had dug a hole under our fence gate and run over into their shed and had the chicks cornered. They took one and killed it. It was in my backyard a few minutes later. My neighbor went looking for it and there it was... in MY backyard with my dogs. :(
    I feel so terrible. My neighbor is being so wonderful and nice about it, but its awful. What can I do about this dog? Can it be trained? Is there hope? Is my backyard going to be forever a war zone?
    I plan to take measures to ensure the backyard will contain them to keep the neighbor chicks from sure death, but what about mine? Was I silly to think that we could eventually have free ranging hens and pups blissfully keeping watch in the same backyard?
    I don't know what to do.
    Help. [​IMG]

  2. Masonicflock

    Masonicflock Chirping

    Nov 4, 2012
    Springfield, Tn
    Sorry to hear that.. Bad news... Once a dog gets the taste for blood, it's either get rid of the dog or the chickens.. you will have to have a good run to separate them from each other. Plus, you may have to pen the dog up if it keeps trying to get the neighbors chickens.. I know what I would do and I know you don't wanna hear that solution. Sorry for the heartbreak
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Thais is not true, i feed my 8 dogs a raw diet and it consist of chikens that are culls.Not one of them kill chickens but a few have when they were younger. it takes time to teach a dog not to kill once it has but it can be done.. each dog is differtent so without knowing the dog and what triggers him to kill i can't offer any help.
    2 people like this.
  4. SussexChicks

    SussexChicks In the Brooder

    Feb 13, 2013
    I would say to either get rid of the dog or keep the alpha dogs inside for the rest of their lives
  5. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry, this happened to me as well... and we got rid of the dog. I know that some dogs I would have dedicated more time to, but this one was a nuisance. Basically, during their puppy years, you must do constant, consistent, daily training. Puppy years can last until 1 year old or 5 years old depending on the dog. It is harder once they've killed a chicken but not as hard as it would be if they'd killed a chicken in front of you and you'd done nothing. Rewards system and desensitizing them to the flutter of wings, the peeping of chicks. Have them on a leash and reward with treats when they ignore the poultry. Do not leave them alone with poultry for a full year as you do this training daily. Yes, it sucks, that's why it's much easier just to get rid of dogs with high prey drive. Hope you have some good luck. If you can't train them, it's kennels and runs.
  6. Masonicflock

    Masonicflock Chirping

    Nov 4, 2012
    Springfield, Tn
    Well it may work for you but never have heard nor seen it otherwise. All the old timers I knew would tell ya different (put a bullet in the dog). If a dog hunts a live kill its going to be constant predator. Just the way I've always seen and known. Possibly could train the dog to associate pain with chickens but I won't mention how since someone on here will prolly take offense to tried and true methods
  7. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    I am an oldtimer! [​IMG]

  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Sorry for the loss. You are going to need to be vigilant and spend a lot of time training. The dog may never be safe around them though. The dogs will need to be contained and since they dig, precautions will need to be taken by both you and your neighbor. You will need to start with basic obedicence and work your way up from there.
  9. heronz

    heronz Songster

    Jun 8, 2009
    It's more about the kill-not feeding already dead chicken.
    There is a difference.
    Most of us are very busy and wouldn't have tons of time for intensive training.
    More than likely it wouldn't work anyway.
    I would say you either have to find a way to contain you're dogs differently,or find a new home with no poultry rabbits etc.
  10. Suzie

    Suzie Crowing

    Jul 9, 2009
    I am so sorry to read the awful news about your dog killing a neighbour's cockerell, this is sad for all concerned and you need to find a solution to ensure this never happens again.

    Your dog is not to blame for what happened... it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of dogs, chickens and any other animals in your charge, having said that it is so shocking when this kind of tragedy happens and you must act now to re-train your dog into accepting that the chickens ( both yours and the neighbour's ) are an integral part of life and are not a plaything. Two days of spending time with your Alpha dog and the chickens together is nowhere near long enough....the training is ongoing and if you want the dogs and chickens to co-exist you need to dedicate a lot of time to desensitise the dogs... easily said but if you are prepared to at least try then you are doing the right thing by all.

    Not all dogs can be retrained but it is worth putting the effort in to attempt resolving the issue. I have a GSD, he is 8 years old and he detests chickens and although he has never killed one I would never trust him near them, he is never allowed anywhere near them. I also have four other GSD's, the eldest being a female of 7 years of age, the other three are just 1 year old born and raised here, they have daily contact with the chickens and ignore them totally except when the chickens get into the dog enclosure and eat the dog food... the three girls will follow the chickens and eat their poop... disgusting but I rarely find chicken poop anywhere that the dogs frequent. The females spend a lot of time with me and have access to areas where the chickens, ducks and geese range, I am constantly watchful of the dogs and observe their behaviour and if I feel that any one of them is getting "interested" in the flock I will command them to leave alone and instantly give individual training in obedience i.e. sit, stay, lie down, wait or whatever I feel is appropriate.... their training is throughout the day and evening, they have great fun in learning and it does tire them mentally too.

    There is a user on BYC who is helpful in offering training to people who are having problems with dog behaviour, I will try to find out their user name for you... there are many people offering advice on the internet, maybe look to see if any of their suggestions could work for you.

    I wish you good luck and patience!


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