I need help training my 1 year old border collie (2 in january) help

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Bryceeast, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Bryceeast

    Bryceeast Out Of The Brooder

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    Chicken Run
    Ok so i just got chickens a week ago and i have a 1 1/2 year old border collie and he is courious about the chickens he dosnt hurt them, snatch at them or bark at them he runs around outside the coop and tries to get in it takes us 45 minutes to get him in at night he sleeps in my room and ever since the chickens he scratches at the door all night i let him out for him to go to the bathroom and he goes straight to the chickens how do i train him to get used to them?!?!?!? BTW the 2 hens i just got are both buff orpingtons!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Bryceeast,

    Your dog is looking for mental stimulation, most border collies need lots. The difficulty you have with retrieving him when called indicates your control over him needs improvement and may need to be addressed before training.

    I suspect he is not imprinted on the birds and his herding drive is peaked when he sees the birds so this may be tougher than with a calmer dog. He is too old to imprint so another method will be needed. Buff Orphingtons are a good calm breed for this though. I would strive get him bored with birds without stressing the birds by the dogs hyperactivity at perimeter of coop. Can you make it so he can see birds only from one side of coop? Also, can you put a structure in the coop so that even if dog is on open side of coop, the birds if they prefer can break line of sight with dog? Then allow him to do as he desires around birds for an hour or so per day over many days. When you retrive him to go inside, be slow and deliberate. He may be confused by your efforts to get him and think you are after birds.

    What you are looking for is a loss of interest in the birds. You can also sit next to cage while reading or the like and occasionally provide birds with tidbits. Do not pay undo attention to birds when doing this. Key is to be relaxed, you and the birds. I suspect your dog may lunge at birds if they get close enough. If he does, then sharply discipline immediately but do so in a manner that does not frighten birds.
     
  3. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Centrarchid is right. The goal is to make the dog disinterested in the chickens. I was very concerned about our dachshund when I got the chicks this summer, and he was so interested in them, he almost knocked off the brooder cage. After I moved the 4 week olds to their coop/run, he would bark and lunge at it, but it was solid enough that he wasn't able to get at them. I spent time sitting in the run with the chicks on my lap and jumping all over me. He finally sort of lost interest. They have moved to their big girl coop and run now, and he is really only interested in their treat plate when they are out in the yard. In fact, a couple of them ran him out of the run a couple of days ago.

    Understand that I don't trust him out there with them alone. He is a predator and might see them as prey at some point. I do trust him with them when I'm watching ;-).

    Does your dog sit, heel, down, and stay for you? If not, that might be a good place to start. Lucky (the doxy) became lots easier to handle when he started learning simple commands. He does "wait" really well, and we are working on "come" without much consistent success. Border collies are working dogs and they like to feel like they have a job.

    If you let him out at night, take him out on a leash with a choke chain until he comes back without a problem. It won't be an easy training assignment, but it will work eventually. Remember, he is still really a puppy at heart, and he really wants to please you. Look at every task as an opportunity to praise him. When he comes to you when he is called, lavish praise will encourage him to do it again. I don't use food treats with Lucky because he is a doxy and they can get overweight really fast (which is really bad for their long backs).

    Good luck. It will be worth the hard work when everyone gets along. It is all very new to your dog right now. Enjoy the chickens.
     
  4. Bryceeast

    Bryceeast Out Of The Brooder

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    Chicken Run
    I get him to come in now thanks alot!!!!
     
  5. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with the other folks. You need a well behaved/trained dog and lots of supervised, socializing with the chickens. I prefer to have all contact with the girls to occur with the dog on a leash. Any, ANY, action towards the birds is corrected immediately. You move on from there. Use the search function of the forum. Many people have posted training tips.

    Jim
     
  6. kelliewindham

    kelliewindham Out Of The Brooder

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    Trout
    I have no personal experience with border collies, but we have a golden retriever that has been trained to retrieve fowl. I was really concerned when I got my first chicks 3 years ago. Fortunately we trained her well as a pup on basic commands, sit, stay, lie, no, etc. When I got my chicks, my dad suggested that I hold the chicks, one or two at a time, make her sit, and let her smell them and watch me hold and cuddle the chicks. She immediately caught on that these were pets, not birds to retrieve. I did handle the chicks and let her watch/sniff several times, until I was positive she understood. She now knows my birds are part of our family, just like she is, and has never attempted to bother the birds, even free ranging. She will even lay on her back in the yard and chicks will hop on her tummy for a nap. She is very gentle, and won't get up until the chicks hop off.

    Maybe you could try something simlar? Let your pup get kind of desensitised to the new arrival? Teach the dog that these chicks are not pests or toys, but something that is to be guarded against predators, or ignored completely. It will take some time, but the rewards of the time you spend training your pup will be priceless.
     
  7. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broder collie, and I know what your going through. They're alota work. My dog isn't interested in our chickens anymore...but shes got other problems Im trying to get rid of [​IMG]
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    and also using words like "Leave it" are good for this type of training have a couple of words just to train him to leave the birds alone. I also have dachshunds 3 of them and 1 has a strong prey drive, they leave the chickens alone when I am with them but I would never feel I could leave them alone with them.
     
  9. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OT comment: 10-15 years ago a friend of my daughter had a misbehaving border collie. He was a rescue, and he chewed up everything. He refused to be housbroken. He was impossible to live with. His first Christmas with them (at the age of 2 or 3), they bought him a small herd of goats. He herded those goats all over their pen and turned (almost overnight) into a wonderful pet. They said he just needed a job.

    Quote:
     

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