I taught my dogs not to eat the chooks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by alice80790, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. alice80790

    alice80790 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 5, 2013
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    My dogs have always tried to eat the chooks before, and we have had a fox lately. So we have put them in the paddock we the coop is to protect them.[​IMG]


    So here how you do it:

    You need:

    • Stick
    • some of chook feathers that have drop on the ground.
    • dog (a real dog not toy:0)

    What to do:
    1. let dog smell feathers if it trys to eat them then hit it on the nose
    2. repeat it till the dog won't eat the feathers


    Hopefully it will work.

    need any help just ask.
     
  2. collingwood

    collingwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's a good idea my dogs just naturally don't eat the chooks but there are plenty that do eat them so good work!
     
  3. ChickenRisa

    ChickenRisa Out Of The Brooder

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    That's awesome that you were able to train your dogs not to go after the chickens! Mine also naturally does not go after them, but I baby sit dogs often and have had some that have been pretty intent on getting to them.

    In case anyone doesn't like the idea of using a stick, I thought I would share that you can do basically the same thing using the "leave it" command. Have some feathers and your dog on a leash. Put the feathers in front of them and say "leave it" in a firm tone. If they start to go for the feathers, gently tug the leash back (works best if the collar/leash is high on the neck, just under their jaw, rather than down where collars usually rest) and give a correction sound (I use sort of a sharp "tsshht" like air coming out of a can) and repeat the command "leave it". As soon as they look away from the feathers, immediately praise them and give them a treat. Repeat until the feathers are no longer a temptation! (You may also consider working with a real chicken once they have mastered the pile of feathers, keeping the dog on a leash until you are confident in their behavior). This training technique works with teaching a dog that anything is off limits. Just remember "leave it" is for things that are ALWAYS off limits, use a different command (like "wait") for things that you just want your pooch to not have right at that moment.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. alice80790

    alice80790 Out Of The Brooder

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    aus
    Good idea too I will also try in future.
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  5. collingwood

    collingwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's a good idea but still try to keep them away from your hens!
     
  6. alice80790

    alice80790 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 5, 2013
    aus
    true
     
  7. collingwood

    collingwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also be careful dogs also take eggs! Like mine!
     
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My suggestion would be to go on Youtube and look up some training videos that involve positive reinforcement. Hitting the dog on the nose with a stick for trying to eat some feathers isn't really the same as teaching it to leave your birds alone. The above suggestion of teaching your dog the leave it command is an excellent one, and its how I trained both of my dogs not to touch things they shouldn't, whether it be my birds or something else I don't want them to have (including things that could harm them). What's going to happen when you can't get close enough to hit the dog, or when the it becomes fearful of you? Your dog will start to self reward, and then it'll start to become sneaky with that self rewarding when it gets in trouble. I can see this method setting you up for many more behavioral problems in the future, and that would be a pretty awful thing.
    Spending just 15 minutes a day training your dog can make a world of difference. Your dog will learn some manners and you can bond with your four legged friend in a positive way.

    Good luck.
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X2 what howfunkyisurchicken said. You need to use positive reinforcement and you need to train your dogs to leave CHICKENS alone, not piles of feathers. It's a long term, ongoing training situation, not a quick fix. Yes, I'm sure you can hit your dog with a stick until it doesn't want that pile of feathers any more, not to hard to do. What is that same dog going to do tomorrow when a live, squawking chicken goes running across it's path and you either aren't there or are to far away? Do you think it's going to remember it's lesson with the stick and the pile of feathers and connect that to the very cool chicken it now wants to chase, all in a matter of seconds? Not likely at all. Give your dogs the benefit of consistent, daily training. Expose them to your birds every day, on a leash, under your control. Nip bad behavior in the bud quietly and quickly the minute it happens, if you watch your dog carefully you can stop inappropriate behavior before it happens. Praise appropriate behavior lavishly. Your goal is a dog who can go into the pen with you and be totally bored and ignore the birds around it. Provided the dog has the right temperment, that is the training that is going to stick and make a good ranch dog who won't slaughter your flock the minute your back is turned.
     
  10. collingwood

    collingwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes that would be a good idea I don't really like the idea of hitting my dog with a stick even if it's softly it's just that my dogs are second hand from the pound so they will have had some bad treatment in the past! So they may hide from me for and hour or so!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014

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