Introducing Your Dog to your chickens ***UPDATE ON SUCCESS***

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sam The Yam, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Arizona
    What recommendations do you out there have to offer on how I can best train my dog not to want to get the chickens? Knowing that it's natural for dogs to want to eat birds, I understand that this will have to be something that you always have to on the watch for. My chicks are protected and the dog can't get to them but I just need to know what things others have done. Thanks

    Awhile ago I posted this request for help and I thought I would give an update.
    I have patiently and persistently watched my dog around the chickens. Making her stay in the house at times, keeping on a leash, not allowing her to get them as aggressively as she has been to do so. I have talked to her, scolded her when need be, sent her to her kennel, got irritated with her, pulled her tail when she was too close, praised when she was doing good, talked to her when we she is with me around them, etc..

    Well, in the mornings and evenings I let my little flock out to wander around the little compound and occasionally get out onto the lawn. The other morning I had let them out into their little garden compound and had left the gate shut so the could not get into the yard. I had went inside the house to get ready for the day and had not realized the the dog was out in the yard.

    Well, my wife looked out our bedroom window and said to me "Is Allie supposed to be out when the chickens are out?" and of course I said no. Apparently some of the chickens had decided to "fly the coop" so to speak and had flown over the fence into the yard, and you guessed it, Allie was in the same yard they were in. She lying on the grass across the yard watching their every move. I panicked and told my wife to go get her in the house as I did not need a chicken massacre that morning. Well, my wife didn't seem to much in a hurry to rescue my flock from the teeth of Allie, (she has not the fondness for the chickens as I do) and it irritated me to think that she would not go get her. I was not dressed for the occasion as I was getting ready for the day. Anyway, when I got out there I told Allie to "leave it" like I normally would and she did not even attempt to get them. I drove them into the compound and she did not react in an aggressive way whatsoever. I was so proud and pleased with her.

    I have also taken her into their compound a couple of times since then and she has behaved very well with them and they seem to give each other the respect that they need. I will always be on the guard as I know how quickly things can change and in one quick move we can have a dead chicken, or maybe a dead dog if all of them decide to gang up on her! That would be a sight to see.

    Anyway, I wanted to report success so far with patience and perseverance and not totally depriving them of the opportunity to be around them. I think that she is recognizing that they are there to stay, they are not the normal birds or pigeons we don't want in the yard, and she is recognizing that they belong to me as well as she belongs to me and we all can get along just fine!


    Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  2. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    How old is your dog? Our dog was a puppy when we introduced him to chicks and he kinda just grew up seeing them and knowing they were off limits they sit on him he's good with them. He's a boston terrier.
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I'll be honest, when I was a kid, and my dog killed a chicken, I took what remained of the dead chicken and beat him with it.

    He never touched another chicken.

    BTW Carlton, you don't live in Maricopa do you?

    If you do, we know each other well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  4. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is an adult Australian Cattle Dog, a smart dog but being a real nuisance about this chicken thing.

    Yes, I do live in Maricopa.... send me an email
     
  5. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2009
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    Mahonri, Maricopa County that is if that's what you meant
     
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Electric fence.

    I'm sure she will still *want* to get the chickens, but she's not gonna try.

    I have let her see the chicks while they were in my hand, and she watches them through the brooder (it's a dog crate) but she will try to bite them if you don't keep your guard up. I actually believe from her body language that she thinks of them as toys, rather than food, but it's all the same to a baby chick.
     
  7. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Hopefully as I work with her and when I am around the chickens I can teach her and just maybe they will not become chicken sandwiches for her.
     
  8. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2008
    San Diego
    We kept the dogs and chickens on separate yard times at first. Then last summer we started taking the dogs out in the yard while the hens had range time from 3 - sundown, we kept the dogs on leash and then slowly began to allow them out at the same time - always supervised.
    Now we can have both dogs and hens out in the yard at the same time. We still pay attention because the dogs like to run like crazy around the yard, and if their running can be through the flock making hens scatter every which way, they will do it. We call the girls back in if they get too carried away though.

    But the hens seem to have worked out a deal with the dogs. One of the dogs can/will open the screen door if it does not quite latch. One good nose shove and they are outside and the screen stays partially propped open. Then the chickens start coming inside if we are not paying attention. The hens don't find anything to eat inside, but they do seem to like the dog water with the tarter control liquid added. My hens will not have tarter on their teeth!

    The other thing we notice, the hens get very, vey quiet when they get in the house, no sound at all and they can get through the entry area and into the kitchen or livingroom without making a sound. Stealth Chickens!
     
  9. mwdh1

    mwdh1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Indiana
    I have a 3 year old doberman, and when introducing him to the chickens I waited until they were about a week old, and let him sniff one, he licked it, I told him "no, it's a baby" in a gentle voice. then later done the same thing, after working with him about a week like that he would just lay there and watch them. Now if one gets out of the pen, he will try to corral it back to the others and has made a good guard for them when he is outside.
     
  10. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Arizona
    Sounds like you have went through it well. I guess I have to just work with it and be patient with the dog. Thanks so much for responding. I do appreciate it.
     

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