lost 3 chickens to our dog. what to do

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by smcdermott, Mar 1, 2015.

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  1. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 3 dogs. Golden Retriever, Dachshund and Shepard mix. The only dog who messes with my chicks is the Shepard. She doesn't eat them, she plays with them and crushes them.

    She TOTALLY knows that it is wrong because when we are out there near them she won't go near them. But as soon as I walk out of site even for a second...... :-( she takes off with one.
    I read on an old post about the mountain man training and have tried that as far as tying her leash to me while I clean their cage and take care of them. Telling her NO when she even looks at them. Smacking her snout and saying NO when she sniffs one. After losing 2 chicks we started not letting her out at all if the chickens were out unless someone walked her on a leash.

    After #3 today which was my fault. We have started on our coop and I took my eyes off her for 2 min. And she dissappeared. I knew immediately where she was and I was soooooo mad.

    Today we are putting her kennel next to the brooder in the garage and getting a muzzle that she will wear when outside.
    I am at a loss as to what else to do?????

    Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    In general, dogs and chickens don't mix.

    There has to be some barrier between them. Untrained dogs can't help themselves when the fluffy things start to run. The prey instinct takes over.

    Keep them in the same space and chickens will continue to die.
     
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  3. ruralchild

    ruralchild Out Of The Brooder

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    This may seem cruel, but it just might break her from molesting your chickens: Next time she kills one, tie the dead chicken around her neck tight enough so she can't get it off, but not so tight that it strangles her. Make her walk around for several days with the dead chicken around her neck. Make her eat with it around her neck, make her sleep with it around her neck. Don't take it off her until she literally begs you to. Then you can remove it. I'll bet after she has experienced that for about a week or so, she'll quit going near your chickens. She won't want anything to do with them after that.

    Seems drastic, but sometimes drastic measures are needed.

    Let's hope you don't have nosy neighbors...
     
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  4. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We actually had a friend recommended the same thing. Said it was what broke his dog also
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I would NOT recommend tying a dead anything around the dogs neck. The ability for the dog to link the stink to the act is not there. It is a cruel thing to do to a dog you "love".

    It is much better, safer, more guaranteed, easier to just keep them apart. Put a kennel for the dog, put a run for the chickens, practice on your part in keeping them safe. You can take the wolf out of the dog but it is still a predator and a chicken is still prey.

    edited to add
    In most places if not all tying the dead bird around the dogs neck constitutes cruelty to animals and is therefore illegal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
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  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Lots of good advice here. I don't know what you hope to accomplish by putting her kennel next to the brooder and muzzling her. It may teach her to leave it, or she may not make the connection and just become frustrated. I think it's more important for you to actively teach her to "leave it" or desensitize her to the chickens so she knows what you are expecting from her. Personally, I would never leave this dog unsupervised with chickens ever. Tying the chicken around the dog's neck it an old-time remedy. Like anything else you may try, it'll work for some dogs, not for others. When I first got chickens we used this method on one dog. It worked, but i would never do it again. It just bothered me too much to do it. I think your best option is separation, period.
     
  7. Primo

    Primo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard of this method many times from people,but not someone who actually did it. I am genuinely curious ,how do you tie a dead chicken to a dogs neck such that he or she can't get it off? I know if I tied an object of any kind to one of my dog's necks they would relentlessly scratch rub against objects until it was gone. Even if it was tied to the top of The neck.Maybe I am wrong and they would get used to it
     
  8. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not only is tying a dead chicken around their neck cruel, but dogs just don't "get it" and many of them (my Decker Rat Terrier for one) think the smellier something is the BETTER. More of a reward than anything. In addition, this means you're not letting that dog in the house nor spending time training it because .. well.. that dead bird stinks and will start getting full of maggots soon. All this accomplishes is making you feel better by thinking you're a) teaching your dog a lesson and b) getting "even" with the dog for killing the bird.

    If you want to try to get this dog safer around birds, you're going to have to spend a LOT of time training her. It can usually be done, but you really need to be dedicated, a strong leader and patient yet very firm. If you don't have the expertise and time to do that, then your only other options are to keep her securely away from your birds at all times or to rehome her. Otherwise she's going to continue playing with your birds and killing them. A muzzle won't help either- a dog can kill by crushing with their feet and body too. Good luck with her and I do hope you can manage to train her!
     
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  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    It is an old school method and doesn't work.
     
  10. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would hesitate to say "it doesn't work". Every dog is different. Though I would hesitate more to do it in the first place.

    I've never had a dog I couldn't "break" from killing chickens. Sometimes this means physical discipline and they associate chasing chickens with pain. I have hunting hounds and two beagles. My family brings their spaniels and shepard dogs and they've all dealt with the consequences of chasing chickens in the past and now are mostly disinterested.

    The only dogs I can't break are marauding neighbor dogs. They can't be broken, only kept out with fence or killed.
     
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