My dogs and my chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ThinkingChickens, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

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    Feb 18, 2011
    We just got our chickens and they are in a fenced section of the yard and in a fenced run. I also have a Golden Retriever and Jack Russell/Boston Terrier mix as well as a labrador training for the guide dog program. The lab doesn't really notice the chickens but the golden and jack sure do. If the lower gate is open (this is a smaller backyard) they run around the coop run scaring the girls. Now, I can always keep them separate. I guess my question is, will they ever become less exciting to the dogs? Will the dogs ever be able to just ignore the chickens?
     
  2. Emmalion

    Emmalion Songster

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    Mar 2, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    Some will and some wont. Right now you have the chase instinct going on. They are flushing out the birds.

    My boys were intralled with my chickens when I first got them but have calmed down and understand that my chickens are their charges and they belong here with us.

    Train train train is about the only suggestion I can give you.
     
  3. cackydoodledoo

    cackydoodledoo Songster

    Jan 7, 2011
    Crazyville, USA
    Two out of my three labs did the same thing for about the first couple weeks. They would charge the fence and chase all around it barking and raising a ruckus. Now they only do it every once in a blue moon and I think they just do it now to see if they can still get them hens all in a tither!!!! My other lab I can take right in the coop and she sits and just looks at them. I think she is more afraid of them than they are of her.
     
  4. FeatheredFeline

    FeatheredFeline Chirping

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    Mar 2, 2011
    Northwest Washington
    Of my two dogs the IG (Italian Greyhound) is scared the chickens will yet her and she leaves them be where on the other hand my big Flatty, Sirius, just wants to chase them. It's been ages and so far he hasn't calmed down much. He did charge the chickens and bark and what not so I ended that by leaving the gate open so he would creep closer to go after them. The I hid with a huge bucket of water so when he came through the door I dumped the water on him and yelled at the top of my lungs "NO!!" And that put an end to the worst of his behavior. I don't think he realized that it was me so he still acts as if he was struck down by the hand of god and is much better about chickens. But he's still not perfect and I don't think he'll every be. But after the initial shock fact training him has been much easier.
     
  5. lleighmay

    lleighmay Songster

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    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    My Jack Russells went through a period of "flushing" the birds from outside the run when I first got them. A new JRT also did that when he first arrived -he is a rescue who had killed a couple of free range birds at his original rescuer's house before he came to live here. With the original dogs it took a couple of weeks for them to get over it. I think one of the main reasons it stopped is because the birds quickly figured out that the dogs were no threat and quit getting upset. The newest dog didn't even take that long- I figure he observed the original dogs and the chickens ignoring each other and it just wasn't any fun. Now I frequently see them all out there sunbathing (on opposite sides of the fence of course). One thing to make sure of is that your dogs cannot dig into the run if they happen to be in that area. Hopefully your dogs and birds will lose interest in each other in a short time.
     
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    You puppy raiser manual should tell you how to train the Guide dog puppy to ignore other animals - or call your area coordinator for help.

    I was a puppy raiser for Southeastern Guide Dog. It was a lot of work but fun, too bad Jack 1L8 became a breeder instead of a guide.

    ((Picture a guide dog IN HARNESS chasing down a chicken--- nope! the Guide dog pup has to learn to ignore them.))
     
  7. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

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    Oh the guide dog puppy is no issue. I already walked him around the cage on leash and he is so responsive to my commands he just doesn't care. It's the four year old Golden and four year old Jack Russell. Maybe because they are older and weren't exposed early. We have it now so that when they go outside they walk over and check the gate (there's a gate, then the coop and run so two barriers) and then continue on about their business. If the gate is open they do the running thing. For now we're separating but working on our down stays so they don't follow me in. I did try doing the on leash, on training collar walk with my personal dogs and they weren't responding to correction. So that's something I have to work on. =0)
     
  8. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Quote:for the older dogs use the same methods when the Guide pup was 8 weeks old, (re)start them- like the guide pups- don't allow the dogs to NOT do the command you give- even if you need help with this.

    (it teaches you can be ignored and commands are really more like suggestions)

    It takes longer to un-train and re-train then to train the first time but it CAN be done (even with a cat killer).
     
  9. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

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    Feb 18, 2011
    Thank you for the support. I definitely was disappointed in my older Golden. She's a rescue and only been with us a few months. So, we're reworking all the basics and working on heeling, ignoring, etc. at the park with the ducks and geese. I just went out with her and put her in a sit stay at the chicken gate and went inside with it open (chickens are inside another enclosed coop so were safe) and she did stay. We'll keep working at it. =0)
     
  10. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    I first took my dogs into the chicken run, or wherever the chickens were free - the barn, the pasture, etc. - on leashes, and if they even looked "in that way" at a chicken, they got a "ttssshhh!" correction and a little "hand bite a la Cesar Milan" until they would be relaxed, facing away from the chickens and not even trying to look at them. I NEVER let them off the leash while the chickens were out until I felt very confident that they understood that chickens were off limits, and then only when I was present and attending to what was happening. It was crucial to be calm, matter of fact, go about my business with they expectation that they would leave the chickens alone - not tense or angry, or anticipating bad behavior, which seems only to escalate the excitement that leads to trouble. This was with a young and highly predatory Vizla/ridgeback? mix, and then with our young weimaraner from a rescue who had had NO training, and had lived only in cages or chained up in a yard his entire life. It took a few weeks, but they are now often out with the chickens free-ranging, and the only problem is the amount of chicken poop they eat - they follow them around like they are little chicken-poo flavored Pez dispensers. Yuck. Be patient and consistent, but be cautious - and I still never leave the dogs out with the chickens for any length of time unattended, just because they're young and playful and don't resist temptation perfectly yet. But it can be done, and it isn't even that big an ordeal with most dogs. My old Pyranees/GS mix - never a problem. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011

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