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My dogs are killing my chickens!! Help!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by olijo123, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. olijo123

    olijo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all! I own 2 dogs. A Labrador Retriever and a German Shorthaired Pointer. They are both males and the GSP is 5 months old and the Lab is 6 months old. They have killed 4 chickens now and are very aggressive about it. They think its a game and they play tug of war with them. One day in just 10 minutes of being outside they killed 3 chickens. We discipline them and they still wont stop. It's to the point where we cant let them outside. They have a cage and a kennel but they are high energy dogs and can't be cramped in there all the time. Our chickens free range and we can't put up a fence. We are considering selling them, but I would like to see if there are any suggestions on breaking them from this. Thanks!
     
  2. chickenpun

    chickenpun Out Of The Brooder

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    We keep our dogs in a dog yard and the chickens stay way from them.
     
  3. chickenpun

    chickenpun Out Of The Brooder

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    Craigslist is a great place to get free or cheap fencing
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    One pup at a time. Leash the pup taken out and concentrate on getting control about all movements first. Contact a properly trained trainer about how to get dog inline. Age you are working with is a real pain in the butt and having two like that requires somebody with lots of dog and chicken experience. The cage and kennel before releasing causes pent up energy that is released on birds.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    You need to figure out a way to keep them separated until you have the dogs trained. Build a good, sturdy run for your chickens. Keep them in there while you are working with your dogs. Keep them in there while the dogs are out. Maybe you can split the time for your dogs and chickens to be in the yard - dogs in the morning before you let the chickens out of the run, chickens in the afternoon until the go into the coop for the night. There has to be a solution if you really want to make this work. It will take time and effort to train your dogs, it will take time, money and effort to figure out a way to separate. Of course, you are the only one who can decide if it's worth the effort to make it all work out.
     
  6. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    to keep the dogs separate will help as they are working as a team. I hope you get this solved and you don't loose anymore birds.
     
  7. Earl-Ray

    Earl-Ray Out Of The Brooder

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    once a dog has killed it becomes more difficult to stop this. still not impossible. i breed pit bulls for catching wild hogs and my dogs wont touch one of my birds.
    first off you said they are high energy dogs, well, are you doing anything to help burn off some of this energy? walks, treadmills, anything?
    next off are you the leader of the pack? more importantly does the yard belong to you or your dogs... in their mind, i mean.
    what i would do is try only ONE dog at a time with this... short leash.
    go for a walk, then take the dog in the vicinity of your birds allow it to look at them and get all antsy, then what ever noise u make to indicate no, do it loud and like its your world. what ever noise u make thats the universal noise wether no or i say "aop" followed by "you better get outta there. scold them tuff. make em lay down. and dont let them look at your birds now. get inbetween the birds and your dog with your body. basicly dont let them have what they want. dont let em get up till they are CALM. if you got to grab em by the back of their neck and force them to the ground do it. hold them till CALM. this excersise aint over till they show CALMNESS. claim your birds as your own property like a dominant dog would a ball. once they show calmness allow them to go from lay to sit. then remove them from being able to see birds. do other dog the same. you dont want to "overtrain" a dog. once or twice a day is good. if you over do it they will get stressed out and unlearn what you have worked hard to do.
    over time allow the dog a longer and longer leash and allow them to roam futher from you. many people say dont hit your dog but i swat their snout and when i raise my hand my dogs bow dow. you dont always have a rolled up newspaper in hand. a switch works good to. once they good a good sting just the sound of a switch cutting air gets their attention. this may take days, weeks or months. depends on the dog and depends on you. dont be suggestive in tone with them, be stern.
    all in all you must weigh whats good for you first and then the dogs. if you arent good at training dogs i recommend rehoming them. but i would bet dollars to pesos you can do it.
    i train dogs so if what i wrote dont make cents or u need more help send me a message on here and i will get back at you. i dont have access to a computer all the time so it may take a few days er so.

    edit: i just read what others said about keeping your dogs seperate, only do this when you are breaking them, if you seperate them all the time it will cause, in thier mind TWO packs which can bring on more problems, seperation anxiety, stress, etc. and once you are confident they are broken of chicken killing take both on a leash at same time outside. if they are not basic trained now is a good time to start(sit stay lay come all that)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Keep dogs together except when actually training. If goal is complete trustworthiness around chickens, then you will likely be in a training phase for better than a year or at least will require direct oversight until dogs are 18 to 24 months old. By that time they go through maturity related change where motivation to play with chickens as chew toys slows down greatly. Both of my dogs are German Pointers. They are very high energy and very smart. It is the smart that actually makes training difficult. When boredom strikes they test limits. Once mature and trained you may enjoy exceptional flexibility in what you can do with dogs around the poultry. I still take my dogs hunting (squirrels and rabbits) and they will point non-poultry birds just fine. They chase hawks and even a bald eagle very well.

    I use my dogs as poultry guardians very effectively against anything from coyotes on down. Having outside foes also helps divert attention from chickens.
     
  9. olijo123

    olijo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I will try this. It will probably take some time and effort but It might be worth it in the long run. Thank you for your input!! [​IMG]
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm glad you're willing to put in the time and effort to try to make it work out. Just to clarify, when I said " keep them separated" in my earlier post, I meant the dogs from the chickens, not the dogs from each other... Good luck to you - I hope it all goes well.
     

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