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My dogs TOTALLY earned their keep today.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by brandislee, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    Really I just got lucky. My birds have been 100% free ranging lately while I let some green grow back in my run. I have a very low predator load, so this isn't much of a risk (but there is always some risk, right?). Today I didn't let them out first thing so my dogs could run (one is still a puppy and I just don't trust him on his own yet) and I could take my son to preschool. When I got back I let them out and was in the barn watching some chicks I just got early this am when suddenly my puppy (who is a 5 month old lab/coon dog/wolf mix, so he's pretty huge already) BOLTED out of the shed barking like crazy. I followed and there was a big boxer 20 feet from my oblivious chickens (apparently they're too used to dogs!). My dogs (the puppy and a 30 lb border collie) ran him of so fast he hardly knew what was up. They got him across the road and he just sat there and watched and then took off to the West.

    I rounded up my chickens (no easy feat, I had to get all the hens in and then manually catch one of the roosters...) and locked them back up and hung out on the porch with the dogs. 20 minutes later, as I had suspected, the dog was back. He had circled around through the woods on the east side. They chased him off again, and obviously the chickens were safe.

    I might just have my husband spend some time out back with the gun this weekend...

    But I was so proud of my dogs! They get some extra milk bones today:)

  2. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    good for your dogs. that's one of the reasons i have my dogs. i have to keep reminding myself of that while they make a mess on my clean floors, chew up every single thing available. actually that's only one dog & she's till a puppy, but boy sometimes i'm ready to send them down the road.
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Yay dogs! Its good to hear a story of helpful hounds and not one about them tearing a flock to shreds.

    Now, since I don't trust dogs for the most part (including my own) let me ask - could they have been protecting their territory from the interloper, or genuinely concerned for the welfare of the flock?

    I tend to think the former, i.e., it didn't matter that there were chickens around, that dog was a stranger and so it set them off.
    But you were there.... what do you tihink?
  4. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I hear you- since mine is still a puppy technically we have the same problems. But most of them can be (eventually...) managed through good management and training. When we're not home the puppy goes in a crate with something to chew on (I'm home most of the time, though, and when I do leave it's usually only 2-3 hours) and when I am home he is ALWAYS with me, wherever I am. And the chewing has gotten better, esp since he's either near me or in his crate. I just wish I could teach them to wipe their feet before the come inside...
  5. brandislee

    brandislee Songster

    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I am 99% sure they could care less for the well being of my flock, but were simply protecting their (my, actually, because both are really submissive and protective of me) territory. BUT it still did the job and they still got tons of praise for it! The main reason I think this is because they show little interest in the flock other than occasionally pestering them, and neither are from breeds that are livestock guardians- in fact their particular breeds, being border collie and (mostly) lab, are SUPPOSED to be the worst with poultry, because border collies will try to herd them, get them wound up, and either intentionally or unintentionally hurt them, and labs, well, are hunting dogs. But I trust my border collie 100% with my chickens. And as I said, the puppy still needs to earn my trust. When I am with him (as I always am when he's outside) he is fine with the chickens, though.

    But overall I think dogs get a bad rap by livestock owners. Yes, stray dogs are a nuisance, especially when they run in packs, but it drives me crazy when people say things like "dogs are the only animal that kills for sport" and such nonsense. Because that's wrong- some people also kill for sport, and we should know better. Plus, the only reason dogs kill for reasons other than to eat is because we have bred them for thousands of years to do so.
  6. lethldragon

    lethldragon Chirping

    Actually, dogs usually kill for their pack to eat, if their pack is human, that is their job to get the food (atleast in their eyes). Cats (domestic) are a different story, they are known for killing things just for the fun of it. Great story by the way, sounds like you have some great dogs. I have a lab/boxer mix puppy that hangs out with the one rooster that gets to stay loose all day and I swear, everytime the rooster crows, the pup acts like he is trying to crow too, it's hilarious.
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    most dogs are driven by territory guarding... but in saying that, I had a couple of females who are very protective towards any young animal we leave with them to look after, to the point they actually drove all the males away from the vicinity of their "nest"... oneof them is in my prof pic doing her job.

  8. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    That is a good story. One thing I really noticed about dogs is their sense of things not right. When I'm going about my business Morgan will be following me or just laying around. All of a sudden he'll be up and running like his tails on fire. About fifty yards are so off he spied a armadillo. Twice it was a possum. The other day I think it was a coyote. I am so glad I found this dog and I have him around. Never does he bother the chickens. And he's with them every day all day. His senses are so keen I don't know if anything can get past him. [​IMG]
  9. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chirping

    Mar 29, 2012
    Petawawa, Ontario
    One of the members has a bit in their signature and I live by it. A dog on their own property is a pet, a dog on someone else`s is a predator. And that does not mean to just chickens!! I include my kids in that.

    That being said we have two German Shepard Collie crosses that will lay around our outdoor run and ``guard`` their girls. We laugh!! They have chased off many a predator.....on their property!! They are worth their weight in dog chow for sure!! Dogs do get a bad rap sometimes but this is not the average house pet!! When our girls are free ranging our dogs are usually right in the middle with the girls all over them. I think they like the scratching...lol.

    Good work guys....glad to hear that it worked out!!
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    As long as your dog isn't a danger to your flock and he's guarding his territory, doesn't matter if he's guarding the territory or the flock, the end result is the flock is safe. Good story!

    I agree that someone else's dog on your property being a predator applies to your kids, too. And worse, when they "pack up" to run with a group of dogs, they become super dangerous and do things they may not normally do as an individual dog.

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