My inlaws puppy killed a chick today, I need to vent!


11 Years
Jan 29, 2010
My inlaws live next door. They got a Mastiff/Great Pyranese puppy this summer, he is 5mo old. He comes to our house almost daily, and often more than once. He has been chasing my chickens, and it is to the point now that he only coming over to chase them. The last couple weeks they started coming after him to punish him, but they rarely notice he is here until they hear my dogs barking and the kids or myself hollering at him. yesterday he grabbed my son's new silkie, and was doing his best to chew on him. I got there in time thank goodness. Today the kids were out in the pigpen when he came, he started after my silkie hen and her two chicks, and the kids ran to stop him, and got in between the dog and the chickens. The dog somehow kicked, stepped on or batted one of the chicks and sent it flying. My daughter isn't even sure she was'nt the one who stepped on her own baby chick. My son says he saw it was the dog. The chick, her name was blackbird, died in our hands. My daughter was crying, and my son was too, but also very angry. I took the body over and told them what happened. They don't think it is their fault! He is just a puppy, and MIL only left him alone for a second while she went inside to change her clothes, he was good all day except for then, and my FIL added, it's just a chicken, they need to get over it! Then he added it's like they are being raised in fairyland by having animals we don't eat. I explained they were trying to protect their little baby chicks and he killed one right in front of them! Of course they are upset. MIL says tell them we are sorry their chicken died. FIL sYs they dont want to hear what I'm going to say to them...Grrrr, but I bit my tounge. I then said yes he is just a puppy and he doesnt know better, and he needs to be taught not to chase them. FIL suggests I take the remote for the dogs shock collar they bought this weekend and zap him when he comes over and chases them! UM WHO'S DOG IS THIS AND WHO'S RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO TRAIN HIM? What about keeping an eye on your 5mo old puppy? They are lucky he hasn't been hurt or killed by their negligence! I AM BESIDE MYSELF! But I bit my tounge again. There is no use arguing with them, believe me. I said the kids will be gone to my mothers this weekend so DH and I will bring him over and train him not to chase chickens.
Then FIL says show him the chicken and shock him, then he wont want anything to do with chickens. I said no, that wont teach him to stop.chasing them! He disagreed and said I am as bad as my kids! WHAT? THIS IS A 5MO OLD PUPPY AND A SHOCK COLLER IS NOT MEANT TO BE USED LIKE THAT! But, outside we went, MIL showed him the chick, let him sniff it and zapped him. She did it several times, but never gave him a command or anything, so I told him bad dog when he sniffed at it, and then she started saying no chickens, before zapping him. At one point he tried to hide behind me, he wanted nothing to do with the chicken, but she kept putting it in front of him and zapping him. I finally had enough and said I think he gets it, I think he does know he shouldn't touch THAT chick anyway. I also think, given the was hiding behind me, that he knows who is causing the shock. He tried to follow me home, he always does, and MIL says I should let him follow me home and she will shock him when he gets to stone wall between our houses. I said I don't like baiting him like that, and she said thats the only way he will learn...sadly this is true BECAUSE THEY WONT BOTHER TO TRY AND TEACH HIM ANYTHING! Ignorant, ignorant people!!! So, I said, you should tell him to stay here when I walk away so he learns. She told him to stay, he didnt, she shocked him and he scooted away from me like he thought I did it. NOT what I meant! As I walk as quickly as I can to get out if his sight so he doesn't get shocked again I am thinking, great, teach him to be afraid of people so when he is 200lbs he will start eating them. But, of course, that wont be their fault. Idiots! Oh, and I have had to bring their pony home twice in the last week, once with the puppy in tow, once without. They let him out to graze in the unfenced pasture out back, and they say the reason he comes over to my house is because he smells my chickens grain, and since my daughter spilled some on the ground - over a month ago and the grass has grown over the spot after the chickens were done with it- and he was rooting around in that spot he is getting a taste of it and wants more, which is probably true, but HE IS UNFENCED, UNTIED, RUNNING LOOSE ON THE PROPERTY! I am just so furious and fed up! And I cant do anything about it. I guess I should be grateful they are allowing it needs to be done, and open to letting us do it.
I cannot believe these people birthed and raised my husband. He is the most responsible, compassionate man. We are living here because his father was disabled in a logging accident and though he refuses to admit he needs help with anything, he does and my husband wants to be close, especially with them getting older. They are not bad people. Just ignorant, and set in their ways. Thank you for listening to my rant, and if anyone has any advice about training an overgrown 5mo old, hard headed, goofball chicken chasing puppy to not chase chickens without electrocuting him, I am open to suggestions.

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You may have to pen up your chickens for a while to protect them from this dog since it doesn't seem like anything is going to change any time soon. His owners sure aren't going to help you out! I used chain link dog run panels for a run and I ran hot wire around the outside, about 8 inches off the ground. Quite a few neighbor dogs have stuck their nose on that wire while checking out my chickens. They leave at a high rate of speed and none of them have come back to try it again. It's very effective.

That pup is certainly trainable it's just a shame that he's been allowed to run amok like that and learn that it's fun to chase the chickens. Pyrenees also like to roam quite a distance as they mature. If this dog goes around getting into trouble like this at neighboring farms they are not going to be very understanding about any of it and he may even get shot. They need to wise up and keep their dog on their own property. They are raising what will be a very large, very powerful dog, capable of great harm if he has not been trained to know any better. They are being incredibly foolish not to mention doing a great disservice to that dog.

But I'm sure they'll understand if something happens to him and they shouldn't be too upset, after all IT"S ONLY A DOG right?! Funny how that sentiment just doesn't seem to go both ways!
Paint ball gun? No seriously, it seems as if this dog can benefit from obedience training. Depending on how much you want to spend and how much time you can devote to the task, you can get spectacular results. If the owners don't want to do it, it may very well be up to you - especially if you don't want to consider other options (negative reinforcement). Good luck!
I can tell that you are looking for support from those who understand - and you have mine. Relatives can be so difficult to deal with at times! Would they consider putting in (or having you put in for them) and underground or proximity fence for their dog? Obviously they have no qualms about shocking him (as well as an abysmal understanding of how shock collars work). Underground fences only shock the dog if it ignores the warning, so it is basically self-inflicted.
I wouldn't say another word to them about it, nor would I train their dog (which won't work without their consistent reinforcement of your teachings).

I would just immediately set up an electrified fence. Problem solved. Chickens are safe & dog learns chickens=pain.
It is true obedience training can suffer extinction. Only, however, if you were to take yourself out of the picture permanently also. Positive reinforcement as little as every few weeks can help to reinforce the training. Do no harm.
You can't really shoot your in-laws' dog.

They won't pen him and they won't train him, so your only option is to keep your chickens inside a safe pen that the dog can't get into.

On the bright side for you, if they allow the dog to wander wherever it wants, the dog won't live long.

Correction: your best option is to move far away from them. Then if the new neighbors aren't close relatives, you shoot their chicken killing dog.
I wouldn't say another word to them about it, nor would I train their dog (which won't work without their consistent reinforcement of your teachings).
I would just immediately set up an electrified fence. Problem solved. Chickens are safe & dog learns chickens=pain.
I agree. Although it doesn't solve the underlining problem, the inlaws, it will make the dog smarter than they are. I am so sorry you and your family are going through this. It sounds to me as if even having your husband talk to them would do no good. I think the old adage "Good fences make good neighbors" would be true in this case.

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