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My own lab

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MissJames, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. MissJames

    MissJames Songster

    Oct 17, 2008
    Coastal SC
    Our lab is a very well trained service dog,but still a dog.The chirping chickies have him very excited.He is listening to me but is very interested.I would never leave him alone in the room with the brooder,but I am keeping him in here when i'm in here to acclimate him. My question is ....what exactly should I be doing to train him to stay away from the chicks? Or should he be trained to not hurt the chicks? Obviously a professional trainer did his service training.
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    The way I've "trained" my last two dogs which are still puppies at 7 months old, a German Shepherd and a MinPin (stray) was to take them with me whenever I went in and out of the coop, bator room, brooder room, pens, etc. and while I clean coops and feed chickens and while I walk around my farm with them freeranging. At first I use a leash till I'm sure the dog will mind me. Then I take them off leash, which is actually best. If they move toward a chick or even look at them funny they get a firm "no". My chickens free range and I have four dogs and two cats and everyone gets along. I think the trick is to teach the dogs that the chickens are part of the family also. Let them interact. Pick up a chick and let the dog sniff and lick. Hold and pet the chickens in the dog's prescence. I think they learn much better when allowed to be amongst them all the time rather than if kept confined behind a gate or chained up and just wait their chance to jump one.
  3. MissJames

    MissJames Songster

    Oct 17, 2008
    Coastal SC
    Quote:Sounds good. I actually put him on the leash at first.He has a training tag on his collar for corrections and I'll use that inside.So I should not let him go gawk in front of the brooder? LOL
    Thanks Ruth!
  4. countryboy

    countryboy Songster

    Oct 31, 2007
    labs are great but bare in mind they are bird dogs and their instinct to find them is in their blood, they are supposed to be a soft clamp dog but that doesn't mean they won't kill a bird. hope it works out for you.
  5. pokey

    pokey Warrior Princess

    Jun 1, 2008
    our choc lab is great. i have found him more than once covered in chirping chicks in the laundry room like he is their mother. he also loves our cat(and she loves dogs ). but i know he is very much the exception. i just wanted you to know that some dogs can be kind and gentle. [​IMG]
  6. MissJames

    MissJames Songster

    Oct 17, 2008
    Coastal SC
    Quote:My lab is too excited .It's obvious he sees them as prey. I am being extremely careful,while trying to acclimate him .The chicks are enclosed and he is not in the same room with them unless I'm there.
    He is an autism service dog for my 6 year old son and I couldn't live without him,but no chickie treats allowed!
  7. conroy

    conroy Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    My dogs accompanied me all the time when the chicks were little and in the garage...but I wouldn't trust them without being there. My mutt ginger has a heavy prey drive...she kills everything that comes into our yard...but she is sooo cute you'd never take her for such a hunter...
    [​IMG] I think I'm gonna make her my avatar...
  8. curliet

    curliet Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    west Michigan
    We made sure that our Lab, Spanky, was with us all the time when our chicks were in the brooder, even put a stool where she could sit on it and look down in at the chickies. We referred to them as "her babies" and held them often where she could sniff and lick them. She did bark at them a lot, which bothered us at first til we realised that she just wanted them out of that tub. When they were old enough to move from brooder to a pen, we had her with us on a leash, and let her lay next to the pen. Again, some barking, but no overt bad behavior. Once we decided to let them out to run, we again put her on the leash and had her next to the pen when we opened it and let them out. She kissed and nudged, and wagged like crazy. After they ran loose for awhile we took her off the leash and held our breath. She ran around and pushed their butts with her nose til she had them all back in the pen. She did it everytime we let them out. If they went too far away, she would go and get them, and 'herd' them back home. Every now and then she would go around and count them. As they got older and bigger, she began to let them go farther from the pen and coop, and now she just lays there in the middle of the flock and ignores them. They jump onto her back or run under her legs if they want to get somewhere and she's in the way. She does share in treat-time with them and will occasionally grab something that you are handing to a chicken, but then on the other hand, they take the food right out of her mouth. Sometimes she swings her head and sort of 'sweeps' a chicken out of the way, but has never made any move at all to bite or swat with her feet or harm any of them. Might just be our particular dog, or might be Labs in general, or might be because we taught her that these chickens are hers. Who knows?! I know that we leave her loose with them on a regular basis with no fear whatsoever that she'll hurt them.

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