Featured My puppy is my peeps new predator!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Momma*chicken, Jul 9, 2019 at 8:36 PM.

  1. Momma*chicken

    Momma*chicken Chirping

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    So I have a 7, almost 8 month old puppy, who is half Lab, half German shepherd. She has gotten very bad with our chickens. She used to try to chase them to play, but recently she has really been stalking and hunting them. She crouches low and then pounces. She has removed some feathers and today she even cut the top of one of my amberlink pullets head. She is always outside on a 30ft leash, so she doesn't have full range of the backyard. However, everytime the chickens come close in her proximity, she hunts them. She gets reprimanded harshly and locked in her kennel for a few min everytime she does it, but I am very concerned about my peeps. I love them so much, but don't want any of them to get seriously injured. I'm wondering, can I train her out of this prey drive? Is it hopeless, or is there still time since she is a puppy? 1032.jpeg
     
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Yes, you can train her out of it. It's going to be harder, because by your description of the issue, you haven't done much to deter her until now (Sorry if I misinterpreted.) "Begin as you mean to go on." is about the best training philosophy I've ever heard. Since she's pretty much been allowed to hunt chickens with impunity, she's going to be pretty confused when you put your foot down.

    A command equivalent to "Leave It!" should already be a part of her vocabulary; if not, I would begin with that. She shouldn't be allowed around them unsupervised, so that you can correct bad behaviour as soon as it occurs (dogs get confused when you punish after the fact.)

    A shock collar may be your friend. Some people have more success with them than others do; some people find them entirely distasteful. It's the only way I've ever persuaded a beagle to come out of the woods when she was on a scent, so I believe that they're a useful training tool—so long as the dog is of a stubborn enough disposition/in such a situation that you can't train her in another way.
     
  3. i have raised multiple pups on my farm who have became great guardian dogs. The very First time they chase or attemp to "play" with the chickens, correction is swift and firm. I mean the first time no mater how young.
    Never had a chicken killer yet.
    The dogs i have had enclude german shepherd, airdale, heeler, autrailen shepherd, pit bull, border collie, lab, scotty dog and all kinds of dukes mixtures.
    My dogs freely range the yard all day with free range chickens though. A dog on a chain is highly frustrated from inactivity and boredom.
    I think your dog can learn, but its going to take work. Training daily. Start with obedience training. Stuff like sit, stay, come, and heel. Reinforce with praise and treets. Labs and German Shepherds are working dogs with lots of energy and need a job to do.
    If they are tied up alot of the time these dogs get neurotic.
    Your dog is Beatiful!
    Good luck!
     
  4. Both posts x2
     
  5. Momma*chicken

    Momma*chicken Chirping

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    Well,we never actually let her even play with them when she was younger... She would always get in trouble for chasing them. However, now that it's gotten worse, the punishment is a little harsher. When we are outside, we tell her to leave it, and she mostly listens and can even b off leash around them (with CONSTANT supervision of course), but once she is out there on her leash and we r NOT there she's back to her old ways again:he
     
    Susan Dye, Irish1951 and Hawkeyegal61 like this.
  6. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Then she shouldn't be out there on the leash. If you want to keep both, you'll have to pen either the chickens or the dog for as long as it takes to train her. Can she stay in the house?

    Sneaky thing: Sit inside the house. Wait for her to start hunting a chicken. Come out with full force of anger.
     
  7. Momma*chicken

    Momma*chicken Chirping

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    She knows, sit, stay, give paw, lay down and no. However, when there r no treats involved, she kind of looks at me like "why? I don't feel like it"
    Also when she is in the backyard unsupervised, she HAS to b on a leash. I live right on a highway and cars come zooming down the highway at like 70mph. A couple times when my kids left the door open momentarily, she has gotten out and catching her is near impossible. She almost got hit by a car once. Thankfully we r moving from here in about a month to a nice quiet road so she will b allowed to have more freedom then.
     
  8. Momma*chicken

    Momma*chicken Chirping

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    For the majority of the time, the chickens r in their run because we have a serious fox problem here (lost a chicken 2 months ago from it, and caught it in action attempting to go after the rest).... We let the peeps out about 3-4times a week around 5pm
     
    Beak1960 and Susan Dye like this.
  9. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

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    Did you take her to puppy obedience classes or to adult obedience classes? Puppies are like 2 year old kids...short attention span and the urge to play with everything. Any good manners you must teach. Any restraint (as with chickens) you must teach. You should begin by teaching sit, stay, come. The basics. Then when the basics are down, you sit with the dog in the midst of the chickens. If the dog whines or shows undue interest in them (leaning toward them, whining, or that HARD STARE that says "I want to mess that thing up" you give a shove or jerk of the leash or shake...something to break the dog out of his focused intent to pursue...saying some sound like SHHHHT! to help bring the dog's attention back to you. You have to do that a lot, with some dogs. Others get it quicker.
    But if you haven't trained in an obedience class and the dog is not reliable on things like stay, drop it, or come...then you aren't going to have much luck.
     
  10. Momma*chicken

    Momma*chicken Chirping

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    Upstate NY... Adirondacks
    Thanks for all the help everyone! Will the your suggestions a try! Hopefully, she will improve and eventually not even think about the chickens
     

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