My pups went on a killing spree :(

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by thndrdancr, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,208
    80
    243
    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    My great pyrs, littermates, who I had great hopes for, are 5 1/2 months old. I had to leave them unsupervised due to an emergency and I had my young pea's that had only been out since the day before and a couple of hens that escaped when I let my guineas out.

    I have worked and worked with them and still not seeming to gain any ground. They will NOT listen to NO when it comes to the birds. I tried using a shock collar yesterday but apparently I didnt have it tight enuff or something, as it didnt work. I need to get it a little tighter or shave their hair a bit where the connectors are.

    Anyhow we got home, and I realize leaving the pups unsupervised was a mistake but I am wondering if they are still redeemable or not. I got home and found my girl chewing on something, and acting furtive about it. They DO know they are not supposed to mess with the birds, and its weird, if they come in the house they dont seem to mess with the ones running about, but when outside anything if fair game.

    I went over to see, my heart sinking and all that was left of my young peahen was a foot. Went looking more and nothing was left but little piles, she wasnt not even identifiable except the feet. [​IMG] Then another pile of feathers from a laying hen I had.

    I couldnt even discipline them as it was over and was nothing left and I didnt catch them in the act. [​IMG]

    They had one "accident" before where they killed a hen, but that was them overplaying with her. This was kill and eat. I just dont know if this is something I can break them of, and want a few folks to chime in on what they think.

    I fear for my other pea's now, altho they do watch out for the dogs, I know they still are in danger, and I have one left of the young ones that is new to being "out".

    I really got them to help keep other predators away, and to watch the property, which they excel at. They are really good dogs other than that, good with my 4 year niece, loving to us, mind fairly well or are coming along anyway, and I do love them, but my birds came first.

    I have done the "on the leash to take care of the birds thing" but have never actually taken them on a leash and sat in the coop or pen. I have done it in the yard when the birds are free ranging. When they were younger I could almost trust them while I had the birds free ranging and now its like its open season. I have sat with them both for many hours while "exposing" them to the birds, chicks, etc running around them. I am willing to put in more time, I am just confused and this is getting serious. I realize they are still pups too, but they seem to have a pretty high prey drive..i.e. chasing down and killing a rabbit, young baby birds that are trying to learn to fly, etc.

    I need some more tips, pointers, etc. on where to go from here.
     
  2. Jaguaress

    Jaguaress Chicken Addict Wanna-be

    180
    1
    89
    May 27, 2010
    Piedmont, NC
    I'm sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    No idea about the dogs, as I haven't owned Pyrs yet. I have seen on Petfinder that some are placed as family dogs - rather than flock guardians - when they've failed their testing. Hopefully, people with experience will be able to give you some good advice.
     
  3. 1_FnkyFrm

    1_FnkyFrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    477
    1
    111
    Jun 6, 2010
    Knoxville, Tn
    Sorry for your loss. You should have put the dogs and them in two sep. rooms. I think it would be hard now that they have had the taste of raw chicken, but you never know..
     
  4. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    7,878
    12
    273
    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    I have a Komondor that did the same thing almost 11 years ago. I was so mad at him. I was completely crazy when I found my 6 polish crested dead. I was screaming and yelling in his face while I tied him to a fence post with a dead chicken tied to his neck and left him there the rest of the day. For my dog that was enough to make him chicken proof. He still doesn't look at them. Some dogs have to stay tied longer, but he was just a spoiled rotten pup. I don't hold a grudge very long. Never the less this dog will not touch a chicken, now if this would work with Yorkies I would be set.
     
  5. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    7,878
    12
    273
    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    LGDs just need to be trained a little so that they know what to do. They don't know whats right or wrong, without some training. Also 2 dogs together is often more problems than just 1. If they are puppies it was just a lot of fun. It's the owners job to make sure that it is NOT fun to have Mom or Dad mad at them. LGDs are easy to train and they are not like a lot of other dogs that once they get a taste of blood, that they will never quit. Puppy is living proof that they can learn never to do that again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  6. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    7,878
    12
    273
    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    I would make sure that they know that the chicken belong to you, and that they had better not even look at them. It sound gross but even the food is enough of the bird to get get your point across. You need to be top dog and make sure they know that the bird are yours.
     
  7. Haviris

    Haviris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2007
    In my opinion I think the problem is that you got two, you'd have been better off getting one, and not getting a second til the first was atleast 1 1/2 years old and trained and settled (the older one would help teach the new one).

    Getting two lets them bond to each other instead of the things they should be protecting or you. If it was me I'd rehome one and hope it's not to late for the other one.
     
  8. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:If I were you I would take a period of time, such as a couple weeks and not allow the puppies near the chickens. Kennel them. This is a new behavior that might not have turned into a habit for them yet. One of the problems is you have both the puppies together, one pup learns something and teaches the other. It can be good and bad things. In this case obviously bad. IF you allow them to keep practicing this egg stealing it will be come a constant problem that you will not cure. Then the dogs will be useless to you. Start tomorrow: kennel them for a couple weeks to get them out of the habit. Then when you start letting them free again only do it ONE PUPPY at a time. Find out which one is the instigator of the problem. That way you might save one of them from egg stealing becoming a constant problem.

    I wish you luck and hope you take swift action. If you don't you'll never cure the dogs of it.

    This is from an earlier thread about your dogs. Did you follow any of this advice? It wasn't just that I was worried about your egg stealing or even them killing one chicken. I was doing my best to tell you what to do to solve future issues with your dog. You still need to do these things. Separate them. They aren't working well together. Wait, actually they work great together, just not how YOU want them to work. Two pups together are usually a disaster. You need to stop all their funny business together by not allowing them together and working, consistently on training them SEPARATELY. Do this before both dogs are totally ruined to being viable working guardians. Good luck. This will be a lot of work for you.
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    They seem to understand that inside is your territory and do not bother your stuff (chickens) while in the house but they do not seem to think the outside is yours also. I trained my high prey youngster with the notion that he couldn't even take steps in the chicken's direction without a reprimand from me....with a strong shake to the scruff of his neck and a loud "MY CHICKENS!!!" if he showed even the slightest bit of interest.

    It wasn't too late if they showed shame in being caught with your chickens in their mouths~they knew they had done something wrong....they just don't see you as the alpha dog outside. You need to let them know their every move is being observed by you, the alpha, and anytime they get near your things you will jump them and HARD!

    I noticed this about my older dog when I first got this pup...she was tolerant of just about anything he did but, if he got near her food, he was immediately disciplined by a quick lunge, a growling bark, and, if he didn't immediately run away, she would get him down by the throat for just a second or two.

    So I tried this method and it worked completely! It took me maybe a total of 20 min. of the first day of his exposure to chickens and turkeys before he understood. He would even look towards the house to see if I was watching before he walked anywhere near the birds but he would keep his eyes averted from them all the while~still does, 3 years later.

    Having two GPs is a good idea, as they keep each other company and they have help if coyotes should appear. Everyone around here always keeps two. I wouldn't take them in the house, though. They need to establish the yard as their territory, their place to guard, and they can't do that from inside the house.

    Don't give up hope and don't miss an opportunity to stress that the birds are yours and are not to be touched...ever. I went as far as to hold down my pup with a chicken at his throat....he was petrified at this action. He has never had any "accidents" in all these years.
     
  10. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,208
    80
    243
    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Ok, I have a kennel we put up, but its fairly new and they have learned how to get out of it. Its still workable but they have separated the bottom from the bar and when its gets fixed I think it will still work.
    The other pen I have is only a 4 x 4 but it might have to do while I "train". I guess other dogs get kenneled all their life and adjust.
    My prob is also I work against my sister, I love her dearly but the "spoils" them rotten, like "oh its a horrible life to be in a pen all day, etc". Yes, but until they LEARN, darnit!
    I have always had a hard time disciplining them as they "laugh it off". Perhaps thats because they are together. The girl is a problem, when I discipline her, she just goes limp.

    They are not really housedogs, except if they get in by accident, the screen in the sliding glass door is ruined by them jumping when they were younger and they can "push" in if we dont watch. Funny thing is I have a cage in the garage with young guineas in it. I was feeding them the other day and left the door open while I went to get water, forgot to close it. Came back out to find both dogs in there, I screamed bloody murder, expecting dead babies and all they had done was "snuffle" them. ?????

    I can separate one pup at a time, in fact thats what I do when I train or give them attention usually, as its too much and they ARE jealous of my attention.

    So, what exactly do I need to DO, since the rolling and pinning and NO does not work with them with the birds? I just dont know. As far as teaching them "sit" "come" "lay down" and "leave it", they have that down pat and we still practice it constantly. They have to sit before they get food, or treats, or attention, etc. They are still learning. I just dont have a clue about how to teach them to leave the birds alone. I have had them on leash with me and they mind fairly well ON LEASH. They will lay in the grass and are pretty good. sigh.... Off leash is another story.

    So trainers out there...what do I do?

    I am really worried for my young pea and even my older ones now, who free range. Everyone else is penned up unless the dogs are penned and its not fair in this nice weather.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by