naughty puppy

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BelleInBoots, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

    60
    0
    46
    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    Hey guys 8 months ago we purchased a south african boerboel for a family pet because we heard the breed was great with children and livestock. and about 2 months ago completed our home purchase and finally got out animals. yesterday our pup ate one of our hens who had flown into her backyard while foraging. we had been letting her in the pasture with the hens and goats while supervised and even for shorter unsupervised periods and she was doing great. way better than any other dog we have owned in the past. seemed interested but not wild over them. clearly we were wrong. so not only did i lose my favorite hen, but now i have no idea how to go about training her to not only leave the animals along but keep an eye out for them like she was intended... :-( any suggestions? thanks for reading
     
  2. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    Fencing is always your first line of defense. How high was the fence the hen flew over? Can it be made higher. The dog is for alerting you of potential problems around your flock not actually to be in with the flock and defend them I am guessing since you have her in a fenced yard.

    We have seven dogs in our yard which has a 5 food fence between them and our chickens, ducks and geese. They alert us if there is anything going on that in out of the ordinary and, most importantly, we respond when they alert. They have managed to scare off a Bobcat, several Raccoons and Skunks and even have kept a few Hawks at bay long enough for us to get out there and do our job.

    I know there are those that have dogs that can be kept in with their flocks, even a few with cats doing that duty, but as much as I love my dogs and my birds I know that at some point a bird is going to do something that tweaks a dogs interest and desire to play and I am going to end up with a dead bird. So I do not tempt fate.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,493
    2,146
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Good choice in breed. Pup still immature for real duty. One dog is excellent starting point. Fence for short-term is the way to go. Dog needs to have interaction with stock that for the next year to 1.5 years needs to be supervised. Your first concern is working on getting control over pup. When pup does naughty, get it to stop by verbal command alone. You will have to get it trained up with physical means before that is realized. Confer with a trainer you trust on that.

    I would build a small pen or two like I use for my games (4' x 5'), then put a calm and expendable rooster in it. The rooster and dog should be buddies before all is done. Make so dog is in close proximity to rooster day and night if dog is outside dog. If this route seems worthy of consideration I will follow up on details.


    I use very active bird dogs (German Pointers) for same use you have in mind for your dogs. Operationally, my dogs run with birds 24/7 without supervision but a lot more went into effort that simply getting dogs trustworthy around the fowl. In the end you find such an endeavor is not just about managing chickens and dogs. You will learn to consider other anti-predator approaches, proper use of fencing not used to separate stock and your dogs and the forage base.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. BelleInBoots

    BelleInBoots Out Of The Brooder

    60
    0
    46
    May 21, 2014
    West GA
    thanks guys, my fences are only 4 ft high so the birds can easily hope them when properly motivated. i was just hoping that with adequate space they would not have the need to jump them or at least could jump back into safety if they needed.. but i guess it didnt work out that way for poor snickerdoodle... :-( i had considered running a hot wire around the top perhaps. i have not heard that rooster idea before. seems like it might could work, as i know our cat earned her respect with just a couple good scratches. i dont currently have one, although i might could buy one off a friend or craigslist for the occasion. assuming i am allowed/zoned to keep one ( which i am still working on finding out)
    would they have to be in very close quarters for this to work? or could i just put them together in the backyard? she is a "soft" dog and while we are still working on her manners we have easily been able to call her back by name or simply utter a sharp correcting sort of noise if she headed towards the livestock, which always turns her around in her tracks. we assumed with time, age and good supervision along the way we would be able leave her in with the livestock as needed to watch over them and drive away any predators, esp. for when we move to a more rural setting in a few years. however, now i have no idea if I will ever be able to trust her again with them.. :-/
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,493
    2,146
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Virtually all my dogs have killed chickens early in training process. Those that did not were not worth a crap. It takes time and by 2 years of age they will have it down.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by