New dog wants my chickens, what do I do?...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jwg423, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. jwg423

    jwg423 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    Yesterday I got a 6 month old dog from a farm, pyrenees/lab mix...
    On this farm they had chickens (free range) and other such animals, and these dogs have been around the chickens and they did not bother them at all....
    I was thinking that one of these dogs is perfect for us because it had been around chickens and not been aggressive toward them, but today she has been after my chickens 3 times so far. I caught her in the act and swatted her nose and told her NO! but I don't know why she is interested in my chickens and they never had a problem at the other farm??? I understand new place new opportunities but is there a good way and a bad way to teach her to leave them alone, or is this a sign that she isn't going to work out?
    I am hoping we can somehow work this out because the kids have already fallen in love with her... (me too, but don't tell [​IMG])
  2. dutchhollow

    dutchhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2008
    SW IA
    Did you actually see her with the chickens, or did they just tell you they had been with them with no problems?
    Keep her on a leash and when she shows interested a tug and 'leave it' praise when she ignores them.
    Don't let her near them off leash if she never chases/catches it will be easier.
  3. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Hummmmm... my first thought was, "Why did they want to part with a six month old dog if it was so good with chickens?" Maybe it was chasing theirs and they unloaded a problem on you. I hate to be so mistrustful but people will sometimes lie to get what they want (maybe to get rid of a chicken killing dog?) I really hope not, but I think that if you can, the dog may need to go back to their farm...
  4. jwg423

    jwg423 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    They did have chickens but I did not see them free ranging... My fault for not asking to see how she reacted around them.

    They parted be cause they had Momma and 4 others, they said it was too many to have for them. But yes again my fault for being trustful [​IMG]

    I took her for a leashed walk near the chicken run and every time she pulled or showed too much interest I shook a jar of pennies at her and that seemed to work so hopefully we can get her trained to behave herself! Thank you for the help and advise... To bad I didn't go more prepared with questions and asked for demonstration before taking her home. lesson learned [​IMG]
  5. Ceinwyn

    Ceinwyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Southeast Ohio
    The dog will want to smell them as well. Not all chickens smell the same.
    They have a strong built in desire to guard most anything, but they need to be introduced carefully and shown what is yours and what they need to watch over.
    Pups are unpredictable and can injure chickens easily even unintentionally and should be watched carefully until they are past their hyper puppy stage which is 2 years for great pyrenees.

    I can trust this dog with any livestock of any kind.
    She however still has playful moments and needs to be watched as she weighs over 150 pounds.
    Most she will do is hold things down to clean them but it tends to terrify the chickens.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  6. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    The dog needs to be integrated with the chickens that same as you would introduce new chickens to the flock. At six months, the LPD does not know what her job is yet. She needs to bond with her new flock and her interest in the chickens is part of the bonding. Even if this dog was bonded with the chickens at the other farm, your chickens are different (not her chickens) and she knows it.

    If you have two farm pastures side-by-side and both hold sheep, the LPD knows which sheep are hers and which are intruders if they get into her pasture through the fence. She will guard 'her' sheep from the intruders, even though she is familiar with the other sheep.

    When you shake a jar pennies and reprimand her when she is just trying check her soon-to-be charges out, you are confusing her. LGD puppies should be put where they can see and smell the livestock they are to guard for a while before actually being allowed with them unsupervised. Generally, a young LPD is with an older dog until they are a year old, before having the job of protecting livestock by themselves. Given a chance, a rooster or top hen will put the dog in her place if she does more than watch and protect the chickens. When you bring in new chickens or animals, you will have to introduce them to her so she knows that they now belong to her, she is to protect them, as well as the other chickens. Every new animal is a threat to the current flock, until the dog understands that they are now her responsibility. Part of her job is to protect HER animals from outsider animals. She has to be shown which is which.

    There are some good LGD dog training books out there for you to read. One is called "Livestock Protection Dogs: Selection, Care and Training" by Orysia Dawyiak & David Sims. Excellent resource for anyone that wants to have working dogs on their property.

    There is one problem I can see with a part Great Pyrenees/part lab. Labs are bird hunting dogs and their prey drive is strong to hunt down (chase) any bird, which includes chickens. The lab part of your dog might overcome the Great Pyrenees' instincts to guard and protect.
  7. jwg423

    jwg423 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    Quote:GREAT Advice! Thank you!!!! I will be checking out that book [​IMG]
  8. BoldogKennel

    BoldogKennel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    Washington State
    This sounds like a pretty typical backyard breeder situation: they had a litter, the pups are no longer "cute" stage, they are getting big and eating and pooping a lot so now they want to dump them and will tell you anything (like the pup gets along with chickens). I will chide you for supporting a BYB, but, what is done is done. Please understand that almost ANY h ealthy 6 month old pup will chase chickens. Your using a shake can is a good method if it is a "soft" dog. Just NEVER leave the dog alone with the chickens until it is pretty well mature and you are CERTAIN it can be left alone for hours without doing any chasing (like when you are home).

    Best of luck training pup pup.
  9. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    Once the dog is under your control- completely- it will do what you want it to do. Be the alpha.
    I have a Lab and she went after the birds once- a firm "no" and a slight zip from her shock collar reinforced our relationship. She never wears the collar anymore.
    She now lays on the patio and snuggles with my babies.
  10. jcatblum

    jcatblum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2010
    Cement, OK
    Quote:Shock collar works wonders. I have only used shock 1 time. All the other times I use vibrate. The dogs are well behaved around the guineas & chickens all the time. If for any reason I do have a problem it is because several dogs are together & a guinea comes around them. Then they like to play guinea chase. But honestly the guineas are running around chasing each other. The dogs just want to play too. I have not yet taken the shock collar completely off, but I hardly ever carry the remote around with me anymore.

    When I vibrate one of my pups they run & tuck behind my legs. So they still love & trust you even if you shock them.

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