New Puppy and Chooks- please help!

bellz15

Songster
Jun 10, 2019
124
290
141
Western Australia
Hello brains trust! Hoping you can lend me some advice.

We have always had dogs first and foremost, and since the death of our gorgeous doggo 2 years ago I somehow gained 2, then 4, then 6 chooks (omg how did that happen?).

I am not sure if this is the correct forum, but I wanted to ask for advice about this before this becomes a bigger issue.

I have recently acquired a new pup, who I need to be comfortable around our chooks who free range around the yard. I know it can be done (has anyone else seen that jack russell who raises chicks? 💕). My 12 week old pups name is Beans and she is incredibly cute, smart and pretty chilled.

Beans is half Maremma- known for an incredible affinity with protecting livestock in particular chooks. And half Australian kelpie- known for an innate desire to chase and herd.
I can tell her instincts are conflicted, she is super interested in the chooks and has bounded after them a few times (never biting) which scares them. She often sits and watches them from a distance and chases off other animals that land in the yard (like doves).

In the morning before the chooks are let out i often take her on the lead around the coop and let her sniff and get used to being close to them. I’ve also tried picking up a chook and letting her sniff it, but it set the hen off and I didn’t want her to stress.

Basically, I am just looking for any advice to implement while my pup is still young. I’m obviously terrified that she will take a liking to chomping chooks .

I appreciate any help. I have watched several YouTube videos and read several articles. If you know of any good links I would love to check them out. Doing my absolute best with this pup but I know how instinctual it is to chase chooks.

Thanks I’m advance. P.s here is a pic of her and a pic of her parents
 

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CluckerFamily

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5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,370
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So adorable!!
Training can't stop with her because her instincts will be playing tug-of-war. If you try bringing a chicken to her, put a towel or small blanket over the chickens head so that it can't see Beans.
Leashes help and a 50' or 100' leash helps also, especially in the beginning of training. This way she will be use to you at any distance from her, even across the yard, and when you give her a command either in words or hand motions, she will do what you say.
I also am not a person that feeds a lot of treats to my dogs, so in the training moments I will have treats in my pocket, this will quickly get their attention and they watch my every move to see if I give a command so that they can get a treat.
By the way: I have two standard goldendoodles named Beans and Frankie.
 

bellz15

Songster
Jun 10, 2019
124
290
141
Western Australia
So adorable!!
Training can't stop with her because her instincts will be playing tug-of-war. If you try bringing a chicken to her, put a towel or small blanket over the chickens head so that it can't see Beans.
Leashes help and a 50' or 100' leash helps also, especially in the beginning of training. This way she will be use to you at any distance from her, even across the yard, and when you give her a command either in words or hand motions, she will do what you say.
I also am not a person that feeds a lot of treats to my dogs, so in the training moments I will have treats in my pocket, this will quickly get their attention and they watch my every move to see if I give a command so that they can get a treat.
By the way: I have two standard goldendoodles named Beans and Frankie.

Thank you so much I appreciate the comment immensely. I will invest in a longer lead and keep at it.
I haven’t met another dog called Beans! Such a cute name. How are your dogs around chooks ?

Such a good point about covering the chooks face, I didn’t think of that :)
 

CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,370
61,109
1,131
Wisconsin
Thank you so much I appreciate the comment immensely. I will invest in a longer lead and keep at it.
I haven’t met another dog called Beans! Such a cute name. How are your dogs around chooks ?
They are good but I am always training them so that I don't let my guard down. We practice stay, sit, come, halt, leave it, heal, quick, slow, say hello aka shake, down aka lay down, etc. All these also have hand gestures so that I don't need to yell from a distance, I just have to give the hand signal and they will listen.
I have a friend who said I need to get a pig and name it Pork to go with my two dogs Frank and Beans. I'm thinking about it 🤔 I'm always thinking about more animals especially another dog named Deogie (just because it spells dog 🤪)
 

EmmaRainboe

🙄🤚💙Ameraucana Enthusiast💜😩🤚
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Jul 30, 2020
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I have golden doodle named Cookie, I starting by letting him see them and not touch. Once he got comfortable with them being in his space I would let him sit with me while held them and pet him at the same time. Eventually he got to the point where I let him sniff them. I had a good grip around the chickens and only left a tiny bit of them exposed for him to sniff, incase he tried anything so I could quickly cover up the birds and protect them. Now he knows that they belong to us and are not his toy. He stays out of their way, he does get jealous of them when they get attention (lol) but he never EVER tries to hurt them.
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
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Atlanta GA
Oh my god shes BEAUTIFUL.

I don't understand dogs to be honest. We have two belgian shepherds, same parents, raised more or less the same way (Cadeyrn lived with someone else for a bit but has been back with us for years). One of my birds got into their yard; Ludo grabbed him and Cadeyrn ignored him completely. I heard it, thankfully. Yelled at Ludo a lot and tried to get the roo out of the yard, and everytime he flailed around, Ludo looked at him like it was snack time and yet Cadeyrn just walked over calmly like 'hi mom'.
 

bellz15

Songster
Jun 10, 2019
124
290
141
Western Australia
Thanks everyone.
I have kept a really close eye on her over the last few days, and have been there every second she has been around the chooks. She has made some amazing progress.

I think her maremma instincts are outweighing the kelpie, as she’s almost become one of the flock. She even tried eating lettuce with them today and I think they have accepted her an an honorary chicken.

Will still be keeping a close eye on her, but her manner around them is amazing for 3.5 month old pup.
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ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,153
15,995
566
Atlanta GA
My dog will eat lettuce, and celery. It's hilarious bc my SOs dog will run over like "TREATS? ew no what is this" and my dog will gobble it up.

I'm glad you're having good results so far! Remember to discipline STRONGLY if the pup goes for a bird. Pushing the dog to the ground and yelling a lot feels really awful but it's super important to nip anything in the bud real fast. I am notoriously bad at it and SO is always telling me I'm doing us and the dogs a disservice by being wishywashy. Hes trained dogs forever.
 

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