New puppy love: Beware of bringing home those cute deceiving predators!

MrFluffyandGirls

Chirping
Dec 30, 2018
30
153
84
SC, Low Country
Domestic Dogs are so deceiving! Don't let those puppy eyes fool you, especially when they look so sad and sorry for killing your chickens. It's a ploy until they have a chance to do it again! I just had to re-home my newest beautiful cream sable German shepherd puppy because his prey drive was off the charts! My old German shepherd/Rottie mix knows the chickens are our friends to be loved and protected and I thought I could raise the new shepherd puppy to respect the fowl also. NOT! Electric collars and fences be damned! He was a straight up chicken murderer and at the slightest chance he was going for blood. Darling hubby swore he was part coyote! It was plain cruel to keep him when I know it would be a matter of time before he would kill again or worse yet finally catch the family cat he started chasing up trees. Sad to see him go but chickens and cats were here first and after the third killing it was the last resort.

Seems like the dogs that I tend to like are not typically LGD dogs. In the SC low country, I hate to have such a giant furry dog in this humidity. I can picture the intense hot spots, heat exhaustion and tons of seasonal fur shedding competing with molting feathers! LOL!

So other than a beware of new puppy this thread is touting, i was wonder if anyone else has success with non-LGD breeds that I may take into consideration when shopping for a replacement. I got lucky with my Shepweiler, being a calm laid back girl that learned chickens are our family too. I'm weary of bringing home Jack the Ripper again, but my old dog was enjoying having a buddy without feathers too.
 

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centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
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Holts Summit, Missouri
I am preparing to raise two English Shepherd puppies to be used as poultry guardians. One will be based in barn and second will be based around a larger series of growout flocks of meatbirds. Prey drive issues are expected. Interactions between pups and chickens will be highly regulated for the first two years. Fences will provide complete separation unless someone available for oversight. First pup will supplement 3 adult dogs, one of which that is starting to age out. The first will also be working with sheep Second will be alone at first even though responsible for a lot more chickens.

The first pup in particular will pose prey drive directed issues at chickens and I will complain. Lets the world know we are alive.
 
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Chris-n-Kate

Songster
Mar 13, 2019
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Yes beware! I spent good money on a livestock guardian puppy from working dog parents from a farm. Whilst attempting to train him using a leash and putting him in a kennel when I was not outside he managed to dig out of the kennel and killed chickens, then I put him on a chain for the in between times and he broke the chain, killed more chickens and chased down my child down and dragged him across the yard! I rehomed him that day and probably won’t ever try dog again.
 

NHMountainMan

Crowing
Premium member
Feb 25, 2019
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I've been doing a lot of research on LGD, as I recently lost one of my two pups (lost the big brother of the one in my avatar). Prey drive is an instinct that in some cases training can't overcome. One of the things I've read is that its essential that the very young pup be in amongst the livestock as young as possible - long before they are physically capable of harming them.
As for the breeds - my guy is half great Pyrenees and half greater swiss mount dog. The Pyr instinct was absolutely dormant when he was the submissive dog in our house. When his big bro had to be put down (12.5 y.o. / hip arthritis) his instinct to protect just kicked in. NOTHING is allowed near his chickens. He chases hawks, owls, coyote so far. He also chases helicopters and planes.
But I wouldn't get a Pyr in a hot weather climate.
My next dogs will be an Anatolian Shepard, and a Greater Swiss Mountain dog. (I will always have two - my two protected me from a bear - and I"ll always have after watching them alternate by attacking the back of the bear, and kept spinning him until he took off)

So - I'm presently looking for an Anatolian pup.

I'm sorry you had to rehome your GSD... but don't give up - do some research and find a guardian that suits your situation.

Good luck.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
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Holts Summit, Missouri
I have been through this business of training high prey dogs around chickens several times. Having very young pups around chickens does not prevent pups from killing chickens later. It does dull their interest, but not enough to cause complete lack of interest in the chickens.

My emphasis is first getting dogs to follow commands. Then work on getting them interesting in stimuli other than chickens.

Killing a chicken or two is not always bad as dog learns sounds produced by distressed chickens. Later, when chickens alarmed by another threat, the dogs have a better idea what is going on and get there quick with attitude.

My goal is for dogs to not harm chickens even when I am absent for extended periods. Part of getting there is having dogs age past stage where they are inclined to play with stock when bored.

Otherwise work on providing smart dogs more diversions. Bored smart dogs not yet fully past playing with stock are the worst. I still like smart high prey drive dogs as poultry guardians.
 
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The Moonshiner

Professional Chicken Tender
Nov 17, 2016
4,872
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Missouri
I have been through this business of training high prey dogs around chickens several times. Having very young pups around chickens does not prevent pups from killing chickens later. It does dull their interest, but not enough to cause complete lack of interest in the chickens.

My emphasis is first getting dogs to follow commands. Then work on getting them interesting in stimuli other than chickens.

Killing a chicken or two is not always bad as dog learns sounds produced by distressed chickens. Later, when chickens alarmed by another threat, the dogs have a better idea what is going on and get there quick with attitude.

My goal is for dogs to not harm chickens even when I am absent for extended periods. Part of getting there is having dogs age past stage where they are inclined to play with stock when bored.

Otherwise work on providing smart dogs more diversions. Bored smart dogs not yet fully being playing with stock are the worst. I still like smart high prey drive dogs as poultry guardians.
:goodpost:
I don't think people should beware of getting a new puppy as much as they need to be aware that dogs need training.
It's no surprise that without any or much of any that they're gonna kill your chickens again and again and again.
Dogs are a responsibly not just a throw away object when they do something wrong.
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Chirping
Dec 30, 2018
30
153
84
SC, Low Country
My white German Shepherd def would eat my animals if had the chance. My cats are like "watch dogs" They don't attack my chickens and ducks and sometimes watch them, managed to scare off a mink once before it could kill one of my chickens.
I have to say my Cat is pretty awesome at keeping rats and snakes away from the coop. Maybe I just need a bigger cat! LOL!
 
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