New Puppy Problems....

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Miizki, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Miizki

    Miizki Out Of The Brooder

    93
    0
    39
    Apr 24, 2010
    Paige, our new puppy, is a biter. She loves to nibble on people and she has very sharp teeth! She is a dauchshund/boston terrier mix. Paige also loves to attack my chickens. I haven't let the chickens out since we got Paige. Twice I opened the coop door and she darted in and grabbed ahold of my chickens. She almost killed them; I had to pry her mouth open to get them out.

    So anyways, I was wondering what have you guys done to teach or train your dogs not to attack chickens? Is this something she will grow out of? My other dog has no problem with the chickens, but maybe its because we didn't get the chickens until she was an older dog? I know its probably the dauchshund in Paige, them being hunting dogs. But maybe I can try to train her not to attack them? She is very obedient in other ways, but I haven't tried anything with the chickens. Also what do you guys do about puppy biting?
     
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    For biting If they bite at my hand I grab there bottom jaw an pinch under there toung an turn them away from me. Not trying to hurt them but to make biting not fun. I also try to squeeze in proportion to how hard they are biting. For nipping at your leg harsh no sounds work well.

    With chickens you need it on leash every time its around the chickens so it cant chase until it learns that is never ok.
     
  3. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,542
    38
    188
    Jul 8, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    You have a dog who is a dachshund/terrier cross. Dachshunds have been bred for centuries to kill vermin. Terriers have also been selected for this trait. Please keep that in mind when trying to teach it not to chase your chickens.

    For the biting, I disagree with applying aversives. Puppies must learn how to CONTROL their bite force. If you will do a web search on BITE INHIBITION in puppies you will get a lot of info on how to teach your puppy to use the mouth gently.

    It might also be good to know that puppies removed from their litter before 7 weeks of age can have much more difficulty learning to inhibit their bite because they missed critical socialization with their littermates.

    Agree completely with using a lead or a line so that YOU can control the situation, and not the puppy.
     
  4. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    3
    131
    Apr 11, 2009
    Virginia
    Your puppy is doing what puppies do - they bite. [​IMG] I think you will find distracting and giving him something appropriate to bite will help big time. I kept an old dish towel (knotted) in my pocket when my GSD was a pup and when he went for hands or ankles, whipped that out and played with that. I also used small tugs in the same way. Redyre is also 100% correct; pups taken from a litter too young don't learn the "don't bite" lessons from their siblings.

    Keep in mind it is a phase and will probably last through teething. So keep lots of "biteable" rags, etc... around the house that you can reach to distract the pup. Also - a tired pup is a good pup. Make sure he gets enough appropriate exercise so he is nice and tired several times a day. One thing I did when Falcon was young was attached a stuffed duck/dog toy to the end of a piece of rope, which was attached to a 4' pole. I could run around the yard and have him chase the toy. Wore us both out very well!

    You are absolutely going to have to monitor your pup around the chickens! Our dogs come inside when we let the hens out in the afternoons for a few hours before dusk. When the dogs are out, the chickens are safely in their yard which has two strands of hot wire at the base.

    Best of luck with your new baby!
     
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Quote:I am a behaviorist and Refyre has nailed the answer. Typically I wince a sharp "ouch" or I can do a great imitation of a puppy cry in pain. You then take your hand away and not play with the pup for 15-30 seconds (time depends on pup). The pup learns to inhibit his/her bite. You do need to be sure the pup has other, more appropriate things it can chew as its a necessity at this age.

    Each dog is different but the key is to remain in control and use positive reinforcement and no rewards for bad behavior. They need to know what you want in order to do it right--communicate in a language they understand--body language. Then add words to your body movements and be consistent. You can find information on the Internet as Refyre mentioned.

    I used a short leash and actually held my Malinois' collar when I taught her to "touch" the chicks as she is a bigger girl. This way she got to touch them and that took away some of the excessive need to do so her way (with mouth open). It also removed the fear of the chicks so they don't run when they see her and that takes away the chase instinct for the dog. I cannot say it enough--do not leave your pup alone with the chickens even if she gets better with them--you need to be there.

    All dogs should have an excellent "leave it" response when told. Today my dog "touches" them with her nose only and a closed mouth. It pays to have a well trained dog in all aspects of your relationship. They are happy as they know what you want so you both can have a fun and rewarding time together.
     
  6. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

    507
    24
    139
    Oct 11, 2010
    Southeast NH
    Quote:Think of it this way - if you were on a go-to-ground or earthdog forum, not a chicken forum, if you took your new baby puppy into your chicken coop and she didn't immediately try to kill them, you'd go to your earthdog buddies and say "What is wrong with my dog? Why isn't she doing the right thing?"

    In other words, I'd be SHOCKED if that breed mix didn't go after chickens, and I'd actually be somewhat dismayed as well. Dachshunds in particular, and Bostons are not far removed from their terrier pasts, are bad examples of their breeds if they don't try to kill anything that moved and looked killable.

    You can try to teach a good "leave it," but I would never, NEVER leave her unsupervised with them. Ever. No matter how long she lives. Her brain is wired to kill them. Asking her to leave them alone is like putting a beagle in a rabbit hutch and expecting him not to kill one.

    The puppy biting is a little easier. Puppies teach each other not to bite hard, which is why it's so crucial to leave puppies in their litter until they're eight weeks. If she hasn't had that benefit, or if she thinks that maybe humans don't fall into the "don't bite hard" group, you need to give her the same signals that her littermates would have done. Littermates screech and shun the biter. A bite too hard makes your brother scream loudly and then refuse to play with you. If you try to get him to play again before he's forgiven you, he'll yell at you again.

    A hard bite gets a VERY offended "OWW!" from me, all fun stops, I walk away, and the puppy is pushed away if she comes back. Not hard, but not soft either. Don't carry the puppy to a crate, don't give any body contact, don't do anything that might be perceived as attention. I don't open up the door to attention again until the puppy approaches softly and gently and with apologetic language.

    Also, remember that a tired puppy is a good puppy. If she's biting you because she's bored and wound up and doesn't have anything else to do, that's your fault, not hers.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by