New shelties: do working dogs need training from young age or is it in their genes?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by as110, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. as110

    as110 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We adopted 2 dogs from a rescue. The owner passed away suddenly. The rescue organization know that we were looking for farm dogs, wither guard dogs or herding dogs. They are great with our guinea pigs, they look but don't touch, they pass them when they are on the floor. We didn't test if they would run after them if they started running. Now the chickens are hatching and I want them to leave the chicks alone too.

    As far as I can see they are not playing with squeaky toys so little furry things making sounds are probably not an issue.

    My question is in the subject line. Can we trust that they are herding dogs so won't hurt the farm animals? I don't want to test them with little chickens but I am thinking we will let them sniff like we did with the piglets and talk through to keep it relaxed and low key.

    It is important now until we get a real guard dog. One of them likes to stay outside and she will probably spend most time outside once the weather warms up and she is spayed because she is always too hot inside and asks to go outside.

    If anyone has any input I would appreciate it.
     
  2. LovesAGoodYolk

    LovesAGoodYolk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they are non-aggressive dogs. towards timid and shy, but playful.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    You will have to do some training with each poultry lifestage they encounter.
     
  4. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't bank on the fact that just because a dog is of a certain breed that they will be able to do the work of, or exhibit the instincts of, the breed to any great degree. I've seen Border Collies with no more interest in herding sheep than your average Golden Retriever. I've seen Golden Retrievers with as high a prey drive as a Jack Russell. I've known Labs that would take the leg off a visitor and German Shepherds that will melt into a wiggly puddle even for strangers.

    Observe your dogs. Train your dogs. Remember that you may not always see an adopted dog's true tendencies until they've settled in a bit. Even then, behavior can change over time. There are no absolutes with animals.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I totally agree. A friend had a Livestock Guard Dog that killed her baby goat. I can’t remember the breed, but it was one specially bred as a LGD. They don’t know what is part of their “pack” and should be protected until they have been trained.

    I got a couple of mutts from the pound as puppies and trained them to not harm the chickens. One of them especially was an effort but she finally learned. The hardest for them to control themselves was when a chicken started to run away from them.
     
  6. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't necessarily endorse this as we just started to work with our Boston Terrier and our chicks, but someone on BYC recommended
    http://canterlc.com/StopChickenKillerDogs/site/pages/home

    The website doesn't work on my mobile devices and the videos themselves use flash, but the video explanations are great!

    We're working through the steps and hope to calm down our pup and get her to think of them as part of her pack.

    Good luck!
     
  7. chicken curious

    chicken curious Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh! And my sister has two Great Pyrenees as LGD and one has killed some of their chickens. :( She keeps coyotes away and kills and eats wild rabbits, but shouldn't eat the free range chickens.
     
  8. as110

    as110 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ooh that's sad.

    I keep telling my kids to not test the dogs until they are on a leash and we can control them.
     

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