Our Dog almost got the ladies.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dadthebaker, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    Howdy Y'all! *whew* what timing!

    Since we got our nine baby's a month ago, the dog has taken a keen interest in wanting to get to know them better. A year ago, before I even thought of raising chickens, I came home to see our dog, who escaped the backyard, chomping on a chicken he caught. Though I was upset, it would have been worse now, knowing how much one can get attached to our feathered friends. I wish I knew whos bird it was, they deserve compensation for thier loss. Any how...

    Two days ago, I stayed home longer than expected. and decided to go out to say hi to my chickies <so what it was the 20th time that day> To my horror and surprize, I saw that his head and shoulder were half way through the fencing I put up dividing the yard (he gets half, the girls get half). HE saw me and freaked (that bugger knows what he was doing was wrong) I scolded him, and went to fix the fence and reinforce... (all on a sprained ankle, but that is a different story).

    Today, I happened to walk by a window and saw a brown tail go past a mound of weeds/branches that I piled for the girls to play in (I devise "toys" to entertain the girls...I think I am going coo coo!).

    The dog found a weak spot in my fencing, dug through and was going in for the kill...my girls all ran into the center of the pile and huddled together....quite camofluaged, but he knew they were in there. Had I not detoured from what I was doing, just to peek at the girls .... <shudder>.

    YELLING at the top of my lungs for my sons to run to the back yard, FAST!!!... I hobbled as fast as I could. My oldest knew there was something amiss and barged right through the fencing I made between our sunroom door and the outside (I like to hear my girls so I keep the door open with fencing otherwise they want to be indoor chickens)....I will reward my boys for their quick actions with a special dessert tonight for sure.

    With his snout in the pile, the dog heard us coming, and ran like the dickens to the opposite side of the yard. I went to him, yelling and he slinked away back to the other side of the fence. I was/am soo angry! At the mutt, but more at myself for missing a weak spot in the fence.

    I am thinking that it be best to give the dog to my inlaws than to have a dog around that will kill my girls.

    FUNNY THING IS, they, it seems to me, taunted him....they go plucking around the fence while he is not there, but they are looking around for him.... pecking on HIS side of the fence (with an entire yard to play in, they go there...lol) A few days ago The bantam even went through and was pecking on his side... when I saw that , I almost died! hobbling as fast as possible, I tried to scare her back from the dogs side (kinda knowing if I tried to get to her from the other side, she would panic and run towards the middle of the dogs side.... but dummy girl when she saw me, she panicked with flapping wings and couldnt get through the fence....if I was the dog, she woulda been a goner.... so, after weeks of taunting the dog, he made it to thier side.

    ANOTHER three minutes....one or more of them would have been in his jaws.

    I am thinking we need a chicken friendly dog. One month with chickens and I can tell you right now... this fever aint gonna stop...told Wife the other day that we should go get three more...ONLY three...that's it...no more.... (this after we bought our initial six, and I sed, lets get a couple more...so we did....well...three more... <wink wink> I couldnt help it....there was one extra that was soooo cute...we had to bring her home too... besides... doesnt a "couple" mean three??? lol

  2. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    You need to do what you feel comfortable with. Being constantly mad at the dog isn't fair to ether the dog or you. IMPO, you made the commitment to the dog long before you made the commitment to the chickens, and I personally would rehome the birds before I would rehome the dog. If your inlaws genuinely like your dog and really wouldn't mind taking on another pet, that may be an ideal situation for you. Dogs are predators. If you decide to keep the dog, you are going to need to do some serious training in addition to beefing up the security on your fencing. Keep in mind that it was your dog that almost got your chickens this time, but if your dog could find a way through that fence then it isn't going to be any harder for a loose neighbor dog, stray, or coyote to breach next time and they may not be as easy to deter by just yelling (and could potentially be dangerous to try to chase off). ALL dogs, even "chicken friendly" ones, are predators by nature. That's what they were designed to do, and while some dogs have an easier time ignoring that instinct than others it's not their fault if we set them up for failure (ie allowing them access and not putting in an effort to train them). Without training, any dog is going to follow it's natural instincts to chase and kill smaller animals that run screaming from it. Many dogs aren't even doing it for the thrill of the kill, they're just having fun playing chase.
    HE saw me and freaked (that bugger knows what he was doing was wrong)

    This is not necessarily true. Your dog freaked out because he could clearly tell by your body language that you were angry and past experience has taught him that good things don't happen when you are angry. It doesn't necessarily mean he's connected the fact that you are angry with him chasing chickens. I'm glad that your girls are safe and that quick action on your boys part saved everyone from a much worse afternoon. And even more so, I'm glad that you are now aware of a weakness in your fence that needs fixing without having to suffer the loss of any birds.​
  3. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chirping

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    Some dogs you can train to endure and protect the chickens, some you just CANNOT. If that dog has ANY bird dog in him, it's his serious job in life to rid his world of birds, including your chickens.

    I have two eskimo dogs who I trained not to touch the chickens - they belong to me, not them. They walk among them, not bothered. Never showed the slightest interest in killing the chickens. You will never rest easy with a bird-killing dog next to your chickens! Somebody has to go - - -
  4. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    Quote:Wiser words I have yet to hear.

    This dog is not a family dog, he lived on the property when we moved in. He is very wild; I tried everything to show him love, but he doesnt trust humans. He is cute as hell, tho I believe he has bird dog in him.

    Tomorrow, he goes. I send him to inlaws house; it was gonna be the pound, but they said they'll try to give it a home first.
  5. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    Quote:When we rented the place, I saw the dog around, but didnt connect it with the house. Apparently, because nobody gives me the same answer, the "owner" of the dog, some 7 years ago, left him there. The dog "lived" on the front lawn. When we moved in, he would bark at us. He is an adorable looking dog and smart as hell...but emotionally damaged. If I pick up the hose, he runs, thinking I am gonna soak him. We always fed it, but it would not come into the house. After about 6 months, he did come in, but wanted out. So I keep him in the back yard fed with dry bedding. It can be freezing rain out, and he wont come in. So, basically what I am saying is that, yes, I "took" the dog in, but more because he chases the neighbors and the kids as they walk by.

    Animal Control has tried many times to get him, but like I said, he is smart (and they are not. lol). Uncatchable, but people were giving me dirty looks and even threw stuff at my car once. So, rather than deal with the nieghbors, and if AC cant catch him, I felt that the back yard was best place for him. I really have no attachment to the guy and I know he is miserable cooped up in a back yard.

    Inlaws will take care of him. Their dog died of old age and they need something to feed all day...one thing for sure...he gonna get fat!

  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    The temptation was just too great. The yard was divided but chickens and dog could meet in the middle (either side of the divider. It's not like a dog has much to do when people have them penned(or chained). People always think the dogs need a large yard to run in. But most dogs end up sleeping when they are confined alone. They don't knit, watch tv or text their friends. They usually don't like playing with toys alone either. So the most fascinating things to your dog was the chickens, flapping, running, chirping etc. A solid divider might have been of help but your dog could still smell and hear the chickens. It would have been better to have a wide neutral area between the chicken yard and dog yard so they don't get each other stirred up.

    No dog is born knowing what he supposed to do or not do. You have to train them, some can't be trained. I think it's all for the best to let the inlaws have him- hopefully they won't bring him for a visit.
  7. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    Quote:Drumstick...wow... you expanded my paradigm. Three Clucks to you!

    I really wanted the mutt to be an indoor dog, but I suppose that all those years outside made him what he is...when we first moved here, it was torrential rain for four/five days at a time (a lot for LA) and bone chilling cold. I tried everything to get that fella inside, but he wouldnt do it. I put together a quick dry shelter and warm food for him, many times. Six months later, he would trust us to pet him, but that was it.

    thanks for the interesting point of view.

  8. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

    Jun 4, 2011
    also, what have you done to teach the dog not to bother the chickens?

    The first step is always control. The dog shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the birds without you right beside him, on leash, until you know that he is reliable. Then, he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near them without you in sight. Then he can be left unsupervised to lounge on his side of the yard, provided the birds stay on theirs.

    Since he already knows that the birds are food, since he was actually eating one, then he has more at work here than your average chicken-killing dog. Most dogs never make that connection and just "break" the awesome squeaky toys they found.

    Take him outside on leash, just to where he starts to pay attention to the birds. Tell him "watch me" and if he looks at you, then treat and praise the crud out of him. If not, say "watch me" again and give a little pop of the leash. He will look at you and you can praise him then. Repeat at this distance until he is reliable and not paying attention to the birds. When you can't be actively training him, he needs to be securely fenced, out of sight of the birds.

    Once he is reliable at a distance, you gradually start getting closer. If he ignores you and focuses on the birds, then you are too close and need to back up.
    The key is to get the dog paying attention to you BEFORE he gets in the "oh bird! bird bird bird!!" state of mind.

    Another option would be to put plastic strips in the chain link separating the chicken yard from the dog yard. This will keep the birds from sticking their heads through and also keep them out of the dog's vision. Add an electric strand around the bottom of the dog yard and the top, that will keep him from digging under the fence and from climbing over. Of course, the best option would be to bring the dog in the house, make him part of the family. If you want to provide a potty area, add a doggie door and a covered kennel.

    ETA: I did read your post and I know that some dogs just never lose that fear of being indoors. It's sad for him that he was abandoned to that way of life. Give him a chance and set him up to succeed by showing him what TO do, not just getting angry about the wrong things.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  9. evenstargirl

    evenstargirl In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2011
    I feel your pain. We have four dogs and 21 chickens. My Havanese does amazingly well with the chickens. He will herd them to get them into the chicken coop at night. I had him before I got chickens.... Apparently the Havanese were actually used as fowl herders in Cuba! Whatever it is, it comes very naturally to him. Our German Shepherd does not too much care about the chickens, nor does our Mountain Cur. But our Jack Russell.... Oh my. No amount of my working with him has helped. He is okay on leash, but as soon as I let him off, he sprints to the coops. Very strong prey drive. We've learned we just have to work around it and not let him near any loose chickens.

    I have posted a photo of my Havanese with a new Cochin chicken. I'm new to the site and have never posted a photo... Hope it works! [​IMG] The chickens quickly got used to him, and my Silkies don't even care when he is in the pen with them anymore.


  10. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    Quote:EvenStar...that is amazing! thanks for sharing.

    I fear this dog is quite "wild", due to the abuse he went through and the amount of time he was on his own. I would have loved to have from from early on, he would have made a great family member.

    Everyones advice is so well put, thank you all!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by