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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DCW, May 26, 2011.
How do I train my pet dogs not to eat my chickens? Any suggestions are appreciated.
It depends on the dog. Some won't or can't learn not to, and others are quite easy to train.
Our Standard poodle learned pretty quickly not to eat the chickens. We punished him with a "No! Bad dog!" when he chased them. Eventually he discovered that we were happy with him when he didn't chase them, and now he pretty much ignores them. He would rather eat their food than them (I frequently find him chewing on a mouthful of dry feed).
Never let them even look at the birds. Never, even through a window let them stare and want the birds. Sharp correction in the leash or with a squirt bottle in as deep a voice as you can manage, "Noooooo birds, nooooo." Growl, be a big mean dog, "Noo birds."
Make those chickens yours, absolutely yours and you are in charge, ALPHA, over your dog. Eventually it will be hard wired itno your dogs brain those chickens are absolutley not to be touched. even then you need to be alert and periodically reinforce the ban. With my ultra prey drive greyhounds I periodically growl, "Are you lookin' at those birds?!" Both dogs instantly look away even if they weren't staring. They are in the yard with them all the time. They run through the flocks chasign their toys and eat snacks with the birds wher ewhen I first got the birds they were droolign monsters wanting to eat them.
I assume these are free range birds? More dog obedience training to a longer and longer leash until he will listen when off line but, even then don't trust him without supervision. If he is digging into their run - electric fence. Good luck.
I compete in obedience and Schutzhund with four of my dogs, even so, I will never ever trust them around the chickens off leash. A flap of a wing, within a wink of an eye, one of my birds could be dead.
I figure my dogs don't need bird friends, so no loss to them........
From the time our chicks were in the brooder--okay, the bathtub--we made the dogs lay down nearby and ignore the chicks. If the kids were in playing w/the chicks, the dogs were nearby, and and as another poster said, they couldn't start staring at the chicks w/o being corrected.
Now, a few years later, the chickens in the yard are about as exciting as wrens or robins. Its almost like they don't exist to the dogs.
But at the same time, I know that my dogs have no protective instincts toward the chickens. If a chicken started running away, the dog would probably chase it. There's no perfect solution, but a consistent effort can pay off.
And then there are dogs with super-strong prey drive. Just make sure if you have one of those, its not running loose around OTHER people's chickens!!
I haven't read the responses but inevitably someone will say "tie a dead chicken to it's neck"...Ugh, it doesn't work it makes your dog stink..
For every 1 dog that it works for I'd wager there are 200 that it didn't work for and it's just disgusting...
I am of the mind that it takes A LOT of time...We've had our chickens for a while now and the dog still has WAY too much interest in them but I allowed her to sniff the tail feathers of one of the girls while I was holding chickie and dog very obediently laid down and didn't freak. She is getting better but I don't think I'll ever really trust her, the prey drive on my dog is insane. So you need to look at your own dog on an individual level. How crazy does your dog get chasing a rabbit or squirrel? my dog becomes absolutely deaf when she is in hunt mode...Also how experienced are you at obedience training...
It is so much more than just, how do I MAKE my dog do this or that...
Thank y'all for responding
It was funny. When we first got our birds and they were big enough to free range our female dog was rehabbing from a badly broken leg so we concentrated on bird safing our male dog. She was tired, hurting and leashed so had little interest in anything. He learned fast and was pretty trust worthy long before she was close to well enough to be off leash. After several months of showing no interest while leashed the first day she was let loose she went for them. Slow and tottering so not successful but funny in her determination. She actually took longer to chicken safe because I think she apparently spent so long in frustrated longing.