Pround of the Dogs

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Mountain Man Jim, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Saw something today that made me very proud of our dogs. Our dog Molly was outside on the deck, laying on her bed, eating a very prized treat, a cabbage core (it’s a treat, trust me). The other dogs know better than to mess with her when she has a prize; she can snap at you with blinding speed. Even the alpha dog avoids a direct seizure of the treat.

    So, up on the deck hops one of our youngest but, boldest chickens and she is eyeing the cabbage. The chicken walks right up to Molly and tries to take the cabbage (I mean really, she just has it between her paws). Molly growls, snarls and barks at the chicken. But, never made contact with the bird. At one point, she actually got up and took the cabbage away but, the chicken pursued her. Eventually, she just gave up and left the cabbage.

    So, then the alpha female snatched the unguarded cabbage and walked over to a different part of the deck to eat the cabbage. Weighing 120 lbs, Fluffy was about to make quick work of this little cabbage core. The chicken followed Fluffy trying to get whatever fell on the deck. A good size chuck dropped and the chicken was so bold that she snatched the piece from under the mouth of this huge dog.

    So, to those that say that dogs can’t be trusted with chickens, I submit this observation. It appears to me to all come down to training such that the dogs learn to accept the chickens as part of the pack. We have one dog that will leave his food if the chickens show an interest in his food and start to extract kibbles from his dish while he’s eating.

  2. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    that is wonderful that the dogs didn't resource guard with the chickens. But I have to say, this is very different than a dog making the choice not to chase, bite and kill a chicken when it is in prey drive -- which is more of an issue than resource guarding. The are two totally different kinds of behaviors and aggression. [​IMG]
  3. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Interesting way to look at it. I was looking at this more for point of how the dogs viewed and tolerated the chickens. It appeared to be a bit like how dogs will tolerate a small child. At some level they understand that the chickens are off limits and delicate. In my situation, this appears to mean that the dogs don't chase or attack the birds, even if they would snap (with contact) another dog.

  4. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    i really doubt that the dogs see the chickens as part of the pack seeing as how if the dogs seen the chickens as being apart of the pack they would try to be sociel or interact with them like they do toward people,otherdogs and sometimes cats. more or less i think the dogs see them basically as chickens they are not food so they ignore them. they knew that the chickens would not respond to there displays so they moved away. just like some dogs see cats as pack memebrs and will try interacting with them by cleaning them,lieing with them,playing with them ect while other dogs only see them as animals that are to be ignored since they are not food.
    wild packs of dpgs know the differance between a member that interats with them and say the ground squirrils living near by.
  5. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    I don't think Jim is looking for a lesson in dog behavior here....I'm glad his dogs can, at least in the described situation, get a long with his chickens. Whether the dogs "see" the chickens as members of the pack is up for debate. I personally think that rather than see most things as a "pack" dogs learn that their providers (us) also see the other animals as a priority and the dog will accept that.
  6. Mountain Man Jim

    Mountain Man Jim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks guys, great discussion.

    Think you are both make a great point. It's incorrect to say that the dogs are treating chickens as part of a pack. The dogs treat the chickens in much the same way they treat the rest of my property, which, in general, they don't eat [​IMG]

    In addition, they do understand that chickens are important to me. I believe that's what Jamie means by priority. I'm guessing that this stems from the rather intensive training process to get the dogs to accept the chickens.

    Thanks for the input. I actually love learning, discussing and observing dog behavior.

  7. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    I would have to agree that they don't see them as part of the pack. You said that she would snap and make contact if the other dogs went for the prize. So if the chickens were part of the pack, wouldn't she snap and make contact with them too?

    Though I do agree, I would be proud too!

    My Shelties ignore the birds, but while I was bringing the dogs in the other day my young goose (got it from the feed store earlier this year) ran up behind Caesar (the male Sheltie) and goosed him. The poor boy yelped and ran for the door. [​IMG]

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