Puppy attacked chickens - what does this mean??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicks4jansk, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. chicks4jansk

    chicks4jansk New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2016
    Hello, I am new here - to this site but also new to being a chicken owner as well - which I have really come to enjoy doing. We purchased a home that came with livestock, chickens so we jumped right into caring for adult chickens. I have read countless tips/tricks to catch up on caring for chickens 101. What I have not come across yet, which brings me here today, is when a puppy discovers the taste of chickens do they turn to be an aggressive dog as they grow older? I understand this question might be more geared to owning a dog but I'm hoping I get better luck asking it here with other fellow chicken owners than somewhere else. To give you a bit of back story, we have a 4mo old German Shepherd mix puppy. Thus far he has a very soft temperament, already extremely smart and quick to train, and is great with small kids. Other than typical puppy mouthing, he is as sweet as can be. We started him out from day around the chickens thinking if he grew up near them then he will be used to them and therefore, not feel the need to attack them. It was going so well. We had absolutely no signs of worry. He never chased them, he let them walk near him (when they wanted to get that close that is), he would drop his toys near them in hopes they would play with him; one time they did and started playing a bit of tug of war. As we felt more comfortable with them around each other, we would allow them all to wander the backyard. It was all great and peachy-keen until yesterday afternoon. My husband went outside to find the puppy gnawing on one of them [​IMG], another one has an open wound on its back, and the others were hiding and visibly traumatized. We are caring for the wounded chicken and she seems to be holding up ok. She's eating and carrying on as if nothing ever happened. - we know now that we cannot have the dog near the chickens but should we be concerned that after all this he will become an aggressive dog? I want a dog that protects, not attacks. Please provide any advice, tips, suggestions you may have especially if you have encountered a similar situation. Thank you!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.

    Your question may be get better answers on the Predators/Pests forum. There are quite a few members that have Guardian Dogs that protects their flocks/livestock, so they may be able to give you some tips.

    That said, this is my thoughts. Chickens are prey animals, just about anything will hunt/kill them (even rats). It is a dog's natural instinct to hunt/kill that prey (he's a predator). Just because your GS has maimed/killed the chickens won't necessarily mean that he will be aggressive towards humans. Training may be helpful to help determine his behavior towards humans.

    I have a lab mix, he loves people, but anything that moves otherwise, he would absolutely go after it (bunnies, chickens, squirrels, cats, etc.).

    For your injured chick, apply some triple antibiotic ointment or Vetericyn to her wound, offer her some poultry vitamins in her water.

    Keep us posted on her progress.

    I'm sure others will give input, but here is the other forum link as well.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests
     
  3. chicks4jansk

    chicks4jansk New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2016
    That is extremely helpful, thank you Wyorp Rock !
     
  4. chicks4jansk

    chicks4jansk New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2016
    I have posted this on the Predators/Pests forum as suggested - thanks!
     

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