Soo..We adopted a Great Pyrenees..Lost 9 chickens...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ravencreek, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. ravencreek

    ravencreek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Benton TN
    Well I don't know what it was I did wrong here but I am not liking this breed much right now. Here is the story.

    The husband and I have been discussing getting another dog. We like dogs with purpose and use so we decided to get a guardian for our chickens. I have read such GREAT stories on here about the Great Pyrenees Dogs so we decided to get one. Well Friday morning we drove to a lady's house to look at her dogs and we chose a neutered(she has all pups fixed before new homes) 5 month old male that was in a pen mixed with ducks, chickens, turkeys and some goats. He was so sweet and seemed to be good with all the animals he was penned with(since birth). Both parents were also working dogs and wonderful.

    We take him home and put him in the pen with the chickens and I stayed with them all day to be sure nothing went wrong. Well he was perfect with them and seemed to ignore them more than anything. All was well so I left him in with them overnight. BAD IDEA! We woke up to a horrible sight. 9 dead and 5 wounded. On my sons birthday. I called the breeder who couldn't believe he had killed. She suggested bringing him back and picking an younger pup to grow up with the flock. Needless to say we returned him first thing Sunday morning. Would have been Saturday but we had a birthday party and didn't have time to drive him 2 hours to the breeder.

    The breeder was very concerned and very sorry that he had caused so much trouble for us that she not only refunded our money, she also gave us money for our birds as well as offered a pup free. We tried to decline the money for the birds but she insisted it was "her fault" since it was one of her pups that had done the damage. She also promised that if sold he would go to a pet only home. We agreed that would be the best option given his behavior. We also couldn't chance another puppy right now since we just lost 9 birds and I have 5 in our "hospital suite" better known as our screened in porch. 3 of the birds are doing much better and will be returned to the flock tomorrow. The other 2 I'm not sure are going to make it. But thats another thread.

    I was hoping that some of you could maybe tell me what it was I had done wrong in this situation since the breeder said I had done all the right things. He wasn't inside the hen house during the night and when I went out after dark to check on him he was laying at the door quietly. Sometime between then and 8am is when the massacre took place. I must have been overly tired and didn't hear anything. I don't blame the puppy in this. He is afterall, Just a puppy. I just need a hug. I miss my chickies.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  2. briana1975

    briana1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Carleton Mi.
    Here's a hug then.[​IMG]
  3. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    I'm really surprised. I have a 3 month old GP. She was born right in a chicken yard in Alabama. We have no problem with her. She's great with everything from the baby chicks right up to the adults.

    She's great with our ducks and goose as well.

    I'm so sorry that this happened to you and your chickens. I don't have an answer for you.

  4. Ducklove334

    Ducklove334 Off to another pond

    Nov 4, 2008
    yes,yes these dogs are great with the whole gaurding livestock yada yada, but they are STILL dogs,unpredictable predators, they have switches like any OTHER predator.

    something switched in his little pea brain that night that said "kill" and once he killed one, his little pea brain said "this is fun" and he continued.

    the problem with these dogs, and I have NEVER liked how people raise them, NO human intereaction at all.

    I'm sorry for your losses, but I'd trust a great Pyrenees with my birds about as much as I'd trust a BIRD dog.
  5. pixie74943

    pixie74943 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Adelaide, Australia
    Only thing I can think of is that the GP realised that those were not HIS hens. But then he should have realised it earlier.

    [​IMG] Sorry about your loss though
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Heartbreaking. What a nightmare it had to have been for them......

    I am not an expert re: dogs and chickens other than reading about countless dog-attacked-chickens tragedies on this site and nursing my own birds back to health after irresponsible neighbors let their dogs run loose.....but I would never ever leave a new dog alone with birds, much less on the first matter the breed. It would seem that even breeds known for responsible guardianship need time to develop the understanding that these birds are his to protect and that no harm must come to them.

  7. 17roses

    17roses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    Greene County, TN
    First: [​IMG] Sorry about the loss

    I am no expert but am raising a GP myself and my 2 cents worth is this...

    1. Not all GPs make good guardians

    2. This was an unfamiliar flock and may have caused strange behavior or perhaps you being unsure of the dog may have caused it to behave out of character. (I am in no way blaming you - I would be unsure as well)

    3. If treated like a pet or given lots of attention, many GPs attach to the people and not the animals they are guarding causing them to act like a "normal" dog with normal drives. This transfer can happen quickly.

    4. When moved to a smaller enclosure some GPs get frustrated and chase their charges.

    5. Some GPs have a herding instinct which doesnt go well with chickens - the routine the seller had the dog / chickens on may have curbed this in the GP you adopted

    6. The GP wanted to play and was too rough with the delicate body of a chicken. Perhaps the seller's chickens were bigger or knew to steer clear when it showed it's puppy behaviors.

    The reason for the difficulty may have been a little of each of these reasons or none of the above. I dont really know but do know you are not the only one to have these kinds of difficulties. GPs are fantastic dogs but not all have the instinct and predictablilty to be good sheperds. You did everything right. You picked a dog that was already guarding chickens from an obviously honest seller. Perhaps you could gear yourself up for another one and put that free pup offered on hold until you are ready?
  8. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    oh geez - i'm so sorry for your loss

    i think this is a good lesson tho, for everyone out there thinking that getting a LGD dog will solve all their problem. i think there is a mistaken belief that these dogs do everything we want by instinct.... while it is true that they are wired for guarding.. but they have other instincts also - such as to play with flappy squawky things.

    if i were to guess i'd say that the dog didnt understand that YOUR chickens were what he was supposed to guard. remember that dogs are territorial and just because there is a chicken, doesnt mean he understands its the one he is supposed to take care of.

    all dogs need training and this one needs to understand he is part of your pack, and your yard, your livestock etc are his job.

    my advice is not to just take him back. but get him working with you and your property. make sure he knows that you are the boss of him. take him to walk to property line, tie him to your belt and have him work with you all day, do not let him be unsupervised with the critters, and pen him up WITH the hens - but separately so he cant get to them. i'm not a big believer of crating, but you could crate him with hens so he sleeps close to them.. he'll get the hang of it.

    sorry to hear this.
  9. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    by your description of the events I can tell you why he killed your chickens.....

    Your chickens are not used to the dog. You are responsible for their integration, not 1 hour, not 1 day, not one week, you let them get use to each other until the chickens are comfortable enough to ignore the dog. Any squawking/ running prey will trigger chase instinct in ANY breed of dogs.
    1 person likes this.
  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Are you sure it was the GP Dog, being a pup, maybe he let coons in ?

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